I Did My Oil Slick Haircolor Myself for ONLY $60 — you can too!

I wanted to go from a bright box red that had faded from a summer at the beach to one of Fall 2016’s hottest trends, Oil Slick Hair. This is where I started:


Now for years my boyfriend Joe has tried to convince me that his experience doing his friends’ punk rock hair gave him the expertise needed to do mine. The idea of letting an amateur have a go at my head was, frankly unappealing.

Then I saw some articles about Oil Slick Haircolor, the new fall trend that’s great for brunettes. That was exactly the look I was going for.

One thing I wasn’t going to do was spend the upwards of $400 it would cost at a salon in New York City even if I did manage to convince a stylist that this mild-appearing middle-aged lady was ready for a bold change. A full head of highlights costs about $200 and this was going to be about the same as two rounds of highlights.

I’d recently gone from long layers to a short bob. If it all went horribly wrong, it would grow out quickly.

I decided to take a risk, and give Joe his shot.

Joe did most of the online research, and sent me off to Ricky’s with a general idea of what I needed:

At Ricky’s, I purchased the following:

1 Manic Panic Flash Lightening Kit (was $10.49 online and $11.99 at Ricky’s).

Pravana ChromaSilk VIVID color in Blue, Green and Wild Orchid ($15 each)


1 pack of RickyCare Strawberry Matte Touch Sectioning Clips


They didn’t have a highlighting cap. Having never used one, I almost believed the guy at the store who said some people buy regular shower caps and put holes in them, but decided I’d try the beauty supply places in my neighborhood first. At the small yet well-stocked and open late place in my neighborhood I purchased:

1 cap: $.3.99

1 dye brush $1

1 pack of highlighting foils $4.99

1 Highlighter cap $3.99

(unrelated to the dye project, 1 box of blue black hairclor for Joe and a really cool dark purple lip stain for $3.99 because it was there).

By the time I got home and had dinner and watched most of the GOP CNN Debate it was late so we only did the bleach part  I was tired and didn’t take any pictures, but when you see how I did the color the bleach foils looked pretty much the same. Basically Joe took small sections, smeared them with bleach, wrapped them in foil and left some out.

After rinsing the bleached parts, I washed it with a French Shampoo, or mixture of bleach and shampoo to slightly scour the darker parts so that they will take the vegetable color.

My hair felt treated, but not completely fried and I could tell after I colored it and conditioned it the texture would improve.

Here’s what it looked like post-bleach.


To prepare for the color project, Joe put each of the colors in a plastic bowl.

We tried using the highlighting cap but it took such a small number of strands through each hole it was clearly going to be more effort than it was worth so he went back to the foils and started painting. He was careful to pick small sections of hair — 1/4″ to 1″ of hair — and to not repeat the same color spectrum. We wanted a subtle mix of shades, not a repetitive rainbow. It took about 2.5 hours but at the end I looked like this:


I let the color sit for an hour and blowdried it towards the end as much as I had the patience to do.

To take the foils out, I tried to do it section by section, rinsing each one individually but I could tell that only worked so much. However, the colors didn’t run. When I had all the foils out I rinsed it really well and conditioned it with some conditioner left over from box hair dye. Afterwards, I used some Garnier Color Shield Leave In Conditioner that might be discontinued but it worked to make my hair look smooth after drying.

Here’s the awesome final result!

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