Dye Another Day: My 5-Year Hair Colour Journey (and more to come!)

IMG_6652Combine the infinite resources on the internet and plenty of foolhardiness – and your head can become the embodiment of Joseph’s coat of many colours.

To everyone out there who’s terrified of colouring your hair, here’s the journey of someone who’s had the entire colour spectrum on their hair and isn’t bald now. (Yet)

Streaking Time: Age 18

I was never able to contort my body well enough to get a good picture of the back of my head. Hence reference picture is a poorly-drawn imitation of what I thought was the pinnacle of art

The first time I coloured my hair was when I was 18 and I had gotten a tiny streak of orangish blonde at the base of my head. At Rs 300, it cost me a bulk of my pocket money. And although I was thrilled about it, I did feel a little disheartened that I’d end up white-haired by the time I saved enough to experiment further.  But this made me gloriously happy for a long and so the madness had begun.

Ombre Arriba: Age 20

Hair bleached using wholesale bleach found at Mangalore Central Market

This was back in 2014 when the Ombre craze was huge (I still think it’s beautiful). I wanted a rust-coloured ombre and got a not-so-bright idea to buy orange hair colour. In every Indian supermarket you would find only 4 shades of hair dye : black, burgundy, some plum-ish shade of maroon and a deep brown. L’Oreal and all the other fancy brands would have fancier names like Hazelnut Brown but hey, it’s a brown. So I found this brand of hair colour called Berina in an obscure part of the Mangalore Central Market, Hampankatta called Beauty World. It would soon become my go-to hub for hair-dye products. I applied the orange colour directly to my hair, TWICE, because obviously orange didn’t show on black. Then I decided to go the bleach route after being inspired by a YouTube video. And ta-da.

Why Should Blondes Have All The Fun? Age: 21

Bleach Job done at a hair saloon

I decided to get a platinum blond section done akin to a skunk tail. Yes, the analogy is terrible and I don’t really remember what I was thinking. But I got this one done at Dudes and Dolls, a saloon in Mangalore after saving for a while. I liked the mysterious effect an underside hair colour had on the rest of the hair, particularly when you put it up in a bun or braid it. It reminded me of marble cake batter. Mmmm caaaaake.

Blue, Blue, Sense Flew. Age: 22

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Manic Panic’s Shocking Blue: Day 1

So being blonde was fun but I thought going blue would be fun-ner. Got this done at Jawed Habib in their Noida outlet.  And this showed me that colour can be an absolute pain…

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… and an amazing revelation at the same time.

How the colour faded over a period of 30 days


I loved waking up and finding a gradual gradient in the colour of my hair. When all the purple faded completely, I decided to go orange using Krazy Kolour’s Orange- which was nice, but faded soon.

Back to Blonde


So for the longest time I stuck with the blonde streak. This time I was too miserly to spend 1000 Rs on a streak that would fade in 2 weeks. So I hit upon a brilliant idea (oh the wonders of a miserly mind)



Teal Time. Age: 22

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Manic Panic’s Voodoo Blue

I ordered Manic Panic’s Voodoo Blue online. Logic: Whenever it fades you can reapply it. And that’s the easiest and most cost-effective way you can ensure you have your hair colour vibrant for the longest time

Caught Up In a Purple Haze. Age: 23

Colour Used: Manic Panic’s Shocking Blue. Effect after a week.

The teal was nice and then I decided to cut my hair pretty short. Since I had so far only experimented with the lower bottom of my hair, I decided to be a little more adventurous and have a proper colourful bottom half and wanted a purple-ish pink. I couldn’t find the shade I wanted anywhere so went back to my Blue Hair days and found the resulting fade to be the perfect galaxy storm I envisioned .

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I got a friend of mine to help me colour my hair, since I wouldn’t have been able to reach the back portion of it. I wanted to make a whole DIY video out of the process too since I got many questions to “How do you do it???”


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This is what my hair looked like immediately after colouring it.

It’s so much fun experimenting with different colours and I whole-heartedly encourage anyone who wants to do it. It’s hair – it grows, it fades, it falls. Make it colourful while it lasts. And with that, I leave you with this:

– An Ode to Hair –
There’s excitement and nervousness hanging thick in the air
My fellow experiments revel in the rebelliousness
Of commanding their own destiny
Within the battleship of the Hair Saloon.

Sometimes it itches
Sometimes it tickles.
If it burns,
What are you waiting for, go have it checked. When will you learn?

The woman to my left
Steals glances at her reflection
Hoping the messy bob
Will make her look ten years younger

The man standing behind her
Steals glances at the floor
Hoping she won’t notice
The 3 inch (originally 1)
black locks staring mournfully back at him.

The young girl to my right
Still in her school uniform
Grimaces and pouts
Hoping her old looks compliment her new one.

I swivel around
And face my own reflection
Damn, I look sleepy
Ooh is that a new beauty spot?
No wait. It’s just an old scar.

The silver layers on my hair
Barely shift
The fumes I smell
Oh how glorious, it’s working!

There is dread;
Dry hair, weak hair, hair fall
There is hope;
Ooh shiny, colourful hair aaah.

Why do we change
The way we look
Is it to change how others see us
Or to upgrade how we see ourselves?

Whatever be the motivation
Or your situation
Try it.
It’s just hair.

An alien mass of protein and keratin
That’s settled atop your head
And if you’re Indian,
Most notably over your entire body.

At best you’ll get an
“Ayyo moley, you look like an old woman now”
Or an adoring little girl’s squeals
“You have magic hair!”


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Fathima says:

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