Since the rise of Instagram, we’ve seen some of the most extreme hair color trends emerge. Rose gold hair hit the scene shortly after rose gold became the Internet’s new favorite color. Unicorn hair rose to fame in a pastel rainbow explosion. Sunset hair took over in a wave of red, orange, and yellow. Mermaid hair became the cool-toned answer to sunset hair. With the rise of all these vivid dye jobs, it was only a matter of time before Instagram combined its love of extreme hair trends with its love of everything holographic to bring us: holographic hair.
Holographic hair was invented by the colorists at Ross Michael’s Salon in Seattle, where they used a variety of different Pravana hair dyes to achieve a multidimensional hair look that took Instagram by storm. Not long after, hundreds of different variations of holographic hair began popping up, making it one of the most explosive new hair trends today.
What is holographic hair?
We’d love if we could make our hair color actually shift and shine in the light, but since we can’t, holographic hair uses swaths of different vibrant colors to create the illusion of being holographic. There are many different variations of holographic hair, but the constant is that there must always be a base color to add dimension and mimic the part of the holographic material that is not hitting the light. Then, highlights are added in a variety of different multicolor combinations to create the holographic effect. With the right dye placement, your hair will really look like it’s gleaming and glistening!
Is holographic hair for me?
Any hair type can rock holographic hair! However, it is important to keep your hair color in mind; if you have hair any darker than platinum blonde, it will need to be bleached for the dyes to have their full effect. Since holographic hair typically uses pastels and other light colors, it requires very light, almost white hair. Ask your colorist for more details specific to your current hair color.
Can I DIY holographic hair?
Since holographic hair requires careful placement of several different dyes, we strongly recommend you see a professional hair colorist for this particular dye job. Especially if your hair requires bleaching, this is not a job for the average person, or even a so-so stylist. Research colorists in your area so you can be sure you’ll get the best results. Also, be ready to commit to spending a long time in the stylist’s chair, because you’ll likely need several hours and maybe even more than one session to achieve true holographic hair.
Types of Holographic Hair
Holographic hair is a versatile hairstyle that can be personalized however you like. Whether you prefer pastels, bright, neon locks, or just want subtle rainbow highlights, there’s a holographic hairstyle for you.
Love the bright, candy-colored unicorn hair trend, but also want the multidimensional effect of holographic hair? Don’t worry about deciding between the two—you can have both at once! This dye job uses a cotton candy blue base and rainbow highlights throughout the hair.
This type of holographic hair uses a grey or silver base to create a metallic effect. The highlights used are colorful, but more muted than typical holographic hair. This particular version of holographic hair is perfect for someone who isn’t exactly going for work-appropriate-subtle, but doesn’t want a hairstyle so vivid it attracts stares either.
Neon hair don’t care; this dye job is for the woman who isn’t afraid to stand out. It uses a platinum base and layers highlighter-bright blue, green, yellow, orange, and pink highlights on top for hair that practically glows.
This subtle holographic style ditches the bright, rainbow hues seen in typical holographic hair for a muted, versatile grey-lavender-coral combination. It has the same multidimensional, holographic effect, but can be easier to match your outfits to or may be more appropriate for your workplace than other hairstyles.
Oil Slick-Holographic Hybrid
Remember the oil slick hair trend that also rose to popularity recently? Oil slick hair typically uses a deep, metallic grey along with jewel-toned green, blue, and purple to create an effect that mimics sunlight hitting a puddle of oil. This hair color uses the same idea, this time combined with holographic hair techniques. It’s also perfect for those whose hair is too damaged to bleach, since the oil slick-holographic hybrid uses deeper colors that work on brunette hair.
Teal(or another color)-Based Holographic
Holographic hair doesn’t always need a grey or blonde base. Flaunt your favorite color by adding a strong base in the shade of your choice, and ribboned rainbow highlights on top.
This type of dye job takes a different approach to holographic hair. Instead of the typical base-and-highlights style, prism highlights paint your hair with a cascade of rainbow hues. If you want a more experimental version of holographic hair, prism highlights are for you.
Satisfy your pastel needs with opalescent holographic hair. Inspired by the glinting, iridescent facets of opal gemstones, this hair uses soft highlights on a light silver base to create beautifully aesthetic tresses. Unlike neon or unicorn hair, opalescent hair uses baby blue, rose pink, dusty purple, and other muted pastel colors.
How do I take care of my holographic hair?
After you subject your hair to bleaching and intense pigments, it’s going to need a little bit of extra loving to stay healthy and strong. Use products specifically geared towards color-treated hair in order to make your dye job last the longest time possible. Eventually, though, your hair will fade, so in order to keep your dye as vibrant as possible, you’ll need to schedule touch-ups in the near future. Keep a couple bottles of shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair nearby and apply a hair mask every couple of weeks, and your hair color will stay rich and vibrant until the next time you hit the salon.
Is your hair too damaged for holographic hair? Afraid to commit to such a bold hairstyle? Or maybe your job doesn’t allow colored hair? Don’t worry, you can still join in on the fun! There are several different products out there for those who want a more temporary holographic ‘do.
Holographic Hair Foam
$22 at the time of publication
This holographic hair foam “is infused with vitamin-rich blue sea kelp extract and moonstone extract for a cosmic, iridescent reflection that can go from a subtle shimmer to a holographic finish,” according to Sephora. It’s perfect for the club, a music festival, or just when you want to add a little something more to your look. You can even add it on top of your holographic dye job to add a touch of sparkle! It’s vegan, an Allure Best of Beauty winner, and comes in two gorgeously iridescent shades. And you won’t need to commit, because it washes out easily at the end of the day.
This holographic hair foam is available at sephora.com.
Holographic Hair Tinsel
$7.99 at the time of publication
Another glimmery alternative to holographic hair color is clip-in holographic hair tinsel, which creates the illusion of having colorful highlights in the form of a temporary accessory. This hair tinsel is also perfect for younger girls who aren’t ready for hair dye, but want a little shimmer just for fun.
This holographic hair tinsel is available on amazon.com.
So now you have the holographic hair of your dreams. How do you match an outfit to such bold and eye-catching hair? We have the answer: go all out and accent your multicolored hair with holographic accessories! Grab a holographic handbag, holographic acrylic nails, or holographic boots to match your stunning locks.
Translucent Iridescent Barrel Bag
$59 at the time of publication
Asos Design Essence pointed ankle boots
$67 at the time of publication
Have we said the word “holographic” enough yet? Don’t worry, just one more time: Holographic hair is an aesthetically stunning hair color technique that combines the vivid colors of unicorn hair with the multi-dimensional look of highlights and lowlights. Ask your hair colorist about it the next time you’re looking for a bold hair change!
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