Highlighter Highlights Will Get You In The Mood For School Supply Shopping

by James Hale

Most people reading this probably just let out a groan. July is way too early to be thinking about school shopping, whether for yourself, a sibling, or your own kiddo. But while it may seem impossible, the incredible neon highlighter highlights trend just may get you — or at least your hair — in the mood for your local office supply store's back-to-school sale.

Hair colorist and Manic Panic global artistic director Alix Clymer is the stylist behind the neon pink, yellow, and orange look, which she shared on Instagram. The dye job involved, of course, Manic Panic dyes, but you may be surprised to find that Clymer only used two shades: Solar Yellow and Pussycat Pink. She blended the two for a spot-on bright orange that, along with the yellow and pink shades, perfectly mimics highlighter colors.

Clymer told Allure that this dye job is all about something she loves: Making a statement. Plus, it incorporated some 90s flair. "I'm a '90s chick, so neon colors are part of my DNA," she said. "I wanted this piece to scream, 'Summer in the '90s!' but with a modern, elegant twist."

The dye job took three hours to complete, and you can see why below.

As for Clymer's application techniques, she explained to Allure that for the yellow and pink, she used a "classic highlighting technique with a gentle backcombing method to create a 'soft, lived-in root base' and an 'extremely blended natural, child-like highlighted effect.'"

For the orange, she "opted for a slicing technique, which required leaving a blonde slice untouched in between each color slice."

While these colors remind folks of summer and of back-to-school time, Meredith Morris, hairstylist and owner of MAVEN Beverly Hills, says they're not likely to last till the first school bells ring. These colors are temporary, she says, that simply coat the surface of the hair.

"To create a bold highlight effect, you would need to combine the boldest of these temporary direct dye colors," she says. "It is important to know that in order for your hair to take direct dye temporary colors, it must be bleached to the palest shade of blonde for best results."

This intense bleaching can take several sessions at a salon, she says. And those wanting dye jobs like this should go to a salon, or at least to a trusted professional.

"Do not do this at home," she says. "Bleaching hair is not an at-home job. Unlike the conditioning agents in temporary color, when bleaching you're working with harsh chemicals that need to be handled by a professional."

Though this dye job is temporary, it's definitely one of the boldest and most eye-catching looks of 2017. And for us 90s kids, there's never a better thing to help weather a rough present than a throwback to some of the past's truly beautiful aesthetics.