Pink! Blue! Purple? Rainbow-coloured hair has been in and out of fashion since your parents were kids. But these days, thanks to the weird and wonderful selection of dyes, chalks and colourful shampoos, it can be as easy as spraying purple glitter into your hair or using a washed-out pink shampoo for a faded look to hit the unicorn hair trend.
Not only that, but formulas are kinder to your hair and really simple to use yourself (because who can afford expensive trips to the hairdresser every time you get bored?). And let’s not forget that all kinds of celebs and internet stars are fuelling us with so much rainbow-coloured hair inspo that it’s seriously hard to keep one shade for longer than a day or two before you change your mind.
So to help you navigate the technicolour waters of the mermaid, unicorn or rainbow colour trend, we’ve collected together some simple how-to guides and top tips – not to mention some of our favourite swoon-worthy, candy-coloured hair shades out in the wild.
Chalks, wash out or semi-permanent?
Before you start dreaming about which shades of the rainbow you want in your hair, you need to remember that different hair reacts differently to different colours. So, if you have blonde or light brown hair, then pastel colours will show up and everything will look really bright. If you have dark brown, red or black hair, it’ll be harder to make colours show up, so glitter, neon colours and bold shades will suit you better.
The first step? Figuring out which product you want to use. We don’t mean whether you should go for candy-floss-pink or sexy-hot-pink – we’re talking about the consistency of what you’re using (is it a chalk? Cream?) and, most importantly, how long it’ll last.
Some hair colours wash out straight away (some even brush out). Others are added to shampoos and give your hair a sheen of colour. Some wash out after five or six showers. Others are semi-permanent and you might not get rid of them for over a month. And some colours are permanent, and might stick around till your hair grows out (although that’s most typical of more traditional colours, like dark brown or black).
The key to figuring all of this out is to read the instructions carefully. You know what? Once you’ve read them, read them again. Just to be sure. You need to look out for words like “semi-permanent”, “wash out” and even details about how many washes it’ll take. Even if it says five washes, plan ahead for seven or eight, just in case.
Tip: For most of us this is the really important bit. Many schools don’t allow unnatural hair colours, so you’ll need to time it well so you can add chalk to your hair on Friday so it’ll wash out by Sunday. Or pick a colour that lasts five or six washes for the school holidays.
Things you’ll need
Once you’ve picked your hair chalk, colour rinse, semi-perm or permanent hair dye, it’s time to go! But what will you need to make your hair dying experiment a success? Well, every product has different requirements, but our top tips are:
1. Make sure you’re in a space that you can wipe clean. No carpets!
2. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit of dye on. Most wash off, but it’s not guaranteed.
3. Invite your bestie round to take care of the back. That technique is hard, girl!
4. If your bff is busy, find some clips, hair bands and bobby pins so you can section your hair and do an even job yourself.
5. Have your phone or a watch with you so you can keep an eye on the time.
Our favourite hair inspo
So you’ve got the right products and you’ve got a space to splash dye and rub chalk around in. Here’s some inspiration to get you started:
If you want to try hair chalks…
Also this Fail or Holy Grail? DIY Hair Chalk.
…and what about hairsprays?
There’s also this useful guide to How to Colour Hair Dye Without Bleaching.
Or if you love the rose gold hair trend, take a look at this…
We also love Pink Dip Dye on Dark Blonde Hair.
So there you go – everything you need to nail the DIY dye! And remember, always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn (for 8-10 washes).
It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.