There’s no doubt about it, My Little Pony-inspired multi-toned tresses are not going away. Somehow this season it’s so much cooler and chicer than on Snooki circa 2010. Pink and lavender locks used to come at the cost of damaging peroxide jobs (or trashy extensions), but now it’s the least damaging thing one can do to switch up their ‘do—not to mention so on-trend. (This year, runways from Prada to Narciso Rodriguez have seen boldly hued hair via products like Kevin Murphy’s Color.Bug hair shadows.)
I’ve been having a great time experimenting with chalking—buy a set of pastels at any art store!—which works best on lighter hair (on darker hair, use deeper colors) and is easy to rub on after spraying a coat of something like Redken’s Wax Blast 10. If you’re OK with texture in your hair, this is your best bet for achieving a colorful balayage look. Just be careful wearing light colors!
The easiest of all to use is hair mascara. This summer Sultra came out with four cute neon colors (Capri Coral and Lapis Blue are my faves) that are as simple to wield as a mascara wand—use it down the whole length of your hair in strips or just paint the ends, dip-dye style. There’s also Streekers, a liquid that goes on with a lip gloss-esque sponge in vivid brights—best of all, you can brush and style your hair without flaking or fading.
I’m eagerly anticipating even more new formulas debuting later this year, solidifying this fantastical look in both the real and editorial worlds. For newbies, I recommend starting out subtle, woven through a braid or poking out of a bun (like at Oscar de la Renta’s resort show), and building up to a stronger Prada-esque statement. But really, there’s no wrong way to do it when the commitment is two washes...max.