Product Review: Herman’s Amazing Direct Hair Color – Marge Blue

***DISCLAIMER: This product was given to me for free to trial. I am in no way affiliated with the company (although very grateful for the sample!). All opinions are my own.***

It’s my birthday tomorrow, and my hair has been blue for a while (Crazy Color Capri Blue, to be precise – recommended!), but having let it sit fallow for a couple of months, it was going an odd washed-out turquoise colour that you will be able to see below. I decided it was time for a change. Luckily, the very lovely people at Kate’s Clothing sent me a free sample jar of Herman’s in Marge Blue – the closest colour to the Capri Blue that I wanted to maintain.

Purple on the train with greenish-blue hair
My hair had gone sort of greenish-turquoise, so I wanted a refresh… Excuse the expression on my face!

The bulk of this review is identical to my review for the same brand in Patsy Purple, which you can find here. The consistency, smell and texture of the Marge Blue is exactly the same as the purple – it’s good to get that level of consistency across a dye brand. My hair is still growing out at the moment (although I might get the roots bleached again at some stage) so it was just another dye-on-the-ends job.

Purple with shower caps on her dyed hair
Obligatory attractive “in progress” selfie. Note liberal use of shower caps to protect the roots from the ends.

POST-RINSE

I left the dye on for an hour and a half (your experience may vary) and rinsed. Thoughts after drying… The colour didn’t look as vibrant as it did when it was taking or when I rinsed it, but it is a nice refresh for the faded turquoise shade underneath. It hasn’t gone as dark as it would with the Capri Blue, but I am still pleased with the final result. My hair is shiny and in good condition, and looks “fresher” now. Overall, I would probably go back to the Capri Blue after this, but I still have enough dye in the tub for another couple of applications at this length, so I will definitely use that in the interim. Do let me know your thoughts!

Puple with freshly-dyed blue hair
The aftermath. Not stonking, but certainly not bad!

Right, with that done, it’s time to prepare for birthday festivities (well, eating a lot, drinking berry cider and trying and failing to get a Manic Street Preachers ticket for the 25th September…) Comments appreciated, and see you soon.

Billy O’Connor Memorial Day: 22nd June 2018

Firstly, sorry this post has gone up so late, but it has been a busy few days for us, not least with Red celebrating her birthday on Tuesday (I won’t tell you how old, or she’ll glare at me and I’ll feel guilty). I know I don’t post enough on here as-is, but I wanted to share our experience from Saturday, as it was so good…

So, the Saturday just gone (22nd, date fans) we took ourselves along to the Upton Park Snooker Centre, for their fun day in memory of Billy O’Connor. For those who aren’t aware, Billy was a very talented young snooker player and former England junior captain, who lost his life to cancer back in 2015 at the age of just eighteen. We were first made aware of the memorial day through Sean O’Sullivan posting details on Facebook, but I got the wrong end of the stick and thought you had to be a player to go along. (The number of wrong ends of sticks I’ve got hold of in my life…) However, Gary Filtness invited us along, and so off we went on the sweltering Saturday morning.

We were greeted warmly by all and seemed to be recognised by a lot of people, which can get a little embarrassing for us, but we’re slowly getting used to it. There were two tournaments that day – a 6 Reds competition and a Shootout, the 6 Reds being first. We settled down to watch some fab talent of all ages and thoroughly enjoyed the matches we saw. Everything was played in great spirit and we got the sense that there was genuine fun in each game. The 6 Reds was won by Alex Clenshaw, a lad of just 17, who beat Michael Georgiou in the final.

We bought some raffle tickets from Billy’s mum Debbie and spoke to her and Billy’s father Barry – they are both warm and lovely people, and really appreciated that we had come along. Hammad Miah signed a lovely photo for us, and we got a photo with Michael Georgiou (see below – Gary made us hold the trophies for that day’s play – nothing to do with us, we can’t play!). The raffle was held, with some great prizes donated by World Snooker and other sources, including two signed cues, one of which was donated straight back to the fund. Some items were also auctioned and received great offers.

Snooker Goths with Michael Georgiou
The winner of two Shootouts with the winners of Most Unkempt Hair in Essex

The second half of the day was the Shootout, and Gary gave us the honour of doing the draws for each round (putting on our best Foulds/McManus impersonations… or maybe not). It was perhaps not as lively (well, mayhem) as Gary would have liked, but there was still plenty of enthusiasm from players and spectators alike! The final was a repeat of the 6 Reds one, this time with Michael coming out on top over Alex. Trophies were presented by Barry and Debbie, and things got a bit emotional, as you might expect.

