Sure, Kelly Osbourne did it first, but Nicole Richie really took it to the next level. What am I talking about? Lilac hair, of course!
Richie the reality star, ex-party girl turned fashion designer and one of my all time favourite style icons took the plunge and embraced the pastel look earlier this year. Following in the footsteps of celebs like Osbourne, Katy Perry and Lauren Conrad who have all at one point or another experimented with hair colours on the fairy floss end of the spectrum.
A controversial look, perhaps, but one that is becoming more and more mainstream. With brands like Fudge, Dare and L’Oréal Professionnel launching temporary hair chalks and polishes in bold fashion colours it’s also a do’ that’s easily achievable.
As a girl who has had nearly every hair colour under the sun – seriously, blonde, red, purple, black, you name – I fell instantly in love when I first glimpsed Richie’s lovely shade of lilac. A shade which apparently all started as a treat for her daughter Harlow, who is a big fan of the colour! You and me both Harlow.
Australian hairdresser to the stars Renya Xydis sports pastel locks herself and reckons fashion colours give a person a sense of fun and a certain attitude. I spoke to another leading Australian hairdresser, Caterina Di Biase from Heading Out Hair & Beauty (VIC) who says there can be quite a bit of up keep associated with a hair colour like Richie’s.
“When having high fashion colours like Nicole Richie’s the key is to not wash your hair too often,” says Di Biase. “Using a toning shampoo and conditioner will help you maintain the colour.” I like Fudge Paintbox in Raspberry Beret mixed with a little Whiter Shade of Pale to keep lilac looking fresh.
Even with a toner, you’ll still need to head back to the salon every 4-6 weeks for a colour top up to keep the shade vibrant. Although the re-growth look can be a cute grunge take on the candy colour, as long as the tone is carried through to the ends says Di Biase.
With Di Biase’s advice top of mind and the blessing of both Richie and her adorable offspring, I headed into edgy Melbourne salon Xiang in Melbourne’s QV building to experience lilac life for myself.
Not quite brave enough to embrace full on violet from root to tip and having spent the last year of my (hair) life trying to bring my post-blonde locks back to life, I decided on a little more subtle approach.
I visit award winning colourist and the loveliest colour expert going round Danielle Solier from Xiang salon in Melbourne’s QV building. To respect the integrity of my hair fibre, Danni recommends I shake up my ombré ends by swapping my caramel for a purple a little deeper than Nicole Richie’s pastel.
Apparently I’m not the only one who is lusting after lilac locks, with pastel hair becoming a more and more frequent request from Solier’s clients ever since Nicole Richie embraced the trend.
According to Solier, Nicole’s lilac colour requires pre-lightening the hair to a very light base and then toning to achieve the pastel effect. Because my hair naturally throws warm tones and my poor ends are damaged from previously mentioned colour excursions, Solier recommends we aim for a darker shade of purple.
Because dip-dyes are so last year, Solier expertly blends the purple through my hair, to avoid a strict line of colour. The lightener stays on my hair to process for a little over half an hour and is then rinsed out.
While not quite as bold or as pastel as Nicole Richie’s full on violet, it’s a wearable take on the fairy floss trend and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
As a woman who is sporting freshly dipped purple locks, I can safely say the verdict is in: the purple rinse has been officially reclaimed from our Grandmas. Repackaged and slightly tweaked with a more pastel tinge, the lilac trend is sitting securely atop the heads of the fashion pack.