With Nicole Richie's new purple ‘do, and Ireland Baldwin going lilac a few hours later, maybe it’s a sign that it's time to start exploring non-natural shades of hair color once again—this time in the violet realm. While a whole head of Lite-Brite hair is still a viable option, there is a happy medium for those of us not ready to take the full-on purple plunge. In other words: let's try a watered-down approach. Remember Sienna’s moment with rose gold-tinted hair? The look is more of a wash than a traditional dye job.
The method is simple—and takes place in the comfort of a warm shower. Wash your hair and apply a layer of conditioner. While you’re standing there, after legs, underarms, and…anything else has been shaved, take a container (or two—like Ultra Violet and Bad Boy Blue) of Manic Panic and add some of the creamy paste on top of your conditioner. Coverage level is up to you—with your hair coated in a protective layer of conditioner, the intensity will be controlled already—but the length of time the solution is left to sit, the amount of pigment used, and the original shade of your hair will all effect the subtlety of the end result. And if you’re worried about the overall effect or concerned about the work-appropriateness of your new style, try an ombré, which is easily hide-able (just throw the colored bits up into a bun). The conditioning layer with help prevent any potentially harsh DIY ombré lines. The color will fade out a few washes later, so the commitment level is low, and it’s a whole new hair style for just a few dollars, a couple minutes, and, for one writer, a slightly ruined manicure and stained shower floor. (Maybe invest in some Lysol, too.)
Photos by Emily Weiss and Elizabeth Brockway.