The Color Chronicles: Road to Mermaid Hair Part I

Hey gang! So if you’ve followed my blog/channel, you know I have a lovely obsession with “mermaid” hair. Hair that isn’t too dark, too bright, too pastel…rich colors that remind us of Ariel’s sisters. Last year, I got colored box braids for the first time ever, and absolutely LOVED them. However, they were also very heavy, so they had to go after 2.5 weeks.

Well, a few weeks ago, I got that itch again, and have been doing some research. The teal color in my hair was easily my favorite, so I was trying to find a way to duplicate that. Something along these lines:

So pretty, omg (I dig her pizza dress too, but that’s another post). Another example of what I’m aiming for is the color of my…legwarmers (in forest). Seriously, don’t judge me! I think they are gorgeous. Anyway, my hair is color treated, but not bleached, and at first, I wondered if I could get a similar color without bleach. Yea…I decided that wouldn’t work. But I am also terrified of bleaching my hair. But the more I thought about it…I was kind of like, whatever. I’ve been growing my natural hair out for a little over six years, and I’m at a point where hair really is just hair. I used to be a huge natural hair purist (for myself, not others), but now I’m like…do what you want. You don’t owe anyone anything with your hair and if all your hair falls out…yikes, but it grows back. SO. New year, all caution thrown into the wind. I’m doing this!

But first…a strand test! I’m not playing with bleach or possibly coming out with puke green hair. Miss me with that. So here we go. First, I got Manic Panic’s Flash Lightning Kit with 30 developer. I think 40 developer is too harsh, so I’m not even going to go there. Per their directions, I mixed one part powder with 3 parts developer. When I do my whole head, I think I need another bleach kit because it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be enough for my entire head to properly saturate. Here’s the bleach in my hair:


I did not apply it to all the way to my roots because I just don’t like the look of super blond roots, I’m fine with some brown hair at the top. I let it sit in my hair for about 50 minutes and didn’t have any issues. It looked like it was lifting my hair at a nice pace, but it wasn’t too intense. Note, I did not use a plastic cap on this one piece, so I will need to monitor it closely when I do my whole head to ensure it’s not processing too quickly. I do NOT want to end up with yellow or platinum hair, a nice golden blonde will work hopefully. Apparently you can leave the bleach in your hair for up to two hours, but I didn’t want to over process as I don’t want my hair to turn out too blue with the dye I’m using. Upon rinsing, Izzy looked like this:

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The color looks pretty good to me! It’s light but not too light, but I think it will come out a little lighter when I use the processing cap, and I think that will be fine. Now, time for the actual dye. I’m using Manic Panic Atomic Turquoise, which is supposed to be a brighter blue on very blonde hair, but more like a teal emerald on hair that’s a little darker, that’s definitely what I’m looking for. Mermaid hair, ahoy! I actually didn’t use any gloves when I applied it since Manic Panic is vegan, but yea…that was a mistake. I saw some videos with people not using gloves, but kids, use gloves. Check out my hand, lol.


So hawt, right y’all? I don’t really mind at the moment, but still HAH. Definitely wearing gloves when I do my whole head. This jar felt thicker than I remember MP being, but that was a good thing (when I was younger I always thought it was a little watery). As I type this, it’s been sitting in my hair for around an hour. I’ll probably leave it in for three hours or so, but when I do my whole head, I’m leaving it on overnight and will also sit under my dryer for a couple of hours to make sure it penetrates. It looks like this in my head:

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It’s lit! It looks like it will come out cute, but I may need to leave the bleach on for a little longer (unless it processes faster with the cap) or I might hit Sally and get a bluer color to mix in so there are some more blue tones.

UPDATE: Okay, I’m back. I ended up leaving for around 2.5 hours, then the suspense was killing me. So here we go! I rinsed it out and first off, my hair was soft as hell! I do remember loving that about MP, it’s so conditioning that you don’t feel like you need to condition after rinsing it. Winning. I added a couple of spritzes of my Keratase heat protectant and blow dried. Peep it.


While I definitely like it, I think it might need some more blue? Or perhaps need to bleach it a bit more so it comes out more blue. I could notice that some of my ends were lighter and it looked like those areas are where I got my highlights forever ago. So many a tiny bit more bleach is necessary or I could mix it with a truer blue hue from MP. I used my Instyler to straighten it to match the rest of my hair.


My hair was so silky smooth! This little piece is better than I felt about my Instyler the first time I used it, but remember what I said, small sections don’t mean the entire head is going to be bomb! I also thought this piece looked really pretty against my regular color:



Verdict? I absolutely love it and I’m so excited! I’m so happy I did a strand test because I know I can make some tweaks when I do my entire head. To reiterate:

  • Leave bleach on for 30 minutes longer or monitor more closely with processing cap on
  • Mix Atomic Turquoise with a bluer hue to add a bit more blueness to the mix (Does anyone have any suggestions?) (UPDATE: I ordered two jars of Manic Panic Mermaid (to mix with AT) and one of Lie Locks (to make my bangs purple.)
  • Use dryer with color in my hair for an hour or two
  • Sleep with color in my hair

I’m not exactly sure when I will get to do my whole head due to some work obligations, but I wish I could do it like…right now, lol.

Have any of you bleached and done fun colors on your own hair before? Any pointers for me?


12 thoughts on “The Color Chronicles: Road to Mermaid Hair Part I

  1. brauneyedgirl says:

    YES!!! I love this and as a fellow bleached gal, I can’t wait for your tips on how to keep moisture in. I’m doing ok with it, but I feel like I’m having some possible breakage here and there. I’d like to learn a bit more.

    • Elle says:

      What type of porosity do you have naturally? Since I’m low, I actually am more successful moisturizing my hair when it’s color treated – otherwise, my hair is like it’s on lockdown!

  2. pw says:

    Umm its cute and rock on cuz its ur hair girl. :-)But I think I may have added some colored curly clip ins for this voyage! Look forward to the finished product.

  3. Ree says:

    Very cute! I’m too much of a wimp to experiment with color. I had a pro stylist give me golden highlights once. They looked more copper pot scrubber than the warm honey I had envisioned. I ended up hacking them out because I looked like Tony the Tiger, and I was scared to use more dye to return to something that resembled my natural brown. LOL Been scared of all color since. Check out @curlfactor on Instagram. She does these type of fun colors on her natural hair. Looks great. She has deeper blue highlights in her latest posts, but in the earlier posts her highlights looked more turquoise-like.

    • Elle says:

      Ooh, thank you! And yes, color can be traumatizing. I’ve realized that I’d actually rather do it myself b/c if I mess up I’m like oh well, but I’m not paying someone hundreds of bucks to mess up my hair!

    • Elle says:

      I once made the HORRIBLE mistake of bleaching my hair like it was regular color (as in how long I left it on) WITH a relaxer. My hair turned into old rubberbands! I definitely know better now and have my Curl Junkie Repair Me! on deck!

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