Glow In The Dark Hair Is Going To Be Big In 2016

Step aside, rainbow hair: the newest hair color trend is here, and it's positively glowing — literally. Glow in the dark hair is the newest and coolest fad in hair color, guaranteed to gain the approval of all '90s raver kids and the universal disapproval of parents and school administrations. Proving that it is a breeding ground for new trends, glow in the dark hair has exploded in popularity on Instagram. Ultra-futuristic images of models bathed in a purple glow with technicolor swirls and swoops adorning their heads have been all over the social media platform, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

We all know rainbow hair is having a major moment (as Hilary Duff can attest), and glow in the dark hair feels like the logical evolution of the chromatic trend. But how does one go about getting glow in the dark hair? More importantly, what makes it glow (I'm gonna spoil you and tell you it's not radium)? It actually turns out that the images making rounds on social media don't feature glowing hair in the style of, say, those star stickers we all had back in the '90s. The color doesn't actually emit light. According to the Huffington Post, the secret lies in UV reactive dyes, which glow under a black light. So the hair in the images we're seeing looks totally different in daylight, and doesn't actually glow in the dark unless you're in a cool futuristic nightclub. Granted, it looks totally rad either way.

As with any haircolor, UV reactive color will stay looking its best with the proper maintenance and care. I turned to Las Vegas-based stylist Mishele DiMaria, whose Instagram boasts an impressive gallery of glow the dark haircolor, for her advice on getting and keeping glow in the dark locks.

1. Blondes Really Do Have More Fun

As with all bright haircolor, UV reactive color is designed to sit on pale strands. "It shows up best on blonde hair," DiMaria told me via email. "Brunettes & redheads would need to lighten their hair to maximize results."

2. It's Not Permanent

This is great news if you just want to rock glowing hair for summer break. "When you're around a black light your hair will glow!" DiMaria says. "As your color fades the glow will lessen."

3. But It Will Last Longer With Proper Care

If you've already got fashion color, you're in luck, because caring for UV reactive color is exactly the same. "The maintenance & care is similar to any fashion color." DiMaria points out. "It should last for at least three weeks. If you care for it properly it can last much longer. It's best to use sulfate-free shampoo only when needed and cold water when shampooing and rinsing." So yeah, cold showers in the middle of winter are awful, but isn't neon hair worth it?

4. It Doesn't Truly Glow In The Dark

DiMaria confirms that UV reactive color really won't have your hair glowing like the inside of a nuclear reactor. "These colors are UV reactive and only glow under a blacklight. Unfortunately, they will not glow in just a dark room." Bummer.

5. You Really Need To See A Professional

UV Reactive color isn't damaging in and of itself, but bleach can wreak havoc on your hair. To avoid melting your hair off, it's best to see someone who knows what they're doing. "As a professional hair designer, the most important thing to me is integrity of a person's hair," DiMaria says, "so I would recommend to get it done professionally."

6. Glow In The Dark Hair Isn't Going Anywhere

DiMaria told me that trends this year will be all about soft shades with vibrant pops of color — and UV reactive color will fit right in. "I think there is going to be a lot of muted & pastel fashion colors or silver hair with pops of bright colors etc," she says. "If you're a fan of blacklight hair, don't fret, a professional colorist will be able to custom blend your color to give you a pastel/muted tone look that will still glow!"

7. It's Fun For Stylists Too

Hairstyling is a creative profession, and there's nothing like a new coloring technique to stave off burnout. "I've always loved unique things," DiMaria says of glow in the dark color, "so as soon as I found out glowing haircolor existed I knew I had to create art with it."

Images: Courtesy Mishele DiMaria