DIY Popsicle Haircolor

Hi Babes. 

I’m dropping in today to share with y’all a fun DIY hair color technique that is a result of an intense popsicle craving I have had in the past month of Pregnancy. Here is the inspiration, from a Rainbow Popsicle Recipe from The First Year Blog.

I thought these pops were so lovely that I had to recreate them in the hair of my neighbor babes, Birch and Cameron. Because once I get that visual inspiration in my head, I can’t shake it until it has been brought forth, and this seems to be a blessing and a curse. I’m workin on it;)

Here are photos of the finished technique:

DIY Popsicle Hair Color is the technique, and for a video demo, please check out @howtohairgirl Instagram, under the hashtag #HTHGpopsicle or #freeyourhaircolor

This DIY color technique is so easy, you can  be a total beginner to do it. I used Manic Panic Colors, in an assortment of different shades. Check out our blog sidebar to order yours today.


xoxoxoxox, Color Freak

The Ultimate DIY Hair Color Guide

This is an educational guest-post from Patrick Lenhoff, who reached out to me a few months back about contributing to HTHG. I said ” YES! we are about due for another post about safer ways to color your own hair at home!.”

This is a topic that I get asked about a lot, both from the perspective of chemical safety and our health, and for those on the pursuit of great results with home hair color, without spending a fortune or risking hair disaster.

As usual, my go-to recommended at-home color line is Madison Reed I absolutely love their color and their philosophy, as far as traditional hair color is concerned. Their formulations are made in Italy, where safety standards are much higher and they offer a lot of very easy to access support for choosing the right color, as well as a subscription service for people who want their shade sent to them in the mail as needed.

They also offer a great Color Gloss Treatment for reviving color in between dye sessions.

Madison Reed is a Bay Area based women-run company who is committed to safety, and great results for the DIY woman. Check them out through the links above or by clicking the add on my sidebar!


(Photo Hairstory Studio)

The Ultimate DIY Hair Color Guide

Using the right hair color can help transform your looks by adding sparkle to your eyes, cover grays and enliven your skin tone. However, it may be quite expensive to get it done at the salon as this can run upwards. If you are looking to know more about how you can do this beauty routine at home, then you need to follow this Ultimate DIY Hair Coloring Guide. It presents easy and effective ways of performing home hair coloring that will match professional hands.

There is no reason why you can’t touch up your hair right from the comfort of your home unless you plan on taking black hair to platinum blonde. Apart from its relative cost effectiveness, it presents a great means of enhancing beauty and creating a gorgeous look. However, it is important to note that you could end up making a very costly mistake especially if you don’t know what you are doing. So ensure to follow this laid down principles to avoid ruining your hair.

Choose The Right Box Of Hair Dye

img_4900Your ability to rightly choose the box of hair dye is obviously the first step. In order to avoid creating excessive breakage and dryness, it is best you pick a hair dye that contains a limited amount of harmful ingredients like alcohol, peroxide, and ammonia. Unlike permanent dyes, most semi and demi-permanent variants can make the hair far less rough due to their inability to lift even after depositing color.


Choose The Right Shade

Your ability to select the right shade will determine how natural you want your hair to look. The picture on the box can be misleading so you can’t just rely on that. The best thing to do is to focus more on the numbers that represent the relative shade and the words used to describe them. If you are looking to combat brassiness, those colors described as “ash” will be suitable for you since they contain more green tones. Remember, there’s only so much you can do about that. Combating brassy hair after being chemically altered is one of the myths of at home hair dyeing.

Please note that “neutral” which often applies a blue base to the shade can also mean several different things. Expect to have purple tones when you use shades with violet in them while you stand to incorporate more yellow tones with “golden” which is a great option for concealing gray hair.

If you want to know how the color will work on your hair, the guide on the side of the box can serve as an estimate. Numbers are used to represent how dark the dye will be on a scale of 1 to 12 – the higher the number, the lighter the shade. While 4 is quite dark, 1 is black, and 12 is platinum blonde. This will help you know how the color will work on your hair.

