Lately, we’ve been fangirling over all the INCREDIBLE Instagram pics of unicorn hair—aka, mermaid hair’s more colourful cousin. Sure, having a nine-colour rainbow dye job might look epic in photographs, but is the trend doable if you’re a normal human (or as normal as they come…)? As in, not a glitter fairy goddess who lives solely on fairy floss and social media likes?
Our writer took the unicorn-y plunge with some help from Cream Melbourne—one of Australia’s top salons for colouring—all the way from (reasonably) natural looking hair to decidedly unnatural tones, to see if a technicolour do would change her life.
The Decision To Go Unicorn
Let’s start right at the beginning: prior to this, my hair had been jet black for the better part of two years, a decision that had been made with the help of a friend and a glass or four of whisky. I knew it was time for a change, but I wasn’t sure what… Unicorn hair? Apparently it would make me as fun as Kylie Jenner at Coachella, so why the hell not?
Removing two-years’ worth of black dye is no mean feat, but the team at Cream Melbourne put their colouring maestro Ross Joseph—a globe-trotting colourist who has perfected his craft over a decade—onto my case. The process began with an in-depth consultation and much time uttering, ‘It’ll take a LOT of colour remover...’ Which it did. After that, it was onto the bleach, with the added security of Olaplex—the savior of light hair tones around Australia—to remove everything we could before getting started with a rainbow of candy box colours.
If I learned anything from Ross, who’s spent the better part of his career teaching colourists in Australia how to get it exactly right, it’s that a job like this is an incredibly challenging one. If you’re considering a unicorn transformation, you should definitely take the plunge—but go to a salon that’s got the know-how, and definitely DO NOT try it at home. Home baking = good, home colouring (especially when it’s this complex) = bad.
Much like cooking too, patience is a virtue when it comes to cute pastel colours. As I fidgeted, the Cream team reminded me that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if I wanted to look like a walking rainbow Paddle Pop, it was going to take time. I waited, got acquainted with the Eleven Australia after-care products, and started getting nervous about the reality of my unicorn dreams.
The End Result
Well, a picture speaks a thousand words! From the moment it was blowdried I fell head over heels for the colour explosion that had replaced my jet black mop. Things only got better when one of the Cream Melbourne stylists suggested we braid it—due to the fact that plaiting it exposed the myriad of colours—as the entire salon joined in to call out their favourite. Pastel pink? Flame orange? Peppermint? Already I was confident that it was a hell of a lot more fun than what had been there before.
The Aftermath: How My Friends Reacted…
Reality hit when I caught up with a couple of friends, and texted both my parents and my ex a pic, just for the lols. My best mate wanted to know if I was cosplaying Rainbow Dash, but said nonetheless that it looked amazing, with three exclamation points. My ex sent a curt ‘omfg,’ and my little brother said ‘Holy shit #FreeSpirit’—which is as close to a compliment as he gets. One of my housies greeted me with a cheery, “You no longer look like a goth!” which my mum seconded; “Nice to see it a bit lighter for a change.” So far, the unicorn hair was winning.
As for work the next day, I received a few odd looks on the train during the commute, but for every bizarro stare there’d be a stranger giving me a smile. My colleagues were pretty supportive of the transformation once they realized that my hair wasn’t going to fall out—I’ll be pretty much bathing in olaplex and Eleven’s Hydrate My Hair conditioner—and when they asked if the unicorn-slash-Troll-Doll look was here to stay, I was already leaning towards the affirmative.
Will It Make You More Fun?
Ultimately, I’d say a bright, glittery YES. It’s basically like wearing a pride parade on your head 24/7, and how can that NOT make things more fun? Seriously though, a hair switch-up to something colourful can definitely make you feel confident, and more adventurous—if not quite Kylie-Jenner-in-a-sequin-bikini adventurous.
If the full unicorn look is a little too much for your day-to-day life, there are alternatives that are just as much fun. A block of bright colour hidden beneath some layers is a fantastic way to have a ‘colour for the weekends’ style that you can hide away during your day job. My only tip would be to stash away a vibrant lip colour for when you’ll need it as this isn’t a great no-makeup do—and a colour pop in your make-up will help balance out the party that’s happening on your head.
Image credit: The Urban List