CHALK IT UP

photos: Kristin Ess, post designed by Kristin Ess

Last week, we were shooting Lauren’s collection for Kohl’s and at the end of the day, we got our hands on some colorful soft chalks. How can a girl resist when there are pinks + purples involved?? Lauren’s pink cotton candy bun was pretty cute! As you may know, hair chalking has been around for a little while now and it’s a great way to temporarily add color to your locks. Above you see that chalk can create a very similar look to dye without commitment. But… with every action comes a reaction. There are several things you need to know about chalking your hair. Below are some tips + tricks along with some very important advice for before and after…

  • Twist the hair as you chalk. The texture from twisting makes the chalk release more pigment.
  • Always brush the excess powder out after chalking each piece.
  • If you’re blonde or you have blonde tips, DO NOT wet your hair before chalking. I will stain if you do because adding water to pure pigment creates a real dye. If you’re okay with the staining for several washes then go for it! If you’re looking to do color for the day, do not add water at any time.
  • If your hair color is anything darker than blonde and you don’t have blonde tips, you’ll NEED the water. Doubling the pigment is what will help the colors to show up on darker hair. Mist a little water on the strand with a spray bottle, then chalk it up! It won’t stain darker hair the same way it will on lighter hair.
  • Red heads– try it without water and if it’s just not showing up, add a little water. It just depends on how light or dark your red is.
  • Use only “soft pastels”. THESE are our all time faves. Senellier brand pastels have the brightest and most intense pay off we’ve ever seen… and we’ve tried a lot. They’re nearly $4 per piece at Blick, which seems a little expensive, but so is hair color– and hair color removal. Regular chalk doesn’t work the same. It’s harder to transfer and getting it to stick to your hair can be virtually impossible.
  • Soft chalk pastels can be found at any major art store. Just don’t get “soft chalk” pastels confused for oil pastels. If you’re confused, ask a sales person. Removing oil pastels would be a nightmare, not to mention, they’d feel very sticky.

  • Try doing 2 colors on one strand! Really fun and looks tie-dyed!
  • Always wear a robe or cape and lay something down on the floor to catch the chalk dust that falls off. This stuff gets EVERYWHERE!
  • It will get on your clothes during the day, so try and wear something close to the color you’re sporting.
  • Doing updos with chalked hair is ideal because you won’t get as much on your outfit.
  • Before you shower, brush with a soft, natural hair brush get out as much pigment as you possibly can! It should come off almost all the way with brushing.
  • Don’t chalk your hair too often. At the end of the day, you’re using powder pigment on the ends of your hair and that can suck up a lot of natural moisture that you need in the ends of your hair.
  • Shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo after chalking. Soft chalk pastels use “gum arabic” as a binder. It’s a very very small amount and totally natural, but it’s made from a tree sap so it’s really important to get it all out.
  • Conditioning treatment is a MUST after you wash out your chalk. Replenish the moisture that may get sucked out with chalking.

The best part about chalking is styling it. Try a FISHTAIL BRAID or a FUN BUN or a BALLERINA BUN.

The colors we used for this post were:

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