How to maintain your unicorn hair color

So a few weeks ago when Kim Kardashian dyed her platinum locks bright pink, all of us were like, “Yo, is that a filter or did she really do the thing?” Turns out, she did. And we’re kind of here for it.

Having rainbow colored hair has become a pretty normal thing over the past few years, but even if you have a job that doesn’t require “natural hair colors,” what do you need to know before doing the damn thing, or you know before just like, ruining your hair?

Personally speaking as a purple haired person, I can let you know that it may seem super simple to dye your whole head blue or pink, but you should definitely take a sec and prepare yourself for the maintenance and list of things that can go wrong…

Yoshico Alexis Ogawa is a hair colorist at Pierre Michel Salon and she is basically expert level in rainbow colored hair — and has been taking it next level, just peep her Instagram and you’ll be literally amazed.

So before you head on out to your local Hot Topic to buy up all the pink manic panic, read our Q&A with Yoshico for all the pertinent knowledge you should know so you don’t have to shave your head.

What got you interested in trying colorful and rainbow styles on your clients?

I wanted to become a painter at some point in my life, when I saw all those crazy colors on social media, I just had to try it — and fell in love with the result, the craziness of it, and the fact I can really bring my clients lifestyle, perspective and self-esteem that they wanted or they were looking for.

What has been your most favorite color or style you’ve done to date?

I do like pinks, nudes, silvers but it’s hard to say which one is my most favorite. I love my color when my clients can’t stop taking their selfies or posting their hair on social media. That moment, that color is my favorite.

If someone were to want to go for a rainbow color — like say Kim K’s pink that she did recently, where would you recommend they start?

Talk to the right person. DIY seems so much cheaper and when your friends say they can do it because it doesn’t look that hard or they have done it — talk to us before stopping by a beauty supply. We will know what to tell you, even when you think we would tell you it’d cost you so much, get our opinion. Please. You wouldn’t perform a plastic surgery on yourself just because it’s cheaper that way or seems easy. And if you can’t or don’t want to pay for it, ask them how and what to do and what to buy.

What is the hardest thing about getting pastel colors on clients?

Their patience, and to have them understand that it is a HARD PROCESS to do for us too. It takes so much time, sometimes we have to bleach them 3-4 times to make the hair bright enough. Sometimes (most of the time) clients think it would take around the same amount of time as regular single process, but no — it takes around 4-10 hours. And we want to take enough time so that we don’t have to damage your hair more than it needs to be.

Once you change someone’s hair to a rainbow color, what are some tips for keeping the color bright and/or any maintenance tips?

Don’t wash as much as you’d like to. We have to bleach the hair bright enough so that the color will show. Your hair is not as virgin/healthy as before, which means, your hair isn’t perfectly healthy for the color to hold on to. Use dry shampoo or super mild shampoo. Also, you can try shampoos with colors or conditioners with color tint.

Many times you have to bleach hair to get it light enough to get a specific color, what are your recommendations for keeping hair healthy when going for a major change?

Allow us to use protection (like Olaplex) even when the colorist tells you it costs you a bit more when bleaching — and use good shampoo and conditioner at home as recommended, [then] come back to see us for deep conditioner. We don’t say this to make you spend more money.

Sometimes the color bleeds and dyes clothing or sheets or your entire shower — what are your tips for keeping the colors in your hair and not everywhere else?

Again, avoid DIY. Use cool or cold water to rinse, wear a t-shirt that you don’t need or shirt with buttons in the front (also the ones you don’t love anymore), avoid white towels, white bed sheets and white pillow cases.

What are your top three super secrets to having really cool rainbow hair?

Try coming in with untouched (by yourself) hair, maintenance is VERY IMPORTANT (listen to us. Ex; good shampoo and conditioner, leave on treatment, temperature of flat/curling iron you use, deep conditioner/mask, wash less, etc). NO DIY.

I’ve heard of using vinegar to rinse colored hair to keep the color from bleeding, have you heard of any of these weird home remedies and do you know if any of them really work?

Yes and no — It can depend on what color we/they’ve used. With some color, rinsing with vinegar on daily basis locks the color in and gives the hair shine. With some color, it strips the color out. I’ve also heard of egg yolk and olive oil mix as a conditioner, they all say it makes the hair softer, less tangled and shiny — add some honey for damaged repair. Avocado, coconut oil and honey mix will tame the frizz, makes the color show more vivid, [and] banana and honey mix can protect your hair from further damage from bleach.

Do you have any colors or styles in mind that you want to try out and haven’t yet gotten to try on a client?

There are so many and there will be more. I want to try the ones that are already out there and also would love to create more new looks. Rainbow colors or neon colors are not really for EVERYONE. I want no one to hesitate to talk to us, even when you don’t want drastic, you can always start with one piece of hair. Something that will give you tiny butterflies when you do your hair in the morning.

For More on Yoshico Alexis Ogawa

Instagram | Pierre Michel Salon

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