On the title track of her newest album, “Rainbow,” Kesha belts, “Got kaleidoscopes in my hairdo.” The singer, who has been dyed nearly shade under the sun, recently traded her vibrant, saturated color for a more washed-out look that stylishly fades out, offering a new look with each shampoo.
Hair with streaks of pale pink, washed out blue and soft violet and green first bubbled up at music festivals as a mellow alternative to psychedelic hues, and it is now a statement on red carpets that goes beyond the pale — but, just barely.
With major brands like L’Oreal joining the party, it is easy to try the trend at home. The French beauty company is behind the new semi-permanent Colorista line, which comes in 11 shades, ranging from purple to aqua to tangerine. The colors are formulated to last 4-10 washes, making it possible to play around with different hues. L’Oreal says it is the perfect product for “the person who is nimble to trends and craves change and statement flair.”
Celebrity hair and makeup artist Vittorio Masecchia, who is responsible for some of the most iconic rainbow hairstyles, is excited to see this look take hold. “It’s a really fun trend!” the Los Angeles-based stylist says. “There are so many creative choices and a million different ways to mix colors.”
For those who decide to go the salon route, Masecchia encourages an initial consultation. “Ask to see if they have photos of their ‘pastel’ or ‘rainbow’ work,” he says. “Bring image inspiration so that you can communicate your ideas clearly.”
Chicago stylist Anthony Christiano also encourages clients to think about which colors look best with their eye and skin tones. “It’s a great way to express yourself, but you want to make sure the hair complements the face,” he says. Consider the cosmetics you regularly use and the color families in your wardrobe as well.
Darker hair will likely require bleach before bringing in the desired color. “These shades show up best on pre-lightened hair so bleach, from a pro, will help,” he says. “As for texture, anyone from straight hair to tight curls can try this trend out.”
Christiano says that this process will make the hair porous, which means that it will require frequent salon trips to keep the look going. He also recommends shampoos with a Ph at seven or below, as anything higher will open and close the hair cuticle too much and cause dryness. “You also want to avoid sulfates and silicones, which result in a harsher detergent.”
To further keep the color in good condition out side of the salon, Masecchia recommends a regular conditioning mask and minimal heat-styling. “Wash less, heat less, touch up more,” he instructs. “It’s going to be a little bit of work but you’ll feel like a magical unicorn so it’ll probably be worth it.”
But, Masecchia and L’Oreal embrace the fading process. “Personally, I love the look of faded colors,” says Masecchia, “but if pastels fade too quickly for you then it’s worth it to have some products to touch up with.”
While both he and Christiano recommend a trip tp the salon, Masecchia believes in some DIY homework. “You can always do little touch ups at home! For instance, if you have a pastel pink, it could be easy to tint it back in.”
Ultimately, it’s all about finding the line between polished and punk. “We talk the individual needs of the client and go from there,” says Christiano. “It needs to be tasteful, fun, and whimsical.”
And, if the salons and cosmetic companies are any indication, we won’t be over the faded rainbow look any time soon.
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