I don’t know if it’s the allure of The Hunger Games or Katy Perry, or the state of the world in general but technicolor hair has definitely stepped firmly into the mainstream. We’re living in a world where it’s not uncommon to find the nurse at your doctor’s office sporting a peacock streak to match her standard-issue scrubs, and where old ladies and TSA officers alike stop me to tell me how much they admire my all-over lavender locks.
At least, I thought I had lavender locks. But in our digital designer world, there are so many custom shades it’s damn near impossible to decipher lilac from lavender from, well…RADIANT ORCHID, 2014’s newly announced Pantone color of the year. (Actually in most cases it seems lilac skews pink while lavender has a bluer base — but it varies from brand to country to individual interpretation. I learned this as I went through them all in search of the perfect shade, but I’m totally getting ahead of myself.)
There are so many great ways to incorporate radiant orchid into your look in 2014, but I thought it would be fun to look at all the gorgeous ways you could rock the shade of the year and it’s decidedly royal color family as your most striking accessory of all — your hair. So join me as I review my many shades of orchid (and the dye bottle that got me there), along with the stunning purple-hued locks of a few members of our internet community, all in all hoping to give you the ultimate guide to integrating purples into your hairdo, and more importantly, how to achieve the shade.
Radiant Orchid 1 of 17
I didn't know there was an exact name for this shade, but there you go. Who knew I was so on trend?
Before You Go for It: Get Familiar with the Color of the Year 2 of 17
Pantone breaks down the elements of Radiant Orchid for the rest of us.
Before You Go for It: Select Your Favorite Shade 3 of 17
Check out Pantone's own mood board on the color and you get a good sense of the family it's in -- some shades are bluer, some are redder. Whether your hair is blonde or jet black, there's a shade on the Radiant Orchid spectrum that will undoubtedly blend into your look.
Dye Option: Special Effects Purple Smoke 4 of 17
Getting a shade like radiant orchid requires a nice platinum base, preferably with the yellow toned out. Purple Smoke by Special Effects (reportedly on shortage) gives me the lavender I like best. If only it didn't wash out in three showers or less.
Dye Option: Directions 5 of 17
One of my favorite shades -- Directions Lavender.
Dye Option: Overkill with Punky Colour 6 of 17
Lighter shades of purple fade quickly so I decided to overshoot with Punky Colour's Violet and see if that got me where I wanted. It didn't.
Dye Option: Consider Mixing Shades 7 of 17
Mixing shades is often necessary when you have a specific color in mind. This was a combination of SFX Deep Purple + Manic Panic Virgin Snow toner.
Dye Option: Fade to Radiant Orchid 8 of 17
It's SFX Purple Smoke after a week of washes. Surprise! Radiant Orchid!
Dye Option: Plum Perfect 9 of 17
I love this shade. Once, in search of a purple that would last longer than a couple of weeks, I went to my stylist for some test runs. We started with Pravana's Luscious Lavender, which unbeknownst to us at the time comes out virtually blue until you give it a couple of good washes. My stylist decided to go over it with violet toner, giving me a dark plum look. After a few showers, however, even the salon color started to fade dramatically and I was lavender once more.
Styling Option: Fiercely Radiant 10 of 17
My beloved EJL rocks a touch of orchid in her ombre rainbow. Ombrainbow.
Image courtesy of @flourishinprogress on Instagram
Styling Option: Radiant Ombre 11 of 17
Jenny from Conscientious Confusion Blog rocks an amazing radiant orchid-y ombre.
Image courtesy of Jenny Bradford
Styling Option: Extensions 12 of 17
Not ready to go full tilt purple? This ombre clip-in extension might be just the level of commitment you're looking for.
Available HERE, $13.36
Styling Option: Party in the Back 13 of 17
Babble's own Laurie White recently went for it with her "cherry bomb streaks." So far, says Laurie? "I love it!" You can create this look with the shades of radiant orchid family.
[Image courtesy of Laurie White]
Styling Option: Just the Tips 14 of 17
Purple tips are easy to hide and look great against dark hair.
Image courtesy of Waponi Girl on Flickr
Styling Option: Ombre Forever 15 of 17
Amber from Helpfully rocked an incredible magenta ombre.
Image courtesy of Amber Stiles.
Styling Option: Just a Touch of Love 16 of 17
Jenni from A Well Crafted Party says she misses her subtle pink highlight. A pop of radiant orchid would look gorgeous styled this way.
Image courtesy of Jenni Bost.
Styling Option: Endless Options 17 of 17
I love what a wide range the radiant orchid family gives you. And I hope you do too, because keeping this shade is a wild ride that takes you through a lot of changes.
Image courtesy of Calamity Photography on Flickr.