Pastel hair is super trendy right now, but it also seems like a pretty big commitment to streak your hair with crazy colors — that is unless you're doing it with hair chalk. Hair chalking is an awesomely easy and inexpensive way to throw some fun color in your hair, and the cherry on top is that it's totally temporary. It's perfect for festival season and adding a little more personality to your summer style.
David John, master stylist and colorist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles, offers these hair chalking tips.
John says that you can buy inexpensive non-oil-based pastels at Michael's for $5 or spend $60 if you really want to splurge. All you need other than the chalk is a water bottle, protective gloves, towels and a flat iron.
Make sure to wet the hair first so the color will attach to it. However if you’re blonde, do not wet the hair before chalking unless you want the color to stay in longer.
Apply to the chalk to the strand of hair in a downward motion, twist the hair as you chalk. You can try for a fun ombre look, or just do a couple strands.
While John says that you can blowdry your hair, others recommend air drying so that you don't blow off the chalk.
Seal the color in with a flat iron or a curling iron to add waves. Apply hair spray as a final step.
The color generally will only last one shampoo; however, if the hair is more porous, such as color-treated blonde hair, it can last a couple shampoos. You can use a clarifying shampoo or dish soap to remove the color more quickly — both have more detergent. Don’t use dish soap on your whole head, just on the strands that have been colored.
Tip: If you want something brighter, you can apply white chalk first and then go over it with the color you want to make pop.
John also offers these cautions when hair chalking.
Originally published June 2012. Updated April 2017.
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