FYI  Madison Reed takes a lot of the guess work out of choosing your shade!img_4589

Ensure To Read Instructions On The Box

Take time to carefully read all the instructions on the box before you even start dyeing your hair. Do not skip any step as they are all very important. Especially in dark dyes, there are certain ingredients that can cause peculiar skin reactions.

In order to ensure you will avoid them, it is best you protect your skin and nails by using the recommended gloves. Also, a head full of color can really get anyone woozy. So, ensure to dye your hair in an area that is well-ventilated. These and many more are part of the DIY hair coloring guide you will find on the box.

Make Olive Oil And Vaseline Your Best Companions

When dying your hair, it is good to always have a tub of Vaseline on hand. You really need a generous dab of Vaseline especially if you are going with a dark color. In order to keep the hair dye from staining your skin, you need to apply the petroleum-based moisturizer, gel, Vaseline or any thick solution along your ears, neck, hairline and temples.

This presents a cheap and effective solution to having blotchy dye stains on your skin. After, you can get rid of them by dabbing the affected area with a cotton ball soaked in olive oil.

Dirty Hair Is Bestimg_2510

A recently washed hair does not dye well like an unwashed hair. This is because the hair’s natural oils which help to provide strands with full protection have all been removed. Although this practice is highly recommended, no one would really enjoy showing up at the salon with dirty hair. This explains the advantage of doing your hair at home.

Beware Of Dyeing Pre-Dyed Hair

If you have an already-colored hair, it is recommended you proceed with caution. Getting an even, undamaged result requires a much more complicated process that can better be handled by a professional. There are greater risks of overprocessing-related chemical haircuts, hot roots, and striped or patchy color. Whether you are using the same color of your recently dyed hair or not, it is best you consider your options before making an attempt to dye over it.

Do Your Upkeep

7u6a5842Even after dyeing your hair successfully (i.e. without any major mishaps), it is important not to overlook the need for an upkeep, so as not to ruin your hard work. This process is just as important as the dyeing process itself. As long as you want it to last, it is important to avoid frequent washing. Condition your hair well, limit heat-styling, use spray-on sunscreen and color-protecting products and always use hats to protect it from the sun.

This ultimate DIY hair coloring guide can help build in you the confidence you need to safely dye your hair at home.

About the author:

Patrick Lenhoff is a freelance writer with a great interest in everything related to hair. On his website, ShavingSolution ,He loves writing articles about grooming. “Our look reflects our personality. We should keep that in mind!”, says Patrick.

THANK YOU PATRICK for sharing this post with us!

xo, HTHG


As a DIY hair blogger who is committed to quality information and tips for better hair care, I am a proud affiliate of Madison Reed as well as many other companies who’s ethics and goods I personally use and believe in.

for more on DIY Hair Color, check out Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Color.

Hair Color Mist!

IMG_5920Hi Darlings. I want to share today a technique that I have played around a bit with recently, beginning here……. The concept is adding a pop or kind of a watercolor wash of color in the hair by mixing your direct veggie color ( I used Manic Panic for this:) with water and applying it in the hair with a spray bottle. Hair Color Misting!

What I have found is that it creates a great marble-y sort of effect, and is a perfect DIY for either brightening up your existing color on the fly, or  just adding some fun temporary shade to rock for a few weeks.

As I have been experimenting with color recently, I have found that the veggie dyes, when applied to pre-lightened hair, really lock in nicely to the hair, in many cases rinsing almost clear as if the hair has swallowed up all the pigment and left only conditioner behind. This, to me, shows that we have come a long way in formulating color that lasts longer without bleeding!IMG_5903

This technique works best on pre-lightened or very light natural hair, but can be used on darker hair too, to create more of a cast of color and less of a pop:) I found that the pinks and purples show up much more than the blues, when sprayed in.

