The Editors
Updated on January 26, 2022

Bright hair colors are not as unicorn as they were a couple of years ago. Women are bold enough to try on pastels, as well as neon, metallic and melted looks. Brands have discovered new ways your vivid colored locks can look gorgeous from day one to their last day by changing hues while fading. We conducted this interview with Heidi Bolton, hair artist from Phoenix who does vivids every day. She has a lot to share!

TRHs: How to find the perfect vivid color for a client?

Heidi: I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone not to get a specific color… If their particular choice isn’t totally suited for their look, I might recommend adding some other shades into the mix. I think that matching hues to skin tones isn’t the way it used to be. If you want a particular color and it might not be the best choice for your tone, I would usually recommend changing it! From a warm base to a cool base, or even adding other colors with it, so that it isn’t quite so severe.

Unicorn Hair Coloring Options

Instagram / @heididoeshair

TRHs: What are the biggest hair painting techniques right now?

Heidi: Every day new ways of applying color are created. “Melting” is always popular. Blending one shade into another seamlessly. It’s a classic mermaid look. Grey was popular for a while, and versions of it, but thank goodness that’s mostly passed.

TRHs: Some women want to try vivids but they’re afraid to cope with fading and frequent appointments. When we first met, you mentioned color lines that fade out beautifully!

Heidi: Yes, my personal favorite fashion color line is PulpRiot. They specifically created their dyes to be beautiful from day 1 until the last day you see it on the hair. Fading is now part of the beauty. So if you start with dark purple, eventually you’ll see a beautiful lavender as it fades. I always advise people to choose their color a shade or two darker than their actual goal. Then they have their look for a longer duration, and can enjoy every shade along the fading journey.

Faded Unicorn Coloring

Instagram / @kseniakisavna

TRHs: How does your normal appointment look like?

Heidi: All appointments vary. Some people need to be lightened all over before applying the colors. Some only need roots lightened. Some just want color over their grown out highlights. Appointments can range from an hour and a half to 10 hours. Usually if it’s a mermaidunicornrainbow appointment, I won’t book another client with them.

TRHs: The harshest thing about vivids is having to bleach your hair in many cases. How to not lose your hair trying on new looks?

Heidi: If you are going to a professional that regularly works with fashion colors, they should be taking the best care of your hair through the entire process. At home care includes using cool water, and lowering the temp a little on your styling tools will always help your the integrity of your hair. A professional Shampoo, conditioner, mask and leave in conditioner are always important tools in keeping your hair healthy. Hair trims regularly can rid a problem before it even starts.

TRHs: Which products are the best for at-home hair care?

Heidi: I always recommend 4 products:

  • a professional, sulfate free shampoo and conditioner;
  • a really hydrating hair mask;
  • a leave-in conditioner;
  • a thermal protectant will help if you style your hair with heat a lot.

When recommending hair care products, I always advised to buy from participating retailers. That means places like Ulta, or your local salon that is making the recommendation. PulpRiot shampoo and conditioner are excellent choices for rainbow colors. Verb hydrating is another great choice. It’s a 10 Miracle leave in conditioner is a perfect choice and Kenra thermal styling spray is a great one to protect and hold your heat styles.

TRHs: In your opinion, why do women go for vivids for the first time? Is it all about fashion?

Heidi: I personally believe people want to feel special and unique. I hear a lot of women say that they want their outside appearance to match how they feel on the inside. Having bright colors, even just a hidden piece, can make you feel like you’re breaking rules, or being rebellious. Every one I’ve spent time with has a different reason for their color choices. The one thing everyone has in common is saying they feel that it’s fun.

Before After Color Change

Instagram / @hairbykaseyoh

TRHs: Do your clients come with certain references or you decide on the color during the appointment? What is your favorite option?

Heidi: I usually ask for inspiration photos. Colors they’re interested in. During our consultation, we come up with on a few game plan. Not every head of hair is going to be the perfect canvas. Not everyone will be able to achieve pastel colors. So we’ll have options.

TRHs: Is it real to get a nice unicorn color using at-home dye kits?

Heidi: I never recommend doing your hair at home. Especially fashion colors. The lightening process alone can immediately destroy your hair if you don’t know what you’re doing. The biggest expense a client can incur is color correction. And that’s if there’s hair left to correct. There are reasons your stylist has a license. We are educated on what to do, and use for each individual head of hair in front of us…

TRHs: How do you think which hair color trends will dominate this year?

Heidi: I think pastels directly over grown out highlights or balayage is going to be big. Root shading also. Where darker roots allow for less maintenance.

Pastel Unicorn Coloring Options

Instagram / @heididoeshair

TRHs: Who do YOU follow for inspiration on Instagram?

Heidi: I have so many people I follow for inspiration… @pulpriothair is the number one. They post amazing artists. @bottleblonde76, @hair_princess_steph and @hairbykaseyoh are three of my favorite artists out there. They’re constantly changing the color game and posting amazing pictures. They’re just a few of the women out there that light my creative fire.

Follow Heidi on Instagram for colorful hair ideas. Consider trying on something new this year!

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