I’m afraid I don’t know what the final total for the day was (if anyone could let me know, I will add it to this post), but what we do know is that the target was most certainly exceeded. If you would like to donate to, or support in another way, the Teenage Cancer Trust yourself, you can do so here: https://www.teenagecancertrust.org/support-us

The whole day was filled with good humour, love and support, and we were thrilled to be a part of it and hopefully help make a difference. I hope my ailing memory has done it justice (we, er, may have had a few refreshments along the way). We thank everyone involved for such a good time and all your kindness to a couple of weirdos like us. I am sure Billy would have been proud of everybody’s efforts in his honour. We will definitely be back next year – and maybe sooner if we end up deciding we want to start playing too…

Product Review: Herman’s Amazing Direct Hair Color – Patsy Purple

***DISCLAIMER: This product was given to me for free to trial. I am in no way affiliated with the company (although very grateful for the sample!). All opinions are my own.***

Well, it’s coming up for Champion of Champions time again, snooker fans, and therefore the barnets are in need of a refresh! Red has already been, well, reddened with her beloved Special Effects Nuclear Red (which continues to impress), so now it’s my turn.

Red and I attended the London Edge Alternative Fashion exhibition back in September; while we are not sellers, we do have connections with alternative fashion, and so were eager to see the expo. While there, the lovely Jasmin at the Herman’s stand gave us two jars of their gorgeous hair colours to try – Fiona Fire for Red, and Patsy Purple for me. Red hasn’t tried her jar yet (that will be another review, hopefully next spring if our dyeing schedule’s correct), and I have been saving mine for CoC purposes as I’ve been letting my hair rest for a couple of months. However, now is the time…

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Had I bought this jar with my own money, the cost would have been somewhere around the £10-£12 mark, research suggests. For this, you get a 115ml jar of dye (a little more than Directions’ 88ml), which is very pigmented and silver-sealed. Like the Lime Crime Pony that I reviewed earlier this year, the dye is vegan and cruelty-free, so you know you’re not putting damaging stuff on your hair and it is ethical. The packaging is very elegant, going for a kind of goth-rockabilly vibe, which I rather liked.

Removing the seal, the first thing that struck me was how solid the dye was. We’re not talking wax-like, but think of the most solid consistency of something like Directions or another more jelly-like dye, and it topped it nicely. There is no smell to the dye at all, which is good for those wanting all the look with none of the smell. As with the Pony, a tiny bit of this dye goes a hell of a long way. I only dyed my hair from about halfway down to the ends, as I have not had my roots bleached in a few months (trying to grow in my natural colour for a wee while) and I would say it only took about a quarter to a third of the jar. Bear in mind, however, that I have very thin hair (thanks, psoriasis), although it is long!

Attractive bathroom selfie, complete with hair dyeing top on.
Attractive bathroom selfie, complete with hair dyeing top on.

I am currently sitting with the dye taking on the ends of my hair. It’s a bit awkward with no dyeing cap on, but it would be even more awkward if I piled my hair up and the dye went on my roots in spots! I will let this sit for a few hours (usual disclaimer: I’ve been colouring my hair since I was thirteen and know what it can take – new dye users should use the manufacturer instructions!) and see you on the other side…

POST-RINSE

Well, as it turned out, I only had to leave the dye on for a couple of hours (and probably even less than that would have been needed). The dye did dry out quite fast, but I put that down to the fact I didn’t process it under a dye cap and just left it to the elements. Because of this, it took a little longer than normal to rinse under the shower (but not THAT much longer, because the dye actually rinsed quickly – it was just the dryness I had to sort). A quick squirt of conditioner and a blow-dry, and this is the result:

Sexy faces on...
Sexy faces on…

The picture does not do the colour justice. It is a shining, deep reddish-purple (perhaps redder than on the model on the leaflet, but I don’t mind) and is absolutely gorgeous. I’m thrilled with it!

This looks like it could be quite a long-lasting dye, but as has already been evidenced, dyes last about three days in my hair before washing out. I will observe this one’s longevity with interest! Also, I have plenty more to top it up with… and I will be, because it’s lovely.

Finally, I have a colour chart of the Herman’s shades to share with you, and I do not hesitate at all in recommending them. Superb.

Herman's shades. I am coveting the green... or would I look like Grotbags?
Herman’s shades. I am coveting the greens… or would I look like Grotbags?

