There’s a hair trend taking up residence on the strands of some of Hollywood’s hottest ladies: Colored locks in an array of rainbow shades. The latest celebrities to ditch the more season-appropriate ombre for bright, bold candy-colored manes are Kylie Jenner, who debuted her mermaid-teal hair at last weekend’s Coachella, and Julianne Hough, who Instagrammed a bubblegum pink hair transformation. But they are certainly not alone when it comes to swapping out classic shades of subtle browns and blondes for the trendier, colored hues. Kelly Osborne, Nicole Richie, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Rita Ora are just a few other A-listers who have dared to dye bright and colorful. Celebrity colorist Aura Friedman has worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Emily Mortimer, but it’s her complete hair color transformations that she’s most revered for. She took Felicity Jones, Soo Joo Park, and Sky Ferreira platinum, which is no easy feat. But she’s also amassed quite a following for her unique and creative dye jobs. Just browse her Instagram page for some heavenly hue inspiration. With summer quickly approaching and no signs of candy-colored hair slowing down, we asked Aura to bring us up to speed on this colorful craze and how we can try the trend without making a complete dye commitment.
TLLC: Candy-colored hair seems to have been a trend for quite some time now, from Nicole Richie’s ever-changing rainbow hues to Kelly Osborne’s staple lavender locks. How does this trend carry us into summer?
AF: The candy-colored tones are major for spring and summer, the nice thing about the pastel tones is that they are perfect for spring as the hair feels lighter overall and people are more willing to play with tones in the summer. Peaches, pinks, and lavender go well with the majority of skin tones which plays a big role in why these colors are so prevalent. Also, these candy-colored pastels are less shocking than the bright primary colors. It’s also been more socially accepted to have fun tones in your hair nowadays.
TLLC: What is the inspiration behind this trend?
AF: The original inspiration I was using came from late ’50s and 60s Playboy, believe it or not. I loved the combination of bleach and tone looks like Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe. The color that was used during that time and the matte finish of the pictures made all color look powdery; that’s what I really loved about it. I started playing with creating those colors by mixing all kinds of glosses and experimenting. That lead to the rose gold tones.
TLLC: Who do you pinpoint – celeb or street style star – as the impetus behind this colorful hair trend?
AF: I’d say Nicole Richie has been on point.
TLLC: What is your technique for creating this look?
AF: To get pastels and candy colors, you need to pre-lighten the hair, mix desired tone, and apply. These colors fade quickly, so I make my clients a custom color conditioner that will add more color. I recommend using it once a week to keep the tones fresh.
TLLC: What are the colors to try for summer and why?
AF: I love the pastel blues and sea foam greens; nothing says summer like an aquatic tone that matches the Caribbean Sea.
TLLC: Which of your celebrity clients are asking for this trend? And can you spill on who will be next?
AF: I’ve done deeper mermaid tones on Anna Paquin. I’ve also colored an opal-toned wig for Lady Gaga, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
TLLC: How can we incorporate this trend into our everyday lives without making the dye commitment?
AF: If you don’t want to commit to color, you can incorporate this trend by using hair chalk [editor’s note: Try Splat Hair Chalk ($6)] or by adding candy colored hair pieces. I recommend getting blonde human hair clip-on extension and having a DIY craft night by dying the hair pieces with Manic Panic ($10) or Pravana Pastels ($9).
TLLC: How do you see this trend evolving in the coming seasons?
AF: I see people playing with multiple pastels at the same time, using opal and pearl iridescent colors.