Shortly after lockdown began and hair salons closed, a surprising hair trend emerged.
Instead of attempting to bleach dark roots blonde or achieve salon-worthy brunette balayage at home, many people opted to disguise their #lockdownhair by going pink instead.
The trend is still going strong, with Boots reporting a 900% increase in searches for ‘pink hair dye’ compared to this time last year, and Knight & Wilson saying sales of its pink pizazz shade have surged 160% during lockdown.
Celebrities are loving the pink hair trend, too, with Lady Gaga unveiling bubblegum pink locks, fellow pop star Dua Lipa choosing a cherry shade, and Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland giving her brunette waves a vibrant raspberry makeover.
Thinking about trying a rose-coloured look yourself? With salons in Ireland currently preparing to open on July 20, which is still quite some way off, now is a great time to get involved.
But there are a few things to know first. Here, colourists offer seven top tips for taking the plunge…
1. Pick a flattering pink
“All pinks have slightly different undertones,” says Jodie Searle, senior colourist at Michael Van Clarke. “Think about what would complement your skin colour. Do you generally suit warm or cool tones? Baby pink and purple are generally cooler shades, and rose gold has warmer undertones.”
2. Don’t bleach your hair at home
“If your hair is natural or coloured brunette or darker, the chances are you will have to bleach or pre-lighten your hair before you can apply a fashion shade such as pink,” Searle says. “This is not something I would recommend you do at home.” So if you don’t already have a lightened panel in your hair, you may have to wait until salons have reopened.
3. Start with semi-permanent dye
“Always use a semi-permanent colour,” Searle says, but remember that even these dyes can be very strong. “If applied on porous or bleached hair, it can be almost permanent. So if your hair is bleached, bear in mind it could last a lot longer than you expect.”
4. Do a strand test
“When dying your hair pink, always make sure to do a strand test,” says Jenna Meek, founder and creative director of Shrine. “Simply take a small strand from the back of your hair.”
Pink dyes vary a lot according to your base colour, so by testing the colour on a small section you can see what the end result will look like, before you commit to a whole head of hair.
5. Apply colour evenly
“When applying the pink hair dye, make sure you section the hair and apply evenly,” says Meek. “Comb through the hair to help make it equal.” If colour isn’t applied evenly you could end up with streaks or patches.
“Reaching the back of your hair can be difficult,” she adds, “particularly if you’re doing it yourself, so always make sure you brush your hair through and use a hand held mirror.”
6. Maintain your shade
“Maintaining vibrant pink hair is often dependent on your original hair colour,” Meek says. “The best way you can keep the colour for longer is by adding drops of semi-permanent pink dye to your normal conditioner, this should keep it lasting for much long.”
7. Beware stains
“Protect your skin and surrounding areas when you colour your hair pink,” Searle says. “These colours stain and may not be removable on some surfaces.” Try putting Vaseline around your hairline and make sure to cover your clothing with an old towel.
Pink picks: 5 of the best home hair dyes
1. Bleach London Super Cool Colour Rose Gold, €7.13
2. Schwarzkopf LIVE Shocking Pink 093 Semi-Permanent Hair Dye, €5.49, Boots
3. Knight & Wilson Colour- Freedom Pink Pizazz, €7.66
4. L’Oreal Colorista Hair Makeup Hot Pink Temporary Blonde Hair Colour, €9.49, Boots
5. Shrine Drop It Hair Colourant Pink, €16.99, Boots