The Vitamin C Method for Removing Demi-Permanent Hair Dye

Sooo… I decided to dye my hair purple. I don’t know if it was the Prince concert I went to recently, the fact that purple is my favorite color, or that I’ve been completely bored with my hair lately, but I thought adding a subtle purple tinge would give just enough “wow” to keep me from chopping my hair into this pixie cut (cute, right?). Welp, I was wrong. Here’s sort of what I was going for:

purple curls

Sadly, I now realize this is probably more of a fuchsia. (Source: glamradar.com)

Here’s what I got:

results from N'Rage Purple Plum

I used N’Rage Purple Plum demi-permanent hair dye, chosen because the helpful lady at Sally Beauty Supply told me she’d seen this color on a brunette with a similar hair tone as mine, and it looked “nice in the sun.” Don’t get me wrong, I did not expect to look like this (which is still pretty), but since my hair is a medium shade of brown with some natural highlights, I expected just a little more, well… purple.

Instead, I got blue-black-purple. Depending on the light, much of my hair was nearly black, the tips were dark blue, and my roots, where I had purposely not applied dye, were my natural medium brown. #fail.

Whenever I color my hair at home, I know it’s a roll of the dice. This time I lost – miserably. So I immediately googled how to safely remove hair dye without using bleach. I came across the vitamin C method, which is supposed to lift demi-permanent hair color 1-2 shades. Here’s what it called for:

  • One or two 1,000 mg vitamin C tablets, crushed
  • A clarifying or dandruff shampoo – something not too gentle, cheap is ok
  • Plastic shower cap
  • 20 minutes

Vitamin C Method

So I got to work, figuring I’d have nothing to lose. For my amount of hair, I crushed three tablets in a plastic bag with a hammer and mixed this well with my usual amount of clarifying shampoo. After letting warm water run over my hair for a few minutes to open the cuticle and let any access product run off, I wrung out my hair and lathered as usual with the shampoo/vitamin C mixture.

I piled my hair on top of my head, covered it with the plastic cap, and let it sit for about 25 minutes. I  then rinsed thoroughly and applied a deep conditioner for about 20 minutes since clarifying shampoo can be harsh.

The Results:

before and after vitamin C Method

Left: after washing only with clarifying shampoo. Right: after using the Vitamin C method

Although the pictures above were taken in slightly different light, you can see the movement of the blue/purple dye further down my hair after using the vitamin C method.

The shampoo/vitamin C mix took out A LOT of hair dye, more than with my usual moisturizing shampoo. The first time I tried this method, I noticed a very subtle difference, but not much. I let my hair rest, then a few days later I tried it a second time, and when my hair dried, I began to see hints of my natural hair color. This method is definitely not a one-shot fix, but if your hair is strong enough to handle multiple treatments back to back, it will remove temporary color more quickly than normal shampooing. Plus, it’s more gentle than bleach, which can strip curly hair of it’s natural oils and change the curl pattern.

It’s now been 10 days since I dyed my hair “purple.” After two vitamin C treatments, two normal shampoos, and one day at the beach, I’d say the color is about 70 percent gone. That’s not so bad considering it normally takes demi-permanent dye between 3-6 weeks to wash out.

Once the color is completely gone, I’ll likely head over to my stylist for a complete color re-do. Maybe I’ll add honey highlights, so I can try purple again over lighter hair. I’ll use a different brand, of course. 😉

Have you ever dyed your hair purple?

 

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Review of Cantu Natural Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

Cantu shampoo and conditioner

I’d been wanting to try this product line for a while, but my rule is I don’t buy any new products until I run out of the ones I have (unless they’re horrible). Finally, I ran out of both my staple shampoo and conditioner, and was able to try the Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair line.

