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Hair

Why rainbow balayage is the hair pick-me-up we need right now

June 9th 2020 / Jane Druker / 0 comment

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New colour depositing masks in statement shades are bringing the fun back into lockdown hair. And they're not just for teens (or blondes) says Jane Druker, 53: current shade aquamarine,

Lockdown doesn’t have to mean locks that get you down. In fact, experimenting with a wild variety of Disney hues – think bubblegum pink, perfectly purple and aqua fabulous – has made me very happy indeed. I know it’s a right of passage for every teenager to veer wildly from shade to shade on the hair and makeup front, but who knew that at 53 years old, instead of being first in the queue for my speed-dial colourist (usual hair shade: Hitchcock heroine blonde) this enforced homestay has allowed me full access to colouring-in and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

I can attest that the assorted shades of unicorn hair I’ve been playing with has had a wonderfully invigorating effect on my psyche. It’s transformative to see yourself in a new light and try all sorts of makeup shades to enhance it.

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Rainbow hair colours have come on a long way from the days of gloopy pots of pink and blue – now as well as giving your mane a multi-coloured makeover, some temporary colours also condition your hair – Moroccanoil Colour Depositing Repair Mask, £28.85, in particular works hard to repair damaged hair while depositing a pretty colour, allowing me to experiment with the playful as well as leaving my hair in better condition than when I started. It comes in eight shades from aquamarine to rose gold and more subtle Bordeaux and platinum and lasts about four washes.moroccanoil-.jpg

I'm only using temporary colours as they contain pigment but not bleach. "Direct colour, which is colour you don't mix with peroxide, is a winner because you can't damage your hair using it," confirms Sophia Hilton of East London colour specialist Not Another Salon (all the colourists I've spoken to say steer clear of DIY bleach and highlights, however tempting they may seem. "Life is hard enough right now without having to deal with bleach-damaged hair when you come out of quarantine," cautions Sophia. "The worst-case scenario with temporary colour is that it's a bit patchy and you have to go over it again. It won't break the bank to layer up and it won't cause any damage."

I've also experimented with sprays, including KMS' Vintage Rose Blush & Stone Wash, £23. It works instantly while the masks only need to be left on for five to seven-minutes, so you can look like a new you within an ITV news break. I know some may say that it can look junior to sport cartoon-like locks in middle age– or some might actually say tragic – but I say it’s a mood lifter of the most fabulous kind. Instantaneous gratification a true beauty lover would understand deeply.

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It’s also stupidly easy to apply – with the sprays, just aim at where you want it – you can put it roots to ends as I did, or use it to judiciously balayage on the tips only. With the conditioning treatment you can do likewise but why waste it when your whole head can benefit? Additionally, both treatments work on blonde, brunette or indeed red hair. The Moroccanoil Bordeaux is apparently amazing on black hair. If you don’t like the effect you don’t have to wait an age to recalibrate, just a few washes. I wash my hair a paltry once a week so the effects have been pleasingly long-lasting over lockdown.

Listen, I know I am not alone, celebs a-plenty have been on pink-down pick-me-ups: Lady Gaga, Ireland Baldwin, Dua Lipa and the more mature Salma Hayek, Cyndi Lauper and Kelis. My theory is it’s playful fun in adversarial times. Simple. As.

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I started this happy pursuit a full three months ago according to my calendar which is normally zealously punctuated with the practically religious six-weekly hair appointments with my at-home colourist who I haven’t seen for 14 weeks now (my last appointment was mid-February). I literally love this woman who I have shared my every emotion with. She has witnessed me riddled with deadline stress, giddy with New Year’s Eve party zing and was most meaningfully with me the morning of my father’s funeral (fitting me in at helplessly short notice), helping to steel me and my mane to face the single most difficult day of my life. I miss her. I do. But, I have entered a new era, forever changed – aren't we all? Less cash for the vast majority (especially us freelancers hey?), less frippery, less taking it all for granted.

MORE GLOSS: Jane Druker on the irrepressible joy of glitter eyeshadow at any age

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