There are some dye jobs that are best left to the professionals: Highlights, bleach, and intense color-correction are not things we'd attempt at home while bored in quarantine. But that doesn't rule out playing around with temporary color, and one of the easiest shades to experiment with is blue.
Hilary Duff proved the concept last week when she opted to dye her blonde hair a bright shade of aquamarine. "Blue is one of those colors that looks great on anyone," Rickey Zito, Matrix Brand Ambassador, says. "It doesn’t wash you out like other colors can, and, depending on your hair color and the shade of blue you’re trying to accomplish, you don’t always have to have pre-lightened hair."
Jaxcee, co-founder of The Coily Collective at Riccardo Maggiore Salon in the Flatiron District, put it simply: The darker your hair, the deeper the shade of blue. The lighter your hair, the brighter the blue. "On dark brunette hair, a shiny midnight blue-black is achievable, whereas vivid blue will appear on pre-lightened hair," she says.
Products like rinse-out color-depositing masks, glosses, and temporary hair waxes make it easy to try out a blue hue at home without totally regretting it or ruining your strands. "The best way to achieve a blue tone on your existing color at home is to use a product like Overtone Blue for Brown Hair Conditioner," Jaxcee recommends. "Color conditioners are great because you can build the color brightness with every use."
Color wax is another fun and temporary way to dye your hair, and it completely washes out after you shampoo. Jaxcee recommends using Crown Paint Colors in Power Suit, a reflective navy that will still show up on dark hair. Marcel Stephanie, a New Orleans-based hairstylist, used a custom mix of Joico Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color and Botanika products to add vibrant temporary color to her brother's curly hair below. If you have lighter strands, like Hilary Duff's, you can try tinted pastel or neon blue colors.
The real work starts after you apply your DIY hair color. "Use a gentle or color-safe shampoo in the weeks to come to maintain your blue," Jaxcee recommends. "Don’t expect your blue shade to stay vibrant without proper aftercare." For straight to wavy hair textures, Jaxcee suggests Bumble and Bumble Color Minded Shampoo. On curls, she prefers Mizani Cleansing Conditioner, which gently removes buildup without stripping your strands dry. Zito also recommends the Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid collection to his color clients. "Using the Keep Me Vivid Color Lamination Spray once a week really helps to seal in the color and keep it vibrant," he says.
But, like all good things, temporary home hair coloring should be practiced in moderation to avoid longterm damage. "Try not to use a color conditioner or a similar product more than once a week," Jaxcee says. "It can cause buildup and leave your hair noticeably matte and heavy." So before going color-happy in quarantine, make sure that you have the right products on hand — and let your blue hair run its course.
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