The future of hair color is becoming hyper-real
Guido Palau is committed to the scroll. “I follow a lot of colorists from Japan, China and Korea,” says the legendary hairstylist, pointing to a more recent affinity for a particular hair coloring technique that has long been popular in Asia and is beginning to spread to the US. “It’s a kind of conception of color that feels almost computerized,” says Palau, who has created a beauty hypothesis around the ubiquitous influence of technology. After years of clinging to the idea of ”realness” — no makeup makeup, come-as-you-are hair — we’re now approaching the “hyperreal‘ he says, the result of our collective consumption of archival inspo photos and avatar construction by the faulty pixels of our smartphones.
“There’s definitely a sci-fi anime feel to it,” Lena Ott says about the specific quality that Palau has stuck to. Ott, the New York-based colorist and frequent Palau collaborator responsible for his vibrant chromatic vision here, brought bright green bobs with him Alta Moda show by Dolce & Gabbana; a blue stripe to Coach’s Fall Sale; and pink, aqua, and lime spike tips too The Spring Tale by Thom Browne. As if on cue, customers at Ott’s popular Caroline studio suite in SoHo are starting to ask for a brightness that’s “slightly less smoky,” she reports, and that gravitates toward applications that are “tacky but rich.”
And what happens in the salon often spills onto the red carpet. Jodie Turner Smith recently debuted at the New York Film Festival in a rich fuchsia buzz-cut fade, and you can’t help but evoke images Tilda Swintons Shadow shift this summer in Venice. The Oscar winner regularly spoils her limp quiff with unusual colors. But for The Eternal Daughter For Premiere, she chose an eye-catching shade of Big Bird Yellow. (What the near-neon paint job lacked in subtlety it made up for in social media impressions.)
You don’t have to go all the way to Swinton to get into the fantasy, though, says Palau. “Just take a wig to your colorist and color it your way,” he advises. “Another fun accessory for beauty experiments.”
Fashion Editor: Patrick Mackie. hair, Guido Palau; Makeup, Diane Kendal.