How to Pull Off Green Hair

Ever wondered how fashion girls get their candy-colored manes right? Us too. We followed one hair chameleon to the salon to see for ourselves.
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Eliza Brooke
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Ever wondered how fashion girls get their candy-colored manes right? Us too. We followed one hair chameleon to the salon to see for ourselves.
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Anyone who reads Fashionista knows that we love us a dye job, and fashion's affair with colorful hair is going strong in 2014 -- the more unusual, the better. That's why green is such a tempting candidate for a color makeover. It can be tough to pull off, but when done right, it is just so good, a fact best exemplified by Preetma Singh's signature blend of acidic and lush green. Non-obvious. Gorgeous.

Because bizarro-but-somehow-fashiony hues will never cease to fascinate, we tagged along for a lesson in unusual coloring when Perry Sun -- PR girl for Frédéric Fekkai and known hair adventurer -- made her latest trip to the salon. Currently a platinum blonde with some root, Perry was going for a mint green shade that's equal parts chic and playful.

Perry and her stylist, Fekkai SoHo colorist Kim Ruszczyk, spent the hour-and-a-half treatment slinging hair advice our way, so make like a sponge and absorb this knowledge, kids. This ain't your at-home Manic Panic job.

Perry, mid-bleach, and her hairspiration, a look from T Magazine.

Perry, mid-bleach, and her hairspiration, a look from T Magazine.

1. Find a colorist who will be honest with you.

Perry: "Having exhausted purple and gray, I felt like mint green is unexpected. I feel like it's different but feminine at the same time. In New York, you're surrounded by different people all the time and see funky hairstyles all over, but I feel like I haven't seen mint green just yet."

Kim: "For a minute, I thought about talking her out of the green. But it clicked: That's Perry. My least favorite was the gray. I wouldn't do the gray on her again. I'll do it again if she wants."

Perry: "You need to have that open, honest dialogue with a colorist, because you don't want someone who's going to say 'yes' to you and then give you something that doesn't work with your skin tone, or something you really shouldn't have done in the first place. I don't want anyone to go into a salon and have a yes-person for a stylist, because you walk out of there and you look like a freak, and no one wants that."

Kim mixes up a blend of Manic Panic forest green and blue hair dye for the perfect minty shade.

Kim mixes up a blend of Manic Panic forest green and blue hair dye for the perfect minty shade.

2. Go in for a consultation before you dye.

Perry: "When you want to look cool and have it look good, I would recommend going to a salon professional. And you don't necessarily have to fork over an arm and a leg to do so... The first thing you should do is book a consultation. A consultation at almost every salon that I know of is free, and you want to kind of get a vibe from the colorist and know that you're going to jive with them. And they'll be open to your ideas and say, 'No, that doesn't work, but you should do this instead.'"

Kim: "The bleach is probably about 45 minutes, then we're going to condition her, blow dry her. We'll do the color for ten minutes at the most."

Kim applies a blend of Manic Panic hues to Sun's bleached hair.

Kim applies a blend of Manic Panic hues to Sun's bleached hair.

3. Color-protecting products aren't just marketing.

Perry: "It'll fade, so the best way to maintain it is to use a protecting shampoo/conditioner, so I use [Fekkai's] color conditioning line. You make an investment in your color, and when you're doing it at a salon, you want to protect that color investment.

"I usually get about three to four weeks out of [my color], but using a non-color protecting shampoo and conditioner will probably mean that I'll fade a lot faster, and I've seen girls fade really quickly with pastel colors. You can go from a lavender to a really, really light purple in two weeks if you don't use the right shampoo/conditioner for it, also if you're washing your hair too often. I'm a huge proponent of dry shampoo. It helps extend your color by days and days at a time."

The (first) final result

The (first) final result

4. If the color isn't spot-on the first time, try, try again.

After some debate, Kim and Perry decided that she needed to come in one more time to deepen the color. It was pretty but not quite that fresh mint that she was looking for throughout.

Kim: "Do you see that? [Pointing to a lower portion of Perry's hair.] That's heaven. I want to do it one more time, and then do the green on top again. And not for long. I'm only going to do a 20 minute lift on it."

And scene! Perry's newly minted (GET IT?) locks.

And scene! Perry's newly minted (GET IT?) locks.

After a second treatment the following day, Team Mint nailed it. Green hair, don't care.