Make my hair an oil slick!
June 3, 2016 8:04 AM   Subscribe

I really want to try oil slick hair color. What do I need to know about the ins and outs of nontraditional dye? BONUS: Recommendations for a great colorist in DC.

I really love a lot of what I've seen of the oil slick hair color trend and am really tempted to give it a try -- I want something subtle but still eye-catching in certain lights. Some of the results that I see are a little dull or washed out, which I do not want at all. Has anyone had this kind of intensive double-process color? How did your hair react? How long did the color last (both in terms of initial brightness before fading and then disappearing entirely)? Did you end up staining everything you own with rainbow colored run-off? If you work in a more traditional sector, any doubletakes or side-eye? And does anyone have a colorist they absolutely love in DC? Bonus for walkability from Logan/Dupont.

I have cool-toned medium-brown hair. It takes to dye well, though I don't color it very often. Maybe three or four times in my life (I'm in my late 30s), and it has been years since the last time I colored it. Overall, my hair is quite healthy as I don't currently do any heat styling/use almost no product. This will change as I'm going to be chopping, so I'd be coloring a chinnish-length bob that will ideally look something like this in shape/cut but not color.
posted by HonoriaGlossop to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Where ever you go, make sure you ask for a color consultation before you actually go in for the dye job. Make sure the colorist you choose has done it before, can give you an estimate for time and an estimate for money. Ask them for aftercare tips on keeping it from fading as long as possible. Ask which brand of dye they use and then research reviews of it, not all dyes are created equal.
It will be up to you how often and how much money you want to spend to maintain it. The dull/washed out look from an oil slick dye is because as it is washed, the colors blend together like mixing all the colors in a paint set and because fantasy colors will always fade out eventually. It's unavoidable unless you maintain it with fresh dye jobs, but you can prolong the effects from each dye by taking good care of it.
Sunlight and rain can fade fantasy colors faster so possibly look into a good hat or two to protect it. Get color protecting shampoo/conditioner and wash it as infrequently as possible. Protect your hair from heat-styling tools if you use them.
If your hair brushes against your clothes, anything white/light will get dyed. Light colored hair accessories, light colored headboard, towels, pillowcases, couches; basically anything that rubs on your hair has the potential for getting dyed. This does eventually mostly taper off.
Strangers will comment on your hair and people may try to take pictures of you without asking. My conservative family all loves my fantasy dyed hair which was unexpected and awesome, but I work in a non-traditional sector where I am not out of place. Kids almost universally love it and will loudly proclaim their shock and awe.
Good luck! "Unnatural" hair is awesome!
posted by HMSSM at 9:20 AM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

I did this, and loved it. My hair is brown, and usually holds dye for a long time. My colorist first bleached the hair where she'd add the color. Then she added color. We chose blue, green, red, and purple, I think.

I washed my hair as little as I could (3-4 days between). I added some color-stay creams. It's probably been in for about a month. The greens are still visible. The others have faded - you can see them if you look for them, but the oilslick look is gone.

I really loved the look, but it definitely didn't last long, especially for the amount of time and effort it took. I'm glad I did it, but I'm not sure I'll do it again.
posted by hydra77 at 1:22 PM on June 3, 2016

I did this. My hair is colored very dark brown. My stylist put magenta, blue and green over my regular color. Only the magenta wound up showing. That's OK though cause it looked great. It lasted near 6 weeks but was noticeably less vibrant after 3. My color did not get on anything except the silver streak I have in my hair. The magenta ever so slightly bled into the silver over the first couple days. I loved the effect.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:07 PM on June 3, 2016

Sort of a side note but to maintain any non-traditional color, I recommend Overtone, a conditioner you apply like regular conditioner.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:34 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

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