"Hide-able" streaks of hair color
February 10, 2009 1:06 PM   Subscribe

What do I need to know about dyeing"hide-able" streaks of bright color on longish, dark brown, otherwise un-dyed hair. And can you recommend a colorist in DC?

I have fine, shoulder length, straight dark brown hair that is currently dye-free. I'd like to add one (or more?) streaks of dramatic color, probably something warm and funky like red/copper/magenta. I've heard it's possible to dye "hidden" streaks that can be camouflaged depending on the way you part and style your hair, which sounds like a fun option. The color doesn't need to be completely camouflaged, but I like the idea of being able to work around the streaks so they aren't always totally noticeable. I have a few questions.

1) Is there a pro term for this?

2) Should I dye the rest of my hair as well, even if only to more-or-less match my natural color, so there aren't big differences in texture? Will it look weird if I don't?

3) Can you recommend a colorist in DC with experience pulling this off? I won't do this on my own, though it'd be nice if I could maintain it myself without too much effort.

4) I work an office day job where hair color like this will not be problematic. Is there anything else I need to think about that I'm not considering?
posted by juliplease to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
I have what sounds like your hair and I've done this. I can't recommend a good stylist/colourist but I will say that when you find one, they will be able to go over this with you. I did purple (plum I think the stylist called it) on my dark (chestnut) brown hair and it looked really nice. It was framed around my face and along my neckline. It was with a pixie style haircut that I really miss. I've also done a deep red/bronzey/coppery colour on a separate time that also looked nice, on my shoulder length hair. That one was a single large chunk that was really only visible if I parted my hair on the other side. I almost never did part my hair on that side but I loved knowing that the streak was hiding there.
posted by LunaticFringe at 1:14 PM on February 10, 2009

Oh, I didn't mention that both times my stylist picked the colour and location and I was very pleased both times.
posted by LunaticFringe at 1:19 PM on February 10, 2009

Having pink hair was a surprising social experiment for me.

I was just about finished my M. Sc. and had always wanted to have pink hair - with a professional career ahead of me this was my last chance. So I did it, I dyed part of my red hair a bright pink - half my bangs, and the fringe on the side of my face (see my profile pic).

As the dye slowly faded to a gradient pink/blonde, the types of strangers who would normally make eye contact with me were noticeably averting their gaze -- profs, secretaries, ... generally intellectual, well-to-do types you'd find in a university environment. But there was suddenly a whole range of other people who were looking into my eyes and smiling with ease -- the artistic types, the soccer moms, the teenagers, the people you know probably live off of a minimum wage job or welfare... The most surprising experience was when I was in a pretty slummy area of town and a couple of very impoverished-looking native americans walking along the street gave me a big warm, genuine smile. It was an unusual, but welcome experience.

I'll never forget quasi-slumming it because of a simple dye job.
posted by lizbunny at 2:37 PM on February 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

Bang Salon (I go to the one by the Verizon Center) is what you want! They do it all!
posted by orrnyereg at 2:49 PM on February 10, 2009

I also went to Bang Salon near the Verizon Center (I went to Nikki who was the manager) for a cut and since what I had picked was very rock and roll, she had fun with it. This wasn't for a dye job, but I think Bang would probably do you well -- the hair stylists there seem like they want to have fun but don't always get to since, as I'm sure you know, DC is pretty conservative.

It wouldn't hurt to call and see if you can talk to a stylist there to see what they say.

If it's something that you can hide, this may not be much of an issue, but do consider what will happen when the streak begins to fade and grow out. Even good dye jobs fade over time (I spent years trying to dye my hair back to its real color -- although I was using cheap drugstore dyes). Reds also fade quickly, so you'd probably end up with pink in a few weeks.

But overall, I say just do it. It's only hair.
posted by darksong at 3:17 PM on February 10, 2009

I have had this exact thing done before - cherry colored chunks hidden in dark brown hair. My stylist called them "Peek-A-Boo Highlights".
posted by tryniti at 3:54 PM on February 10, 2009

Tried to post this earlier, but internet failed.--
It's called a peekaboo streak. It's pretty simple to do, but I don't know of anyone in DC since I don't live there. I actually do this on my own hair all the time.
You'll have to bleach your hair first, I recommend getting it done professionally so you don't have to deal with choosing the correct developer. From there, the color is added. Your stylist will most likely have standard colors like blacks, browns, reds, blondes that they can use. If you are interested in bright funky colors, bring your own. I use Manic Panic, but it doesn't last very long, maybe 3 weeks. I like how fast it washes out since I change the color frequently. Special Effects has colors that last much longer, like 8 weeks minimum. Generally, reds and pinks last longest, while green is the first to wash out and look a bit gross.
As far as maintenance goes, you won't have to worry about touching up the roots since they will be hidden under your top layer of hair. You may have to get the color refreshed if you go with a permanent "natural" hair color every 6 months as it may get dull. For the funky colors, it takes a lazy Sunday afternoon to brush some color in and wash it out 30 minutes later. Done. Also, since your hair is already dark, if you accidently get color on your unbleached hair, it won't be very noticeable.
Don't dye the rest of your hair if you are concerned about texture, it doesn't make much of a difference. You may experience a few more split ends on the bleached section, but that just needs a good conditioner and a trim.
One last thing, don't sleep on a white pillowcase the first few nights of a new coloring. I've got faint blue streaks all over mine.
posted by idiotfactory at 3:58 PM on February 10, 2009

Thanks all! I ended up going to Nick at Urban Escape. He was awesome, took lots of time, gave me an adorable trim, and I got the peek-a-boo highlights I wanted. The price was right, too.
posted by juliplease at 5:07 PM on February 17, 2009

« Older Can my therapist speak to my Dr. without my...   |   I can't countz! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.