Fashion colors are a huge trend right now. A trend that I don’t see going anywhere for a while. Tons of celebs are rocking this trend. It’s all over Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. Unicorn hair is gracing major ad campaigns and magazine covers. It’s easy to see why everyone wants it!

It goes by many names. Unicorn hair. Mermaid hair. Rainbow hair. Alien hair. Vibrant hair. And now you want it. There’s some things you should know before diving right into this trend.

1. It will almost definitely take multiple processes to get to the color you want.

If you’re hair has EVER been colored darker, unless you’ve shaved your head or already went through some lightening processes, it will probably take some work to get you light enough to give you the color you want. If you’re naturally dark, even with virgin hair, it will take some work. If you’re already blonde, but your hair is compromised and you want to be a pastel color, it will take some work. There’s a very, VERY good chance that it will take a couple processes to give you your ideal color. However, don’t fret! There’s always some middle ground to be met at, a place for you and your hair to hang out until it’s time for your next hair appointment so you can be made lighter. For example, if you want to be lavender, we can start you at a darker violet so we can slowly make you lighter.

2. Expect to be in the salon a long time.

Anytime you want to change your hair color, unless you’re going all over darker, you should expect to be in the salon a while. A normal root touchup and blow-dry takes about an hour and a half. Now if you’re going any fashion color, the process will probably be something like extracting the color that was previously on your hair, lightening you hair once or twice, applying a new color, cutting and drying. Your hair will probably be dried between every step to prevent unpredictable results and olaplex with every step means waiting an additional 10-20 minutes after having your hair rinsed. All in all, you can expect to be in the salon 3-8 hours.

3. It’s not cheap.

As I said before, you can expect to be in the salon a while because of all the steps involved. Every step costs your stylist time and money, which means every step will cost you money. The more drastic the change in a day, the more money it will cost. Another note to be made here is you get what you pay for. If you can only afford to spend a certain amount at your appointment, let your stylist know so they can do as much as possible to get close to your desired color that will fit your budget. This means you might have to split up your services in multiple appointments, but you won’t take such a hard hit immediately. And as I already noted, since it will most likely take multiple appointments to get to your desired color, you can expect to spend good money to get the results you want.

4. You need to be blonde to be a fashion color.

At the very least, you need to be a dark blonde to be a fashion color. Going lighter means damage. Damage means you need to take care of your hair. When I said it’s not cheap, I meant it in a number of ways. You need to use good product. Your stylist will recommend product that your hair specifically needs and you need to listen to them. That is, unless you want dry, dull hair that’s breaking off, becoming shorter everyday. Oh yeah, and damaged hair doesn’t hold color so if you’re not willing to spend the money on product, you’re going to spend the same money getting your hair done more often because you didn’t protect your investment.

5. Fashion colors are very high maintenance and don’t last long.

Fashion colors are direct dyes, not oxidative-tints. What this means is that they stain the cuticle of the hair instead of using ammonia or another catalyst to open the cuticle and permanently change the pigment of your hair. They are ALL temporary hair colors so with proper care, they can last 4-8 weeks, at best. Pastels are very sheer and very light so they typically only last one to two weeks. These colors will last longer with proper aftercare, but they are very high maintenance and you shouldn’t expect them to last long.

6. Be consistent

The more consistent you are, the better your hair will be. Make consistent appointments to keep your hair fresh. If you’re going lighter, every process is done to set up success during the next process. Don’t wait so long that the last step needs to be set up all again. If you’re happy with your color, make consistent appointments to keep the color fresh. The more you layer the color on there, the longer it lasts. Be consistent with the product you use. Use it as directed and as often as you’re told to. If you run out of product, don’t think it’s ok to use whatever from CVS for a couple days. It only takes a couple days to strip your color and fill you cuticle with wax. Worth noting while we are talking about consistency, pick a color and stay with it. Bouncing around from red to teal to pink to orange takes it toll on your hair. Every time you change your mind, the old color has to be pulled out and a new color applied. Every time you have to pull out an old color, you’re doing damage and you’re color is likely to fade faster.


I had to be this color in order to be that color.

I hope this helps anyone on the fence about getting a fashion color. The majority of my clients are fashion colors and with many new clients coming through my chair, I think it important to be transparent about the process, maintenance, and cost of these colors. If you have any further questions about these colors, feel free to leave a comment below, email me, or reach out to me through social media.


Don’t feel like hope is lost. Here’s a couple examples of what can be done in one session.

Do you have Unicorn hair? Share what your experience was in the comments below.