Ever since my college days, I've been wondering how I'd look like as a blond (the other hair-related thing being how I'd look like as a skinhead). Japan and Korean boys make it look so easy, and perhaps there's the catch right there: boys.
Yesterday, I decided to have my hair cut shorter than usual as I planned to dye my hair blond afterward, DIY style. I figured that a four-day weekend was coming up and so in case my skin tone can't pull the color off, I have time to dye my hair back to black.
From my research, I learned that Tony Moly has hair bleach and blond dye so I went straight to SM Makati after my haircut. As it turned out, my research was lousy for all they had were two dyes in tones of red and brown.
I took this as a sign and went to Watsons, where there are other hair colors, and I wasted an enormous amount of time vacillating between going blond or not. In the end, I picked this:
Imagine me, a 6ft-tall guy, paying for this at the cashier, lol.
I didn't buy hair bleach (for one, there was none) so I didn't really expect my hair to go the way of Sailor Moon. I only started to get scared when I found no reviews of the product on Google, save for one, who wasn't too happy with her result. At that point, I didn't even mind if my color wouldn't change; I just didn't want my hair to fall off.
Richenna Bubble Color (P350 at Watsons) is a Korean brand. Somehow, my fears were assuaged when I opened the box and I noted how the instructional brochure and coloring materials were of good quality. The brochure is poster-size, with full color photos and respectable grammar. The gloves were made of rubber and even had a garter at the base so there was no way your hands would get dyed or wet. It also provided a plastic cape to protect your clothing.
What I loved the most though, was the coloring bottle: it was a foam dispenser! So I guess that's how it got the 'bubble' in the name.
The color and developer are 50g each. You'd probably need two boxes if you have shoulder length hair. Once you mix the two in the foam dispenser, you tear off the perforated dots in the box and voila! Your dispenser is secure and won't topple.
I love how considerate they were about that. At this point, I trusted the brand :-)
The great thing about foam is that your color won't drip and it spreads out evenly on your hair. I wished though that the smell was nice—it was as bad as hair dyes normally come.
I left the solution on my hair for 30 minutes. (Normal is 20mins; additional 15mins if you have darker or 'virgin' hair, according to the instruction.) However, looking at the mirror, I 'felt' (usually you really can't tell until you've shampooed your hair) that nothing changed with my color. I decided to do a second round, applying the same amount of foam in my hair as in the first. Within two minutes, I saw the pop of color. I decided to leave it on again for 30 minutes, but the burning sensation on my scalp wouldn't go away, so I cut this down to 15 minutes and shampooed.
Here's the description at the back of the box:
The formulation with lavender and sage extract minimizes hair damage and helps to leave your hair silky and shiny. The amino acid provides moisture for your hair to look healthy.
Meanwhile, I couldn't even lather the shampoo and run my finger through my hair because it was so coarse and I assumed, damaged! To think I had no more than 4 inches of hair; I can't imagine how harder it would be for those with longer tresses.
It was so bad I panicked. After rinsing the shampoo, I used the conditioner provided by Richenna then added a spoonful of Neutrogena Body Oil.
Thankfully, that did wonders. Although it felt coarse again after my final rinse (though this time, I could now run my fingers through it), with a few drops of the oil on my towel-dried hair, it felt and looked good again.
So how blond am I? Actually, not at all; I'm brown!
I LOVE how I actually have highlights. I suppose this was the effect of the second coating I did. (Since I have short hair, it's really not worth for me to get one at a salon.) The tone also changes depending on the lighting, but overall, I like how it has given me a fresh, new look.
Will I use it again? Well, I really like the foam idea, and most dyes smell bad and do dry out your hair. The only exception has been Revlon. That was a way better experience actually, but the color I got that time was subtler and in Pam's case, it faded easily. (In my case, it lasted really long; my stylist, who did not color my hair and was from another salon, commented on that and how subtle it looked.) I probably would not use Richenna again IF the color doesn't last long and if my hair feels damaged for more than two weeks. I'll update this post if that's the case.