The newest trend popping up on Facebook, Instagram, and in the celebrity world is undoubtably beautiful, but having to maintain this style seems to be a lot more work than we might have expected.
I’m all for dying your hair different colors to express yourself, but coloring your hair after a fish has earned more than a few eyebrow raises. The newest trend hitting the media, besides pastel hues, is choosing to dye your hair the color of a Betta fish.
I’ve dyed my hair a handful of times, my first being right after I graduated from my private Catholic high school. Maybe it was more of an act of rebellion and freedom than anything, since my school had a strict no-whacky-colors hair dye policy. I dyed a small strip of my hair bright pink. The man at the salon made usual small talk, and when I told him I just graduated, he said “Oh! From eighth grade? I get a lot of eighth grade girls coming in to get their hair dyed pink for the summer!”
A few months down the road, after the pink coloring and my embarrassment had faded, I began introducing red highlights to my dirty blonde hair. Over time, I gradually dyed more and more until I finally decided to just go all red after breaking up with a guy I briefly dated. It was my way of expressing my “new” single self, and I absolutely loved it. For the time being, at least. Keeping up with the coloring at college when my trusted hairdresser was over two hundred miles away was extremely difficult, especially when I never found the time to make it home except for holidays. The red faded way too quickly. It almost looked orangey-bronze at one point.
It wasn’t long until I asked to begin the transformation back to my normal blonde coloring, and this is the color I plan to stay with for a long time. I'm slowly getting closer to my natural color, and most importantly, I barely have to do anything special to keep up with it. Every now and then I just use a bit of John Frieda’s lightening spray for blondes and I’m good!
After that red-fading-to-orange experience, I can’t agree that I love the idea of dying your hair to match the coloring of a Betta fish. It’s beautiful, no doubt, but I can’t imagine the upkeep on something like that.
The major issue with dying your hair light colors or almost any vibrant color is that you have to bleach your hair. Bleach can be extremely damaging because it strips away the needed moisture and it becomes dried out. If your hair is bleached often, it can cause breakage or discoloration.
George Papanikolas, Matrix celebrity hair stylist, explains, “You need to know that doing these vibrant colors, it’s necessary to pre-lighten the hair to a pale blonde. It’s easy if your hair is naturally light. For darker hair it puts more stress on the hair to get the pale tones. Most people run into problems when they color their hair light, then go dark, then try and go light again. The misconception is that just because you put dark hair over the highlights, it’s healthy again. The reality is that whatever hair was previously highlighted will get damage when you try and relighten hair.”
Papanikolas is also the hair stylist of Kylie Jenner, and he was the one who colored her hair with those gorgeous blue hues. Shortly after, she went short and dark again. Papanikolas doesn’t comment on why Kylie made this choice (and since it’s her hair, it shouldn’t matter why she did), but it could be attributed to the upkeep on light colors. The stylist explains the difficulties of keeping up with colorful, light hair: “Vibrant colors tend to fade very fast…usually after a few shampoos. To keep them looking vibrant, you need to redo it about every two weeks. More often if you like it super bright and vibrant.”
When dying your hair, you have to be prepared for that beautiful, rich color to fade fast. I always loved getting the fresh red dye in my hair, taking numerous selfies to capture that on-point color, but when it started to fade after a handful of washes, I was extremely self-conscious of the orange-hue my hair turned in the sunlight. And unfortunately, I wasn’t made of money and my hairdresser was hundreds of miles away. Those touchups had to wait, and I increasingly found myself throwing my hair in a bun or ponytail in the hopes of hiding the bronze hue.
Despite the difficult upkeep and amount of money it would cost to hit the salon every two weeks for touch ups, these colorful Betta trends and light hues are becoming increasingly popular in the media and the online world. Though incredibly beautiful and unique, I think I’ll just stick with blonde highlights every few months.