hair & beauty

Hair: A 2012 Recap

Read the 2011 recap.

HELLO, HORNDAWGZ. I’m publishing this a bit early to deter me from changing my hair one last time before 2012 ends (I’m tempted, believe me). To quote The Mask— Someboddeh stop meh!

I started twennytwelf with a hangover and a head of Special Effects Cherry Bomb (diluted). That would fade to a pretty cotton candy pink (since my base was a pearly blonde).

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

Cherry Bomb is probably going to be my go-to pink dye since you can get gallons out of a bottle. When I realized this, I was all “Oh this is fantastique, I can keep this pink for the rest of the year with just this bottle! How thrifty!” and of course, I went ahead and bought more dye the next day because that’s just how much I hate money. Anyway, it’s really a bright red and you only need a smidgen of it to get a nice, hot pink. It also didn’t stain my hair (unlike Candy Apple Red) and getting rid of it was easy.

In March, Benefits Style Salon sponsored my new pink hair. I don’t remember what dye they used but it was even louder and more neon than Cherry Bomb! This made it easier for Hanson to remember me as I stalked them from the airport to Araneta to Cebu.

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

Photo on the right taken by Joseph Pascual

My order from Beeunique arrived in May (I had to pay PHP1500 in customs!!!) and I wasted no time trying Crazy Color Violette while still keeping some of the faded pink underneath. I really liked this on me and I regret not keeping it longer…

Because this blue business was really ugly and didn’t suit my skin tone. This was also the time when I noticed I was getting really fat so I barely took any photos.

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

I found a way to make the blue more bearable by adding Crazy Color Peacock Blue and streaks of Special Effects Candy Apple Red. That was really pretty.

Come August, I did a bleach bath intending to dye my hair another color. I was surprised to see that underneath all that blue/turquoise was a mint green!

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

I did another bleach bath in September and learned that blue/turquoise’s minty fades are just as hard (if not harder) as red to get rid of. The blue dyes stained my hair and left me with ugly yellow and green tones! So I added some streaks just for lulz. It got a handful of compliments but I made the mistake of studying my face in an airplane bathroom (harsh, unflattering lighting) and just felt gross.

Before September even ended, I decided to whack on a bunch of different dyes. It was okay, but my roots turned brown which was not okay. So I BB-ed and slapped on some Crazy Color Pinkissimo.

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

The Pinkissimo faded really nicely :) The roots were getting very peachy, though, so I put on undiluted Crazy Color Violette.

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

Then I decided it was time to start working on going silver/white. A girl can dream.

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

Which obviously didn’t happen because I couldn’t live with the brassy blonde! So I settled for a twist on the classic Cruella instead, which is my current hair.

To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the dyes I used. Wildflower went on patchy and a bit translucent. The dye didn’t even take on some parts, leaving me with grayish green bits. The Cupcake Pink wasn’t strong enough to completely cover my yellow-blonde roots and they turned peach, like, 2 days later (even after two applications!).

In summary:

Number of times I bleached my hair: 6.
Number of times I did a bleach bath: 6:
Number of times I double-processed: 1 (bleach followed by a toner that had to be mixed with peroxide).
Number of times I had my hair trimmed: 4.
Number of times I thought about stopping this madness and just going back to a more natural color: 2.

How does your hair not fall out, Helga?!

In June, I learned what bleach baths were and the wonders of virgin coconut oil. Since then, I have been slathering coconut oil on my hair and letting it sit for at least an hour before applying bleach. I recommend this to anyone applying bleach or permanent/box dye— basically anything that you have to mix with peroxide/developer. It really helps in minimizing damage and my hair is not gummy at all when wet (a sign that you’ve destroyed your shit). I’ve also been good at waiting at least a month in between full bleaches/a week in between bleach baths.

My hair is understandably dry and when the tips start snapping off, I know it’s time for a trim (currently need one). Damage tends to travel up towards the hair shaft and it’s better to just cut off the ugly bits because no amount of hair repair products will work.

Hair Products I Use:

Human Nature Conditioners – These don’t contain silicones, which coat your hair like plastic, giving the illusion of soft, healthy hair. It’s all cosmetic! Since I only shampoo twice or thrice a month, I need a cone-free conditioner to keep build-up at a minimum.

Human Nature Natural Hair Mask Avocado & Gugo Bark (in Jasmine) – My favorite hair mask! Smells really great, too.

Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo – A purple shampoo to keep brassiness at bay. It can also be used as a toner after bleaching (as long as your hair is yellow)! I apply it on dry hair and leave it on for at least thirty minutes. Very drying, but nothing that a deep conditioning can’t fix.

Organix Moroccan Argan Deep Penetrating Oil – This contains silicone and I use this sparingly now. It really makes your hair feel super soft but again, it’s cosmetic (unless you have pure argan oil, I guess).

Virgin Coconut Oil – Brands I use are Prosource or SM Bonus. After showering, I put juuuust a little on my damp hair.

Joico K-Pak Deep Reconstructor – Stupid expensive at $40 for a liter but worth the investment. It’s a protein treatment and I use this once a week (twice, if I had just bleached). Warning: too much protein is bad for your hair! Protein can also be very drying and again, it’s nothing that a deep conditioning can’t fix.

Your hair loses protein whenever you chemically process it so make sure to replenish with a reconstructor, a keratin treatment (I used to use Hortaleza’s), or virgin coconut oil. You can try mayonnaise but IT IS DISGUSTING. If your hair starts feeling coarse and dry, you’ve gone overboard and need to moisturize ASAP. Protein-moisture balance can be a little tricky.

Olive Oil – Just slather it on and let it sit for an hour and then rinse off with conditioner (I find that conditioner does a better job at removing oils than shampoo). I hate the smell of olive oil so I don’t do this often but it makes my hair feel RULL SOFT.

Filipina hair dye crazy colors

I ordered a set of blonde extensions off some China eBay seller so I’m excited to see the stuff I’ll be able to do when I get them next year. I hope they truly are 100% human hair or else I will throw a fit because I don’t think artificial hair can hold dye!

If you have any hair-related questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments. Please remember that I am not a professional, just a strong independent woman too cheap for salons. Obviously.

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  • Reply Koji Arsua December 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I like your hair color now. Faded dyes look better on you than strong solid colors. Your hair kind of reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk’s Snuff cover!

    • Reply Helga December 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I prefer pastels, too! Thanks, Koji :)

  • Reply angelique December 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    You look really pretty in the last photo. And the color of that dress really goes well with your skintone.

    • Reply Helga December 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you :)

  • Reply Nina December 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I recommend looking into the Aphogee range. So much cheaper than Joico K-pak. I’ve tried the Two-Step Protein Treatment and the Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer. I personally love the Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer because it’s a great detangler and tames my frizzies. It works well with heat styling too~

    • Reply Helga December 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Heard about Aphogee and the Aussie 3-Min Treatment as alternatives but most of the folks at the forum I post at swear by K-Pak!

  • Reply Kring December 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Kyot kyot mo 4ever. <3

  • Reply Sanya December 19, 2012 at 1:27 am

    HAHAHA my shirt is the same colour as yer hair

  • Reply Maelou December 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Your pink with lilac hair is my favorite. <3

  • Reply tiff December 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Your hair is full of surprises and fun! All colors seem to look really good on you so I don’t think I can pick out a favorite if I could.

    I’m looking forward to see what you will do for your hair in 2013.

    In terms of cut, do you plan on cutting it shorter or growing it out?

  • Reply HapeyShalala December 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    What’s the difference between bleach and bleach bath? :3

    • Reply Helga December 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      A bleach bath is weaker because you mix it with shampoo :) But it’s still damaging.

  • Reply altheasarah December 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Hi Helga! ‘Been following your awesome blog for 2 years now & I must say that among the topics you love to write about, your hair color adventures are my faves! :)

    I wonder what you’ll be up to next year? ‘Looking forward to it! Yay!

    P.S. Do you use night eye cream? What’re you using? Thanks a bunch!

  • Reply Kate December 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Wow, wow, WOW!

    Firstly, can I just say you are gorgeous! :)

    Secondly, you managed to pulled off every single hair colour so well! My personal favourite is the “CC Pine Green + Pinkissimo + MP Red Passion”, the colours looked so nice together. ^_^

    I can’t wait to see your future hair colours!

  • Reply Carrie December 22, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Such a pretty hair color! It looks great on you! I wish I could do that with my hair. :)

    I may try, who knows, lol! Especially since I need to change for the upcoming year.

  • Reply Jenn December 24, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Erm wow, Helga!!! Your hair looks fabulous on the last photo. Did you get a blowdry or was it natural volume?

    • Reply Helga December 24, 2012 at 4:38 am

      Velcro curlers! :D

  • Reply Diane December 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    When I google HBC hair color reviews, your blog is sure to pop up. :) Hair color is so addicting though I cannot color my hair in pastel colors (I work in a conservative environment).

