I’m A Pink (Haired) Lady


Perhaps the idea came from my laptop wallpaper: Kate Moss photographed under the covers by Juergen Teller [11]. Or maybe it was my desktop at work: Malgosia Bella shot by Camilla Akrans for Vogue Spain [12]. Or maybe those two images are actually evidence of my unconscious drive to dye. (Catch that, Sigmund?) In any event, a week ago, I felt the urge to go pink.

I had one request for Aura Friedman, a fancy (aka pricey) colorist at the very fancy (aka pricey) Sally Hershberger Salon in the Meatpacking District, who now essentially specializes in atypical dye jobs (Soo Joo, Sky Ferriera, and Lady Gaga): No bleaching my hair!

Not a problem, she said. And she was all for pink, which, yes, has definitely been done before. We saw the aforementioned Young Pink Kate all the way back in 1998, and many a rocker (Alison Mosshart or Sky Ferriera), movie star (Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren), and teenager (me and countless others) have taken a stab at Barbie’s color of choice.

"Pink is a good color because it’s very flattering on all skin tones," Aura said. "Depending on warm or cool, there are so many great variations in the spectrum. For you, I want to put darker pinks at the top and lighter pinks on the tips so that there is a gradation, which will give it a more organic feeling. I want to emulate nature to make it look pretty and natural, even though it’s not.” Aura, you’re a genius.

With six bowls of vegetable dye [5] on hand, I said goodbye to my flaxen hair, and put my tresses in the hands of an expert. “These are 'direct dyes,' which means the color molecules are big enough so that the color you see in the bottle is basically the color of your soon-to-be hair, and they're very temporary. As it fades out over the course of three to six weeks, it will be a different color every day. I love that. If you want to make it last, take lukewarm-to-cold showers, which will help keep the cuticle closed and the tone in. I generally recommend using a Wella Brilliance Treatment Mask for Fine to Normal Colored Hair to help with that, as well. It just seals everything in.” Sold. (Aura's a spokesperson for Wella, I should note.)

Sure, D.I.Y.-ing it with Manic Panic or Davines’ Alchemic Conditioner (in Red) is great, but I've learned there is something to be said for professional help, especially if you're after a more “natural” look—a variety of blush shades rather than a singular electric stain. And I'm clearly not the only one who's interested in having an unprofessional color applied by a professional: these days, wacky dye options sit right next to “highlights” on high-end salon menus. Bergdorf Blondes beware—the pink-haired now walk among you.

Oh, and Mom, if you’re reading this, I dyed my hair. It's cool, right?

—Elizabeth Brockway

[1] Photo by Elizabeth Brockway, [2-11]Photos by David Sabshon,  [12] Kate Moss photographed by Juergen Teller, [13] Malgosia Bella photographed by Camilla Akrans.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Tori
  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    Loved this post! I used to do this a lot last year, with Manic Panic and the like. My hair was never bleach blonde, so the colors were always less flamboyant, anyway. To prevent any highlighter colors or an overly punk/scene hue, I always diluted with conditioner or their "virgin snow" color. I think my favorite thing to do, however, is the My Little Pony look, that consisted of putting pink, purple, and aqua onto my hands (along with their diluted siblings) and simply rubbing them in, in no particular manner. This post has me wanting to do that again, but I'm afraid that in my now near-bob hair, it would look a lot less cool with color than when it was long.

  • ameliaaaa

    you look gorgeous !!!!!! and i love the ending

    • ITGElizabeth

      aw shucks, thanks!

  • isaobeso

    It looks so cool on you! and actually, on the pictures, it just looks like there's a pink filter on or something, so I do think it looks kind of "natural"... really like it

    visit me at http://www.peoplewearfashion.com

  • http://wittywhimsicality.blogspot.com/ Darcy Day

    How are you liking it?? I thought about going a lilac color at one point, but I got scared! Great post! I love all the different pinks in your hair.


    • ITGElizabeth

      Hi Darcy,

      Thanks! I'm loving it still. It's faded a bit and I'm thinking I'll keep it a few more weeks until I need a haircut/color touch up and then will go back to my "normal" blonde for the rest of the summer. I say go for it with lilac! That would be my other color of choice for a full head of rainbow hair.


      • http://wittywhimsicality.blogspot.com/ Darcy Day

        I just might have to go lilac then! :-) Thanks for replying!


  • Anna

    Love the way Laura takes it "I want to emulate nature to make it look pretty and natural, even though it’s not". Find a right hairdresser is certainly a key-point.
    Anna from

  • Sara Emotionally

    I just found your blog and you have great style! I follow you and hope you visit my blog. Kisses

  • Jessica

    wait - the hair is bleached, isn't it?

  • Nicole

    I love this! I've wanted pink hair for soooo long now, but I'm afraid my super-conservative job wouldn't like it. Red seems the craziest I can go.

  • caitlin willard

    it looks amazing on you. and i must say you have the MOST gorgeous, thick supermodel hair!

  • Arielle

    I've been contemplating getting pink highlights. Do you by any chance know if any decent salon is able to do unconventional colors like this? Or do I have to seek out someplace special, like you did? Also, any chance you could reveal how much you paid at SH?

  • Jane

    how much did it set you back? ballpark figure?