This year has single-handedly been the year of hair color. No, not blonde, brunette or red — but vibrant, psychadelic shades like lavender, rosé, sea green and a variety of ombré looks, too. And I get asked, frequently, what it takes to get these shades.
If you want to know how Nicole Richie did it, check out this interview with Daniel Moon at Andy Lecompte. (He took Nicole lavender, then blue.)
My obsession started last year (actually) when I Photoshopped this image of my hair, much like Nicole did with her hair this year.
People thought I actually went grape, and it was a source of inspiration that I always kept in my back pocket. I had some fun on Photoshop this year a well, and knew that after Women's Wear Daily posted about it, that I owed it to myself to give it a go.
|Photoshopped hair (@kirbiejohnson)|
|Photoshop take II (@kirbiejohnson)|
My hair is a dark ash blonde naturally, and I've been highlighting it pale and golden blonde for as long as I can remember. So coloring my strands is a relatively simple process, because bleach isn't involved —at home, at least.
|Dip-dyed with Fudge Paint Box (@kirbiejohnson)|
I'd been playing around with Fudge's Paint Box in Purple Haze and really loved the results! It washes out in about 6-8 washes. I use Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner because it's clarifying, but also great for color-treated hair. My hair was a little dry after using Fudge, so I did need to load up on the leave-in conditioner and hair serums after I washed.
Here's my hair with the tips freshly colored:
|(@kirbiejohnson) photo by Maarten de Boer|
Anyway, I really wanted to experiment with multipe shades, which lead me what I'm deeming as "prismatic" hair color, inspired by Katy Perry. I get questions on how I do my color, and with the purple, I just painted it on the ends, ran my fingers through, and washed it out. Super simple. But here's the play-by-play on how I created my prismatic look.
Color application brush (these cost like $1 at Sally Beauty Supply)
Manic Panic Hair Color (or semi-permanent hair color of your choice. If you're in the UK, I recommend Bleach London color)
Small bowls for mixing
A hair clip
A shirt you don't care destroying
PREP: DECIDE ON A LOOK
I went to the Manic Panic Asylum on Melrose and dropped about 50 bones to get three different shades, as well as the pastel mixer. I knew I wanted mermaid-esque hair, and wanted it to cascade into darker shades at the tips. So I went with a pink, purple and a blue-green. (Lie Locks, Pastel-izer, Cotton Candy and Enchanted Forest.)
|(This looks more royal blue, but Enchanted Forest is a blue-green.)|
Please note that my hair still had some purple left over from the Fudge color job I did a few days before. That morning I used Clockwork Orange and Red Corvette as well — the orange all over my head and the red focused underneath my hair and at the tips.
If you're lacking inspiration, get on Pinterest! Like I said, I was inspired by Katy Perry and my own Photoshop job, but Pinterest is chock full of great color palettes for your hair.
Don't go buckwild with this hair color. You need to read the directions. For Manic Panic, you must wash your hair and then dry it before using the product. If you just washed it, perfect, but the point is that it needs to be freshly cleaned, without any product in it.
PREP: BE REALISTIC!
If you're brunette, chances are, this isn't going to work on your hair. You'll need to lift your hair color with bleach so that the color shows up. I do not recommend bleaching your hair at home — some of you will have no idea what the heck you're doing and you'll end up looking like one of these:
It's not worth it. Also, if you don't apply the bleach correctly, it can look spotty, which isn't cute for when the color rinses out over the next few weeks. I did this at home because my hair was already lightened by a professional. However, I did lighten the ends a taaaaad more so the blue would stand out. I have experience in this area so do as I say, not as I do!
STEP 1: PIN UP A SECTION OF YOUR HAIR AND START PAINTING UNDERNEATH
Once your hair is dry, start painting on the first shade, which for me was blue, because I wanted the darker shade to peek through at the bottom of my hair and at the tips. This also creates that ombré effect. To avoid getting color on unwanted hair, pin it up with a clip. I didn't do this because I'm a rebel.
I focused on the ends initially, but eventually worked the color all the way to the roots. Because that section of hair was naturally darker, I knew that the color wouldn't be as vibrant as the ends.
Make sure you paint the hair with a brush and wear gloves! Also, with Manic Panic, you want to massage the color into your hair so it foams. I know that sounds odd, but you'll understand ones you work the color into your hair.
|My hair was already partially colored from before. This is the first coat of blue.|
STEP 2: REPEAT WITH DIFFERENT THE MID-SECTION OF HAIR
Using a different shade (purple for moi), work the color into the midsection of your hair. If you're super nervious about screwing this up, all you need to do is pull your hair to the side and apply the color to the ends.
|That is my face on a shirt.|
STEP 3: APPLY HIGHLIGHTS USING THE LIGHTEST SHADE
Let all of your hair down and start painting the top with the lightest shade you have. Mine was pink. I focused on highlights around my face, ear, and towards my roots.
STEP 4: LET SET FOR 15-30 MINUTES
Depending on how vibrant you want this to be, cover your hair with a shower cap and wait 15-30 minutes. I applied heat with a hairdryer, too.
STEP 5: RINSE!
Hop in the shower and rinse your hair. Don't use shampoo or conditioner.
The great thing about Manic Panic, I've found, is that it's EXTREMELY MOISTURIZING. The consistently is much like a conditioner, and when you wash it out, your hair will feel silky soft. Great if you just had to bleach your hair!
|Don't you love my giant robe from Caudalie?!!!! I do.|
RESULTS: PRISMASTIC GOODNESS!
These were shot two days after I applied the color, in natural light. See the orange? It looks more of a yellow-green now, but it adds to the prism effect.
If you try this at home, tag me on Instagram! @kirbiejohnson