Ever wanted to dye your hair pink? As a professional hair stylist I would say THE most popular alternative hair colour request is for p!nk hair, so you’re not alone. This atomic shade is like the blonde hair of the alternative world. Why? Because they both got binga-banga-bing-bong sex appeal! Lets look at the whys and wherefores of funky fuchsia hair and what it says about you…

Meaning and Symbolism

Pink is traditionally a girl’s colour, and as a result is associated with youthfulness, love and femininity. Salmon shades are a softer, less violent red. Both colors denote love, but while red is direct, hot and passionate, carnation tones suggest playfulness, flirtation and romance. “Dressed in Pink Makes The Boys Wink” is an old expression suggesting that men find this feminine colour attractive. In Japan, the sex appeal of cheery blossom tones are well known. Japanese adult movies are known as ‘pink films’ due to the colours sexual connotations. In feng shui, this colour is connected to love and marriage and is believed to soothe the Anime sex dolls.

Fame and Celebrity

Pink is probably the most famous alternative hair colour. P!nk, the singer, made her name from her iconic hair colour. Lily Allen also made an entrance with flamingo hair at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Avril Lavigne’s blonde and fuchsia streaks are famous in her music video “Girlfriend”. Gwen Stefani had memorable ‘Hollywood Cerise’ hair back in 2000. Kelly Osbourne (daughter of Ozzy Osbourne) not only likes magenta hair on herself, but has also dyed her dog’s fur to match. In 2006, actress Rachel McAdams sparked the question “Is pink the new blonde?” with her punkish fuchsia streaks.

Teen singer Joss Stone dyed her hair a cotton candy shade to annoy her record label bosses after they begged her to become a blonde. MySpace models Audrey Kitching and super drag queen Jeffrey Star both made a reputation with this iconic hair colour. Britney Spears even has her fluorescent wig. Tarina Tarantino the jewelry designer is also famous for her ‘pinkmoon’ hair, and even teamed up with Barbie to produce the limited edition Tarina Tarantino Barbie doll – with, of course, bright pink hair. Lastly, let’s not forget My Little Pony with its original magenta mane. Having so many celebrities – usually alternative celebrities to some degree – adopt this hair colour at one time or another only increases the popularity of having pink hair.

Psychology

Cerise is the ‘sweet’ colour that makes things taste ‘better’

As it happens, this cup cake colour has an interesting physiological on effect people. It’s actually known to makes us crave sugar. This is partially why pink dye is added to cotton candy (or “fairy floss, although it would be a brave fairy – or a little runty one that’s been bullied by the tooth fairy – who’d floss their teeth with pure pink sugar”) since processed sugar is white. Psychological studies have also shown that sweet pastries are thought to taste better when they come out of cup cake coloured boxes or are served on pink plates.

Calming rose shades could sap Samson’s strength better than a haircut

This amazing colour has also been found to have a tranquilizing effect. Some studies suggest that male weightlifters seem to lose strength in French rose coloured rooms. Prison holding cells have been painted pink as an experiment and have effectively reduced erratic behavior. The tranquilizing effect of this tone was made use of at Iowa State University in the 1970s: Football coach Hayden Fry had the visiting team’s locker room painted cerise as a much-debated attempt to, erm, relax the players more than they would have liked!

What Colours Work With P!nk Streaks?

Fuchsia streaks in your hair can look really stunning when you match them with complementary colours. The opposite tone in the colour wheel is light green, so this combination will give a great contrast. Fortunately this colour works well with almost all the other colours. One good combination would be pink and blue streaks. The only two that it will clash with is red and orange.

If you just want candy streaks and an all-over natural colour, I would suggest using black if you like hot magenta, and light blonde if you want cupcake colour streaks. Brown bases can look OK, but to really get those stunning streaks standing out, I’d suggest blonde or black for the natural all-over colour. Red heads with salmon streaks usually don’t work unless you’re specifically looking for a colour clash. For any combinations, you’ll need to put the colour in foil packets to stop them mixing.

Thing to Watch Out for When You Dye Your Hair

If you have had a previous alternative colour in your hair and it has washed out but you still have residue, you need to consider how this may effect the the result of the new shade of pink you wish to dye your hair…

For example: If I have recently had funky fuchsia in my hair, my hair will still have a light rosy residue. If I then want to put blue over it the result will be more of a purplish colour.(Pink + Blue = PURPLE)

Another example: If I previously had yellow in my hair last time, I will have a pale yellow residue left. If I then want to put p!nk over it, the result will be more of a light orange colour.(Yellow + Pink = LIGHT ORANGE)

Another thing to consider with dyeing your hair pink is which shade of pink you want to go for? How long do you want the colour to last? The darker the shade of dye, the longer it lasts, and the lighter the shade, the quicker it fades. For example, Special Effects ‘AtomicPink’ Dye can last for a month (or more if you know how to maintain) but FUDGE Paintbox ‘PinkMoon’ may only last two weeks.

Finally… Is Pink Truly the New Blonde?

I’ll let you decide. But one thing’s for sure – Its here to stay!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel a deep and unnatural urge to eat some candy floss…

Anya Goy is a professional senior hair stylist, who trained with some of the top art directors at the VIDAL SASSOON academy and with L’Oreal, London. Her models were on the runway at Wella Studios.

Anya has had the opportunity to design the hair of some of the most influential people in the fashion, creative arts and media industries. She has worked extensively in the UK and Australia as a hair stylist, specializing in alternative hair. Her signature hair style is the full rainbow, but she loves to experiment with new ideas.