Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hair Chalking - a how-to (fail) guide

Last time I got my Color Bug on, I had some smart arses Twitter users point out that it's a lot cheaper to achieve the same pop of colour with the chalking technique. "Michaela, you're wasting your money," you said. "It's much easier using chalk, so easy that even Lauren Conrad can do it," you said.


You  lied! Not only did they cause the Boyfriend to give me some serious side eye when he saw me furiously rubbing chalk into my hair, but it was ridiculously hard to get even a slight tint going. Either the American brand pastels that Conrad used at the above link are softer and easier to use, or I've just been outfoxed by a box of chalk.





Maybe I got what I paid for - this box of chalk pastels was $4.99 at the Hot Dollar near my office, although I suspect an art supply store would have more options. If I were to attempt this again, I would try to find thicker, more study chalk, as these snapped and crumbled way too easily.



I started by twisting my hair and running chalk up and down the textured length. Some colours did better than others, with dark green, dark blue and red beings yays and and the others a solid nay. I was quite disappointed that that pretty cornflower blue didn't pick up on my hair at all.

The guides I read warned against wetting blonde hair as it could stain light locks, but being a total badass, I wet the chalk anyway and it really made a difference in colour vividness. 

Chalking has to be one of the messiest things I've done with my hair, and the pigment got generously spread throughout my bathroom. My hands looked like I'd spent the afternoon merrily throttling Smurfs to a bloody pulp.

Try chalking, they said. It will be fun, they said.

Aside from the huge amount of effort expelled to get the teeniest amount of colour to show up and the incredible mess, the other thing that really turned me off chalking is the condition it left my hair. The rubbing motion needed to impart pigment can be quite rough and left my lengths frizzy and full of static energy. A bit of shine serum smoothed over to rectify only removed some of the colour. Sigh.

Below is a few pictures of the final product, focusing on the lengths. There are no full face shots, because I was sick and had a sore red nose and puffy eyes from hell. You don't need to see any of that, believe me.

















I think chalking works best when you plait and interweave the coloured strands with the untouched pieces to produce a more romantic tint of colour to your style. This way the frizziness created when doing the actual chalking can be hidden as intentional messiness in a bedhead style twist or plait.



Would I try chalking again? Not unless someone can convince me that it's much tidier and easier with a different brand of pastel chalks. I've had a lot of success with the Kevin Murphy Color Bugs, and will return to their sweet, clammy embrace the next time I get bored with my hair.

Kimmi from The Plastic Diaries has also given this technique a burl and had a similar failicious result as me, which is pretty comforting because she's a gal who knows her stuff.

What do you think about chalking? Anyone managed to pull it off with better results than me? Reveal your secrets!

22 comments:

  1. I read about chalking on another blog and was like.. "so you... rub... chalk into your hair...? because dyeing is too mainstream?" Honestly, I am way too lazy to do that. I mean, it takes like ages and doesn't even last very long. And I personally think it doesn't even look that nice either and I would be afraid on the day for rainy clouds to be honest. I think you are better off with the color bugs or just some conventional dye. I totally enjoyed reading your post, get well soon! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, it's kind of an obnoxious thing to do right? "Oh Color Bugs? I was into chalking like agggggges ago."
      Doesn't really work for me!

      Delete
  2. I definitely think you're better off sticking with the bugs. Even though this looks quite pretty and romantic (especially in the plait), it seems like it's not worth the mess and effort when you could spend a bit more and get a more vibrant result in half the time.

    Hope you're feeling better soon miss!

    xx.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bug life it is then! Finally the easiest method is the best!

      Delete
  3. Even though you say it didn't work well, it still looks utterly rad on you, in my opinion. Despite everything you've said, after seeing those pics at the end, I now want to try chalking even more... (not that I don't trust your advice - I'll probably regret it and destroy my hair/bathroom/soul...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for somehow encouraging the inner-lemming! Trust - Colour Bugs do a far better job and you get to keep your soul (mostly).

      Delete
  4. I wish I had your hair! Looks great!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But if you had my hair, then I'll have no hair :O

      Delete
  5. Just wanted to update my followers: I have changed my blog URL to valleyfash.blogspot.com To update your subscription to my blog and continue to see my posts on your feed, simply go to my new URL, unfollow, refresh the page, and follow! :)

    -♡ Valerie Angel

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dang, you are HILARIOUS!!! I was entertained the whole way through. I think it came out rather awesome. I might experiment with the ombre hair since I don't hair blonde hair. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks! FYI, for dark hair, the pink Color Bug works really well.

      Delete
  7. OHMYGOSH You are hilarious! Thanks for following!
    Love, your newest blog stalker :) Off to read all your posts now, my internet usage thanks you for it xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, that's nice of you to say. You're welcome, Lizy's internet!

      Delete
  8. The thought of rubbing my hair with chalk makes me go all prickly on the back of my neck, I don't know why. I feel the same way about pulling apart cotton wool. AUUUUGH. *brain melts*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh,I know what you mean. If I had to use hard chalk, like blackboard style instead of pastels, this post would have not happened. I HATE blackboard chalk. My nails and teeth itch just thinking out it. Those foamy blocks florists use have the same effect. Yuk.

      Delete
  9. I love this post :)
    these colors are amazing!!

    http://bubblemylicorice.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Woah thats so cool! Im definitely trying this:)
    Hannah xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know if it works better for you!

      Delete
  11. I like the softer look but yeah it definitely looks like to much hassle!!
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Def go the Color Bugs then, they can get the same soft look if applied lightly.

      Delete

Got a brain bubble? Pop it here. I try to reply to every comment (except for the super spammy ones) and am happy to answer any questions.