There are two things you should know about me: one, I never quite outgrew that whole Lisa Frank/My Little Pony phase that seemed to become far less fashionable after the seventh grade; and two, I not-so-secretly wish I was a mermaid. Which is why, when I had a trip planned to London, the inner child in me made it a priority to check out Bleach to achieve mermaid-Lisa-Frank-status hair.
The British salon responsible for these looks and this hair was the obvious choice for my fun summer color makeover. So I made an appointment with colorist Grace at their Dalston location (the very trendy Williamsburg-y neighborhood of East London) to take me from everyday blonde to something slightly more adventurous. Much like last year, my instructions were simply “no bleach.” Per Grace’s suggestion, instead of sticking to a single color, we grabbed several—green, purple, magenta, yellow, blue, and orange.
“At the moment a lot of people are going for a more natural, grown-up, highlighted look rather than the dip-dye, which I find to be really nice,” Grace explained, before warning that my results might vary on my golden blond hair. “When there’s any other kind of tone in the hair, it sometimes alters the finished color. For instance, if you put a blue or purple on top of quite yellow-y hair, it can turn a bit green as it’s washing out. But you can always neutralize the colors. If your hair turned green, you can use a rose tint to cancel it out. If a pastel look is what you want, leave the color on your hair for about 10 minutes and then just rinse out—don’t shampoo it! And try to only use cold water on the hair, warmer temperatures will make the color fade a lot quicker. Maybe only wash it once or twice a week if you can, and load up on dry shampoo.”
In one short morning salon visit, I—to paraphrase a wise colleague—let my inner weirdo become my outer weirdo, and fully embraced my undying love for the rainbows-and-unicorns aesthetic. Though the colors are subtle and less obvious at night, the sun brings them out majestically in full daylight. For anyone still looking for a way to dabble in the world of technicolor hair, give multi-toned highlights a try—or a "go," as they say in the UK.