Hair transformations were my pandemic hobby. First, I lifted my waist-length, practically-black locks to a bright vitamin c serum-blonde at the hands of celebrity colorist and genius Jenna Perry. Next, I chopped it all off and started studying vintage hair books to perfect my wet set skills. (I use Lauren Bacall’s pattern and T3 hot rollers.)
Of course, there were plenty of space buns, hair masks, twists, and claw clips from Chunks in the interim. For my final act, I’m going anti-natural―a shade of pink that only Barbie could dream of―with the help of Bleach London co-owner Georgia May Jagger.
One look at Bleach London’s Instagram account, and it’s easy to see why an appointment at any of the three UK-based salons is so covetable. Founder and color alchemist Alex Brownsnell has perfected her work on bright blondes and the super-saturated color combinations that she dreams of in the salon. Her clients are the crème de la cool, including Isamaya Ffrench, FKA Twigs, Lara Stone, and (obviously) Jagger. The salon has finally touched down in the United States and is opening its flagship opens in West Hollywood this month.
Jagger, who is now a co-owner of the brand, hopped on FaceTime with me to chat about all things bleach and the critical components to a successful at-home dye job.
“This is so exciting!” she laughed. “I know Alex [Brownsnell] does these sorts of consults with people, but this is my very first one,” says Jagger. “The first time I came home with crazy colored hair, I think my parents were totally shocked. But now they expect it. So I’ll show up to lunch with my dad and have a purple mullet, and he’s like, ‘okay!'”
Jagger’s also no stranger to the at-home dye job―mid-pandemic, she DIYed a playful half-blue, half-purple job on Instagram live.
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For me, my current hair situation—a very grown-out blonde—meant whatever we dreamed up would be more of an ombre situation. “I love that you are going for it with the hottest pink,” said Jagger after we selected Gobby Pink—the same shade she dyed hair for a very tone-on-tone moment at the British Fashion Awards in 2018.
“Okay, now let’s talk about how to smoosh,” she added as I looked… puzzled. (No, this isn’t a funny Brit term like snogging, but more on smooshing later.)
Below, everything I learned from Jagger, so you to can dye your hair at home:
Check your kit.
Your tools are critical to a successful dye job: a hand mirror (gotta check the back of your head!), gloves, some Vaseline for your hairline, a towel or two you don’t mind destroying, and a whole lot of clips. If you’re nervous about dyeing at home—and don’t have Jagger to be your guru—Bleach has a hotline you can call for advice and get a walk-through.
Welcome to the summer of semi-permanent dye.
“The best thing about the bleach colors is that Alex has figured out the washout,” Jagger gushes. “Usually, a dye looks great at first then fades to something terrible.” Bleach dyes are semi-permanent, which means they gradually color shift slightly lighter with each wash. “Try to shampoo your entire head as evenly as possible,” she adds. “That way, the color says uniform.”
It’s all about the smoosh.
“Alex’s technique is all about smooshing,” Jagger shares. “Place product in the palm of your hand, then you’re going to place a small section of your hair on top of it, and use your other palm to rub the product into your hair. Then, you’ll comb it all the way through, smooshing in each section of hair.”
Wear gloves and don’t stress (too much) about stained skin.
While you’re waiting for the dye to set (it takes 30 minutes), Jagger suggests I multitask by scrubbing off some errant dye that’s made its way to my neck and forearms. “Dish soap and a kitchen sponge is my secret trick,” she shares. Instead, I opted for something closer at hand (aka about a foot away in my shower), the Nécessaire Body Exfoliator. It’s a combo chemical and physical exfoliant that deletes all of the razor burn and keratosis pilaris and quickly erases all of the pink streaks, too.
Live for the reveal.
I waited until we were back on FaceTime before I took my newly-pinked look at my locks. We both screamed—literally—and I couldn’t believe how bright and bold the color is. “Now that’s a fun summer glow-up.”
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