50th Post... Dip Dye

50th blog post!
Hard to believe I made it this far, so to celebrate I'm posting my first monthly article I wrote for The Hub Magazine.

Two of the images above featuring model Abby Lee Kershaw – shot for Vogue Australia – have been making the rounds for some time now, and her dip dyed hair has divided both hairdressers and hipster denizens worldwide ever since. Make no mistake, statement hair color is making a comeback.

Usually the much frowned upon idea of regrowth would send any hairdresser worth their salt into instant hissy fits and even panic attacks. Believe me, I’ve seen it, and it’s not pretty. However the appeal, as a hairdresser and certified rebel-at-heart is in its purposeful imperfection and undeniable artful edge. This technique of dip dyeing or ombre as its also known in fashion speak (French for shading), usually refers to a fabric dyeing process that produces a pale-to-dark gradation of color in the fabric.

So just how do you interpret and translate all these splashes of color on the ends of models hair to your own mane without it looking like your 6-year-old niece attacked you?!

For the more daring amongst us, blondes can try neon shades or black, and brunettes can try acid blue or yellow. London girl-about-town and Fashion Editor of Dazed & Confused magazine, Katie Shillingford makes a stance. So it would make sense that Katie Shillingford with the help from hairstylist Raphaël Salley would style this shot for Dazed & Confused, taking the look to its (un) natural conclusion by adding acid blue in the mix.

Now let’s get serious, achieving this bold color takes bravado, so seek some expertise and precision most commonly found in the capable hands of a hairstylist, so to reiterate, this is not one to try at home, unless you want look like your 8 year old did it. So please, make an appointment with your colorist to avoid disappointment – and be prepared to snip your hair off above the dye-line when you’re fed up with it, because only permanent dyes will do and a steady hand to avoid the color running up the hair shaft, as one colorist I’m fond of for a rent-a-quote said, “perfectly placed, yet strategically erratic”.

For better results, a neat blunt cut works best with a clean 1-2inch colored line at the bottom of your mid to long hair length. It makes the whole look more confident and deliberate, without being too contrived. To make this hairstyle more user-friendly and less labored looking, most hair color specialists would recommend a more subtle combination than Drew Barrymore’s Black on blonde. For example honey blondes can go for a lighter soft peach or a darker chocolate through the ends, and brunettes could try caramel like Alexa Chung’s new bob length cut. All thats left to say is: Get Your Dye On!

Images: Abby Lee Kershaw: Australian Vogue, Drew Barrymore: Hello Magazine, Abby Lee Kershaw: Australian Vogue, Model at Horace AW10 fashion show, Drew Barrymore: Hello Magazine, Katie Shillingford: Jak&Jil blog, Lou Doillion: Lee Jeans and Alexa Chung: Daily Mirror.

A very special thanks to Rachael Oku, Features Editor for The Hub and Creative-Idyle.


  1. I like these styles on the runway and on celebs....just don't think I could ever do it myself!

  2. I'm loving the dip dye hair colour. I'm thinking of getting some red. Instead of damageing my own hair though i'm going to get some hair extensions added instead and get my stylist to cut my hair for me so it looks more like my own hair. Love the pictures they're proberly one of the nicest colours i've seen.

  3. i just dip dyed my hair reddish pink but my hair is dark brown. I have long hair so it actually looks really pretty. I agree about drew barrymore, the contrast is too much for the eyes. Still dip dying is great, plus like you said, when you get fed up with it you just got the ends, problem solved, i don't have to go near my roots at all