Recently, a colorful new hair trend hit Instagram and, even better, it was perfect for brunettes, who had long suffered as they watched their light-haired counterparts experiment with any and every color under the sun.
The oil slick trend was helmed by Aura Friedman, a colorist at Sally Hershberger, who sought to mimic the iridescent visual effect that happens when oil meets water. After looking at photos of the colorful trend, one of our MTV News coworkers, Christina, decided she wanted to transform her hair.
I tagged along with Christina as Aura took her hair from dark brown to, well, a beautiful multicolor combination of green, blue, red, purple, yellow, and more.
This is Christina's starting—and natural—hair color. Yes, her hair was that shiny when we arrived—are you jealous? Good. Me too.
Because Christina's hair skews pretty dark, Aura lightened it slightly with a combination of lightener and toner.
She applied it throughout Christina's hair using a comb, brush, and her hands. After each layer was done, a sheet of plastic wrap was carefully applied.
At the end of that process, this is what Christina's head looked like—a pile a plastic wrap, basically. The plastic helps trap body heat, Aura told us, which speeds up the chemical process.
Ta-da! After the pale pink concoction and an Olaplex treatment—to make sure her hair stayed so shiny—Christina's hair was lighter and ready for all the colors. Seriously, so many of them.
When it came time to create them, Aura mixed brands—Manic Panic and Pravana, primarily—with a tiny squirt of black dye.
The black, she told us, added the sought-after oil element—it wasn't enough to cancel the original, just enough to darken it a little.
In total, Aura mixed eight colors—various shades of purple, a green, a blue, a greenish-blue, a yellow, and a red.
Then it all began. Using a brush, Aura painted the colors onto Christina's hair—she kept the darker shades at the root so the ends popped even more.
Oil slick hair, Aura told us, came from playing around with making hair appear iridescent—there's no exact science to the application, just experimentation.
After painting each strand, she placed a layer of plastic wrap protection around it—keeping the colors separate stops them from all muddling together.
While there was no ~exact science~ to the color application, Aura definitely was careful to alternate different colors—the layering is what results in the iridescent effect.
Oh, and if you're thinking of trying something like this at home, make sure you saturate your hair with the color. Like, you need a lot of dye. More than you think, probably.
After the color and another plastic wrap crown, it was time to wash it all out. The result was beautiful rainbow runoff.
Once they began drying Christina's hair, the color really started to emerge.
When combed back, there were sections of red and green, with blue, yellow, and purple mixed in.
The final result was so, so colorful, but simultaneously, subtle enough that in certain lights it was barely noticeable. Best of all, Christina's hair was still as shiny as it was at the start, which made the iridescence pop even more.