As you can see, I used this technique on level 8 natural hair, with slightly lighter ends.

IMG_5892-1I encourage all to experiment with the Color Mist technique and make it your own!

How To Color Mist


  • For this DIY, I mixed a tablespoon of pure color (Manic Panic Cleo Rose, Pimpin Purple and Bad Boy Blue.) to each 5 oz spray bottle, and then added about 2 oz of water, and shook the hell out of it.
  • Then, I sectioned off a rectangle of hair on top of my models heads, just isolating the hair around their natural parts, about 3 inches wide, from the front hairline to the back of the head, so that their natural color would fall evenly over their misted color.
  • Brush the rest of the hair straight down into natural fall, and make sure to have a cape or towel over your/your model’s shoulders:)
  • Begin to spray your selected color directly into the hair, starting with you mister a good 6 inches back  to get the feel for the amount/distribution of color that each mist gives.
  • Continue spraying the color into the hair with one hand, using the other hand to work that pigment into the hair. Use your artistic eye and intuition to lead you in continuing to spray in color where and how you want it.

For this tutorial, after working in the color with my hands, I allowed it to dry naturally in the hair without rinsing. Because there wasn’t much actual saturation with the color in the hair, just a light misting, it didn’t seem necessary to rinse the color out.

The end result was lovely, and it was so easy to do. I totally encourage you brave hair color DIY-ers to try this option out this Summer when you want a little low maintenance/commitment color in your hair. I was so pleased with this fun process!!!!!

And, because the color it watered down, it’s really hard to botch it, so great for color experimenters.

Also, I posted a quick video of the Color Misting technique on my Instagram, so check it out for a visual:) It is under the hashtag #colormist

May your hair be bright and colorful!

xo, HTHG

Hairprint: Groundbreaking Restorative Haircolor for Grays

IMG_9520Hey babes! A few months back a woman friend of mine named Amy Woodruff, (founder of the Spiritweavers Gathering) and inspiring grammer @daughterofthesun, who is a true conscious earth-steward passed along to me the information of a friend of hers who was spearheading a hair color company that is truly free of harsh chemicals and pollutants. I had to know more!

After reading up on Hairprint and their mission and chemistry, It seemed totally necessary to share their work with you, my dear conscious readers. I am a real sucker for a great science story, for people finding alternatives, for earth and self conservation, and for true innovation……And the Hairprint story is all of the above.

For people who are not yet ready to embrace their silver hair, but don’t want to introduce harsh chemicals into their bodies and hairs, I highly recommend you check out Hairprint…….And get on board.

The Hairprint Story


Hairprint is a revolutionary permanent hair coloring made of nine food-grade ingredients. It does not dye your hair. It restores your innate color to your hair. It doesn’t burn, has no smell, and restores the body and luster of hair.

Dr. John Warner, chief scientist at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry stumbled upon the chemistry of Hairprint by accident, and decided to come up with a harmless hair-coloring product that mimicked how the human body made color.

After years of research and testing, Dr. Warner and his colleagues perfected a completely safe and non-toxic process to do what hair follicles do to create color: infuse hair with eumelanin. This was the beginning of Hairprint.

The Science Of Hairprint

Hair is made of three layers: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla, The cuticle consists of tightly packed, overlapping, colorless cells, and the medulla is a hollow shaft inside the hair. The cortex contains varying amounts of two natural color pigments, eumelanin and pheomelanin, which determine a person’s hair color.

Eumelanin is a dark pigment, and is responsible for brown and black color. Pheomelanin or a combination of pheomelanin and eumelanin produces blonde and reddish hues. The cortex of dark or brown hair will contain densely packed granules of eumelanin pigment. An absence of pigment results in gray hair.

Dr. Warner began testing the Hairprint Chemistry on the hair. He obtained gray hair from a vendor and applied the chemistry to the hair. The hair immediately developed a color. The scientists were delighted when It appeared that rather than simply covering gray hair, it was matching the original hair color.

