Toning synthetic hair

When I had dark brown hair it was pretty easy to find synthetic hairpieces to match. But that changed after I bleached my hair. It was blonde for a minute, then I let my silver roots grow in and tried out different pastel colors.

It was impossible to find fake hair in the right color. I also didn’t want to buy a different piece every time I changed my hair color.

Through trial and error I discovered I could tone synthetic hair using temporary rinses or certain semipermanent hair dyes. Because the color is temporary I could get by with one or two hairpieces and change the color whenever I wanted.

Buying synthetic hairpieces

The first thing I did was to pick up a couple of hairpieces in a light silver shade (from Vanessa Grey and Christie Brinkley).

I like the versatility of these because if I’m having a bad hair day, I can just make a quick updo. Or I can pull my hair half up and make a cute little poof on the top.

Toning fake hair to match blonde, silver or pastel hair

When you’re toning fake hair, it doesn’t have to be a perfect match. It just needs blend because your own hair will be incorporated into the look.

You can do color all over or just put in a few streaks. Lately I’ve been adding multicolored streaks to my hairpieces because I’m often changing the pastel colors in my hair.

I’ve found that the best temporary or semipermanent dyes to use are the ones that are very thin and runny. Roux Fanci Full rinse (for blonde or silver hair), diluted gentian violet (for lavender hair) and Adore Creative semipermanent dye (for pastel colors) are the best. These work because you have to leave the color on the hair without washing it out.

Thick dye like Arctic Fox, which I love for my own hair, doesn’t work because if you don’t wash it out, the piece ends up sticky and it doesn’t look good. And if you wash it out, the color will go with it.

Using Roux Fanci Full rinse to tone fake hair (for blonde or silver hair)

The colors of Roux Fanci Full rinse I used for my blonde hair were Spun Sand and Hidden Honey. I mixed them together to get the right shade.

The color I used to match my silver hair was True Steel.

Follow these steps to tone your synthetic hair:

  1. Put the Fanci Full rinse in an old plastic container.
  2. Swish the synthetic hair around until it’s completely saturated.
  3. Squeeze out the excess and let it air dry for a couple of days.

Whenever you decide to change colors, simply wash it out with a little soap and water.

Using a gentian violet rinse to tone fake hair (for lavender hair)

Gentian violet is an old-time antiseptic. Its bright purple color is a dupe for Manic Panic Ultraviolet. Unlike Manic Panic it’s very cheap, only around $4 a bottle. And because you only need three or four drops, one little bottle will last forever. I’m still using mine.

Follow these steps for toning with the gentian violet rinse:

  1. Important: Make sure you wear gloves when handling this and cover the working area. Even a tiny little speck of this stuff will stain your sink, your hands, your walls. Most times it can be removed with alcohol though.
  2. Put water in an old plastic container and add a few drops of gentian violet until you get the right shade. A little experimentation is needed here.
  3. Saturate the hairpiece in the solution.
  4. Squeeze it out and let dry for a couple of days.

Note: the color does fade over time, just as it does on human hair.

Using Adore Creative Dye to tone fake hair (for pastel hair)

Adore dye can be used straight out of the bottle. The procedure is a little different though. I found it best to rub a small amount of dye into the hair with your fingers. Wear gloves! You can put in streaks or tone the whole thing.

When finished, let it dry for a couple of days.

As with gentian violet, the color does fade after awhile.

How my synthetic hair looks after toning

It’s easy now to tone my fake hair to go with my ever-changing real hair. Here are some pictures of me wearing my toned hairpieces.

I hope this was helpful for you. Please let me know what you think.

Brunette to platinum to ?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a blonde. And not your average, everyday blonde but a platinum blonde, the fairest of them all. So six months ago after celebrating my 60th birthday I thought, what am I waiting for. Follow along on my journey from brunette to platinum to…who knows?