I’d always seen it on the beauty aisle and liked the ingredients and price, but when I saw it was the preferred line of one of my favorite curly girls on Instagram, @naturallytash, I decided to give it a go. Here’s what I thought:

Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo

Positives

This shampoo is a  great cleanser without over-stripping my hair. It does leave a bit of that squeaky clean feeling, which some like and some don’t; it doesn’t bother me as long as my hair doesn’t feel like straw while wet. It’s thick shampoo, which means a little goes a long way, and it lathers beautifully. My roots tend to get oily, so I like a lathering shampoo. The smell is clean with nutty undertones. Note: it does contain perfume.

Negatives

This shampoo burns my eyes – not terribly, but enough. I wish it didn’t, because I like everything else about it. I do have sensitive, allergy-prone eyes, and sometimes even body perfume will make my eyes water. I cannot pinpoint which ingredient caused the burn, but it could easily be the perfume.

Cantu Sulfate-Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner

Positives

I got excited when I first poured this into my palm. My hair really likes the moisturizing properties of shea butter-based products. This conditioner is THICK and I could definitely feel the shea butter in it. It’s also very moisturizing, even after rinsing completely out. It seems to really smooth the cuticle and cut down the frizz factor (that’s quite a feat in this southern humidity), and pairs beautifully with my favorite leave-in conditioner. The smell is similar to that of the shampoo, which I don’t mind.

Negatives

The slip! It doesn’t have much! At least, not as much as I’m used to with the TRESemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. I have to say, the very first time I used the Cantu conditioner, I co-washed with it, and I don’t know if it was because my hair was super tangled or because I had gel residue in it, but it took me twice as long to comb out. The second time I used it, I washed with the shampoo first, and while it was much easier to detangle, it still wasn’t super slippery. I have to use a lot of product to be able to pass my comb easily through. HOWEVER, because it is so moisturizing, and has an ingredient my hair loves, I will give it a pass. Overall, it was a good conditioner for me.

Apart from the drawbacks, I enjoy the Cantu line. Both the shampoo and conditioner are free of sulfates, silicons, parabens and mineral oil, they’re safe on colored hair, and you cannot beat the price. At less than $5 a pop, and decent-sized bottles of 13.5 fl oz, someone who runs through product quickly can feel good about purchasing it.

I am also eager to try the Cantu Coconut Curling Cream. As I’ve mentioned previously, my hair is in love with coconut oil, and I’m curious how the whole line with work together. But alas, I need to run out of my current leave-in before buying anything new.

Have you tried Cantu? How did you like it?

 

 

Summer Abroad | Paris, Amsterdam, Germany

Canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Messy, travel-worn hair. The best kind. 🙂

Hello! I admit, I have been M.I.A. for a minute, but lots of good changes have happened in my life over the last few months. The most significant is that I finally moved from Atlanta to my hometown of New Orleans. The most recent is that I spent two wonderful weeks abroad in Europe!

Traveling – somewhere, anywhere – is a passion of mine, and I truly do get the travel bug every few months, even if it means getting in the car and driving for a few hours to a part of the state I’ve never been before. And I get that international travel itch at least every two years.

So this year, my husband and I decided to make a Europe trip. We decided on Paris, Amsterdam, and the Bavarian region of Germany. I studied in Paris as a college student, and my hubby had travelled there as a youngster, but we’d never been together – and it is, after all, the most romantic city in the world. I’d also been to Amsterdam, but it was a quick weekend jaunt from Paris when I was a student, so I didn’t remember much (go figure). So it was on the wish list. I have family living in Germany, so it made sense to visit them since we’d be so close.

To save money, we flew into Frankfurt, Germany, then took the international train to Paris – about a five-hour ride. I enjoy train rides – whether in the states or abroad. They take time, which means they force you to slow down and observe. Or read. Or meditate. Or listen to music.

I could really devote an entire post to each area of my travels (and maybe I will), so what I’ll do here is attempt to tell the story through some of my pictures. I didn’t take a lot in Paris or Germany – Paris because it kinda felt like home, and Germany probably just because we were there the shortest amount of time, but here are my favorites:

Paris

Paris buildings

Beautiful, rainy first morning in Paris. View from our apartment in Montmartre.

