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Style file: Hair today, gone tomorrow

There’s no need for hours of bleaching and colouring thanks to vibrant new temporary hair chalks, says Naomi Attwood

The beauty trend of rainbow-hued hair has reached the mainstream, as big-brand cosmetic companies are cashing in on the craze.

But rather than those more hard-core pots of dye, obtainable from Camden Market-style goth shops, the  2014 way to go green (or pink, or blue,  or violet, for that matter) is far more temporary – and comes without the inevitable bathtub staining to boot. Lasting between two and 10 washes, coloured hair chalk isn’t quite wash-and-go, but all traces of a shake or two as you leave work on Friday could be gone by the time you return on Monday morning.

The origins of the trend are to be found in east London, where Alex Brownsell’s Bleach salon specialised in this sort of dye job, while punky models Charlotte Free and Chloe Norgaard became known for their vibrant hued ’dos which clashed pleasingly with the ready-to-wear they represented on the catwalks. For the casually colour-curious, it’s never been easier to dip a toe – or tendril – into the trend: like its Dalston stablemate Wah Nails before it, Bleach has recently expanded into a range of home-use products.

To use a dry-chalk product such as Structure’s pigment pencils (fuchsia, turquoise or violet) or Kevin Murphy’s Color Bugs (neon and metallic shades), simply rub the chalk on to the desired section or streak of dry hair. Unlike with traditional Krazy Kolor dyes, the product will show up on unbleached, even brunette hair. Using contrasting shades before plaiting them together takes the look  even further for a night out.


L’Oréal Professionnel’s versions are in liquid form, while Bumble and Bumble has produced a spray which, though it lasts a little longer, will still permit those with a sensible dress code to adhere to on Monday morning to let their (multicoloured) hair down at the weekend.