Punky, funky colors have been going strong for the past few months, and judging by their prevalence at Fashion Week and the recent pops of colour seen on celebrities (AKA Katy Perry and Charlotte Free below), this is a trend that is here to stay!
To achieve a neon or pastel hue, there is so much work involved that I would recommend seeing a professional. Ready to take the plunge? Bravo to you, but this process is not without consequence! You should be aware that your hair will need to be lightened to an extreme level before the colour of your choice can be applied. (This is to make sure that you obtain maximum brightness and that the color will actually show up, rather than just leave a barely noticeable tint.) Lightening hair in this manner can leave you with some major breakage, and because the cuticle of the hair is opened to such a degree, you will often have to go back in to refresh the colour, as it tends to fade out rather quickly. You should also know that going back to your natural or prior color can also be a tricky process, as the hair may be unable to "hold" any shade without several re-applications and visits to your colorist. In other words, you are going to need plenty of both time and money to keep your hair maintained. Still sold? Awesome - just be sure to discuss with your colorist what will be the most flattering shade for your skin, as this is likely to be a colour you are going to wear for a while!
As a hairstylist who always strives to maintain the integrity and health of the hair, I wanted to share with you ways to rock this look without making a huge commitment and suffering major damage. There are some surprisingly inexpensive and easy ways to achieve bold, bright hues that will last until you wash them out. This also gives you the luxury of being blonde during the week, pink for a weekend, and back to your sunny highlights in time for work on Monday morning!
Perhaps the most well known way of temporarily coloring hair is using the colored hairsprays that you can find in any beauty supply or costume store. These sprays tend to work best on lighter hair, although the reds and oranges often show up well on brunettes. (I would advise purchasing an extra can, as they run out quicker than you think!) They are great for getting a "dip dyed" look, as you can hold out pieces of your dry hair and simply spray the ends. Be sure to keep the can far enough from your head to avoid saturating the hair, you want the colour to stay a bit powdery. For a softer look, brush through lightly once the spray has dried completely.
A lesser-known trick is using pigment powders. Pigment powders are highly concentrated loose powders that come in a vast array of colors. You can find them at many makeup stores or at your local art supplier. (Can't seem to find them? You can also crush up a bright eyeshadow to powder consistency and go to town!) There are several ways to use them. If you already have lighter hair, you can pour some powder into the palms of your hands and rub it into your hair, section by section. Darker haired ladies can also use pigments, but may want to mix it with hair wax for a brighter, more intense result, or put a pigment powder base in the hair and then top it off with a few shots of colored spray. This is a favourite technique that I've been using on set recently - with gorgeous results. It allows you to really get creative, as you can mix the colors any way you like!
Rub the pigments right into your ends for this dreamy, soft peach...
All over blonde hair for this pretty pastel pink...
Or mix with some hair wax directly in your palms and streak in for a vibrant purple like this!
Another fun way to add some brightly coloured streaks to your hair would be to use oil pastels. These waxy crayons are a great medium if you are going for a multi-coloured look like the one below, as the colors won't bleed together. Simply hold out individual strands and literally colour right on them!
Want colored streaks for more than just the weekend? Why not add some colored extensions? These are sure to pack some punch and can be re-dyed and re-used as often as you like!
I hope these tricks have been helpful and inspiring, let me know what you decide to try and how it worked out!