In the Market: “Ode to Blue-nettes, Greenheads and Viol-ondes”

There’s been a lot of talk about occurrences in elevators lately so here’s one that I observed.  Spoiler alert:  no family “diva-“namics were involved and no stiletto heels were used as weapons however it is a “colorful” story.  The elevator in question is in my building and I was riding down with a very cute and precocious toddler who was conversing with his caregiver until the door opened and a young woman got on.   She had a wavy mane of aqua colored hair reminiscent of a tint normally observed at the bottom of a swimming pool.  “She’s got blue hair!” the little boy exclaimed as the pretty girl smirked a bit and I waited for what would happen next.  “She’s a princess!” he announced.

Poppy Delevingne in L’Oreal ad featuring the “splashlights”

I’ve certainly noticed a proliferation of “unnatural” hair colors be it blue, purple, pink, green, bright red or yellow and it’s not just on clowns  or Goths anymore. Cyndi Lauper with her “true colors” in the ’80s may have been one of its first proponents but since then  plenty of celebs including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Osbourne, Nicole Richie, Kylie Jenner and even Lupita Nyong ‘o who had a purple tint applied to her hair for the Met Gala, have been known to embrace the unusual locks. In fact, there was a recent twitter battle over green hair with Gaga intimating that Katy Perry had stolen the look from her. Further evidence that the unnatural hair color trend has gone mainstream includes a L’Oreal ad with recent bride Poppy Delevingne featuring fuchsia “splashlights” and no, she didn’t wear them to her wedding. LOL

Dame Edna

Meanwhile, while not a new trend, I feel that I’m seeing it more on the street “unicorns” in everything from a full head of purple, pink or blue, to various strands dyed in multi colors to only the ombreed tips also known as the dip dye trend done in a neon green or fluorescent pink.  In addition, the look is skewing older than just the club kid scene (unless that club was Studio 54 many moons ago). So what is going on here?  Are we so bored with blonde, brunette and redhead or is this a natural extension of the same influence present in odd lipstick colors (black, green, blue, yellow, purple), nail polish and possibly even body art?  Could the current obsession with multi colored furs which gained favor with the spring 2014 Prada coats seen on Marc Jacobs, Anna Wintour and Anna Dello Russo have somehow held sway on hair color?

Lady Gaga and Katy Perry

The argument of “so where do these people work anyway?” is also not as relevant as it once was.  I would assume that, depending on how flamboyantly the hair is “altered” they are often employed in highly artistic and experimental fields, hairdressers, stylists, art students, creators and emulators of “My Little Pony.”  Almost certainly they are not bankers, lawyers, surgeons and people in more “serious” professions. They are also people that can afford, both  in time and in cost,  the high maintenance of these colors as roots seem to sprout up overnight.  The more vibrant colors seem to fade into a creepy pallor and since bleach is necessary as a primer, the hair tends to become dull and lifeless if done too often or by a novice.

Rainbow hair locks

On those I’ve seen with natural gray in their hair, the color will take vividly to the gray strands and less so to the more pigmented ones giving an odd effect.  Conversely, I’ve seen that gray hair is sometimes embraced by the young a la 2010 when Karl Lagerfeld sent models down the runway with silver tresses,  or maybe that’s just the after effects of what happens when the bright colors wash out. For those who don’t wish to actually strip and dye their hair, assuming the hair is not overly dark, they have the option of being able to try out a temporary color rinse such as Special Effects, Adore or Manic Panic.  There is also hair chalk, perhaps more for the music festival crowd as I’ve read that it’s quite messy to deal with and very transitory lasting only a few hours; perhaps best saved for an evening in late October, ie. Halloween.

Despite its drawbacks including  upkeep,  risk of its wearer being dismissed as being as flighty as a peacock, not to mention little kids making funny remarks,  I appreciate those who have the aplomb necessary to carry it off  and it makes me happy when I see it.  Once, years ago someone  told me that my naturally dark hair reminded her of Veronica’s in the Archie comic strip; that it was so black,  it had  blue highlights.  Now, years later I wish that I could go a step further and actually put a dark blue rinse through my hair however I’m pretty sure it’s never going to happen.  I will entrust dark blue locks to the truly adventurous (read glamorous) humans.  Truth be told,  I’ve had nightmares of running into Wonder Woman in an elevator where she appropriates a line out of Joan Rivers playbook:  “Bitch stole my look!” right before she threatens me with her magical sword.

Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

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