My Hairvolution

Hey guys, my name is Pri and I run Small Brown & Stylish a thrifty fashion and DIY blog! Whilst I’m definitely no fashion expert I am an enthusiast and my blog will be a place for me to document my thrifty fashion buys as well the clothes that I make myself! Although my first post isn’t directly clothes related, it is about my hairvolution over the years because as cringey as it may sound, my hair is definitely one of my best fashion accessories!

For as long as I can remember my hair has always been a huge part of my identity, whether it was due to its length, or the crazy cut and colour, it’s always been my defining feature. For the majority of my life I was known for having long hair (alas, I clearly didn’t have a lot else going for me) but during my first year of Uni I decided that I wanted to change things up a bit.

I’d been dying my hair a dark red since I was around 15, but due to the irrational fear of having my scalp burnt off I never bleached it, instead I just doused it with enough dye until it tinted my naturally black hair a funky dark red. Whilst I spent years shying away from haircuts, by the time I reached university I found my long hair not only a tad boring, but also so long that I found myself resembling the girl from The Ring. A reasonable reason to go for the chop I'd like to think. Despite the fact that I've had it cut even shorter since then, losing those first 6 inches was a dramatic experience and even though I had wanted to cut my hair, it took a few days until I stopped sobbing hysterically every time I peeked at it in the mirror.

Once I (not so) calmly adjusted to the first big change to my hair in years, other changes came naturally and in the weeks following the big chop, I not only dyed my hair bright red but also got the side of my head shaved. Even though I had been dyeing my hair for a good few years by this point, I spent a lot of time obsessing over which dye to use because there were so many options and I didn’t really know anything about any of them. When on a quest for a new dye, I find watching DIY hair dye videos on YouTube to be really helpful because not only do you get to see how the colour turns out, but you also get to hear about the pros and cons of the product. That’s how I eventually came across L'Oreal Excel Hicolor Highlights Red, which is a really popular dye because it produces such a bright colour as well as being specially made for dark hair. Rather than having to bleach your hair and then apply dye, when mixed with developer the formula lightens and colours it at the same time which is handy if you’re an impatient gal like me! Doing some research was definitely worthwhile because I ended up with a dye that gave me a vibrant colour that lasted.

Whilst some would probably say that getting a sidecut would be a more nerve racking decision than changing hair colour, I actually spent more time obsessing over hair dyes than I did over becoming partially bald. It’s not that I wasn’t nervous at all, it’s just that dyeing my hair was scarier because I was doing it myself so I had to make sure everything was right whereas with the sidecut I just went to a hairdresser and they did it all for me. It definitely wasn’t as terrifying because I had wanted a sidecut for a long time, and I knew how it would look on me as I used to pin the side of my hair back to create a faux side shave. Although it may be a bit of an extreme cut, the fact that I had wanted to do it for years was reassurance that it wasn’t just part of my emo stage (or potentially a sign that I’m still in my emo stage – who knows?)

One of the biggest things I had to consider before getting it shaved was the fact that it’s a big commitment. It’s obviously not the type of haircut that you can grow out quickly and whilst I knew this, I also knew that I wouldn’t get bored of it straight away. I’ve had it for over a year and a half now and I can’t imagine myself wanting to grow it out anytime soon. I actually like it so much that I shaved off the over side too! Although I will probably grow it out one day, I really don’t think I’ll find it to be as much as a hassle as people think – It’ll obviously take a fair bit of time and there will definitely be some unflattering moments but (hopefully) it won’t be the end of the world.

Just before I started my second year, I once again decided that I wanted to change my hair (a recurring theme in this post, if you haven’t noticed). Whilst I loved the red, I was eager to try out something different which is why I turned to my trusty friend YouTube for ideas. Although I didn’t have a particular colour in mind, I knew that I wanted something that stood out, and after perusing through a lot of videos I discovered La Riche Directions hair dye. I had never heard of Directions dye at this point but after watching countless videos I could understand why it had such a big following. With over 30 semi-permanent dyes to pick from, Directions basically covers all of the colours that you could want and what makes it even better is that you can mix the dyes together, so if you wanted a specific shade you have the option of making it yourself. In addition to that, it’s also a really flexible dye in that rather than just producing the namesake colour; you can make mix the dye with conditioner to make lighter shades, handy if you want to do something real funky with your hair like dark roots and light ends.

