Unicorn everything is having a moment, from inescapable lattes with sprinkles to colorful superfood toast. And this fascination has set the stage for a major summer beauty trend—a ROYGBIV rainbow of hair colors, from pretty blue-green mermaid pastels to bold bubble-gum pinks, now flooding Instagram (hello, Bella Thorne).
While the idea of bleaching-and-dyeing your strands a sorbet shade isn’t always ideal for reasons of potential hair damage, or, hey, your office job, there’s an easy and totally effective way to get unicorn hair—and it doesn’t require a drop of dye.
“The best way to get unicorn hair naturally is to grab all of the super-bright eyeshadows you’ve ambitiously purchased but never—or rarely—wear and repurpose them as hair chalk,” says Merrady Wickes, ingredient guru at natural beauty shop The Detox Market. “This works with loose pigments, or it’s easier with de-potted or refill shadows.”
This way, you don’t have to worry about stripping out your natural color or even about what your boss would say—it’ll wash right out. Just whip out your makeup bag and prepare for the quickest way to get gorgeous, mythical creature-inspired hair, stat.
Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to achieving the unicorn hair look.
1. Choose your unicorn hair colors—here’s some advice
This is the fun part: deciding what shades of the rainbow you want to rock. Are you more of a sea green and turquoise mermaid, or My Little Pony pink? Wickes recommends a bright blue for brunettes and purple for lighter blondes—but you can choose your own adventure. “I love Tanya by Sappho for a cobalt pop on dark strands,” she says. “Or Alima Pure’s Siren for shimmering violet on fair hair.” Or you can make do with whatever fun colors speak to you and get funky with it.
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2. Apply the color (consider gloves)
Unlike the very involved process of dyeing your hair, this makeup method is done when your strands are already pretty much styled. When your hair’s dry, you simply work the shadows into your tresses (you can use gloves to avoid a mess). Here’s how:
Choose a strand and press the eyeshadow into your hair. You can slide it from the top to the ends, or work from mid-lengths down for an ombre effect, Wickes explains.
Seal in the color with a few spritzes of hairspray.
Then use either a curling wand or straightener to further lock in the color. And voila!
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3. Add some sparkle
Nothing says unicorn like glitter. “Sprinkle it wherever you wish for a mythical accent,” says Wickes. Your part is a fun choice. And to lock it down you can make a little glitter hair pomade by mixing the two together.
Summer’s a time when all kinds of beachy, playful hair goes, and light-reflecting or rainbow locks are a perfect match for mermaid waves, says Wickes.
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That said, if you’re looking for a whole new permanent shade, this is the crystal-inspired hair color you should totally know about. To keep it healthy, here’s how to choose natural hair products that really work.