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English version | Pink hair, don't care

07 May 2021
By Ana Saldanha

What does Kate Moss on the catwalk for Versace in 1999, Natalie Portman in Closer and Grew Stefani in the 90s have in common?

What does Kate Moss on the catwalk for Versace in 1999, Natalie Portman in Closer, and Grew Stefani in the 90s have in common?

It was in the year 1863 when an English chemist, William Henry Perkin - who had in his last name the letters to spell pink - made a little discovery. The scientist's mission was a noble one: he wanted to find the cure for malaria. Bue the result of the experience had nothing to offer to medicine. During the process, Perkin created Mauveine or the first synthetic dye. The color was lilac, or mauve, which in James Whistler's words is “just pink trying to be purple”. Shortly thereafter, his chemistry professor, August Hoffman, created a derivative of Mauveine (a para-phenylenediamine), which is still used as a base for most hair dyes. A few decades later, in 1907, Eugene Schuelle started selling the first-ever hair dye. A light brown called Óreal that would also name the brand L'Óreal founded two years later. This was the start of hair coloring, but the colorful dyes only appeared later - although much earlier than we would imagine. In 1914, the writer Margaret Manson was already forecasting the pink hair trend that was to come. In an article for the United Press, one could read "if you are just dyeing to be fashionable, then choose a bright shade of cerise, for pink hair is the pink of fashionable perfection". Later, in 1948, the trends for the next season started to arrive from Paris, but this time the cores wouldn’t be just a part of the wardrobe, but would also color hair. One of the three hot colors for the season was Hermine rose, described as "highly decorative, startling and brand new" because "no hair could possibly come that way ". In the 60s, pink wasn’t just for girls anymore. “A boy without pink hair is a boy without a girlfriend ”, we could read in the Associated Press, between complaints from a boy who said that the trend unfairly favored blondes and that the solution for those who had brown hair was to go with scarlet. Dyeing your hair became so mainstream that, in 1969, Americans were no longer required to have their hair color in their identification documents, paving the way to all sorts of experiments with hair color.

Here, Joana Oliveira, hairstylist since 1999 and one of the talents behind HairFusion salon tells us she joined the pink hair train in 2015 “when I was pregnant I went to the maternity hospital with pink hair” and she doesn’t need much time to list some references when we talk about the popularity of this color. “The most iconic images that come to my mind are Gwen Stefani when she was in No Doubt in the 90s and dyed her hair hot pink, Kate Moss when she appeared at the Chanel fashion show in the 90s with pastel pink hair [she was wearing a wig but years later she did in fact dyed her hair pink for Versace Spring/Summer in 1999] and Jared Leto when he went for a bright pink in 2015 ”. But pop culture references are practically endless, from Nicki Minaj who made pink her trademark early in her career, to Scarlett Johansson's pink wig in Lost in Translation (2003) and Brigitte Bardot’s in Two Weeks in September (1969), all the way to Pink who could not have claimed more this color as her own. The coloring specialist - who signed one of the most recent makeovers for the singer Carolina Deslandes, who chose pastel pink to take the stage of Festival da Canção - says that she receives requests for pink hair every week and that this is the most requested color, “when I dyed Carolina Deslandes’s hair pink we had several clients asking for the same color”. But her clients bring more examples, Kylie Jenner and “Sea3po, the Portuguese Youtuber who is the queen of colors and now has a Christina Aguilera look with an undercolor [technique in which the underside of her hair is painted in a different color] are also mentioned”.

Getting to pink, like what happens with most “unnatural” colors, especially pastel shades is a job that requires preparation and maintenance. “It is important to be aware that you’ll be making hair color a lifestyle, you will have to change your habits. First, it is very important to take good care of the hair and do lots of hair masks before bleaching. To achieve platinum blond without damaging the hair too much, the strands must be healthy and the bleaching process can take 3 to 8 hours, between bleaching and treatments, until we reach the desired shade. After that, you just choose the shade you want and you can touch up in the salon or at home”, explains Joana. “Having colorful hair requires some maintenance: bleaching every 2 months or so and making hair masks every week. The pink can be obtained in the salon or using a toner or at home - currently, there are lots of color masks that work beautifully”. If you are still determined to go pink, the specialist will give you some tips to know which shade you should put your money on. “For the summer I would go for rose gold, but it is important to remember that you should avoid a lot of sun exposure so that the color lasts longer. There are several techniques where we can add pink to the hair, such as the sunkissed look [technique that replicates the hair naturally bleached by the sun] and the money piece [name given to the two bleached or colorful shades that frame the face]. Many of our clients choose the money piece because when the pink starts to fade it looks super cool anyway. In the winter, the colors can be more solid, in contrast to the summer when we suggest pastels and more natural colors ”.

Translated from the original on the "Pink Issue", from may 2021.Full credits and story on the print version.

Ana Saldanha By Ana Saldanha



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