Has there ever been a better time to be alive and a beauty fan? No, is the short answer. When it comes to magical ways to transform your face and barnet, we live in an incredible era for innovation, imagination and downright revelation, with trends that answer questions you didn’t even know you had.

Like: why spend hours on deep conditioning and cold rinses to make your hair glossy when you can just have your hairdresser paint on the shine for you?

The shine line technique basically mimics the way that light hits hair, by painting bleach horizontally across it instead of the usual vertical strips and slices.

But this is not your average glossy balayage – hoo no, this is 2017 and so naturally colourists are using it to make all your rainbow dreams come true. We’re talking hair that looks like a petrol puddle on your head.

Or the sunlight hitting the surface of the ocean…

Or, er, the Instagram logo.

Just look at it!

We dye.

Hey, it’s better to give it a break anyway… probably

1. Oh god it is too early for any human to be awake. Why did Yesterday Me think Today Me would want to get up at this time and wash her hair? Was she deluded?

2. Let’s assess the damage. Maybe this is the point where it supposedly starts conditioning itself? Maybe it’ll look magically fresh and elegantly dishevelled and I can go back to sleep!

3. Please let it look magically fresh and elegantly dishevelled.

4. Oh.

5. How can pillows cause so much chaos when they are so soft and lovely? Did I accidentally sleep in a hedge without realising?

6. No. No, I’d have scratches from the… twigs.

7. It’s fiiine, it’s just a little bit rumpled. Those kinks will probably drop right out.

8. Who am I kidding, my roots look like a mountain range. I could have tiny groups of people doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award on my head.

9. But there is one simple, easy solution! WET IT DOWN.

10. WET

11. IT

12. DOWN.

13. There we go, all wetted. I look great. I look slick. I look like Chrissy Teigen crossed with Lucius Malfoy. Although of course I can’t go back to bed now because my head is wet and the pillow will make it worse, so nice one genius.

14. It’s fine, I’ll wait for it to dry while making a nutritious breakfast and catching up on current affairs.

15. JK, I’m going to scroll through Instagram with one eye open for the exact length of time it would have taken to wash my hair anyway.

16. Ok it still looks wet. Is it still wet… or just greasy? Please let it be wet.

17. Nup. Grease.

18. Brilliant. Brilliant. And now I don’t have time to wash it anyway, so I guess this is the hair we’re going with today. Brilliant.

19. Thank god for dry shampoo though. How did anyone cope in the days when shampoo only came wet?

20. Hats. That was what hats were for.

21. Right, just a modest spritz and my head will be fresh as a daisy again. Just a leeeetle bit.

22. And a leeetle bit more…

23. …and a leetle bit mo- oh right, too much and now I look like the ghost of Christmas past. I am Moaning Myrtle. I am Mary Berry’s Victoria sponge cake.

24. Although a Victoria sponge cake probably involves less grease, tbh.

25. Brush it through! It’s fiiiiine, just massage it in with your fingers like they tell you to on the can, then brush it out. Keep brushing. And a bit more.

26. And a bit more.

27. Maybe if I wet it down again?

28. NO.

29. Right, roots looking better. Still a bit dusty. But that’s ok, that’s just… vintage-inspired. ‘Heritage’, they’d probably call it in Vogue. I have heritage hair. I am very on-trend. I will be like one of those aristocratic models who is too cool and posh and bohemian to be clean.

30. It’s better for your hair not to wash it anyway! Everyone knows that. Unless that’s one of those lies people tell themselves, like ‘actually fruit is worse for you than a burger’. 

31. Now I must tackle the weird twisty bits and flat bits. I could do this the sensible and careful way, by using a suitable protector spray and easing them out with my hairdryer on a moderate heat. Or I could do them the lazy way, by battering them with my hair straighteners until they behave.

32. My poor hair. I am terrible to my hair. I wouldn’t blame it if one day it just got up and left me.

33. *whisper* Please don’t leave me, hair.

34. Is that… toast? Is someone making me toast?

35. Nope, that is my hair burning. That’s the delicious waft of baked human proteins, that is. Blech.

36. Should I just sack it all off and put it up? A messy bun, that’ll solve everything! Praise be to the messy bun! I should have done this right from the beginning.

