Looking back at 2016 hair trends:
Last year was an eventful year in the world of rainbow hair! We saw the launch of professional only brand; Pulp Riot. Pulp Riot is the brainchild of the Butterfly Circus, a social media all-star group of educators and stylists. Even though it only launched back in May, Pulp Riot has already gained a massive online following with over 364K on Instagram alone! It’s certainly proving a strong challenger to Pravana Vivids as the go-to brand for professional only rainbow colours.
Another new brand on the market last year came from lead singer of Paramore, Hayley Williams. Williams launched her own range of non-professional bright colours called Good Dye Young. While not making as big an impact as Pulp Riot, it’s certainly made a nice addition to the non-professional market. It has also been a popular choice for a Vegan friendly option. With just 5 classic shades, we hope to see more colours from Williams in 2017.
In 2015 I predicted metallic hair would be big in 2016, and social media influencer and beauty industry icon, Guy Tang was the driving force behind this trend. 2016 was the year of the #MetallicObsession. In 2015 Guy Tang announced a collaboration with Kenra Colour, and at the end of the 2015 launched the new Kenra Color Metallic Collection. Guy’s new Metallic Collection was featured on Teen Vogue, MTV, Hello Giggles, Allure and his Mauve Metallic video published in Sep 2016 reached over 7 million views!
Pop Culture Hair Art: Hair colours inspired by our fandoms.
Last year I also predicted 2016 would see more Pop Culture inspired hair colours. I talked about how Pop Culture has never been more influential than in today’s entertainment world. So it would make sense as we become more creative with hair colours that we would look to our favourite TV, films, games, cartoons and superheroes for inspiration. And in 2016 we saw just that, with Pokemon GO inspired hair colour designs and the Harley Quinn hair colour trend…
Pokemon GO inspired hair colours
With the release of Pokemon GO, we saw a global phenomenon as the game was downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide. This revival of Pokemon fandom and nostalgia saw a new demand for the brand’s apparel and accessories. Fashion designers found this demand provided a fun and whimsical opportunity to be able to incorporate the Japanese pop-culture phenomenon into their garments. So it’s no surprise to see hair colourists taking the same opportunity to craft Pokemon inspired hair colours. There was even a #gamerpoplocks competition over on Instagram doing game art inspired hair colours, driving the Pokemon GO hair colour trend further.
Harley Quinn Hair Colour
The release of DC Comics movie Suicide Squad this year reinvented Harley Quinn’s colours and style. This created a wave of fans emulating the character’s iconic new look. This trend was so popular even social media mega star and hair colourist Guy Tang did his own take on Harley Quinn’s colour with Cosplayer Queen SuperMaryFace.
The Harley Quinn hair colour trend was so popular that hair dye brand SPLAT launched it’s own Suicide Squad hair dye collection. Then when Halloween came round Harley Quinn was the must-do costume and hair colour for 2016.
Split Dye: Half Half Hair Colour
With the popularity of Harley Quinn’s half half hair colour, it’s no surprise we saw an increase in split dye hair colours online. Reddit user Moniquey shared this mesmerising gif of her hair colour transforming from blue to pink with just a flip of her hair. The Moniquey’s gif went viral with almost 1.5 million views and was featured on sites like Revelist, Elle and Glamour,
Hidden Rainbow Hair: The trend you didn’t see coming!
The Hidden Rainbow hair design has been around a long time. I even cover how to do this technique in the 2nd edition of my book, which I published back in 2011 (though i’m sure i’m not the first to do the hidden rainbow). In 2014 this design became popular when hair artist Cynthia Lumzy coined the term “Peekaboo Rainbow” for this type of colour when her beautiful work was featured in Modern Salon. Then in 2015 hair artist Ruby Devine did this versatile colour re-naming it “Underlights”.
However 2016 was the year Hidden Rainbow Hair went viral online.
It started in Jan/Feb when Ruby Devine’s beautiful #Underlights inspired a wave of Instagram hair stylists trying this technique. As a result it got picked up by online publishers as a “new” trend, and was featured on Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Allure and Seventeen.
Then in September “Underlights” was re-named again as “Hidden Rainbow Hair” and we saw it spread like wildfire across social media. It was featured on Huffington Post, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Popsugar, Hello Magazine, Marie Claire, Fashion Magazine, Hello Giggles… just to name a few! The photo that created all the buzz came from colourist Carla from Notanothersalon, and reached over 14k likes on Instagram.
