Orange Crush: A Guide To Grimes’ Tangerine Hair In Style.com/Print
For the Fall 2013 issue of Style.com/Print, hairstylist Daniel Moon joined photographer Nick Haymes in Vancouver to coif electronic-music goddess Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes. But he brought a whole lot more to the table when the idea of creating a custom color for the singer/producer/beats genius came up. “That’s one of my specialties,” he explains, “creating artistic pieces on people, using hyper-color.” Here, the Andy Lecompte Salon mainstay talks color “auras,” how to maintain the integrity of the hair even when copious amounts of bleach are involved, and why, as far as he’s concerned, hyper-color dye-jobs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.—Celia Ellenberg
How did you guys decide to color Claire’s hair for her Style.com/Print shoot?
“When we met originally, me and Nick mentioned the idea of coloring her hair, and we knew that she was kind of open to having multicolored hair. I create all of my own colors, and I look for a color for each person. You know how they say people have auras? I’m very sensitive to that. She said she’d maybe want to do something on the ends, but she really loved my hair—I have tangerine hair right now; it’s super tangerine, with bleached-out roots, sort of like a sunburst—and, you know, we connected. I love her work and seeing her in her videos. She’s exactly like that in person—very flowy, very happy. We chatted the whole two days of shooting.”
So you chose the color together, then?
“Yes, when it came to the orange, we chose that color. She was really scared of stripping the condition of her hair. But that’s a specialty of mine as well, as I do a lot of these hyper-colors. When it comes to this kind of coloring, it’s all about trust. If you can build trust, [clients] will be more open to doing colors like orange or the pastel army green we did on her ends. People usually over-process the hair to accomplish the lighter goal you need to accomplish the colors, but by being supersensitive to the hair and knowing which colors have the highest deposits on different levels of the blonde, you can maintain the integrity more. She was using Manic Panic black to put over the previous color she had, and it was a violet-based black, so her hair looked a little purple before we started. She didn’t want to use something permanent, so we used something that will come out in four weeks.”
What kind of steps do you typically take to make sure you’re being “supersensitive?”
“I take my time when it comes to stripping the hair. It could take up to six hours, but the whole process is worth it. The hair needs time to gradually pull the color out.”
Is there a specific developer you tend to prefer working with over others?
“I’ve been working with Pravana—they do bleaches, developers, colors, they have a styling line—and they do the best hyper-colors that last longest and have the most pigment. Her orange was actually something we custom created. We spruced it with up with neon yellow. I believe all colors should be custom. Everything needs to be adjusted to that person’s skin tone and personality. Sometimes it needs to be muted out; sometimes it needs to be lighter. When it comes to these colors, one shade darker or lighter can make that person look better or…you know.”
Why did you decide to do the orange only on her bangs?
“Once she said we could do everything we wanted, I said let’s do orange in the front and orange in the back—she’s growing out an undercut, so it looks like she has two haircuts when the hair is pushed over to the side. And then I said I’m going to strip all the purple out on the ends, and I thought I’d do a mauve, so it was orange in front, dark brown in the middle, and then mauve on the end. But when we stripped the color out, we tried an army green, and I said mauve might be more complete, and she said, ‘I think we’re good.’ When collaborating with another artist whose taste you respect, sometimes you need to let go. If I felt it was incomplete, that’s on me; but I completely trusted that this is what it was supposed to be.”
Did you need to cut her hair at all to make the color work?
“It was all the way over her face, so I cut it a little bit, because she just needed a minor adjustment. I straightened out the fringe and pushed it out of her face so it was a little Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s-ish.”
With color jobs like this, how do you typically advise your clients for at-home aftercare to maintain hair vibrancy and health?
“I actually customized a conditioner for [Claire]. I created a mask for her, putting the [orange] pigment in the conditioner—with instructions: pull all of the long hair and ends up and wrap them into a bun. Then put the conditioner on the fringe and back for fifteen to twenty minutes, and then rinse out and keep the two colors separate. The pastel army green can be left alone because that color’s not going to go anywhere.”
Hyper-colors had a huge moment on the runways three years ago and, after dominating the street-style scene, have started to peter out a bit. Do you think they’ll persist as a trend for much longer?
“My goal as an artist is to maintain that look. Because I see the positive effect it has on the people who wear it. I believe that when hyper-colors are put on people, it electrifies them and it raises the consciousness around them. You’re actually more interested in talking to someone with color in their hair—it creates interest. I don’t ever look at color as a trend, either. I interpret color in an artistic way, using color-blocking and those strategies, and art doesn’t really go out of style when it’s created correctly and when it looks original. I go to galleries and museums to pull references. If people start creating [hair color] like that, then they’re just putting art onto another canvas.”
Photo: Nick Haymes for Style.com/Print, Fall 2013