Then, John did what any good scientist would do: he tested it on himself. He had been completely gray since his graduate school days at Princeton. In 90 minutes it restores all of his hair to its original color.

IMG_9213Just like a fingerprint, your “hairprint” is unlike anyone else’s

After months of additional research and experimentation John and his team developed a theory to explain why one colorant will change gray hair to the

person’s innate and true color: Each person’s hair has a unique microscopic structure. Within this structure, pigments self-assemble according to the individual’s unique hairprint, sorting themselves into spaces like cars in a parking lot placed between stripes.

This pattern of subtle orientations of pigments refracts light into varying wavelengths the eye perceives as color. Hair does not have a color, no more than a peacock has colored tail feathers. The phenomena of perceived color is an outcome of how light is refracted (or not refracted in the case of black.)

A great deal of research went into identifying molecules that would be absolutely non-toxic, molecules that are in most cases nutrients. When the formula is in it’s precise proportions, it effectively recreates the same colored molecules that are made in the hair follicle, essentially restoring not only the true color, but also the quality of one’s hair

This approach has never been done in the hair care industry. It is truly revolutionary.

Rather than stripping hair of its color, which hair dye formulas do, then bonding coal tar dyes to hair using couplers, oxidizers and harsh chemicals, Hairprint works by replacing the missing pigment naturally found in brown and black hair.

During the Hairprint treatment, eumelanin is synthesized within the hair cortex structure restoring it to its innate color. This process is called melanogenesis and is happening constantly in the body. This is accomplished by ingredients that penetrate the cuticle layer into the cortex where they bond together to formeumelanin pigments. These in turn polymerize and become too large to be washed out.

A little History on the Chemistry of Box Haircolor


Hair coloring is common worldwide among men and women and there are many products available. However, there are only two ways to do it. You can treat your hair for four to six hours with Henna and Indigo colorants. Or you can use a chemical (and its derivatives) that can transform gray hair to dark. That chemical is paraphenylenediamine (PPD) and its cousin PTD.

Eugene Schueller discovered the use of PPD as a coal tar dye in 1907 at The French Harmless Hair Dye Company, which became L’Oreal. The first company to use PPDs in the US was Clairol. A former chemist for Clairol and Unilever wrote, “It is most probably true that if these materials [PPD and its cousin PTD] were invented today, their use in cosmetics would not be permitted but they remain in use as no effective replacements have been found.”

Hair dye entrepreneurs are very aware that women do not want to put toxic allergens on their scalp, and what you see today online, in salons, and even in natural food stores, are products from smaller companies that describe their hair dye with words “organic,” “natural”, “safe”, “healthy”, “plant-based,” and they will say their products are free of ammonia, parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, etc. What they don’t do is tell you is what is actually in the product, and if you read the fine print, it will be a PPD or PTD type coal tar dyes.

Hairprint is the first “permanent” product invented since 1907 that transforms gray to dark hair, and the first one that is absolutely safe, clean, and non-toxic. It does not work on blondes or redheads (John is working on that). People can use it that do not have gray hair because it restores their hair quality, body and luster.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 1.55.38 PMWhat to Expect from Hairprint

  • Hairprint works on brown and black hair. Blonde and red hair contains an additional pigment (pheomelanin) that we do not supply.
  • Hairprint comes in a kit. It is comprised of nine food grade ingredients and can be applied by you at home, with the help of a friend, or by a stylist in a salon.
  • In the kit, you receive a hair cleanser, the three restoring treatments, instructions, gloves, and a brush. For people with short to medium length hair, home application is easily done. For long and thick hair, you may want someone to help you or have it applied at a salon.
  • For most people, coverage occurs with one treatment. For those whose hair has been largely gray for many years, two initial treatments may be required. Hair that has been gray for a long time is drier and less able to absorb pigment the first time around. After an initial 2x treatment, one treatment is sufficient.
  • Hairprint may make some hair a bit darker than your original color for a day or two but lightens after washing.

