Julie Daunt discusses the pastel pink phase
“Wow, that’s an interesting hair colour!” This is a usual comment I hear regarding my pink hair. Yes, it’s not your average mousey brown (although that is what my natural hair colour is). And yes, it does attract attention, sometimes unwanted. In my job I got called various names such as “The Pink Lady” and “Pink Panther” by the other staff. Most of our regular customers didn’t know my name, but would identify me by my hair. I can be easily picked out of a crowd. In a packed pub, my friends can usually find me by looking for my locks. You’d be fooled into thinking that pink is my favourite colour. But what made me decide to make such a drastic change to my head? Is it really bad for my hair? Where did this pink trend start?
I have always been dying my hair. Since I was twelve when my mother first put highlights in my hair, I’ve had a serious hair dying addiction. It started off with various shades of brown and blonde. Soon I was going more drastic from the blackest black to a vibrant red. However, I always got tired of my hair and within a few weeks, I’d change it again. Over a year ago, after I had been black again for a while, I was getting bored and decided to go white blonde. And so began the laborious bleaching process.
If any of you have experimented with your hair, you’ll know the harsh effects of bleach. My hair, as expected with going from either end of the spectrum, became dry and brittle and I had to get large chunks cut off every time I bleached it. However, I wanted it white blonde and white blonde I was going to get. But after getting most of it cut off, and with it becoming in very poor condition, I was beginning to have second thoughts. So I started to look for alternative colours and ways that wouldn’t harm my hair any more.
That’s when I came across vegetable dyes. I had used them before when I went a shocking red and orange (which was a complete accident!), but my hair wasn’t blonde at the time, so it didn’t stick as much and faded quickly. Now that I had a pretty light base, I thought, why not! I chose pink as I figured it would stick better and would fade to a nicer colour than say blue, which would fade to a green (and my hair still had some copper tones in it as I had bleached it from black). I didn’t want it a shocking pink, so I mixed the dye with some white conditioner to make a lighter shade. I’d put the dye on my hair and leave it on for a few minutes (or half an hour if I wanted it to be more vibrant) and voila! What’s more, because the dye is vegetable based and mixed with conditioner, my frazzled hair has become sleeker and stronger, which is good!
I’m not the only one to have gone down the pink path. Celebrities such as Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry, Hayley Williams and Willow Smith have tried the trend. Many cite Gwen Stefani as the pink hair inspirer from her ‘No Doubt’ days of the 1990’s. Stefani even took to the red carpet sporting her bubblegum bob. There are numerous Tumblr and other blog sites dedicated to the pink craze. Hair chalks, dip dyes and even clip-in coloured streaks can be seen in nearly every high-street shop.
Even if you’re not a fan, it seems pink hair is here to stay, at least according to last year’s fashions weeks such as Toronto. The “trend” started back in 2011 when Charlotte Free took to the runways of various shows with her bubble-gum hued hair. For this season, the 90’s are back, apparently, with designers teaming washed out denim and over-sized sweatshirts with pastel pink locks. Candy coloured clothes are also on trend for the spring season.
However, this pink hair is not a recent fad, but in fact can be dated right back to as early as 1914. The 1940’s also saw pink hair being a trend in America. But it is perhaps the punk era that really introduced pink and various other colours. While pink may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it has definitely had a lasting effect on the catwalks and in Hollywood. So if you are thinking of changing your hairstyle and colour and you want to go for something different from the boring browns and blondes, then here’s my advice: think pink.