What I learned before going platinum blonde

I’ve done a lot of research on bleaching your hair platinum and these are the main points I learned:

  • Going from brunette to platinum is a long process
  • It’s very expensive to go from brunette to platinum
  • Your hair will get damaged from the bleach
  • You will have to lose some or a lot of length
  • Blonde hair is high maintenance

This was the best article I found on the subject: Here is everything you need to know about going platinum blonde

Going blonde in a photo first

Picture photoshopped with blonde hair

Picture photoshopped with blonde hair

Before taking the plunge I also wanted to see how I’d look as a blonde so I went on one of those sites where you can upload your picture and try on celebrity hairstyles. Here’s one of the photos. Not quite the right color but it looked pretty good.

Talking to the stylist

I’ve never had my hair bleached or dyed at a salon. Up to this point I’d been dyeing it myself using Wella Color Charm demi permanent dye in dark natural brown. But going blonde, especially platinum, is a job best left to a professional so I found a good stylist.

I went into the salon with about three inches of gray roots hanging out. My stylist, a young lady about half my age, thought my brunette locks were aging (thank you very much) and she was all for bleaching it to the silvery blonde color I’ve been dreaming about. I also told her I wanted to incorporate my natural gray hair into it. She said as it grew out she would weave the roots into the blonde.

my gray roots

My gray roots

The progression from brunette to platinum

First bleaching

The first step to going blonde was to use a color remover. Since I’d only been using demi permanent color, I thought that dark brown would come right out. It didn’t.

On the first visit, I started off looking like this…

Lynda as a brunette

Just before getting my hair bleached for the first time

And came out looking like that.

After my first hair bleaching

After my first hair bleaching

I think she used 10 volume developer and bleached it twice after the color remover which turned it brunette with red highlights.

Second bleaching

One week later, the second round of bleach left me looking like this. Not sure if she used 10 or 20 vol. this time.

After my second hair bleaching

After my second hair bleaching

The color doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but in person the red tones looked awful. My dog was happy because we looked like twinsies.

me and Koda with matching hair

Koda and I are twinsies

That color is perfect on him, not so great on me.

Third bleaching

Another week later, I got the mother of all bleach jobs with 40 vol. developer. I hated this brassy, yucky yellow color.

After my third hair bleaching

After my third hair bleaching

Not only that, my hair felt like straw and looked like cheap synthetic hair from a doll whose hair has been used as a scrub brush. I was horrified. So was my stylist and she performed a deep conditioning treatment one week later.

Fourth bleaching

One month after that, a fourth round of gentler bleaching occurred to try and eliminate the yellow and brassiness. She used an ash blonde toner and it looked like this.

newly platinum hair

After my fourth hair bleaching–platinum at last!

I loved this color! I thought it was so pretty but the lovely silvery tone washed right out, leaving me once again with the awful yellow.

I now know that “toner” is a word for color that washes out in one shampoo. I like that silvery shade and I still don’t know why I can’t get it permanently.

Adding lowlights

Two months of feeling washed out by the paleness of my hair and also tired of looking at the yellow and brass tones, I asked my stylist to make it a light ash blonde. She foiled half of my hair with an ash blonde/gray color and no bleach on the rest of it, finishing with the same ash blonde toner used before.

And this is what happened.

Holy moly! It’s straight up gray! This time I prayed the color would wash out fast, and it did.

Root touchup

Another two months passed and I got my roots bleached and woven into the blonde, followed by the ash blonde toner. My gray roots blend in nicely.

Once again, I thought this was a nice color but it didn’t last.

The aftermath of going platinum blonde

After all the bleaching, my hair is coarse and evidently does not hold color very well, except for that persistent dreadful yellow. My stylist says I’m going to have to cut a lot off and bleach it again to get the color I want. Still thinking about that one as I’ve already cut about 12 inches off my hair since this whole thing started because the ends keep breaking off and looking ragged.

This is what happens when I brush my hair.

Hair breakage after all that bleaching

Hair breakage after all that bleaching

The journey to platinum is still a work in progress. More updates to follow.

What do you think, do you like my brunette or blonde hair better? Please let me know in the comments below.