Rainbow hair looks on Instagram have a tendency to be so bright that I need to pull out my sunglasses to look at them properly. But what happens when they’re toned down a bit? Florida-based hairstylist Sam Daly thought just that before creating the “Rainbow Grunge” dye job. “I’ve been seeing similar rainbow techniques being done on Instagram, but they are always bright and cheery,” she tells Allure. “I thought that doing a darker, smokier version would be cool.” And she was right — it’s like Lisa Frank meets Nirvana. Plus, it mixes together two of 2018’s biggest hiar trends: rainbow (obviously) and gray.
When selecting how bright she wanted the dyes to be, Daly used her intuition. “I honestly based the colors used for the rainbow on an instinct of what I thought would look good,” she says. “It’s mainly intuitive when I do vibrant colors.” Also, instead of using a true charcoal gray as the base for the vivid hues, Daly whipped up a blue-toned gray. Why? It flattered her client’s blue eyes and the natural soft pink of her lips best.
What you can’t tell from the Instagram photo is Daly colored the bottom section around the nape of her client’s neck and the section near the top of her head completely gray. “I left a veil on the top of her hair and around her hairline so that I could make that the smoky tone that would mute the rainbow tones when styled,” she explains.
Interested in going rainbow grunge? Daly says the look is best for those with medium to thick hair due to all the sections it has. “But it can certainly be adjusted for fine hair easily,” she adds. If you have naturally gray hair, then you already have the right base, too. Daly also suggests looking for a stylist in your area who uses Pulp Riot dyes. “The consistency and ability to mute the tones or to pump up the intensity are amazing,” she says.
Once you get it done, you’ll notice that rainbow grunge hair looks different from certain angles because of the placement of the colors. “Depending on where the hair is parted or whether it is styled curly or straight, it will be either more dusty and muted or bright and vibrant,” Daly says.
More rainbow hair trends you’ll love:
Now, learn how to use the Beachwaver to style your new rainbow hair: