The Coolest Hair Trend To Try Right Now (If You Dare)

Who's ballsy enough to join the mauve-ment?

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Main image: @Ireneisgood

Seeing the shade here, there and everywhere? Nope, this isn’t a “pigment” of your imagination. Purple has percolated our collective consciousness by playing a plum role in the mindful movement (amethyst ampoules, anyone?) and on ritzy raiments (think periwinkle pant-suits from this season’s Victoria Beckham) — to yes, the mane affair.

Which is par for the course given Pantone’s christening of its coverline-grabbing colour of the year. Pantone 18-3838, AKA Ultra Violet, is an ultra-vivid ultramarine spiked with a shade-shifting shot of rich rum. In short: It’s pretty with a capital P.

Besides being inherently Instagrammable, the charismatic colour “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking”, says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in making her case for their choice this year.

This connection with creativity may explain why so many well, creatives have a penchant for purple, with lavender locks being spotted on the coolest celebs and industry insiders, from Katy Perry and Keke Palmer to Narelle Kheng and yours truly.

So if the influx of Insta-stories from indigo-haired influencers is any indication, the colour purple will be peachy keen for your subsequent salon session.

"Tweak it a tad and the tint du jour becomes easy to execute, even if you’re an executive climbing the rungs at a conservative corporation."

Stealthy shade

Which begs the billion-dollar question: Can working warriors rock this relatively radical hue without incurring the ire of their HR department?

Answer: A resounding yes — but with minor modifications.

“Unless you’re in a really out-there industry, I won’t recommend a solid shade from root to tip,” advises Michael Chiew, the mane man behind my makeover and leading stylist at Hairloom Salon. Instead, the trick is to ask your colourist to covertly paint on the pigments using balayage, an “artistic” approach which involves the freehand feathering of strategic streaks scattered across your entire head.

Parcelling out the purple this way makes for a more “palatable” presentation, with the bonus of bestowing a mesmerising multidimensional gleam akin to the glaze of a blueberry bagel.

Bottomline? Make our dearly departed Prince proud and don’t be a shrinking violet. Tweak it a tad and the tint du jour becomes easy to execute, even if you’re an executive climbing the rungs at a conservative corporation. So brace yourself for a bit of bleaching: We’re entering a new era of purple reign.

How to pull off purple with pizzazz

A magenta mane is surprisingly sublime against the cool creaminess of a milky mien.  


You’ll find a “hair-ppy” medium in silvery shades that skew towards the bluish or pastel pinkish end of the spectrum. Add luminising lilac lowlights to seal the deal.


Luxe up your locks with a gem-like glimmer. A tinge of tourmaline will pop most pleasingly against a coffee complexion.

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