- salon pro
If you haven’t seen the trend of mermaid-colored hair in magazines, on TV, and even on the street recently, then you have likely a) been vacationing on a remote desert island or b) living under a very nice rock. These fun-and-feisty shades are sizzling-hot right now…and no longer reserved exclusively for gutsy, fashion-forward people. According to Internet sensation, Larisa Love, one of the most imaginative stylists on the hair scene, mermaid colors have hit the mainstream big time. “When I started seeing the look not only on stylists and celebrities, but also on the everyday client, I knew something had changed. People started being “brave” and curious enough to play outside their color comfort zone.”
Pulling off bold hair requires some finesse—and a few wise rules. And who better to download them than Larisa herself. Catch the color wave right here…
Is the look high-maintenance?
Depends. A person with minimal time for salon visits and upkeep should probably steer clear pastel or metallic tones, as they tend to fade faster than more intense shades, like the Fiery Coral, Black Pearl, Mermaid Blue, and Light Purple in Joico’s Color Intensity Mermaid Collection. You can also extend the longevity of the color by using Color Endure Shampoo and Conditioner. (My favorite tip: squirting a bit of Color Intensity into my shampoo bottle so hair color lasts even longer. Your hairstylist can do this for you as well.)
Once you decide to take the plunge, how do you know which mermaid shades are best for you?
Always take your cue from skin tone: If you have a fair complexion, stick with warm tones (pink, red, peach, yellow, or orange). Olive and darker complexions should opt for cool colors (blue, purple, and green). If you’re unsure, hold paint swatches up to your face and see what feels naturally flattering.
Mermaid shades are typically associated with summer. Can you tweak them so they work all year long?
Absolutely. Enjoy these shades in the fall and winter months by choosing less vibrant hues, or wearing those vibrant hues in darker colors, like deep plum or deep red.
If I’m still unsure about going “all in,” is there a way for me to try the trend and still keep it subtle?
You can dip a toe in by trying Balayage (a delicate, highlighting technique using hand-painted strands), and weaving a mermaid shade into some of those highlights for a pop of color. Or consider a subtle “color melt” (similar to Ombré), using mermaid shades on the ends only. Another understated idea: Choose an extremely pastel mermaid shade that adds just a touch of color, visible only in natural lighting or direct sunlight.
Do mermaid shades work better on blondes or brunettes?
Either. But the results are different: On blondes, the vivid shades will appear noticeably vibrant and bright; brunettes will find them less extreme looking.
Does hair texture play a role in how the look will turn out?
Both super-curly hair and poker-straight hair work well with mermaid shades, but in either case, hair must be in excellent condition to get maximum results. If strands are dry or damaged, color won’t lock into the cuticle properly, causing quick fading. Keep placement in mind, too: Try multiple colors in curly hair because the waves will naturally separate the strands, putting each shade in the spotlight; on straight hair, color tends to blend.
Does mermaid hair require different maintenance than the usual color-care guidelines?
Because the colors are vivid and playful, grow-out won’t be as natural looking as, say, a brunette with caramel highlights–so the name of the game is protect the fade. Ideally, wash hair no more than twice a week, with lukewarm-to-cold water to lock in color and add shine. Choose a shampoo—like Color Endure—designed especially to protect your investment; and head to the salon every four-to-six weeks or so for a quick touch-up.
For more on pastel hair trends, click here.