sirisa clark

the things I do and the words I choose


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Chalk it up to experience

obligatory overexposed art shot

Photo credit: Sirisa Clark 2012

Do not adjust your visual apparatus. I have blue hair.

I’ve fantasised about having dip-dyed pink hair since I first saw the video for New by No Doubt, waaay back when in 1999 [sidebar: I also want the eye make up. How freaking hot is Gwen Stefani? She is high on my girl crush list].

So I got really excited when I found this tutorial on Oh So Pretty The Diaries. But being the big ol’ wuss that I am, I am too scared to bleach my hair. Also, it would take a whole bucketful of bleach.

And then, joy of joys, I discovered they also had this tutorial, to basically temporarily colour in your hair with chalk! You can buy special little pots of coloured chalk for your hair, but more than one tutorial I found suggested using regular pastels.

So I took myself off to the college shop at lunchtime (working in an art college can be super-handy) and bought myself two sticks of pastel: one cobalt blue and one hot pink. I couldn’t wait to try it out, to the point that I actually ended up colouring in my colleague Jess’s hair in the afternoon. When I got home I set to work, colouring in random hunks of hair.

Here is what I discovered:

1) This shit works much better on fair hair. Jess’s was perfect in fact: long, golden brown beachy waves that showed up the streaks of colour amazingly.

2) This look is very subtle on dark hair. Like, Ben-talked-to-me-for-fully-five-minutes-before-noticing subtle, and he may have been helped by some full force ‘I’ve done something different’ significant looks.

3) Once he noticed, he loved it.

4) Hot pink comes up deep purple on dark hair. Boo hiss.

5) This gives your hair a very dry, matted texture. This may seem obvious to the point of idiocy to you (um, you put chalk in your hair. You were expecting a VO5 Hot Oil moment?), but I don’t tend to style my hair very much (I refer you to the wussage above) and was a bit surprised by the instant change in texture.

6) The surprise wasn’t necessarily bad. This is essentially a grunge kind of look, and the matted texture suited that. I think the next time I do this, I will play up to the grungey look, and use the added texture to style my hair.

7) I am now blue all over. My hands are blue, my bathroom is blue, my chest and shoulders are blue. I even have blue eyelids (I had a lot of excess chalk on my fingers… thought it might make good eyeshadow…). This stuff does not wash off easily.

So, that my friends, was my experiment in hair-chalking. I think I will be trying it again, and at 80p a stick, I will be testing out some more colours to see what works best on dark hair. And maybe one day soon, I will pluck up the courage to do some permanent dying.