How to Keep Wearing Hair Chalk in the Fall

Remember how we were all obsessed with hair chalk this summer? Streaks of pink, neon green... it was like being a kid again. A cool, grown-up kid with a great job and hair that showcased our unique creative spirits despite the fact that we worked behind a computer all day long.

Then fall came. And ombré died. And the leaves began to fall from the trees, and our spirits sank, just a little. Hair chalk began to feel wrong during this time of bare branches and conservative pea-coats.

But our inner kids were still unsatisfied. And our hair — once so colorful, a veritable accessory unto itself — felt flat, one-dimensional, predictable again.

The answer was so obvious that we wondered why we hadn't thought of it before. Our eyes had been so blinded by neon hair chalk that we completely disregarded all the other colors in our collections — the dark reds, the smoky grays, the golden yellows, the hushed browns. All the colors, ironically, that characterized the cold weather we'd been so quick to complain about. So we took another look at our boxes of hair chalk and decided to give streaked hair one last, seasonally appropriate hurrah.

I quickly realized that applying brown chalk to brown hair is a more hopeless task than Sisyphus rolling his boulder up the hill, so I discarded it, but you get the autumnal vibes. I started with the red. It's not a bright red, mind you, but a dark, flickering-fire-burnt-brick hue. The trick is to get it wet and rub it vigorously over your head, ignoring the fact that you're pulling about half of your hair out. I focused on the hair framing my face — I can't see what the back of my head looks like, so it might as well not exist. Here's the red:

Then the orange, which I applied above the streaks of red:

The yellow didn't show up at all until my hair dried, but once it did, it had a cool artificial glow to it. Here's the finished project:

Basically a head full of maple leaves. Seasonally appropriate? Check. Inner kid? Happy.