Beauty 1
Rainbow Hair: How My Hair Evolution Led Me to Go Lisa Frank in Real Life

My name is Louisa. I work at Yahoo, and I am addicted to coloring my hair.

I started dyeing my hair at the age of 14. To the surprise of anyone who has entered my life in the last 10 years, I was once very afraid to do anything to my hair. I didn’t venture beyond a standard trim until I was a teenager. My hairstylist repeatedly offered to give me layers, but I refused. My hair didn’t match my unique personality for a long time.

Hiding behind my hair
Hiding behind my hair. (Photo: Louisa Frahm via Facebook)

Something finally snapped in me when I became a teenager. It could have been shedding my baby weight, or perhaps it was my increased consumption of fashion magazines. I felt an urge to try something different. Once I dipped my toe into the pool and got some layers, I was hooked. Minimal highlights turned into a full bleach job, and I was off to the races.

Hair coloring addict in training
Hair coloring addict in training. (Photo: Louisa Frahm via Facebook)

After a few years of coloring my hair back and forth within the natural spectrum, I had massive hair damage. My hairstylist suggested a pixie cut before my senior year of high school. I cried my way through the entire haircut (it feels weird to not have hair on my neck!), but eventually, I came to love my new look. Now, 10 years later, everyone in my life can’t imagine me without short hair. Through short hair, I came to love and appreciate a unique look.

Rainbow hair is one of the most unique looks I’ve ever come across. Having had every color on the color wheel (black, brown, red, blond, and everything in between) and a few unconventional hues (purple, blue), dramatic change is hard for me to achieve. The logical next step was to put a full rainbow on my head all at once. Less than a week since my salon visit, I am in love with the rainbow life. Here are some lessons I’ve learned with this style.

Hair length

On the day of my appointment, I sent my hairdresser a photo of rainbow hair that I found on the Internet. I loved the way the color was laid out in the photo, and I hoped that I could get the same look duplicated on my head. Sadly, it was not meant to be.

With this trend, it’s important to keep the length of your hair in mind. Not all rainbow designs are created equal. My hairdresser had to take a different approach to my rainbow style because my hair was shorter than the model’s hair I saw online.

If you’re planning to get rainbow hair, consult directly with your hairdresser to determine what look and color design will suit your hair length best. With this style, your hair becomes an easel. Many different colors swirl together in a way that is unique to each individual. Keep an open mind and embrace whatever artistic vision your stylist comes up with!


Upon finishing my fun look, my hairstylist immediately gave me the rundown on at-home care. Bright hair colors love to leak everywhere. Put towels on your pillowcases for the first week, as a precaution. When you get your hair wet or sweaty, these colors are likely to run. For the first two weeks, wear dark colors when you work out and wait to put on your clothes after blow-drying, just to be safe.

The best defense against fading is to minimize how much you wash your hair. Dry shampoois your friend! With the rainbow hairstyle specifically, when you do shampoo, use an especially light touch and focus on your roots. The more you mash up your hair with the suds, the more likely the colors are to mix and disrupt your original design. To help keep the intricate rainbow pattern intact, be extra gentle. Finally, for best possible results, wash your hair in cold water.

Lifestyle changes

As made evident from the aforementioned tips, bright hair colors are high maintenance. If you take on rainbow hair or a similar look, you will have to reconsider some other lifestyle choices as well.

Bright hair colors are very sensitive to certain activities. To maintain results, hairstylists recommend that you use a swim cap when in a pool or the ocean. Even if you don’t get your hair wet in a Jacuzzi, chlorine fumes can still damage your color. It is best to stay out of the pool and ocean entirely. With summer right around the corner, this can be a tough sacrifice to make.

Additionally, after you dye your hair a bold color, your previous makeup routine may not match your new look. You might want to incorporate brighter makeup products to complement your new colorful appearance.

Salon commitment

Even if you follow best practices, rainbow hair is tough to maintain. The original design will likely start to change after your first shampoo. For some, the colors may start to blend together, as when different paintbrushes bleed in a cup of water. For others, whatever natural hair color was beneath the design may start to creep to the surface. For the lucky ones, the design may maintain its shape through weeks of shampoos. You won’t know until you try it!

No matter what, it’s necessary to update this design on a regular basis to keep it fresh. My hairstylist recommended coming back for an update within 3-4 weeks. The price for rainbow hair can vary, depending on the length of your hair and how intense you want your final look to be. If you go to a salon, you can expect to spend more on rainbow hair than you would on a standard coloring job, as the design requires a bit more effort from the colorist. If you’re looking for a more low maintenance way to try this trend, consider these two options:

  1. Rainbow ombré

2. Single all-over color

Whichever route you choose, the rainbow hair trend is fun to play around with. Home care adjustments and lifestyle changes aside, this standout look is well worth the sacrifices. As with my previous unique hair choices, I love how this style can encourage others to step outside their comfort zones and try something new. With rainbow hair, you are sure to make a splash wherever you go.

Lisa Frank becomes a reality. Life is short. Be a rainbow!

Rainbow of hair colors
Rainbow of hair colors. (Photo: Louisa Frahm via Instagram)

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