One of the many things we love about the pastel-hair phenomenon is that it's so versatile — you can choose your own My Little Pony adventure. If you're looking for a more subdued version of the trend, or are just plain ol' sick of babylights and tortoise-shell strands, Wella Professionals has released an in-salon color line — dubbed Instamatic — which was inspired by Instagram filters. "It's very fashion-inspired," says Jennifer J., color ambassador for Wella. Instamatic is a demi-permanent hair color, but it does contain a little bit of ammonia (about 20% of the amount of a typical permanent dye). This is because it's formulated to be used with Wella's Color.id, which requires ammonia. Color.id is unique in that it allows different colors to be painted throughout the hair without them bleeding into one another, allowing you to mix and match. "You can play around with colors," Jennifer says. "You could do ombré on one strand of hair, and the colors won't bleed." The line's five shades look soft and hazy when applied — a perfect whisper of color, made for the girl who wants to dabble in dye. (If you're looking for vibrant, this isn't for you.) It also includes a clear gloss. They're the kind you'd see dancing in front of you at Governors Ball or sprawled across a sandy beach in a Valencia-filtered snapshot.
As far as application goes, the world is your oyster. You can do just one color, applied throughout the hair, or you can layer multiple hues for a more dynamic look. Instamatic can also apply to both wet and dry hair, with different results. "If you use it on dry hair, you'll get a brighter hue," says Jennifer. "Wet hair will yield a more diluted look. Either way, it still has a really soft, pastel feel, and a matte texture." There is a catch for brunettes, though. "Since the color is so muted, if you apply it directly to dark hair, it will look really subtle," she says. "You really have to consider your starting point when deciding what you want the end result to be." So, if you want something brighter, talk to your colorist beforehand. At the moment, Instamatic is only available in-salon — and we say it's worth a visit. Candy colors will always hold a special place in our hearts, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to look Instagram-cool IRL.
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