    I just wanna second the use of coconut oil on your hair. Works great. It has been used for generations of both sides of my family. I kid you not. :)

  • Reply Rebel Sweetheart December 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Love your current hair color, and the faded Pinkissimo, too. :)

  • Reply Cheryl December 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Helga! You really inspire me with your different hair colors! And I love your last photo! :)

    Anyway, I just want to ask if you still have to wash off the Virgin Coconut Oil before applying the bleach or just let the Oil sit on you hair while bleaching? I’m planning to go for platinum blonde and as much as possible i want to minimize the damage on my hair. :) Thanks so much! :)

    • Reply Helga December 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Nope, you apply the bleach over the oil

      • Reply Cheryl December 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm

        Oooh i see.. Thanks for this! :) Im learning a lot from your blog. <3

        Im looking forward to your new hair colors for next year! Keep it up Helga! Cheers! :)

  • Reply Gel December 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I’ve seen pretty much all of your hair transformations and each time you make me feel my hair / hair color’s boring :P Haha you’re the only person I know who can pull off ANY hair color and style and I admire you for that <3

  • Reply Twinkle December 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Last paragraph is awesome because I have a ton of questions.

    1. So a bleach bath is 50% bleach (powder + developer), 25% water and 25% shampoo?
    2. Where do you get your bleach? Hard to find bleach in HBC, but is it any good?
    3. Do you still use VCO before bleach baths?
    4. How long do you let it sit on your head before rinsing?
    5. Would you recommend to color right after bleaching or condition muna?

    • Reply Helga December 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      1 – I do equal parts bleach + developer and shampoo. I apply it on damp hair so I don’t add water anymore. It’s very runny!

      2 – My fave is HBC’s bleach but ShineMoist works, too.

      3- Yup! Use VCO before bleaching, bleach baths, and permanent dyes. Anything that you have to mix developer with.

      4 – At least an hour! I usually do 2 hours.

      5 – If you’re using a semi-permanent dye like Special Effects, Crazy Color, Manic Panic or Directions, shampoo out the bleach and then whack it on (don’t condition).

      If you’re using a permanent dye (box dye or anything you have to mix with a developer), you have to wait after bleaching. Recommended is a month in between but if your hair is healthy enough, you might be able to get away with 1-2 weeks’ wait.

      • Reply Twinkle January 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

        @Helga, Weeee thanks!

      • Reply Twinkle January 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm

        @Helga, Marinated my head in VCO for 2 hours and just as when I was about to mix the bleach, wala pala instructions ang Shine Moist. Pfffft. I kinda guessed the proportions na lang and I’m hoping I got it right. *fingers crossed*

        • Reply Helga February 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

          Hahahaha, general rule is same parts bleach and developer. I have a measuring cup and usually go with 50ml bleach powder and 50ml developer for roots.

  • Reply neeenaaa January 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Where do you buy all your hair dyes? Are all of them from Ebay?

  • Reply shey January 6, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Wow Helga! I really adore your skills on changing your hair color! I envy you seriously.

    I dyed my natural black hair to red and maintained it for 6 months. I got tired of it :( So i decided to go for orange. I do some strand test and bleached it but still red. It didn’t show any changes. Could you suggest effective way to pull off my red hair? I’m frustrated -_-

  • Reply Onika January 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I really, really love how you dye your hair <3 I want to color my hair pink! your tutorial about bleaching really help me a lot, I never got a chance to say thank you.. so Thank you so much! :D <3

  • Reply Diana Kathrina January 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    My favorite ones are the Sky Blue + Peacock Blue + Candy Apple Red, the Pinksissimo with Faded Lilac (you look like a proper rock star in that photo) and you in a red dress! :D

  • Reply Nicky January 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

    LMF is so gorgeous! How did you get her, btw? I don’t remember seeing your story about when she chose you. :-)

    Anyway, I have queschunzz.

    1. Roots:
    – When you need to do just your roots, do you do a bleach bath or full on bleach?
    – How many times do you have to slather that on to get to a color you can dye over?
    – How do you make it so that you don’t get bleach/bleach bath on the already colored bits?
    2. Entire head:
    – Again, do you do full on bleach job or just a bleach bath to get your hair dye ready?
    – Do you bleach it until you get the pale yellow? How many times do you do it until you get to that color?
    – How long do you wait in between bleaching?
    3. What do you use for deep conditioning?