We booked our accommodations for Paris and Amsterdam through AirBnB. It was the first time I’d used their service, and I must say I enjoyed the experience! The process was easy and the hosts were friendly and responsive.

AirBnB apartment in Paris

When visiting Paris, one doesn’t need much in terms of accommodations. Just somewhere to lay your head and take a shower.

Eglise St. Eustache

Eglise St. Eustache

travel hair

When traveling, I don’t let my hair get in the way. Two French braids (of course!) was a go-to style.

Pont des Arts, Paris

Pont des Arts, Paris. Where lovers seal their commitment with lock and key.

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Le Jardin du Luxembourg, where children still play with toy sailboats using wooden sticks, and Parisians flock for summer sun.

Canal St. Martin, Paris

The neighborhood of Canal St. Martin – laid back, cool, eclectic. (Hair in two reverse french braids and pinned on top of my head. It was hot!)

Irrueption Music Festival, Paris

Irrueption Music Festival at Parc de Belleville. This jazz band was jammin!

Sacré Coeur

Beautiful Sacré Coeur, located just steps from where we stayed in Montmartre.

meal in Paris

Steak, potatoes and salad – a typical but oh-so-good French meal! Meat is raised according to much healthier (and more ethical) standards than in the U.S., and you can taste the difference!

Sunset in Paris

Our last sunset in Paris, taken from the window of our 6th floor apartment in Montmontre. Paris – je t’aime!

Amsterdam

Heineken horses

Upon arrival in Amsterdam, we were greeted by the Heineken horses out for some exercise.

I have to say here that I absolutely fell in love with Amsterdam. It’s a city that’s built to a human scale and just makes sense. Public transportation is easy and efficient, many people opt for bikes rather than cars, food is fresh and healthy, thought is generally progressive, certain vices are legal but regulated and therefore decriminalized. Society works; people are happy. How refreshing!

canals and bikes

Canals, bikes and quaint buildings

bikes in Amsterdam

Bikes – the preferred method of transportation in Amsterdam

fresh food in Amsterdam

The food! We ate some marvelous, fresh, healthy food in Amsterdam – pressed juice, Dutch pancakes make with Belgian-milled flour, amazing Nepalese cuisine, and these open-faced sandwiches.

Amstel beer

Of course, beer is big. My beer connoisseur husband was in heaven.

Anna and Nina, Amsterdam

Life’s to-do list.

small cars in Amsterdam

Quite possibly the smallest car I’ve ever seen. Keep in mind, i am barely 5 ft.!

herring in Amsterdam

So apparently we were in Amsterdam right around the time of the June herring harvest. They eat it fresh (raw) with chopped onions and sweet pickles. I kinda liked it!

Amsterdam street market

Pop-up street markets are everywhere in Amsterdam. They sell prepared food, fresh produce, clothing, shoes, sweets, electronics – I love a good street market!

 Germany

German countryside

Clean, green Germany. (Photo taken from the window of the ICE train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt.)

We started our trip in Frankfurt, then caught trains to Paris, Amsterdam, then back to Frankfurt. Our final destination was Ansbach, located about 150 miles from Frankfurt.

pine tree in Bruckberg, Germany

Not sure if this was blue spruce or what, but it was huge! I can only image how beautiful it must be covered in snow. Bruckberg, Germany

Rothenburg, Germany

View from the top of the walled city of Rothenburg, Germany

St. Lorenz, Nuremberg, Germany

The imposing, medieval church of St. Lorenz in Nuremberg, Germany

travel weary

Nearing the end of the road. Zoned out, lost in my own thoughts, absorbing it all.

Well folks, I hope you enjoyed my little travel journal as much as I enjoyed my trip. Travel opens the mind and stimulates the senses. I encourage everyone to go as far as they can, as often as they can. All it takes is some savings, planning, and determination. Do you have questions about international travel? Let me know in the comments below!