What is 'hair painting'? How to transform your hair into a true work of art


British supermodel Iris Law caused a sensation with kawaii-inspired flowers painted on her blonde hair for a campaign for JW Anderson. Photo: Instagram/Iris Law

Budding artists, this new hair trend is for you! Say goodbye to balayage, ombre hair, and other more traditional colour techniques and make way for a new form of modern art with "hair painting".

Nothing short of a social media phenomenon, this trend takes the form of all kinds of patterns painted onto our locks.

Blend into the crowd? That's not the favourite choice for younger generations who are going all out in imagination and creativity, to stand out with ever more extravagant beauty aesthetics and clothing combinations.

Something that is at least partially related to the comeback of certain trends from the 2000s – think low-rise jeans and hot pink – and which is propelling "hair painting", the hot new inspiration for hair, to the rank of key trend for the year 2023.

Podiums, social networks, influencers... pattern-painted hair is simply everywhere.

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While "hair painting" in and of itself is not exactly new – think of the leopard-print skulls seen on male models during the Versace fall-winter 2019 show, it is the first time that this new kind of art is propelled to the rank of a major trend, popular both with celebrities and regular social media users.

In December 2021, British supermodel Iris Law caused a sensation with kawaii-inspired flowers painted on her blonde hair for a campaign for JW Anderson, before repeating the exercise a few weeks later with leopard patterns, this time in line with the Ed Hardy by Siberia Hills collection.

An experimental look that caused a stir, with the trend surging over the past months to become a genuine fashion phenomenon.

Over 200 million views

But the star of the runway isn't the only fan of "hair painting", far from it, as shown by the hairstyles adopted over the months by Megan Thee Stallion, and more recently Lizzo.

And that's before we take into account the A-list athletes, basketball players and footballers in the lead, who have been sporting hair painting patterns – each more unusual than the previous – for several years now.

One example is Dennis Rodman, an expert in the domain, who recently entrusted his hair to Jackie Bieber, a hair artist based in Los Angeles, master in the art of "hair painting". Just take a look at her Instagram account for proof that you can do anything with hair dye, a brush, and (a lot of) dexterity and patience.

Over on TikTok, "hair painting" is already breaking the counters with more than 200 million views for all the associated hashtags, and as many videos revealing nostalgic, classic or ultra complex patterns.

From simple flowers, hearts and stars to manga characters, words and landscapes, all kinds of graphics are finding a place on the hair of the Chinese social network's users, transforming them into life-size canvases. Something to satisfy all tastes.

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While "hair painting" seems easier to execute on short hair, be aware that those with long hair are also beginning to embrace the trend, revealing even more spectacular designs.

This is the case of one user (@Alfredlewislll) who is a sensation on TikTok with long wigs decorated with psychedelic patterns.

Something that, as you may guess, is not within the reach of everyone.

While "hair painting" can be reproduced at home with dye, gloves, and various brushes, it is better to entrust your beautiful hair to a professional to avoid any disappointment – or to settle for very basic patterns. – AFP Relaxnews

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beauty , trends , TikTok , haircare


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