by Ryan Wallace
From Bangkok to Berlin, women from different cultural backgrounds have used hair color as another statement piece to express themselves. Whether it’s bold dark black, or subtle streaks of blonde, changing the color of hair has become a movement like accessorizing an outfit.
Once a luxury only afforded to the upper-classes in Rome, changing hair color was a tedious process that often involved intricate wig designs as the women changed hair color with the seasons and festivities. But women all over the world have used natural pigments and dyes for more permanent coloring solutions for centuries. Recently, a trend has caught wind worldwide, where men and women alike have decided that bold, but temporary hair colors may be another accessory to pair with outfits like heels, hats and bags.
Using temporary “hair chalks”, typically substituted for soft art chalk pastels, flares of color can be added to your locks without all the work or commitment of dyes. So here are some tips and tricks to delightful dyes that can change at your every whim:
*Soft chalk pastels can be found at any retail art store, and many crafts stores as well. But don’t confuse them with oil pastels… When in doubt, ask for help. Oil pastels are a nightmare to remove and are sticky, so stick with the chalk that’ll wash out easily.
*As you apply the chalk pigment, twist the strands of hair. The texture created from twisting will make the chalk release more pigment, which you’ll want if your hair is darker.
*After chalking each piece brush away any excess powder.
*Water will be your greatest friend, or your greatest enemy: If you’re Blonde DON’T wet your hair before chalking. Adding the water to pure pigment will create a real dye, so water plus pastel really will stain your hair…at least for a couple washes. If you have darker hair like Brunettes, DO use the water. The chalk won’t stain dark hair quite the same way, and you’ll need the water to make the colors bold. Spray down your hair, then chalk it up! You may need to double the amount of pigment to get the same effect.
*Before you shower, it is important to give your hair a brushing through using a soft, natural hair brush.
*Seeing that soft chalk pastels use “gum Arabic”, a derivative from a tree sap, as a binder it is vital to wash your hair with clarifying shampoo after chalking.
*And to replenish any moisture lost from chalking, make sure to use a high-quality conditioner to treat your hair.
Now as far as colors go, the rainbow defines your limits, but even that may be too limited. Brunettes: try a splash of bold with turquoises and reds that will show up best. Reds: Try bold yellows and oranges to give your hair the bold highlights and lowlights that you’ve always wanted, or give soft greens a try. Blondes: Because your hair will transfer best, try something bright like pinks and purples.
Try mixing and matching; blending and brightening. In the end, your hair and your imagination will be a bit brighter… and it can all wash away!
Photo courtesy of Showtime & Essential Homme