That’s all for now! Might do some updates at the CoC, but they are loooong days, even for a spectator, so we shall see. Toodle-pip!

Product Review: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair

*** DISCLAIMER: This post is in no way sponsored by Lime Crime or any affiliates. The product used was bought with my own money and all opinions are my own. ***

Purple here. As can be evidenced by our travels and non-scripted television appearances, Red and I are fans of our non-natural hair colours. She sticks to the same each time (that’s Special Effects’ Nuclear Red, tip fans), whereas I like to chop and change my colour every couple of months, usually sticking to something in the region of purple (of course). Lime Crime, the US-based cosmetics company, had been threatening to bring out their range of hair dyes for years now, and finally, FINALLY they are on the market. We placed a shipping order of LC stuff of late, including a tub of ‘Unicorn Hair’ in the shade ‘Pony’, which is their purpliest purple, for me. NOTE: If you’re in the UK or anywhere other than the US, basically, it is worth waiting until LC have a sale or shipping promotion, because shipping can be quite costly.

Unicorn Hair tub compared to Directions tub
The Unicorn Hair tub comes in at 200ml, more than double Directions’ 88ml tub.

After getting my hair bleached and having a bit of a disaster with my previous lilac hair that faded to white within about two washes, I decided to give the Pony a go.

First impressions: No word of a lie, this stuff is EXPENSIVE. I believe that, at the then exchange rate, my tub cost around £12.75. However, the tub is a lot bigger than you might expect. If you think you’re going to get something around the size of a Directions dye tub, think again – this is at least twice the size. The dye is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, which is ace. It’s very prettily packaged, too, with holographic fonts and the like, but the most important thing is how it performs…

Upon opening the well-sealed tub, the first thing that struck me was how nice the dye smelled. No chemical smells; more something vaguely sweet. As I applied the dye, the smell lingered, and was far nicer than any other dye I’ve used. With Unicorn Hair, a little goes a long, long way, and I found that it only took me about a third of the tub to cover my currently just-past-shoulder-length hair. I did hit a snag when my trusty old tail comb snapped in my hair, meaning I had to comb the back of my hair through with my fingers, but we shall come to that later.

Then, it was sit-and-wait time. Manufacturer instructions for semi-permanent dyes recommend leaving it on for about half an hour, but my hair takes FOREVER to take, so I left it on for nearer, er, six hours. NOTE: I have been dyeing my hair for the past 22 years, and have found that that’s how long semi-permanent hair dye takes to develop on my hair. Beginners should go for the recommended timings!

Dyeing my hair
Complimentary photo of me with a shower cap on.

After spending a happy afternoon making myself a pair of punky trousers, I washed the dye off. The results were… mixed. The front, where I had been able to comb the dye through properly, had taken extremely well at the roots, but the ends were slightly more muted where the dye had emulsified a little too quickly while being combed through. (I put this down to the fact that my hair wasn’t completely dry before I dyed it.) The back of my hair was quite patchy where I had only been able to comb it through with my fingers. TIP: you need to really saturate your hair in this stuff for it to take evenly! And COMB THROUGH as much as you can, adding dye to places where it looks like it’s emulsifying too quickly.

Unicorn Hair in Pony
The initial result – patchier in real life than it looks here.

So, was I impressed? On the whole, yes – the colour is gorgeous. It’s a bit of a change for me, as I tend to veer more towards blueish-purples. However, I think this pinkish one suits my colouring a bit more, and is a bit less harsh-looking. At present, I am sitting with a bit more of the dye developing on the patchy places (which were my fault, not the dye), and have my fingers crossed for a more even overall result.

A couple of points to add:
1) After rinsing, my hair felt in nice condition and very smooth.
2) I usually have so much hassle getting residual dye off my skin and surrounding surfaces. This stuff was so easy to clean off!

OVERALL VERDICT
Colour: 9/10
Coverage: 7/10 (partly my fault)
Smell: 9/10
Value for money: 7/10
Ethics: 10/10
Overall: 8.5/10
Would I use again: YES. And I still have half a tub to do so!

EDIT:
I went over the patches that were a little less colourful than the rest. Loving the result!

More even colour of Pony
The colour is even richer now. Yummy!

Bear with us…

…Er, yes. The old blog had to be taken down because of various backstage unpleasantness (we do not send spam emails, especially in French), but we will be back properly soon, and hopefully put up more than one post this time. In the meantime, enjoy what’s left of the World Championship.