With the summer heat kicking into high gear, it seems like everyone has beach on the brain these days. Not that that's something to complain about, especially when the internet's best beauty gurus are riding — or, well, dyeing — to the rescue with the ocean hair trend, Instagram's summer-perfect new hair style.
Ocean hair may look simple on the surface in some cases, but this trend goes beyond a one-color dye job. Most stylists are using various dyes, and even various brands, mixed together to achieve wild colors. Plenty of stylists are also using ombre techniques to achieve a multi-tone look, with colors ranging from black to deep grey to blues from all across the spectrum, to the occasional green.
Instagrammer cozmic.color, aka colorist Brittany Holland, told Allure that mixing shades helps stylists "create depth and movement that mimics the ocean." She explained that she and her client were inspired by the thought of a much-needed beach getaway from their desert town.
If you're thinking of snagging this look for yourself, either through DIY or a professional, Bustle spoke to stylist Meredith Morris for some must-read advice on how to protect this complicated dye job.
But first, check out some of these seriously inspiring takes on ocean hair from Instagram.
saraihairwizard's take on ocean hair used Joico Color Intensity dyes, and blended a subtle silver shimmer that exactly mimics what it's like to look down at glimmering water on a hot day.
hairbykaseyoh's eye-catching neon take is a custom-mixed color, with three different shades blended together.
roguehairstudio's incredible jewel-tone version took multiple Pulp Riot shades to achieve, including Nirvana, Nightfall, Powder, and Mercury.
And last but not least, here's Holland's ombre ocean, also created with Pulp Riot dyes.
While these dye jobs look absolutely gorgeous when they're snapped for Instagram, maintaining those colors can take a bit of work, stylist Morris tells Bustle. "Most people don't realize that fashion hair colors like blue and pink are not actually hair color, they are more of a surface stain on the hair," she says. "They don't penetrate into the hair the way a demi, semi, or permanent hair color does. The color just sits on top of the hair."
Almost the moment a hair color like blue or pink is applied, fading begins, she explains. "There is actually not a single thing you can do to prevent the color from fading and fading fast, but here are some tips that will help keep the color as vibrant as possible until a reapplication is required."
Morris says it's vital that wearers don't style their hair with heat, that they wash their hair as infrequently as possible (and not with hot water), and when they do wash, to wash with something color-safe and sulfate-free. She recommends O&M Maintain the Mane.
And above all, "Don't blame your stylist if your blue hair fades," she says. "Keep in mind that these fashion colors don't develop and process the way natural colors do because the chemistry is different. Fashion colors are stains, so before taking the leap into making a radical hair change, understand the investment and the time required to maintain the look."
While the look will take some work to keep up, it's definitely worth it when you get to carry a slice of the sea with you to make these hot days more bearable.