My Miku-Coloured Hair
As a lot of people know, I usually bleach my hair as white as possible.
I tend to do this right before trips to Japan or, in fact, trips to anywhere overseas. It can help when other people are trying to spot you in a crowd, as well as providing for some amusing reactions. The guy at the minshuku in Shirakawago seemed totally amazed by it last time.
But this time around, we were going to Hatsune Miku concerts. Additionally, since I figured a lot of people walking around Akihabara would know about the concerts, I decided to go for Miku coloured hair.
I booked at Furr Hair, who did a good (albeit pricey, $250 or so) job. I had to show them a picture (I used a picture of Mikuo instead of a picture of Miku, by the way.)
They bleached it back to near white before putting in the colour and mixed down the colour to about the right shade. They even taught me how they were mixing it down so that I could make more of the colour myself, which I thought was pretty neat (basically you just mix it with normal conditioner and a tiny bit of water until the colour and consistency is about right.) Next time I will probably still get them to do the cut and bleach but I will do the colouring myself, since that part of the job isn't all that hard.
Merely colouring hair like this will get some looks but for the concert nights I wanted to go all out and have it glow in the dark. This got a bit interesting.
It turns out you can't buy hair dye which glows in the shade I wanted. In theory it should exist, it just doesn't. You can buy UV reactive hair dye, but unfortunately not in turquoise/aqua. You can also buy hair gel which glows using a chemical reaction similar to how glow sticks work, but since it's a hair gel, your hair will go hard. I wasn't too fond of that, so I tried some experiments.
Buying a ton of aqua glow powder from GloNation, I tried mixing it into an "undetectable" hair gel, advertised as being unnoticeable as hair gel. It's true that visually it didn't change the appearance, but it still made the hair rock solid and I wasn't too fond of it.
I went searching for leave-in conditioners, thinking that perhaps they wouldn't be so hard. Eventually I find a good Pantene one which felt reasonably OK even with a lot of it in my hair. The glow powder itself did give a sort of talcum powdery feel if I touched my hair, but that's fine, I will just avoid touching my hair for a while.
It looks like this when you're mixing it up:
I picked up a nice UV torch to use to test it out, which I unfortunately forgot to take to Japan. After a few runs of the dark electronics alleys of Akihabara, I managed to find a 1-LED UV torch which did an OK job of charging it up. It did glow in the dark. I tried to take pictures but my phone camera was too shitty. I'm not sure if it made it look more vivid in normal lighting as well, but it might have. I did notice that if you shone UV light on it then it became saturated with brightness while you were doing that (to the point of looking like your hair was electronically lit!)
As far as reactions to the hair style, pretty much only one guy ever said anything, which was, "nice colour!"
Later on 2ch I posted about my hair not getting much of a reaction and several people there said that they did in fact notice, but that because they couldn't speak English, they thought that they couldn't communicate with me and expressed regret at not knowing that I could speak a bit of Japanese. Some of the people had seen me in Akihabara in the days leading up to the concert, which was not unexpected.
"If you come again, do the hair again. This time we'll say something," was basically the outcome.
So if there is a next time, I will definitely do it all over again. And next time, I won't forget the UV torch so that I can charge the glow material at full power!