First, we had galaxy hair. After that, we had My Little Pony hair. And now, because the internet knows we what we want, "Lisa Frank hair" is the newest trend sweeping the Instagram beauty world. By now, you'd think we would have had our fill of kaleidoscopic hair color fads and '90s revival beauty, but there's something about this nostalgia color that keeps the obsession going strong.
After all, Lisa Frank merchandise was like gold to children of the '90s. In first grade, I had a Lisa Frank folder with rainbows and puppies on it, and to this day it's one of the most magical objects I've ever owned. There was something about the vibrant neon palette and idyllic scenes depicted that evoked a sense of hope and wonder in us '90s kids—even those of us who otherwise thought of ourselves as too tough for bright pink dolphins and unicorns.
So it makes sense that Instagram has fallen in love with Lisa Frank hair, which was pioneered by stylist and colorist Caitlin Ford. The St. Louis–based color guru was inspired by '90s nostalgia and the vibrant palette of Lisa Frank to craft the new look. "What child of the '90s can forget the iconic colors of Lisa Frank?" she told Allure in a recent report. "As a hairstylist, it seems natural to want to translate that into hair."
Keep scrolling to learn more about the Lisa Frank hair trend (and how to re-create it yourself)!
Ford's take on Lisa Frank's color wheel is a bit more subdued than the blinding brights we remember from our backpacks and trapper keepers. (After all, we are adults now.) Ford says the softer colors not only look great but serve a purpose: They are easier to remove once clients decide they want to move on from Lisa Frank hair. "I love working with softer color palettes because it means I can use the gentlest measures to remove these colors should my clients change their minds later," she said.
As for the process of turning into living Lisa Frank merch: It isn't exactly simple. First, you need to start with light hair, so if you're not already blonde, Ford says to prepare for an intensive lightening process in the salon.
You'll also want to be selective with the colorist you go to. Ford recommends choosing a stylist with experience in bright colors. Be sure to bring in an inspiration photo before your appointment so that they can get a sense of your ideal color scheme and placement. But Ford reminds us that Lisa Frank hair isn't an exact science. "Keep in mind that these sorts of color designs are completely unique to the person who creates them and the person that wears them," she told Allure. "It will never be 100% the same, so be open to other interpretations of the Lisa Frank look."
If you don't want to fully commit to the Lisa Frank trend, try playing with some wash-out hair color at home. We recommend the products below!