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Beauty Station! Decoding rainbow hair

You read that right, rainbow hair is trending. But why?

Beauty Station! Decoding rainbow hair

Working in fashion has its perks. You find out about new products or trends before they go mainstream and you stalk so many well-dressed women on Instagram that you can put together a mean outfit yourself. But ever so often we come across a trend that baffles us but has acquired a cult following. Fur slides, jeans that sit so low you wonder if the person wearing them is a walking commercial for an underwear brand, the stretchable plastic chokers we’re all guilty of wearing at the age of 12 (they were recently resurrected from their unfashionable grave, though only fleetingly thank god); the list is endless.

The newest trend being added to the list of fads we can’t understand but sure, let’s run with is none other than rainbow hair. The spectrum of colours is no longer restricted to prism reflections and instead has found its way into haute society by being adopted by top stylists and global stars.

BS_rainbow-hair2To say that this trend isn’t for the faint-hearted would be an understatement. We can only imagine women (and men, looking good and feeling good about yourself is gender inclusive) who are supremely confident in their style and look taking on bright, multi-coloured tresses. Having established the fact that we’re not the biggest fans of this trend, let’s move on and actually break down what the fuss is all about.

First, let’s establish what rainbow hair isn’t: it isn’t a single colour pastel dye job (think pale pinks, sunset oranges and icy blues – an avid Instep reader will recall one of our editors taking this on). It isn’t even a two tone dye job. Rainbow hair requires having all or at least three shades of the rainbow worked into your luscious locks. You don’t have to dye your entire head of hair, you can do just roots or a hidden layer that is only revealed when you move or your hair is tied.

There are two versions of rainbow hair, bright and lite; self-explanatory for the most part. You can opt for bright hues that compliment (or contrast, whatever floats your boat) each other and are blended together to form a colour tapestry or you can play it safe (well, as safe as rainbow hair can be) by opting for the same shades but in pastel hues.

BS_rainbow-liteApart from being quite a bold trend to take on, rainbow hair isn’t exactly conducive to your mane. The colour requires extensive bleaching and if there’s anything that strips your hair completely of moisture (after daily heat styling) it’s bleach. Those interested in attempting the trend should know that even with new beauty technology like Olaplex and L’Oreal’s Smart Bond, your hair isn’t a hundred percent protected and it will feel like straw for weeks after. The protective treatments definitely save your hair from being fried but there’s only so much they can do when confronted with hydrogen peroxide. Those with naturally dry, coarse or curly hair will suffer even more so because there’s already very little moisture in their locks.

If all this is too much for you (and we won’t blame you for feeling a bit weirded out and overwhelmed) then find some relief in the fact that in the normal world where not everyone wants to be a unicorn, face framing highlights, bronde (blond and brown in a delicious mix) and icy platinum still rules the hair trend report. What will you be sporting this summer?

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