LIVE FREE & DYE-HARD! Step by Step Hair Dying Tutorial- Pink, Purple & Black!

Today I’m sharing with you a step by step hair dying tutorial-vlog. Some of this information may seem redundant to some of you fellow dye-hards, but I wanted to included tips & tricks that I’ve learned from coloring my own hair for 16 years.

The number one question I get about my hair is: “Do you have to bleach it?” and the answer is yes.Your hair it needs to have a very light base color in order for the colors to look super vibrant, and the hair cuticle must be damaged for the color to last for any length of time. Some “unnatural” color will stick to virgin hair, but it depends on your own hair’s porosity. My hair is naturally very slick and smooth so bleaching is necessary to open the cuticle, plus a lighter base means more vibrant color.


Plastic Clips- Metal can react strangely with bleach

Rat-Tail Comb for dividing hair

Tint Brushes

Non-porous Mixing bowl

Clarifying Shampoo- I just use a shampoo that contains sulfates, because these strip the hair.

Nitrilon Gloves- These are latex-free, and they are reusable which makes them better for the environment

I didn’t discuss this in the video, but a deep conditioner after all these processes is a must! I like to apply it and leave it on for hours!

Several Old-T-Shirt you don’t mind ruining (I prefer old Band T-shirts). I use several because I tend to spill a little and I don’t want to put on a shirt that already has dye-globs on in. During the Pink/Purple portion of this video I’m rocking my old Blink 182 shirt!


Prism Lites Violet-Toned Bleach Powder- My hair tends to go very yellow when bleached so using a violet-toned bleach balances this out. Also this smells the best out of every bleach powder I’ve ever used; Almost fruity, but you know, still bleach.

Ion Sensitive Scalp Developer Level 30- nothing to write home about, but it is my go-to developer. Does anyone know what difference using a different brand/type developer would make? Please share in the comments below.

I get both my Pink & Purple dyes at a local non-chain beauty supply. When I have bought them online I’ve bought from both Amphigory and Goodgoth’s websites. Everyone has their favorites, but I really feel that Special Effects makes the longest lasting and most vibrant hair dyes. I’ve been using them for 14 years and I’m very happy with our long term relationship.


Special Effects Atomic Pink. best pink in my opinion because it starts out very red-pink and as it fades is transitions into hot pink, and then bubble gum pink. If you want your pink more cool-toned try Special Effects “Virgin Rose”, for a lighter pink, “Cupcake Pink” and for a deeper more magenta pink try “Burgundy Wine”- I’ve used all of these colors at different points, but Atomic Pink is my BFF!


This time around I used Special Effects “Wild Flower” & “Deep Purple”; Previously I’ve used just Wild Flower, or Pravana Colorsilk Vivids “Violet”. Wild Flower fades stupidly fast, but I love the color, sort of a blue-violet. Pravana Violet lasts an insane amount, but I did have terrible fading near the roots (it seemed to not stick to the healthiest, freshly bleached hair). Also Pravana Violet had a terrible habit of staining EVERYTHING: my tub, my pillow, even my body a pale lavender, for at least 5 days so I don’t know if it was worth the hassle. Besides it’s a pro-only product so it was hard for me to get in the first place. Mixing DP and WF together created a color very similar to Pravana Violet, and since this mixture is new, time will tell how long it lasts & how it fades.


In this video I used Ion Jet Black, because I was in a rush and just picked it up at Sally Beauty Supply. My fave black dye is “1N Black” from Satin by Developlus. I prefer that formula and I think it’s blacker without being blue-black, which I think clashes with my overall coloring. I think the Satin Dye last longer, and is less damaging. I get mine at a non-chain beauty supply, but a search on google showed that you can buy it online.

I develop the black part of my hair with a level 10 developer from Ion. Using a level 10 is called tone-on tone or “deposit only” because it doesn’t cause a lot of damage and just barely opens the hair cuticle enough to deposit the color.
If you have further questions about my process or preferences, please leave them in the comment section below. This is my method and I’ve cultivated it over years of practice, trial and some serious error. As for giving you personalized advice about hair: Keep in mind I’m not a colorist, and even if I were I can’t assess what your hair needs, over the internet. Hair Coloring is much more involved and permanent compared to makeup, so please proceed at your own risk.