John Warner Bio

John is the recipient of the 2014 Perkin Medal, widely acknowledged as the highest honor in American Industrial Chemistry.

He received his BS in Chemistry from UMASS Boston, and his PhD in Chemistry from Princeton University. After working at the Polaroid Corporation for nearly a decade, he then served as tenured full professor at UMass Boston and Lowell (Chemistry and Plastics Engineering).

In 2007 he founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, (A research organization developing green chemistry technologies) where he serves as President and Chief Technology Officer, and Beyond Benign (a non-profit dedicated to sustainability and green chemistry education).

He is one of the founders of the field of Green Chemistry, co-authoring the defining text Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice with Paul Anastas.

He has published over 200 patents, papers and books. Warner received The 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring, the American Institute of ChemistryNortheast Division’s Distinguished Chemist of the Year for 2002 and the Council of Science Society President’s 2008 Leadership award. Warner was named by ICIS as one of the most influential people impacting the global chemical industries. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and named one of “25 Visionaries Changing the World” by Utne Reader.

Freeyourhair/Manic Panic Experimental Color Project 3. Sky Cries Mary and Tape the Rainbow

brettebretteHello Dear Friends. Welcome back to the 3rd project in the Manic Panic/ HTHG Experimental Color Studios. If you are here for the first time, a little background information on the collab:

This little project was in an effort to provide HTHG readers/viewers and Manic Panic fans a little look into some experimental techniques for creating new color patterns and textures in the hair.

7U6A5136The techniques used in this color series borrow inspiration from the fine art world, and involve the creative use of tools such as small paint brushes, stencils, spray bottles, and braids. The purpose of the videos is to share with you our process for experimenting with color, as well as our results…….our hope is that you leave with some inspiration to experiment yourself, and push your own boundaries and beliefs about hair color.

We want you to notice the depth of inspiration for conceptual coloring that is all around you……Use it as your muse to mix and blend your Manic Panic colors into custom shades.

With the Experimental Color Studios, we aim to demonstrate the versatility of using Manic Panic color, and show you that the opportunity for incredible color with this revolutionary line goes so far beyond what meets the eye.

The world of hair and beauty is moving fast, and new techniques scream through the industry at light speed…….It is a wonderful time for us as colorists/stylists to bridge the gap between hair, expression, and art and take the industry in a really exciting direction.

HTHG and Manic Panic are here to help inspire you and push you, encourage you to try new things and share your results so that other people can learn and be inspired. Let’s make this hue revolution explode into technicolor rainbows.

Thank you all for being here, and thanks to Manic Panic for inspiring me and pushing me to experiment since I was a 11 year old baby riot grrrrrl.

For more inspiration, we invite you to follow @howtohairgirl @manicpanicnyc #freeyourhaircolor

7U6A5055Today’s project is very close to my heart, both personally and hair-wise. I had the honor of being given full creative dream on my dear friend Brette’s pre-lightened hair. Every colorist knows, this is like putting a kid in a candy shop and telling them it’s all free.

bfujaThe occasion of this particular hair color job was a reunion show for the 90’s psychadelic prog-rock band Sky Cries Mary, where Brette was singing alongside the original band members which included her dad Joe Skyward, who is fighting prostate cancer……. The show was a benefit for Joe and for raising awareness about men’s preventative health. This show, which sold out at Nuemo’s in Seattle ,  was the first time that the band had played together in 23 years.

Sky Cries Mary was an anomaly in the Seattle music scene in the 90’s, when most music coming from the region was very dark and shadowy. The SCM sound was uplifting, positive, and colorful while still being totally rock. They used bright and trippy oil projections for their backdrops, and sang songs with lyrics that were as psychedelic as the come. In an interview with Roderick, lead singer and songwriter for the band, he was asked why his lyrics are so positive, in the context of a place and industry that is saturated with darkness and negativity. He answered

‘There is enough negativity in the world today and I don’t think writing music about negativity does anybody any good’

7U6A4636This uplifting, colorful positivity was both the inspiration and the backdrop for Brette’s colorful hair scheme…….But before we dive into hair, I have to share a little memory of Brette’s just to give a little more context of the importance of this reunion show (and of her crazy colorful hair.)

