When Pantone announced the 2018 Color of the Year, it didn’t take long for people to jump on the bandwagon. From lip color to eyeshadow to nail polish, Ultra Violet has been popping up all over the makeup aisles and in beauty routines. But perhaps the most daring way people are incorporating it into their look is by dyeing their hair various shades of this bold color.
A quick search for “ultraviolethair” on Instagram yields hundreds of images showing variations of the purple hue, like dip-dyed ends and subtle streaks, to give you all the inspiration you need. But if you’re thinking of taking the plunge and trying out this trendy color for yourself, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
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Willow Larkin, Premier and Master Colorist at Gene Juarez Salon and Spas, says anyone can pull off Ultra Violet hair, but there are a couple things to take into consideration. She says that bold and vivid violet tones require more maintenance and might not be acceptable for every work environment.
“Intense violet involves a lightening process prior to a stain to create vivid results and aren’t always easily removed out of the hair, while at the same time can fade rapidly depending on home care and hair porosity,” she said. A more muted tone could be more appropriate for your lifestyle, and depending on placement, can be easily hidden and requires less upkeep.
If you want to participate in the trend without over-processing to your hair, Larkin recommends darker shades of violet or eggplant, which she says can be a good option for someone who doesn’t want as intense a look. These shades also can be achieved without having to go through the bleaching process, but will show up when the light hits it. Anyone whose hair is already lightened can achieve a similar effect with a rinse or stain, which Larkin says will fade within a few washes and requires less upkeep.
For commitment-phoebes, Larkin has the perfect solution. She says you can get the look of Ultra Violet hair with extensions or clip-ins, which can be easily placed and moved. “Clip-in extensions are an awesome choice for younger kids and anyone who wants to easily remove and place their own sections and requires zero commitment,” she said.
A higher-maintenance color like Ultra Violet needs special attention to keep the color looking its best, so it’s important to use the proper products after you leave the salon. Larkin recommends “a professional brand sulfate-free shampoo” to help prolong the life of your color. She says to also beware that vivid colors like this can transfer onto lighter colored clothing or white bathtubs.
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Unfortunately this isn’t a color that can be easily achieved at home and is best left to the professionals. Many stylists are also “specially trained to tailor services for each individual client to preserve the integrity of the hair and increase the durability of their color,” Larkin says. Attempting a DIY dye-job can also result in an unwanted shade or damaged hair, which will end up requiring a trip to the salon anyway to have it corrected.