Here’s a few links to videos I’ve done in the past about Hair Color & Care!

Detailed Hair FAQ

How I fixed a Botched Dye-Job

Favorite Bargain Hair Products


I hope this inspires you to mix it up!



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Cora (vintageortacky)


  1. Deanna
    March 25, 2013 / 5:01 pm

    How often do you have to dye it? It looks like it’s an all day process but I love the results. I wish I could have pink and purple hair at work haha.

    • Cora (vintageortacky)
      March 25, 2013 / 11:13 pm

      It is an all day process for sure. I re-do everything including bleaching the top roughly every 8 weeks, and every 4 weeks I refresh the pink & purple and give my black roots a touch up. It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy it.

  2. March 29, 2013 / 10:17 am

    Your hair color rocks! love the vid!

  3. n8ivebeauT
    March 31, 2013 / 2:14 pm

    I’ve been wondering something for a while. Totally unrelated to this post and topic but thought I would ask it here since it’s the “newest” post and thought it would be easy for me to come back here in search for a response. I’ve been watching your video’s for quite a few years now, love your style, techniques, and the fact that you’re just you. Throughout the videos though you mention you don’t like to go with certain companies because they test on animals. For example, Neutrogena and L’Oreal are the first ones that come to mind right away. Then there was that debate when Urban Decay was going to start selling their products in China, I know you made a post about that. If you don’t like to use products from companies that test on animals, then why do you use so much MAC, and even worked for them at one point? Foundation, skin care, lipsticks, primers, almost everything from their line you have used in your videos. I’m just very confused. There was a video from years ago that Sokolum tagged you on where the questions were about your favorite beauty products. For a primer you mentioned you liked using a Neutrogena sunblock, was almost finishing the product but was debating to whether or not to purchase another one because they test on animals. I have never heard you make mention of it though about MAC.

  4. alyssa
    April 8, 2013 / 10:00 pm

    Id love to know what color you used for your hair in this video.

  5. Simi
    April 18, 2013 / 5:38 am

    I wanted to do ombre on my from natural black to purple to hot pink. I paid over $400 to get this done and I never got what I wanted. I went back a second time free of charge to fix it and still didn’t get what I wanted. I want to buy the colors you have but I’m not sure if the purple will run into the pink causing it to be a purplish color. I’m going to try to foil off each section bUt not sure if it will work n if I should just to purple first wait n rinse it out and then do the tips pink. What’s your opinion? Thx, Simi

  6. November 3, 2013 / 8:08 pm

    I love non-traditional hair color but I’ve always been terrified to attempt bleaching at home. After watching your tutorial I decided to finally give it a try, and I am thrilled with the result – thank you!

    I wrote about it on my blog, with mad props to you!


  7. December 7, 2013 / 12:51 pm

    I highly recommend you try “Urban Shock Color Craze” colours (I’m Aussie I spell colour with a ‘u’) by Scruples, the pigments are so high in these dyes that last time I went purple my bath tub/shower was stainied for two weeks, my nails where purple for about a week (I took my gloves off to wash it out, god knows why lol) and the purple literally lasted for three months without a purple shampoo. You can also blend the different colours in their range or dull them down to a pastel colour. The only down side is that they can be quite pricy, at least here in Australia they can be. I’m really worried about bleaching my hair at home because I have a slightly higher temperate so bleach reacts really quickly in my hair, last time I did it at home my hair started steaming after only a couple of mins. The result wasn’t good because there where so many uneven patches 🙁

  8. christy
    December 11, 2013 / 9:07 am

    Love…Love…Love you and all of your posts and tutorials!!! I LOVE your hair and I have been trying to do some pink and purple on mine!! My hair dresser uses the parmaviolet which I Love but every time she tries to do the pink highlights the purple devours them…how do you get them not to mix together?

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