I decided that I wanted to dye my hair blue and even though there were lighter options, I chose to use Directions darkest blue shade Midnight Blue so that I could mix it with conditioner until it reached the colour I wanted. It’s a convenient thing to do because not only was I in control of the colour but adding conditioner also doubled the amount of dye I had. Although I had to bleach my hair before applying the dye, I no longer had an irrational fear of bleach once I realised that using it once or twice isn’t going to fry my hair especially if I were to deep condition it after washing the dye out. Whilst bleaching, dyeing and then conditioning hair may be a slightly time consuming process it was definitely worth it because I ended up with amazing bright blue hair that was really healthy and that didn’t fade away after a few washes. Although I changed the colour again a few months later, Directions has been the only dye I’ve used since just because it's so flexible and always produces great quality colour! 

After my first term of second year ended, I decided that I wanted to change my hair colour every term just because I wanted to experiment with as many colours as possible. After browsing through Directions many dyes, I eventually decided to go purple using their Violet dye as I had watched a lot of videos of people using the colour and I always loved the result. Although I bleached my roots, this time I didn’t want to bleach all of my hair so instead I used a mixture of Head and Shoulders shampoo and crushed vitamin C tablets to strip the blue out from the rest of my hair, because it’s a lot healthier for the hair and does a great job of taking out the colour. When I eventually was able to dye my hair purple, it came out great and I was really pleased with the results yet I must stress that this was eventually. As I’d been dying my hair for years, I was confident about my hair dyeing skills, it had been years since anything had gone wrong so I remember how shocked I was when I washed out the dye that fateful January evening and my hair wasn’t purple. Well that’s a lie; there were patches of it that were definitely purple as well as bits that were blue and grey. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the whole grey look, but firstly I have no idea where the grey came from and secondly I’m not really a fan of sporadic patchy sections. During my little meltdown that consisted of ‘omg this has never happened to me’ I realised that rather than mixing the dye with just conditioner, I mixed it with a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, which led to the dye not taking to my hair properly. A silly mistake but one that was easy to rectify. After throwing out all of the 2in1 shampoo and conditioner I owned (and never buying it again), I dyed my hair the following day, this time with the correct mix of dye and conditioner and the colour was so rich and wonderful, I absolutely loved it!

As I approached my third and final term of second year I decided that I wanted a colour that was slightly more summery which is why I chose to go for green, however rather than using one dye, I wanted to mix things up a bit so I combined a pot of Alpine Green (with conditioner) and a few drops of Midnight Blue (with conditioner) to create a very mermaid-esque bluey green. Whilst I was pleased with how the colours mixed, I was less impressed with my planning skills as halfway through applying the dye I realised that there wouldn’t be enough to cover all of my hair! Normally I buy two pots but only end up using one, so I thought I’d be savvy and only buy one pot of Alpine Green this time, a plan that obviously backfired on me. Thankfully a shop close to where I live sells Directions dye and I had someone who liked me enough to go out and buy another pot for me. Once I actually completed dying my hair, I loved the colour and my favourite thing about having my hair like that was that it always looked different, some days the blue was more prominent whereas others it was all about the green.

Once term had ended and summer had started, I hadn’t really thought much about what colour I was going to experiment with next, however rather than pre planning it like I normally do, for once I was fairly spontaneous and randomly decided whilst I was shopping that I wanted to dye my hair pink, it’s definitely not a colour that tends to be associated with me but I think that’s why I wanted to try it out. I decided to use a bleach bath to strip the green out of my hair as it’s less abrasive than bleach on its own and it left my hair a very pale green, an easy colour to dye over. However, whilst my hair was definitely light enough to colour over, the Cerise dye mixed with the base light green left my hair slightly more purple than pink (damn you spontaneity). Whilst it was different to the purple I previously had due to its pinkish undertones, I decided to make it a little more interesting by dyeing the top half Midnight Blue so that there was a blend between the colours. 

It was definitely a bit more complicated than other dye jobs I had done in the past but with a little help from YouTube I was able to master the perfect technique to blend the two colours together. I’m a huge fan of how it’s turned out and I definitely want to experiment with two colours more often! Whilst I don’t know what I’m going to do with my hair next (any recommendations would be appreciated) I’ll be sure to post about it on SBAS.

I know it’s been ridiculously long,
Thank you so much for reading!

Pri - Small Brown & Stylish x



  1. Amazing first post! keep up the good work x

  2. Love every color! And thanks for following my blog, followed you back :)