Three years ago, Alex Brownsell was working at Heartbreak Hair - a hair dying salon she set up in her own home. Yes, she counted Pixie Geldof and Alice Dellal as clients, but what Alex really needed was her own shop, or at least a chair in someone else's.
After securing two chairs at WAH nails in Dalston, Alex set up Bleach London with her best friend Sam Teasdale. So - how have things gone since then?
'Pretty well' is probably an understatement. The Bleach dip dye has become something of a hair phenomenon. There's now a second store in Topshop on Oxford Street and on 8 October, the Bleach London home dye colours will launch in Boots nationwide.
"It's something we've wanted to do for a long time - we've spent two years on the home range", Alex told us during a meeting in her Topshop salon. "There are 21 pieces in the collection - 12 colours, a washing-out liquid, a mask, serum and dry shampoo, plus bleach and a DIY dip dye. The white toner - it takes the yellow tones out of hair - is also brand new to the market".
It's safe to say that Alex and Sam have thought of everything. And the colours? From the turquoise Washed Up Mermaid to the best candyfloss pink we've ever seen, Rose, the non-permanent hair creams really are 'super cool', as their labels tell us.Alex also assured us that because of their creamy formula, they are much easier to use than regular hair dye. They're good value too - £5 each for a colour and £7 for the DIY dip dye.
As for Alex's expert advice? "Always read the instructions", she told us. "Ours are really simplified - there aren't 12 pages to read in multiple languages - they're just honest".
So - if you're thinking of taking the plunge and dying your hair at home, here's a few more pointers from the Bleach London girls:
1. "When you're deciding on colour, think about the colours you usually wear. Pink skin tones should avoid greens and yellows and for dip dye, I like deep blues or a bruised violet on darker hair".
2. "Our hair colours are bright but they aren't permanent and we've got a Washing Out Liquid to help speed up the fading process - in case you change your mind".
3. "The colours have got a conditioner in them so they aren't damaging to the hair. You can change colours as often as you like, but be careful - the older colour might still show through".
4. "Use the Total Bleach first if you want a stronger colour".
5. "Our top tip for DIY dip dye? Use your hands to mash and dilute the colour for that ombre effect".
The Bleach London hair range will launch in Boots stores nationwide on 8 October, available from £5 to £7.