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I was born a blonde which is almost an understatement. My mum used to joke that when it was wet it was practically clear, and that in the sun it was like “beautiful strands of gold”... (her words, not mine).
Needless to say, it didn't stay that way forever. As I got older, my hair got darker just as my mother’s had before me. For some reason, I had the idea that blonde was perfection so I chased that for my early teenage years until one summer, when our family had gone away for our annual beach getaway. Secretly I decided to buy a tube of bright red hair colour (behind my parents’ backs of course), which as you would probably know, applied to bleach blonde hair by a ‘non’ professional, can be somewhat of a disaster (ha ha ha).
Well, actually, it turned out pretty funky, even if I do say so myself. However, here’s the kicker- My younger sisters and I had all been enrolled in modelling and deportment school for the holidays as a surprise from our dear father. Lucky for me, my father is colour blind which left me out of trouble, but left my mum with a huge mess and expense to clean up in less than one week before class started. When we got back to our home town, I was taken straight to the local hairdresser to fix this hair atrocity.
So this is taking a while to get to the point, but I assure you this story is going somewhere!!!
After nearly 8 hours in the salon,my hair was ‘fixed’, it was now something like a warm chocolate brown with a reddish tinge. Actually, I kind of didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t my first choice. I was mourning my blonde locks and was really just doing this ‘natural thing’ for the modelling course. Sometime later I would be pleasantly surprised when the colour would fade into an accidental sexy dark caramel blonde. It was kind of like Jennifer Lopez on the cover of ‘On the 6’. I loved it. But like all good fashion moments, nothing lasts forever.
Over the years I experimented, a LOT. By the time I was 19 I just couldn’t seem to get to a shade of brown I was satisfied with. This lead to a lot of colouring, and i mean a lot a lot!!
I wanted a tone that seemed to only last for the first day or two after leaving the salon, and what it really was, is I was just trying to avoid the natural warmth that my true hair colour throws. Once I learned this, and quite a few hairdressers later, I finally decided to just go all the way. I said “Richard, honey, just do it!!” he said “Are you SURE babe?” and I said “”Yes”. So that day he coloured my hair all the way to blue black and I never looked back, well, that was the plan anyway.. After a little while, I came to the realisation that I could do this colour at home anyway for $10 out of a mix-at-home packet, so now I was saving $150/ month which was awe-sum!
I did this every 3 weeks for the next 4-5 years and I absolutely LOVED it! #onceyougoblack
Like I said before though, when it comes to good fashion, nothing lasts forever, and at the age of 26 when pregnant with my beautiful daughter my body decided NO MORE! I began to get violently ill from using many different beauty products for both skin and hair, but by far the worst was hair colour (this reaction was caused by an ingredient commonly known as PPD but has many other names, which is in the colour part of two part hair colour system). #berlerlerlwowmouthfullalert
At first I didn’t even put two and two together, but after 2 or 3 tries I realised that the hair colour was the common denominator. I saw doctors, naturopaths, kinesiologists, chiropractic and all sorts of specialists but no one could seem to offer me any relief.
I spoke to a pharmacist once and he gave me all sorts of stuff to lessen the effect of this awful allergic reaction. It did seem to help ever so slightly, but over time this just got worse and worse every single time until eventually I was rushed to hospital in a state of anaphylactic shock.
I guess I began to realise that this thing wasn’t worth my life and I might have to give up the black hair colour that I loved so very much.
After that, I won't lie, I was depressed. I had re-growth and I couldn’t even strip my hair colour due to the potential of another dangerous reaction, not to mention the damage it would have done to my darling hair.
Lucky for me, during this time I had been forced to become very aware of the ingredients I was coming into contact with and had also become very health conscious, as well as turning to a vegan plant based lifestyle. I found that to be honest, there really wasn’t very much on the market that was safe when it came to hair dyes and colours and especially when you add cruelty free and vegan to the mix. Sure there were some here and there, but in blue black? ha forget it.
I toyed with the idea of going back to a very light blonde but it only took one high school flashback to say “yeeeaah, no!”.
I really didn’t know what to do. And then I found ‘MANIC PANIC’ (see I told you i’d get to the point).
At first I knew I was going to have to do something to work with what I had, which unfortunately was a lot of re-growth and very black ends. So I mixed a dark blue with their black and tried it out.
Actually it was pretty cool. It was just the look I was after. Not permanent which made me sad, but hey, no hospital trips either. So I did this every week almost *sigh* and then I started to realise that my hair had grown quite a lot, and that the ends had faded substantially. So I thought, “what the hell” and I tried out a deep dark red to give my hair an even hue of something not too drastic but kinda fun and almost, well normal looking. The bonus was I even liked it.
Now, I’m not even using it the way it’s meant to be used. This brand is meant to be vibrant and wow; colours are “meant” to be applied over bleached hair which you can buy through manic panic as well, in a kit. This gives a very bright funky vibrant look, but obviously that wasn’t what I was going for and ended up having a win.
I’ve now been using the products for nearly 2 years and am happy that they came to my rescue.
I’m very happy that they’re vegan and I’m super happy that i’m not allergic to it.
If you’re looking for something fun, or you have a PPD allergy, I do love this brand. Is it for you? Well that’s hard to say. It’s definitely something you will have to try and judge for yourself.
I highly recommend checking out their website CLICK HERE and also googling ‘manic panic’ images for yourself to see what sort of things other people have achieved before you go purchasing your own bottle. But as far as i’m concerned, if this is your type of thing, you won’t be disappointed!
Written by Christie Vides
3 December 2014
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