Rock the Runway’s Colorful Streaks: What to Tell Your Colorist

Multicolored hair has become so ubiquitous on the runway that it barely even registers as alternative anymore. When Oscar de la Renta is doing it, it's mainstream. But that doesn't mean your boss would compliment your all-over pink color the way she would a fresh cut. Depending on your industry and the level of professional dress demanded by your position, nowadays you can probably get away with a little hint of a non-natural color. But if professionalism is a concern you might not want to DIY this one. So, what do you tell your colorist when you're asking for multicolored streaks? 

"There's a way to do colorful streaks without looking like a mall rat," Master Stylist Christine from the Andre Richard Salon in Philadelphia said. When a client works in a more conservative field, she would suggest tone on tone color using a natural color like blonde or brown as an accent color through placement that would make it pop.

"If they can do a bright funky color, the placement of the foil is going to be crucial to that," Christine said. I saw this to be very much true in Christine's careful placement of pink, purple, blue and lavender streaks in my blonde hair. "[Tell your stylist that you] want something that's going to be a little different, a different color but nothing that's going to be too in your face or too overpowering."

She accomplished this on my hair by keeping the streaks underneath the top layer of my hair. While I've generally done color on the bottom layer in the past, Christine and I were inspired by the Oscar de la Renta Resort 2013 runway (above) to make the placement a little more intricate.

"You can always do [streaks] on the side or underneath, depending on the haircut, which is very important," she said.

The salon carried a wide variety of bright colors, but just in case, you might want to bring some with you. I brought some colors I had used in the past to my appointment, and Christine matched them up to colors from their collection, adding a few ideas of her own. Also an important point: If you have chosen a salon and stylist you trust, trust them. I explained my color history, and told Christine generally what I was looking for, and gave her pretty free rein. She brought a lot of creativity and inspiration to my color that I never would have thought of, like a slight Kelly Osbourne-esque lavender over the blonde highlights on top of my hair. 

Also be sure to ask about any specific instructions for caring for your new color. It's likely to be a little more difficult to maintain than your normal hair color. "At home care is crucial because you want sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, that way you're not using anything with harsh detergents that's going to suck the dye molecule right out," Christine said. "Wash your hair in lukewarm water, keeping the cuticle sealed as much as possible, and do a cool rinse at the end."

[Photo by Xavi Menós via Pinterest]