Sure, colorful hair is nothing new when it comes to celebs like Ke$ha, Kelly Osbourne and Katy Perry, who premiered her "slime" green hair just in time for her recent trip to Coachella. But is this trend at all wearable? Surprisingly, it's not just for pop-punk divas anymore: An increasing number of "regular" people are getting in on the colorful hair trend. "There's always been a direct correlation between what celebrities do and what people ask for in the salon," says Lori Jean Vadnais, top colorist at Sassoon Salon in New York City. (Remember "the Rachel"?) "With stars like Kelly Osbourne and Nicole Richie doing lavender hair, those looks start becoming more accepted and popular, and [regular women] wonder if they can do it, too."
We get that not everyone can be quite so bold and hold an office job, but itis possible to try the trend and still walk into a corporate environment without looking totally inappropriate. Here's how:
Do a Trial Run First
If you're a creative color newbie but are itching to try some bold colors, don't book your hair appointment just yet. Try out different colors to see what looks good first (and avoid a potential disaster). Do this by using clip-in pieces (like these from Manic Panic) or hair chalk (like these limited-edition spray chalks from Bumble and Bumble). If you do decide to go for a more permanent look, however...
Always, Always See a Professional
If you want to keep your look office-ready, you simply can't DIY this. Not only will a colorist be able to help you choose the right color and apply it in a way that looks chic (not circus-like), but they'll also be able to talk you through the necessary upkeep that goes along with your hair-color choice.
A Little Goes A Long Way
For most people, it makes sense to stick with color accents. A full head of pastel pink hair might look awesome on your favorite pop star, but chances are it won't fly at work for most people. Try adding a pop of color into your highlights or updating your ombré by adding fun colors just onto your ends. If you do decide to bleach and tone all of your hair, lavender is one of the most wearable (and on-trend!) pastel tones, says Vadnais, since it fades to platinum blonde over time.
Determine Your Color Commitment
An important thing to keep in mind when incorporating a fun color is the longevity of that color. Most bright and pastel colors are semi-permanent and fade over time—which is fine if you just want to add a streak as a temporary accessory. But it’s important to understand the amount of upkeep necessary for more permanent color changes (can you really commit to getting to the salon every four to six weeks?). In general, purples tend to hold up pretty well, while reds and blues fade the fastest. Bright reds can fade to orange or pink, while many blues fade to green (eek!), so talk to your colorist and choose wisely.
Invest In A Color-Safe Shampoo
To keep your locks bright for as long as possible, make sure you have a good color-safe shampoo and conditioner (we like Matrix Biolage Colorlast shampoo and conditioner). Vadnais also recommends getting a color-locking conditioning treatment at your salon whenever you change your hue. "They really do make a difference," she says. You can also use color-depositing shampoos and conditioners to keep certain tones brighter for longer (try Davines Alchemic Shampoos and Conditioners, available in red, copper, silver, etc.).