If you've been toying with the idea of taking your hair a radically different color during quarantine, now might be a perfect time to go through with it. Shade wise, the options are endless: You could always go light and bright, a pastel pink or Zoom platinum, but if you're looking for something rich and more seasonal, consider the budding winter color trend of plum purple.
But before heading to the salon yourself, you may want some inspiration, and preferably a firsthand account of a successful plum purple dye job. Luckily, you'll find everything you need to know in the latest episode of Refinery29's makeover series, Hair Me Out. The star, Nicole Blitstein, dyes her virgin brunette hair to an autumnal, almost Pinot Noir shade of red-tinged plum that looks so good, you'll have to see it to believe it.
For her dramatic single-process color change, Blitstein consults expert stylist and colorist Marilyn Lizardo, who informs her that plum is a surprisingly versatile shade. "I think plum hair is trending for fall," says Lizado. "It can be a big and drastic change, or a lighter, more subtle change with plum undertones."
For Blitstein's color, Lizardo used two subtly-different dye formulas and painted the first over the mid-length and ends of her hair — about an inch off the root. "This is so she doesn't get a hot root," Lizardo explains before applying a secondary formula directly to her roots. After letting the pink-ish red dye process under a shampoo cap for forty-five minutes, Lizardo takes Blitstein to the bowl for shampoo and conditioner before bringing her back to the chair for heat styling.
As with any processed-color treatment, Lizardo takes ample precautions to ward against damage and breakage. Before hitting the freshly-dyed hair with a blowdryer, she smooths a heat protectant and hair oil on her strands to ensure maximum softness and bounce. As for plum color maintenance, Lizardo recommends a routine salon visit every six to 10 weeks. "This can be a protective shine gloss or a root touchup," she explains. "Then at home, you should use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner, and applying a shower-head filter will also be helpful."
Equipped with a pro maintenance plan, Blitstein finally gets to see her brand-new plum hair, and her reaction is nothing short of shocked — in the best way. "Seeing the reveal in the mirror was super, super dope," she says, running her fingers through her deep-purple waves. "It wasn't what I was expecting, which made it really fun. This is going to boost my confidence — give me a pep in my step, and help me see myself in a completely different light."
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