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Jonathan's Blue Mix
Jonathan's blue hair

"Jonathan's Blue Mix"

Long have I searched for a way to get the natural blue lustre of an anime character without using harsh chemicals or dyes that wash out quickly (as most commercial "blue" dyes do, in my experience). I came across Indigo and Henna in that search but there was not a specific "blue" mix yet, so I thought I'd experiment.

These are the results of my attempts, in various stages... before you consider attempting this though, I suggest you make sure you are commited. I have found this dye will lighten, if bleached, to paler blues and (greys?) but never will it wash out and chemical "color remover" will Not work on it. (be warned) Also, keep in mind that if your hair is light to start with, doing anything more than streaks will be very difficult because the blue will always be darker than the blonde, (which makes your hair look thinner as it grows out. Roots are especially difficult with these "natural" mixtures, I think- given the coffee-grounds like consistency of the mixture.)

Now, to business... For Ingredients you will need only water, salt and/or vinegar, powdered indigo (I always use Mehandi.com) possibly some Knox powder, and mixing instruments.

I usually microwave about 1 cup of water with a dash of salt (I use celtic sea-salt, btw...if it makes any difference) and a splash of vinegar (either kind) for about 1 minute or until the water is hot (enough to dissolve the salt, anyway.)

*while experimenting, I found that vinegar alone seems to bring out less dye (making it greener) while Sea salt (in particular) seems to give it a more purplish tint (as you can see in my last pictures, where I used Only salt). However, I think a mixture of both is the most effective for getting a real "blue". 

Then I pour the desired amount of powder into my bowl (ceramic) so that when I add the water it makes a slightly runny mixture (similar to most all mixes).

*in order to make the stuff adhere better and of better consistency, I have (as of late) been adding sprinkles of Knox gelatin powder into the mix, but I'm not sure if this inhibits the dye release or not... (since my hair was already blue by the time I tried it)

Then stir...  ;) 

Usually I let it set for 10 or 15 minutes before applying it, in whatever method seems appropriate
(I've tried using a mid-sized paintbrush, and a spoon, but I usually prefer to just pour some into my hands and work it in that way, even if it is more of a mess).

If you use Knox powder it will dry to a crunchy "hairspray" hardness, but in either case, it may drip before it dries so have some (paper) towels on hand to wipe your face/neck, etc. After that, depending on the degree of color you want (refer to pics below) let it sit until you are ready to remove the application but do not, (I repeat) do NOT shampoo it out. Rinse it with warm water only until most of the grounds are removed and then dry it carefully. If you shampoo less than several hours after the application, you'll just wash out all the color that was imparted and have to start over. In the morning (or after whatever processing time you wish has elapsed) you may Now shampoo and condition your hair... though it will still probably be somewhat dry for a little while and you may want to use a professional "sealing" conditioner or even hair oil (jojoba, for instance).

My experiments suggest that the dye usually darkens over the next few days, but also that it will wash
fairly quickly from any skin, or hair that has not been bleached beforehand.

Johnathan's blue streaks

My hair was already bleached at this stage and I did a few strand tests around the ears to see how it looked. (some people might like this effect itself and stop there) ...(and yes, I did end up having to use a Chemical bleach to achieve the lighter shade... which caused a little irritation (as you can see from my ears...) so be careful with that.

Jonathan's indigo project

At this stage I took the mix and just rumpled it through my hair, letting it sit for about an hour before I rinsed it out. Parts of the yellow still show through which gives it a light greenish tint (also which some people might prefer).

Jonathan's indigo project

This was the second coat which I tried to apply more thoroughly, and left it on for another hour. The picture does not quite convey the nature of this color... but in dark or fluorescent light it will appear merely "dark". When sunlight or other bright light flashes on it though, it appears as a much more
metallic sheen.

Jonathan's blue hair  Jonathan's blue hair

Finally, after much experimentation, I achieved this indigo/purplish/green color that I was satisfied with, despite its relative inconsistancy. I left the main application on for a couple of hours, rinsed it just enough to remove the "coffee-grounds"... then slept in it overnight, and washed it in the morning. (the back I lightened up afterwards with a little more bleach.)

Well, there you have it. I find that this type of dye looks much more "natural" than any other commercial blue dyes, and lasts indefinitely longer. I am still experimenting with applications (as I grow out my
hair)  so I may have more information in future updates.

Good luck  :) 
~Jonathan

 

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© 2005,  Alex Morgan: Spellstone

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Catherine Cartwright-Jones
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