Donna Kim-Brand

Not Just for Kids: Chalk Up Your Hair for Summer Fun!

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes a fun new trend in hair expression- Chalking!

It’s a super way to add temporary color to your tresses, either all over your head by dip-dying or with wisps of color highlights here and there. When you’re tired of the look or ready for another shade, just shampoo the chalk out.

You can use hair specific chalk if you can find it, or you can buy a relatively inexpensive set of oil based chalk (pastels) from Michaels arts & craft store. You’ll have a rainbow of colors to choose from, which you can use singly or mix and match according to the look you want that day.

Start with a good brushing to make sure there are no snarls in your hair. This will assure more of the chalk stays on when you brush out later. Thoroughly wet strands of hair you want to color, from the scalp down or just the last few inches. It’s recommended you put a towel over your shoulders to prevent chalk dust from flitting down onto your neck and clothes, both on application and while drying. It will rub or wash out, but may leave a temporary stain. In fact, the chalk will stick on and stain your hands, or the hands of whomever is applying the chalk, so either wear light and tight latex gloves or have ready access to water for rinsing your hands between colors.

Then you simply apply the chalk by rubbing sideways onto the hair. Make sure to color the chalk on all the hair- top, bottom and in the middle of your chunk of strands. More chalk on your hair means more intense color, and one way to get that effect is to twist the hair strands as you chalk. The bumpy texture allows more pigment to be released from the chalk. Next you either air dry or gently blow dry, and use a straightener or curling iron depending on the look you want.

If you have darker hair, choose deeper pigments so they stand out against your deep dark tresses.

For a tie-die feel, choose your palette of colors and divide up chunks of hair around your whole head to chalk with a range of different colors. Do all of one color, wash your hands, then the next color, and so on. You can leave your hair down, or for a splashy festive look, pull your chalked hair into a ponytail, braid or bun. With the colors amassed the effect is stunning and fun!

I’ve seen another approach using hair gel mixed with crushed eye shadow instead of water and chalk. Just be sure to brush or comb out your colored hair before it dries or your chunks will be stiff as a board! In either case, most of the colors wash out in one or two shampoos. Remember to use a good conditioner as well, to restore any moisture and vibrancy the chalking may have stripped from your hair.

Finally, be as creative as you wish, chalking colors to match the holidays or your outfits. Since it’s July, a red, white and blue look will cause fireworks among your adoring admirers! So go for it!

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