When we were pondering all the cool ways we could shake up our looks this year, our minds immediately turned to our readers—after all, you inspire us to embrace a bold and playful approach to our beauty routines on a daily basis. We knew we wanted to turn the makeover concept on its head, so why not invite you to play along? And thus, Beauty Dares was born: Throughout 2018, each Byrdie editor will be asking you to challenge us to try something new—from bold lip colors we don't typically wear to a drastic, new haircut. First up is our wellness editor, Victoria Hoff, who asked our Instagram followers to choose a new hair color—and the shade you landed on does not disappoint.
If I remember correctly, our Beauty Dares series was still only in the conceptual stage when I volunteered myself as the first tribute. "Oh good," I told Editorial Director Faith Xue. "It's been too long since I switched up my hair color." For reference, "too long" in the realm of my personal history is barely more than a year. Prior to my current status as a smoky blonde (seen in the photo below), I oscillated between my natural shade of chestnut brown, caramel, blue, deep espresso, back to my natural brown (with a short and shaggy cut), and then rose gold—all over the course of 18 months. Let's just say that I haven't earned my status as Byrdie's resident hair color chameleon for nothing.
But although I've been comfortable with my current shade for an uncharacteristically long amount of time, I've also felt the itch to change things up again—even if just temporarily. And Beauty Dares gave me the perfect opportunity.
Since I knew I wanted to keep my hair light (and sincerely wanted to avoid a 10-hour color appointment to bleach it again in the near future), I settled on three options to present to our Instagram community, the last of which you can see in the post above: a golden caramel, an ultra-light baby blonde, and a very faded, very cool shade of pink. No surprises here—the pink won by a long shot.
This is where I admit that while I was stoked to try out the pink, I also wondered if I wanted something so permanent—especially because as the votes rolled in, I realized I was really attached to the borderline-platinum shade of baby blonde. Then it occurred to me: Why not do both? I'd have to lighten my hair anyway to provide a proper base for the pink to shine through. And there are so many amazing at-home options for temporary pastel color. (More on that in a minute.)
But first, I'd have to visit the only person I trust with my locks: my sweet friend and all-around color genius, Matt Rez, of Mèche salon in Beverly Hills. He agreed that opting for a temporary pink color would save me another corrective salon visit in the future, and instead devoted our appointment to refreshing and amping up the wattage of my current color.
All in all, this process still took a solid six hours—the curse of my ridiculously thick hair—and Matt also took a couple inches off my ends for good measure. I also sheepishly admitted to him that I've been completely delinquent about using Olaplex conditioning treatments between salon visits, which are crucial to maintaining a glossy, soft texture (hence why my scraggly ends needed chopping). I left the salon that evening with my brightest color to date and the promise that I'd truly commit to keeping it healthy.
But with my new blonde base intact, it was now time to venture into pink territory. I decided to defer to skincare guru Renee Rouleau, who has maintained rosy-blonde locks for years. She was more than happy to reveal that her secret weapon is Overtone, a line of color-depositing conditioners. Because I was aiming for a subtle, translucent shade like hers, she suggested mixing the color with regular conditioner. After perusing the multitude of hues available on Overtone's site, I settled on Rose Gold and readied myself for a little trial and error.
The directions are simple: You shampoo your hair normally, coat your hair in the color conditioner for five minutes, and rinse. The first time I gave it a go, I was thrown off by the saturated tone of the product and ended up rinsing it out after three minutes. I was left with a barely noticeable tint—no dice.
The next time, I was feeling a little bolder. After mixing two parts of the Overtone conditioner with my usual Rahua, I coated my hair once, and then again, and left the conditioner in for six or seven minutes. As I diffused my curls dry, I began to see my ideal color materialize: It was still sheer and subtle, but undeniably pink—and undeniably cool.
The compliments poured in when I went to the office the next morning, and several people were pleasantly surprised to hear that they too could get in on pastel color without any serious commitment.
I'm so happy with how the color turned out, and even more so with the flexibility to change up the hue and saturation as I please—so much so that I'm wondering if I should try a completely different Overtone color next. Lilac? Blue? I think it may already be time for Beauty Dares round two.