    Thanks Helga!

    • Reply Helga January 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Hello! Sorry for the late reply, been busy.

      1. Roots:
      – When you need to do just your roots, do you do a bleach bath or full on bleach?
      –> I just do a full on bleach and try to keep it to my roots

      – How many times do you have to slather that on to get to a color you can dye over?
      –> It really depends on the color you want to dye your hair with. Reds, dark purples, and dark pinks don’t need a light base so you can get away with throwing it on over orange. For pastels, the lighter the base, the more luminous the color. I recommend bleaching once a month, max.

      – How do you make it so that you don’t get bleach/bleach bath on the already colored bits?
      –> You can’t really help it! Even if I’m extra careful, some of the bleach will get to other parts :)

      2. Entire head:
      – Again, do you do full on bleach job or just a bleach bath to get your hair dye ready?
      –> If I’m preparing my hair to slap on an entirely new color, I can get away with a BB :)

      – Do you bleach it until you get the pale yellow? How many times do you do it until you get to that color?
      –> Again, depends on the color you want to dye your hair with! I believe it took me about 2-3 bleaches before I got a pale yellow. Right now, the top half of my hair is a level 8 and I’m waiting a few more days before I can bleach it again to a level 10 so I can tone to silver/white/gray.

      – How long do you wait in between bleaching?
      –> I recommend at least a month :)

      3. What do you use for deep conditioning?
      –> Olive oil, Human Nature’s hair mask, and hot oil treatments from HBC!

      • Reply Nicky January 22, 2013 at 9:08 am


        Awesomesauce! Thanks Helga!

        P.S. Still interested in your how you met story with LMF. :-p But maybe when things aren’t too hectic. :-)

  • Reply eVan January 27, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Hi Helga! Do you also dye your eyebrows to lighten the shade? Or you just go out with black?

    • Reply Helga February 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      @eVan, Hi! I used to bleach my brows with a Sally Hansen kit and pencil them in brown (my brows are full and black) but I stopped caring a while ago lol and just leave them as is

  • Reply Jel February 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm


  • Reply Angelique February 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    You are like my hairspiration. My favorite is your faded cherry bomb and fade Pinkissimo.

    Been reading a buttload of stuff about bleaching and toning and fried hair. I’m gonna go pink this year!

    One question though, for the second bleaching how long do you have to wait?

  • Reply Leah March 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    WOOOOOW!! I love your hair! You remind me of Sunny from SNSD. I was looking for hair bleaching tips and tricks and I stumbled onto your blog. I’m glad I did!! Thank you for not being a snob :)

  • Reply Nikki March 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Omigod. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been lookin’ for a hair care routine for bleached/unnaturally colored hair by a pinoy for quite a while now. For removing semipermanent dye have you tried vitamin c? I read that it can remove the dye in a few sessions.

    • Reply Helga March 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      @Nikki, Not sure about removing the dye but completely but used to crush up Vitamin C and mix it with Head and Shoulders to fade colors :) It’s very drying!

      • Reply Nikki April 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        @Helga, Thanks :) I’m thinking of trying it.

        I bleached my hair twice now and it’s some ugly light orange-ish color with a few blonde streaks T.T I kinda blame Shinemoist a bit. I just hope that using HBC’s bleach would lighten it to white blonde. Do you think it’s a good idea to proceed with bleaching or should I tone it first using gray dye? Also have you experienced bleach drying out while processing your hair? Thanks. :D

        • Reply Helga April 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm

          Please don’t ever bleach to white, that will destroy your hair. Bleach to a level 8 or 9 and then tone from there with either toner or purple shampoo.

  • Reply neeenaaa April 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

    How long do the colors last before they start to fade? Been looking for a decent hair dye that lasts more than a month, so far I have not found any. They usually fade within 3 weeks. :(

    • Reply Helga April 5, 2013 at 12:37 am

      Hiiii! It depends on several things: how often you wash your hair, if you wash your hair with cold water, what brand and color you used, if you bleached your hair, and if you top it up regularly (dye in conditioner)!

  • Reply Mi September 15, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Hi helga! I’ve been wanting pink hair for months! So i ordered some manic panic and bleach. I did my own hair and it was a disaster!! So i found some splat pink fetish hait dye. Can i bleach my hair again and re-color within the same week? My hair turned out orange using manic panic pretty flamingo. I hate it! Huhu. I have really long hair and i *tried* to do pink ombre. Epic fail!!

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