Yellow hair- what’s it all about?

It might just be the brightest hair trend of the year- heck, the century- and love it or hate it, fluorescent-yellow hair is now a thing. We know, we know; say fluorescent yellow, think first-timer’s hair dye disaster, but trust us when we say there’s a way to work this colour so it actually looks flattering.

We saw it first on rapper Lil' Kim, who walked the VFiles runway at 2018 New York Fashion Week wearing a yellow dress and jacket combo with matching bright yellow hair, and it seems it went down well, with top beauty and style magazines promising it to be the next big thing.

Next came Nikki Minaj, whose hair, whether real or (arguably) not, is the same shade of yellow during her feature in a music video for Korean boyband BTS’s new single. Okay, so we all know Nikki Minaj is pretty famous for her out-there looks, but we still think this is a trend that’s going to catch on.

Now, the cheery shade, said to represent the sprightly optimism of that generation born between the mid-'90s and early '00s, is popping up all over Instagram, with 777k followers-strong @american-salon posting a pic of a model with dyed-bright locks that received over 1,300 likes.

But where, especially when it’s nearing pumpkin spice latte and jumper season, did our sudden love of such a sunny colour stem from? Apparently, according to the experts, part of the reason is that we’re bored of going blonde. Hairstylist Sophia Hilton, who founded Not Another Salon, says of the trend: "It's just a really fun update for blondes that doesn’t require a huge amount of commitment. Pastels and rose gold have been 'on trend' for what feels like forever, so we're now searching for something quite different."

But just how easy is bright yellow to master? First thing’s first, this isn’t one you want to have a go at yourself- it’s best leaving it to the experts. You should have a light natural base to begin with, so if you don’t, you may need several appointments, and normally several hours at a time, for your hair colour to be lifted. Once it’s at a suitably light shade, that’s where the experimenting with the bright yellows can begin.

Once you’ve got your colour, it’s important to remember that when it fades, it’s going to look more obvious than if your hair had been dyed, say, light brown to ash blonde. To keep your hair fresh, you'll need to remove any conditioners or shampoos that contain sulphates from your routine, as they could strip the colour. In between salon visits—which will definitely become more frequent if you want to commit to the trend—you should use a colour-depositing conditioner every other time you shower.

It’s a big commitment, and it’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re brave enough to give the yellow hair trend a go, then good on you! As for us, we’ll probably sit this one out, but that won’t stop us admiring the trend from afar, even if we’re not quite daring enough to go the whole hog ourselves.

Laura Shallcross