How to dye your hair the Pantone 2020 colour of the year

Coincidentally, a long list of K-pop stars – including, but not limited, to IU (above), GOT7’s Youngjae, Astro’s Rocky (below), and SuperM’s Kai and Lucas – have been experimenting with dye jobs in several shades of blue lately, giving us major evidence of how versatile Classic Blue hair can be.

The 2019 Colour of the Year, Living Colour, was one of the top hair colour trends not only in South Korea but also in America. I have a strong feeling we’re about to see more and more celebrities from Seoul to New York City try out Classic Blue in the next year.

Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year doesn’t have a fancy name like past ones, like Living Coral, Ultra Violet, or Rose Quartz. Instead, it’s straightforward: Classic Blue. As no-frills as the name may seem, it makes for a stunning hair colour that’s far from boring. Take Billie Eilish and Cardi B as examples. Eilish was a fan of Classic Blue hair for months before dyeing her roots neon green, and Cardi B has dabbled in blue wigs more than once.

Curious about trying out Classic Blue hair yourself? If your hair is not already light, you’re definitely going to want to make with a professional hair colorist as going blue can be an intensive process. “The hair first needs to be properly pre-lightened to a pale blonde to eliminate any yellow tones in the hair,” says Eryk Brian, a hairstylist at Pony Studios in Oakland, California. “This helps eliminate the hair from turning green.” Those with dark hair can take cues from IU and skip bleaching your roots. Classic Blue pairs well with a dark base.

From there, hair needs to be toned to a cool blonde for the perfect canvas for the Classic Blue hue. “I usually mix a few different blue tones to achieve the final result and apply that to dry hair,” Brian says. He lets the colour process anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes before rinsing it out with cool water and conditioning lightly.

Once you get home, maintenance can be as little or intense as you want it to be, depending on how long you want the colour to last. Overall, Stephanie Diaz, a colourist at Bumble and bumble Meatpacking, recommends washing your hair minimally with cold water and sulfate-free shampoo. To maintain the pigment, you can use a colour-depositing conditioner once a week. Brian typically makes a custom treatment for his clients to maintain the results at home. In case your stylist doesn’t offer you one, the Overtone Extreme Blue Colouring Conditioner is a great option. You can also use this as a bleach-free colouring option.

If you’re worried about how the colour will fade out, Brian says the way the hair is first lifted and toned will affect your results. Seeing a professional will ensure it goes from cobalt to pastel blue or even cool blonde. Worst-case scenario: It can go green. Touching up your colour or starting with a cool-toned platinum base will remedy the situation. For root touchups, “the sweet spot is every four to six weeks. Depending upon the vibrancy, you may need to replenish the tone every week or two.”

In the meantime, Classic Blue eye makeup is always an option.

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