Hair by Carla from Notanothersalon
Undercut Designs: Like hidden works of hair art.
Hidden colour was certainly the theme for 2016, but it didn’t stop with long hair. Back in April 2016 this colourful kitty undercut hair art by St. Petersburg-based hairdresser Aliya Askarova on her client LaserB.Kate went viral online. With features on Bored Panda, Huffington Post, Mashable, Popsugar and more, it’s no wonder it inspired a wave of undercut hair tattoo art.
Glitter Undercut Hair.
Everything is more magical when you throw glitter at it! So after the #glitterroots hair trend of 2015 it’s so surprise the glitter was back for 2016, taking the undercut game to the next level.
UV reactive glow in the dark hair
The end of 2016 went out with a bang that lit up the night with glow in the dark hair! These are in fact UV/blacklight reactive hair dyes, and they have been around since the 90’s, from brands like Manic Panic and Special Effects. But once again the dream team that is Guy Tang and Kenra Professional launched the new Creative Neons Collection at the end of 2016. Guy’s Phoenix Neon Glowing Hair using the new colours hit over 8 million views on Facebook. Then the Neon Hair Battle began on Instagram creating #neonmania.
Above: UV hair colour by Anya Goy. Watch the full YouTube video here.
With so many wonderful and creative trends in 2016, i’m excited to see what 2017 will bring.
What was your favourite 2016 hair trend?
What new rainbow hair trends do you think 2017 will bring?
Leave your comments below and let me know!
Want rainbow hair?
Like this post? Share it online…
Hair trends for 2016
Today we’re talking about the forecast for new 2016 hair trends. I’m taking cues from the authority on fashion and design colours: Pantone. I’m also looking at new shades launched from leading hair colour brands, and how this will shape the looks for 2016. I’m also looking at past trends and how they can evolve into new ones, plus some inspiration from industry experts.
Looking back at 2015:
Last I predicted hair glitter to be the new hair chalk in this post: “2015 Hair trends forecast” And looking back at 2015 I was spot on as it was all about the glitter!! Glitter roots, glitter brows… even glitter beards! 2015 sparkled! I also talked about how “Neon is the new Pastel”, and again we had some amazing neon hair colours that makes the hair glow under UV lights. Especially with the new Star Wars inspired hair, with UV hair colours that light up like a lightsaber created by hair artist Mishele DiMaria. 2015 was the year to sparkle and glow.
2016: Holographic, Metallic, Iridescent hair and Pop Culture Hair Art.
I still think the hair glitter and neon UV colour will still be around this year, just as rainbow hair, pastel hair and balayage are here to stay. I think we will still be seeing more neon UV hair under black lights this year, as it was only at the end of 2015 that it was picked up on. However for 2016 I believe the bigger trends in hair colour this year will be more multi tone colours that shine and reflect… Silver, metallic, iridescent, pearl and opal. We will still be seeing vivid rainbow tones, but harmoniously balanced with metallic tones. Last year we saw Silver hair, Northern Lights hair, and Galaxy hair trends… this year think Space Dust, Moonstones, Abalone Shell, Dark Crystals, Water Colour and Holographic hair. Luminous colours that shimmer and glisten.
The other big trend I see happening this year is Pop Culture Hair Art. As we become more creative with our colours, I can see bright hair colour and design becoming a form of expression for our fandoms and Pop Culture. Hair colours inspired by Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Adventure Time, Super Mario, Doctor Who, Pixar… think Comic Con meets hair art, and I’m not talking about Cos play wigs!
So lets start by looking at this years colour pallet…
2016 Pastel Hair Colours: Rose Quartz & Serenity.
Pantone, the authority of fashion and design colours, broke the tradition for the first time. There is not only one colour of the year for 2016. There are two colours this year: Rose Quartz & Serenity. Pantone’s colour of the year always has a big influence on hair colour trends, and this years pick will be no different. Particularly as these colours work perfectly with the Water Colour, Metallic and Pearl effects hair colour trends I mentioned.
Pastel hair will always be popular with blondes, those who are colour shy and those have never tried unnatural colours. This year’s Rose Quartz & Serenity are going to make for a great colour options for those clients.
