Andy Warhol called it, when he said one day we’d all be famous for 15 minutes. (Did he foresee Facebook and selfies?) It’s true that these days, all a celeb has to do is dye their hair purple to get instant attention. Shock locks look so NOW, but the look has its roots (hi-yo) in the ’60s and ’70s. Before Kelly Osbourne or Katy Perry were even born, David Bowie shocked the world with bright orange hair, Todd Rundgren with seaweed-green tresses and Cherry Vanilla with siren-red locks. And then there was Warhol’s own muse Ultra Violet, of the purple mane, assistant to surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and a key player in the cultural revolution. They, in turn, inspired a whole generation of ’80s musicians and their looks. Blondie did the white/black thing and B-52s Kate Pierson did the vibrant cherry thing. Fast-forward to today, we’re all going rainbow bright and my little pony. Ultra Violet lives on. As if you need more inspiration, any one of these 20 purple hairstyles will make you want to run and dye your hair right now.
If you’re thinking of going purple, you could make an appointment with a colorist, who will first strip your natural color. That will make the color last longer. On the other hand, you could just skip all that and take the purple plunge DIY-style, using a product like Manic Panic, which eventually washes out.
Manic Panic, also born out of the 1970s, was created by Tish and Snooky Bellomo, two sisters who happened to be backup singers for Blondie, so they know their hair color. Manic Panic has been the go-to for those seeking shock locks for about 40 years now. The sisters even predicted the popularity of ombre and pastel way back in 2010, when they saw their product “Pastel-izer” — a white cream that you add to any color to make a lighter version of it — blowing off the shelves at Rickie’s.
Before you go purple, are you prepared to be the object of its inherent power? Here are some little known facts about the power of purple hair.
Got a purple-haired selfie to share? Tag us on Instagram @britandco. Come on — you know you want to!