Do-It-Yourself: Oil Slick Hair
I recently found my new obsession in life and it is browsing #oilslickhair on Instagram. After tumbling head-over-heels in love with this multidimensional iridescent look, I knew I had to try it out for myself.
I was quoted $120+ (not including tip) to get this look at a local salon, so I decided to give it a go on my own. I ended up spending about $50 on supplies at Sally Beauty Supply. It took 3 hours to complete, but I definitely had a fun time with the process.
Products Used: Sally Beauty's Salon Care Blue Flash Powder Lightener, Sally Beauty's Salon Care 20-Volume Clear Developer, Manic Panic's High Voltage® Classic Cream Formula Hair Color (in Hot Hot Pink, VooDoo Blue and Ultra Violet), Sally Black Extra-Wide Jumbo Tint Brush (one per each hair color option) and Sally Hair Color Mixing Bowl
I Also Used: A towel to protect the floor, a grocery bag to protect the bathroom counter and an old shirt to wear that I didn’t care about ruining.
Step 1: Sectioning Off Hair.
First, I sectioned my dry hair into four parts before twisting and clipping each section out of the way.
Step 2: Lighting Hair.
Now a lot of the articles online say that this is a great technique for brunettes, because you don’t need to lighten your hair. This isn’t entirely accurate. If you’re a light brunette, you may be in luck, but I have dark brunette hair and it was highly suggested that I lighten my hair first. Which I did.
WEARING GLOVES, I mixed the Salon Care Blue Flash Powder Lightener with the Salon Care 20-Volume Clear Developer. I used two packages of the lightener powder since I have long hair and then worked the lightener/developer through my hair with the help of the tint brush (and my fingers).
I kept a really watchful eye on the mixture as it lightened because I didn't want it to get too light. After thirty minutes, I shampooed and rinsed and, lo and behold, my hair ended up a light golden brown color.
Step 4: Blow-Drying Hair
The instructions on the Manic Panic hair dye suggests applying the product to dry hair specifically, so I did a quick blow-dry after shampooing.
Step 5: Sectioning Off Hair (Again)
Section dry hair back into the same four parts, twist and clip pesky hairs out of the way.
Step 6: Adding In Hair Dye One Section At A Time
Now these colors are based on the effect given off by oil.
Since the goal is to emulate the pretty effect of oil, choosing jewel tones is kind of the best route to take, which is why I ended up grabbing Manic Panic's High Voltage® Classic Cream Formula Hair Color in Hot Hot Pink, VooDoo Blue and Ultra Violet, though I encourage my fellow oil slick hair DIY-ers to explore other color options as well.
I added colors to my hair by randomly applying them to each section and rubbing it in with my (gloved) fingers. I tried to keep it symmetrical, but there’s really no bad way to do this since the more you alternate colors, the more interesting the end result looks. I used tin foil to wrap up my hair before I moved on to the next step.
Here are two examples of how one could lay out colors, starting at section one and working up the head to section four.
Step 7: Wait…
I then killed time by distracting myself for forty minutes or so. Take it from me, it can be a little dull, but it was a necessary evil.
Step 8: Ice Cold Rinse!
I rinsed the Manic Panic out with the coldest water possible. Warm water removes the color from the strands, so you’ll want to rinse with water that’s as cold as you can stand.
This part SUCKS, but I got through it by picturing my soon-to-be beautiful locks.
Now, I am protecting my color (which you can see below) by continuing to stick with cold water washes. I typically wear a shower cap during my shower and then splash with icy water separately.