37. Well, it’s definitely messy. I have ticked that box. But it’s not exactly messy the way that messy buns are on Pinterest, is it? It’s less like lovely voluminous #croissanthair and more like a kind of… partially digested teacake.

39. May as well whack a bit of serum on, see if that’ll help. And some salt spray. And a tiny bit more dry shampoo.

40.

41. Hats. This is what hats are for.

Image: Katie Edmunds

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 at your local Boots and Superdrug, it can be as easy as spraying purple glitter into your hair or using a washed-out pink shampoo for a faded look.

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.

Katy Perry

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, our favourite products 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?

Girl with pink hair

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.

Our favourite hair colour products

Gwen Stefani

Your head is probably spinning right now, isn’t it? You need to think about the amount of washes, whether the word “permanent” is anywhere near the hair dye and also, what the hell will your mum think of it?

But don’t worry, we’ve got this. Here are some of our favourite products that you can get from your local Boots or Superdrug.

Colour rinse

If you have blonde hair already and just want a really subtle hint of colour that you can barely see, then try the Bleach London Rose Shampoo from Boots. It’s £6 and you use it like a regular shampoo.

Rose shampoo

The bonus? After a few uses it’ll leave your hair with a dreamy, pink sheen.

Wash out hair colours

If you want a colour that’s noticeable but isn’t going to get you in trouble on Monday, there are a few different options. The Pixie Lott Hair Colour Chalks from Superdrug are so much fun. A full set comes with six different colours and you can draw on your hair and play around with them as much as you like. The best bit? They wash out. Just make sure you lather your shampoo up really well and wash twice if you need to. Pixie Lott hair chalk

There’s also a range of Superdrug Colour Hairspray, so if you’d rather not use crayons this gives you the best faded pink look instead – or bold, bright red that you can just spray directly onto your hair and then wash out when you’re done with it.

Pink hairspray

Tip: The lighter your hair is, the better colours will show up on it. If you’ve got blonde or light brown hair, lots of colours will look great. If you have darker hair, the results will only be subtle, unless you bleach it first (WHICH IS PERMANENT, BEWARE) or choose something really bright or glittery.

Lasts up to 10 washes

Green hair

If you want hair colour that won’t wash out straight away, maybe if you’re going on holiday or have some time off school, then try the Pixie Lott Wash Out Hair Colours or Colour Freedom Hair Colours instead. They come in a huge range of shades, from bright blues to punky pinks, and promise to wash out after around 10 washes. But make sure you give yourself 12 washes, just in case.

Colour freedom

The best thing about these dyes is they’ll fade over time, so you’ll be bang on trend around the fifth wash with a washed-out faded pastel look.

Tip: If you’re panicking that a colour won’t come out, go and buy some Head and Shoulders shampoo. It’s a bit stronger than regular shampoo, and often does a really good job at fading colour away much quicker.

Semi-permanent

If you’re feeling brave, the Cool Colours range from Bleach London (find it in Boots) is really popular among Instagram stars and hair lovers. They will fade over time and probably be all out of your hair in a few weeks, but they are officially semi-permanent so there’s a chance they’ll stick around much longer.

Tip: If you love a semi permanent shade but don’t want to commit for too long, try adding a bit of the colour to conditioner. This will make the colour less intense and give you a totally fash faded look, rather than a scary shade.

Things you’ll need

Demi Lovato

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. Find some clips, hair bands and bobby pins so you can section your hair and do an even job.

4. Have your phone or a watch with you so you can keep an eye on the time.

Our favourite hair inspo

Nicki Minaj

So you’ve got the right products, you know which products to get, you’ve got a space to splash dye and rub chalk around in. So here’s some inspiration to get you started:

If you want to try hair chalks…

Also this Pixie Lott Hair Chalks tutorial, or 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, and this Review of Superdrug Instant Colour Hairspray.

Or if you like the look of Bleach London products, take a look at these…

We also love Pink Dip Dye on Dark Blonde Hair and this more subtle trial of Bleach London Home Hair Colours.

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).

@BeccaCaddy

Want #hairgoals but can’t be bothered to spend three hours in front of the mirror? In this video, Danielle from Tangle Angel shows us how to do a dutch braids to fishtail plait. As long as you can plait it’s easy to do, and it looks incred.