When I was a teenager, I had this friend named Caitlin. Caitlin’s parents were incredibly progressive and gave her tons of creative freedom, especially with her appearance. One afternoon after junior high, we made our way to her house to listen to some Adam Ant and talk about boys, when she pulled out a colored hair spray and suggested that I color my bangs cobalt blue. My heart leapt in my throat. My mother would kill me.
Of course I said yes. A good three minutes later and I had defiant cobalt blue streaks in my hair. I was officially a rebel without a clue.
My mother picked me up after she got off work and she took one look at my hair, waved to Caitlin and said, “Get in the car.” I got home and it was immediately into the shower with me, with a command not to return until I looked like myself again. Womp womp.
And that, friends, was the last time I played with vibrant hair color. It was also the last time I was allowed to go to Caitlin’s house after school.
My entire adult life, I’ve wanted to do it. I’ve wanted to recapture a touch of that cobalt blue badassness I had for, like, a brief two hours of my youth. But, I can’t really get with the permanence of completely lifting and coloring my hair. So, with everyone and their brother chalking their hair to get these amazing, rainbow-hued streaks of color, I was enthusiastic to do the same. I grabbed two different methods and went for it.
The first method was to use actual art chalk, twist the ends and rub the chalk furiously on my damp ends. I have no idea if it was my deep color of my hair, but art chalk didn’t work for me. Like, at all. A little color would come off, but nothing extraordinary. Womp womp.
So, I blew my hair out and tried the second option, which is Anastasia Beverly Hills Hypercolor Brow & Hair Powder. With claims that it can be used on any type of hair, I crossed my fingers and decided to try for dry hair instead (the art chalk was super rough on my ends, so no more of that).
The instructions said to apply a leave-in conditioner, but I went for a really nourishing hair product, Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Oil-in-Cream, which is what I use regularly to keep my ends from saying, “OMG, we’re leaving the house?!? Isn’t it 1000 degrees outside?” and fraying in fear.
A touch of the Shu product, then I applied the hair powder to my fingers and rubbed the ends. It worked. I added a touch of the lavender hue, then sealed the entire look with L’Oreal Elnett Extra Strong Hold Unscented Hair Spray. Because, you know, I still want my hair to move, but I’d like to protect my sheets and clothes, even though a little collateral damage is to be expected. I have a sheet over my white couch and old pillowcases at the ready.
Enthusiastically, I used a makeup brush to paint some streaks over my bangs. I wasn’t going for the full-on hair color effect, but I can see where if I’d decided to go full-force color, I could easily do it. I’m pleased with the results. My inner junior high school rebel is satisfied, even if I never did get to run off with a British 80’s pop hero.
I’m keeping this hair powder around for occasions where I just need to feel a touch more rock and roll than I do on a daily basis. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s not permanent, and sometimes revisiting your younger junior high baby bad ass is just what you need.
OK, so I’m dying to hear about your bright hair color experiences. Did you mom freak when you tried to alter your hair color? Have you ever tried hair powder, are you a Manic Panic gal, or are you a regular-color-thank-you-very-much kind of gal?