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Why rainbow hair is turning to the dark side, and how to rock it

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Variations of trends evolve through the creative work of expert stylists and daring minds of loyal clients, and whilst pastel and rainbow hair are still popular choices for celebs and bloggers there's a darker take on the rainbow trend throughout 2016. Dark rainbow or 'oil slick' colouring is the perfect autumn/winter take on its brighter coloured cousin. Time to book in with your stylist and get your grunge rainbow style!

Oil slick origins

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Aura Friedman (celebrity colourist) pioneered the technique, trying to recreate the colours that spill onto the streets when petrol or oil meets rain. Katy Perry and Demi Lavato have transformed their look with the darker rainbow trend, and popular blogger Michelle Phan to oil slick colouring thanks to her stylist Guy Tang.

Rainbow hair includes all the colours of the spectrum, cool and warm, whereas the darker variation concentrates on using the cooler shades with just a hint of one warm tone. The iridescent shades of colour used take perfectly on darker hair, giving a shimmering, light catching multi-tonal finish.

Master multi-tone

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Image copyright: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Often with hair colouring, you have to undergo a multitude of treatments to get to a stage where you are completely happy. Whilst this avoids damage, it can be frustrating waiting to get the colour you want and impatience can often lead to some questionable home colouring. It is so important to  discuss with your stylist the result you really want, and reference pictures of the sort of look you're trying to achieve. Instagram is a great way to build a collage of the dark rainbow trend.

The great news for those with brunette hair is that the dark rainbow look doesn't mean that you'll have to hit the bleach bottle hard. To achieve the perfect oil slick look, an expert colourist will use the balayage technique which can be personalised to accentuate eye colour or face shape. This type of application can be tailored to add as much or as little colour to any area that you wish, and you can even combine this trend with the ever popular ombre finish. Often roots are left darker, leaving the ends of hair lighter, to give a more natural look. Combining two colours on one section of hair can also add a fluid movement to the hair, with often a darker purple leading to a lighter green or blue. And don't worry about maintaining your new colour, as the hair isn't pre-lightened and often only small amounts of bleach are used, you won't get the pastel fade that occurs on brighter variants of the trend.

If you aren't sure the trend is for you, try out a temporary option using hair chalks. Rub a white or very light colour onto hair sealing with a blast of hairspray, then build your colours using greens and blues highlighted with warmer tones of orange and pink. If your hair is left looking a little dry, try using some shine spray or a little serum over lengths to boost shine. You could also get the look by using hair pieces and extensions which you can colour to clip in and try out the oil slick colour without committing.

Showing off your new locks

If you do decide to commit to the darker rainbow look, it's essential to take care of your hair at home as this will help retain colour and your shine. Wash with cooler water and try to leave a couple of days after colouring to help lock in those shades.

Curls and hair styles with fluidity work so well with this colour trend and those with longer hair will find the dimensional result can make hair look thicker and enhance shine. For up do's, stick to braids and twists as they really help to show off the multitude of colours and different tonal sections placed closely together--only adding to the drama of your new do. The fishtail plait works perfectly to show off your oil slicked locks. If smooth and sleek isn't your style, add little texture with mattifying hair products and a light natural ruffle with your fingers. This 'undone' look is great if you have little time to style your hair in the morning but still want to make the most of your new colour.

The dark rainbow trend is a grownup take on the brighter bubblegum shades of yesteryear: the crazy colour trend that brunettes have been waiting for. There might not be a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow, but there is great looking hair! Want to transform your hair, or just learn about the colouring process in more detail? Get in touch, or read some of our expert advice.

Featured article image copyright: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

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