I was 7 my first time in San Francisco. I stayed at the studio while Sky Cries Mary recorded Exit to the Axis: A Return to the Inner Experience. I remember the trip like a dream…..Cruising down Market street with my brother Jaxin and the band, eating pizza and watching Planet of the Apes marathons. Dancing my heart out to Blondie in all the bands costumes, and going to the Alameny Swap Meet. I bought a Barbie there, and cut off all her hair and dyed it with beet juice and blackberries and named her Guacamole. Then, we drove to Mexico and camped down the Pacific Coast. It was one of the most formative Summer’s in my life.

This memory, and the return of Sky Cries Mary, called for an insanely dreamy hair color scheme. Also, Brette had a very special dress from Rainbow Kimono to wear that night, and it was important that hair and dress played beautifully together. Needless to say, her hair got taped and rainbowed, and we called the hair creation ‘Heartsong.’

Split the vein, divides the sun.

Hear the rain, watch them run.

This is the moment of the fall.

The big tent tumbles one, tumbles all.

-Circus Church, Written by Roderick for Sky Cries Mary

( Maybe play A Return to the Inner Experience while you do this color on a friend;)

Tape the Rainbow

Here is how her hair unfolded.IMG_8157

The night began with red wine, a plate palette full of Manic Panic colors ( Electric Banana, Cleo Rose, Mermaid, After Midnight, and Pillarbox Red) mixed and blended to custom rainbow shades, and my 5 tubs of Tinge Pastel Color Conditioner.

We were going for dreamy washed out color-fade, with flashes of brightness in the under-layers. tinge

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.34.19 PMWe began by sectioning off the top of her head, in a rounded rectangle, clipping off the top.

In the underneath section, I applied Turquoise Tinge at her roots, working my way through in small sections, and thoroughly saturating the roots.

Below the root, I applied Silver Tinge throughout her hair. Then Below that, Purple, Pink, then Peach, creating a nice soft melted watercolor rainbow.tape

Next, I made a thin, 3/4 inch deep sub-section along the inside of my top section. Basically, sectioned off a rounded rectangle shaped strip of hair to apply the bright colors too.

I laid the sub-sections on 3 strips of foil, so that they fell in natural fall around the head. I combed them so that they were nice and straight on the foil, then I used scotch tape to both secure the hair to the foil and to create gaps in the color application. I taped at different angles and at different places across the hair, to create organic and un-uniform effects. I then applied my Turquoise Tinge at the roots.MP


Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.35.47 PMThen, It was time to tape the rainbow. I used my magic Manic Panic Mixes to make a rainbow down each taped section of hair, painting the color onto the hair and foil.

I began at the top, with blue, then moved to green, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple. I painted right over the tape, and I overlapped each color just a little bit at each transition.


Towards the end, I added another foil strip below the first ones to extend them to compensate for the length of her hair.

I made sure to apply the color thick and with some muscle, so as to make sure it saturated through the whole strip of hair, without leaving any hair uncolored.finish

Then, I covered each strip with foil, and squished the foils flat against the head to help work the color in and melt it together.

With the existing hair at the top of her head, I repeated the Tinge pattern: Turquoise at the roots, Silver, Purple, Pink, Peach.

She sat for a half hour or so, then rinsed her hair out. My bathtub was a rainbow for days.

7U6A4143 4.47.39 PMBrette’s Heartsong Hair was magic. She rocked it like a color priestess on stage the next night, and is enjoying the insane fade-out process as the color melts and blends and lightens all around her crown.

Viva la Color Revolution. Thanks for being here!

xo, HTHG and Manic Panic




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