According to people, who are behind the selection of colours 2016 Rose Quartz and Serenity, it really is all about blending these two fascinating colours and this creates more and more new shades, which are moving this pink and gray-blue colour to the purple pastels. Colors of the year 2016 Rose Quartz and Serenity have to be the antithesis in the modern era which is full of stress. There are pleasant, calming and we can say anti-stress colours. They are mutually balanced, but at the same time they point on the duality, which can combine together and it can blur our perception of the world. Exactly like it is in our real life, where is reduced the difference between man and woman. In fashion this trend more and more noticeable. It is not about typical feminization of women’s wardrobe and simultaneously about masculinization of the men’s one:
“As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colours that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.
The prevalent combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity also challenges traditional perceptions of colour association.
In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted colour trends throughout all other areas of design. This more unilateral approach to colour is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using colour as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to colour usage.” – PANTONE
Hair colourists are already creating some stunning looks with 2016’s Rose Quartz and Serenity…
“Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.” – PANTONE
Hair by Audrey Adrine
Last year Schwarzkopf Professional launched the Igora Royal Pearlescence range. These colours are perfect for creating 2016’s Rose Quartz and Serenity’s silky soft tones. Use P 9.5-29 for Rose Quartz and P 9.5-89 to create Serenity.
Coming soon from Joico…
Joico has also announced it will be launching 5 new pastel shades in 2016, including shades “Rose and “Sky”, perfectly inline with Pantone’s Rose Quartz and Serenity. The launch date for the new Colour Intensity pastel shades has yet to be announced.
2016 Hair colour trends are all about the shine: Holographic, Metallic, Iridescent…
While 2015 was all about glitter and sparkle, 2016 is going to be about shine.
While the “Granny Grey hair” trend has been around a while, like the pastel trend, it is also evolving. This year we will see the shine effect transform the grey trend into Chrome, Metallic and Silver. The biggest driving force behind this is social media influencer and professional beauty industry icon, Guy Tang. Last year Guy Tang announced a collaboration with Kenra Colour, and in November launched the new Kenra Color Metallic Collection.
Guy Tang is a huge influence and inspiration to the industry, and his #MetallicObsession has already set Instagram a buzz. He has just finished running the #GuyTangHairBattle competition with Kenra Professional and Behind The Chair. This has been the driving force behind the flood of Metallic hair, and it has set the tone of what is to come this year. Check out a couple of these beautiful entries…
Pantone colours & Metallic’s = 2016’s Holographic Iridescent hair…
As I said before, the UV neon colours are not going anywhere, but believe what we will see for this year is the Metallics and Pantone’s Rose Quartz and Serenity combined with small accents of UV neon’s, creating stunning, shiny, Holographic and Iridescent colour effects. Think prismatic pastels, hair that looks like it almost has a gauzy sheen and mystical glow of fairies wings. Be looking out for #holohair this year. Silver and sheer pastel colours combined for a fun, girly and eye-catching look. Hair artist’s Ash Fortis (aka xostylistxo) and Shelley Gregory are people to watch this year as their Holographic creations have been ahead of the trend…
Pop Culture Hair Art: Hair colours inspired by our fandoms.
The final trend I see happening this year is Pop Culture Hair Art. We already have seen our favourite entertainment transform the world of fashion, with brands like BlackMilk, shops like Hot Topic and designers like Jeremy Scott. Pop Culture has never been more influential than in todays entertainment world. So it would make sense as we become more creative with hair colours that we would look to our favourite TV, films, games, cartoons and superheroes for inspiration.
One of the big driving factors for this trend is the Pop Locks hair colour competitions over on Instagram. At the end of last year they started with #starwarspoplocks competition and are currently running #disneypoplocks. The competitions are hosted by LollyPopLocks and was the brain child of Kasey O’Hara Skrobe (aka hairbykaseyoh). With thousands of colourists around the world entering, it’s no wonder these hairstyles are shared by Huffington Post, Pop Sugar, Teen Vouge and others, sending them viral and inspiring millions. As I expect the Pop Locks competitions will get bigger and better throughout 2016, I expect Pop Culture Hair Art to become very popular this year! Check out some of the entries…
I was very honoured to win 1st place in the #starwarspoplocks competition with my Bobba Fett helmet inspired hair design…
So will you be trying out Iridescent hair or Pop Art hair this year?
Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite look for 2016 is…