style cues from the crazies of nyc

The Inspiration:

Walking around the streets of NYC you are bound to run into some crazy characters. There’s the usual person who talks to himself, the random panhandlers on the subway, and the occasional homeless person who will start screaming at you for no apparent reason. But my favorite characters are the ones that express themselves through eccentric fashion. Whether it’s Miss Columbia with his puppy and parrot, or the green lady, the guy that wears different leotards and screams at people in Union Square, or a random alien dude walking around the park on a Sunday afternoon with a giant colorful pyramid, I LOVE running into these guys.

miss_columbia_nycgreen_lady_nycunion_square_crazy_guy_nycalien_guy_nyc

Obviously, the best place to get style inspiration is from the crazies on the street. So, this week in an effort to fit in with the colorful characters of New York, I decided to brighten up my style with some colorful highlights. Not being ready for a permanent membership to the crazy club, and inspired by Pinterest, I tried out pastel hair chalking.

The How To:

Just like  (almost) everything else in life, the best place to start for any “how to” is watching someone else do it on YouTube. There are about a million hair chalking how-to videos, I found this one to be the most helpful.

All you need to chalk your hair is a flat iron, a curling iron, and chalk pastels ($10ish at craft stores, make sure not to get oil pastels).

hair_chalking_tools

From there it’s as easy as 1-2-3 (and 4).

hair_chalking_diy

Start with wet hair, I found it worked better to wet each section right before chalking it. Make sure you wear a shirt you don’t really care about, because this will get very messy. Apply a heavy layer of chalk to each section you want colored, use the brightest colors for darker hair. Once you have all of the sections covered in chalk, seal the color in by drying your hair with a flat iron (make sure the iron is on low-medium heat, higher heat settings melt off the chalk and damage your hair more). Once the hair is dry, curl the ends and hair spray the crap out of them. And voila!

The Results:

hair_chalking

Right after the chalking, my hair looked fantastic in the bight, sunny lighting of my bedroom! But the colors didn’t show as well in less brightly lit areas. The pinks and blues had much brighter results than the purples and greens.

About six hours later, I couldn’t see any color on my hair, the same couldn’t be said about my gray shirt which was now covered in a layer of pink and purple dust (again, if you chalk your hair don’t wear any clothes you really care about).

hair_chalking_afterhours

I was beginning to chalk (tee hee) the whole thing up to just another DIY fail that should go up on Pintstrosity, or some other craft fail site. But then something strange happened, I went to meet some friends at a bar, and someone took a picture of me with flash… and just like magic the colors were back! You couldn’t see them at all in real life, but for some reason they showed up in pictures with flash.
hair_chalking_with_flash

So I guess the lesson to be learned here is, if you’re going chalk your hair, just stay in well lit, sunny places and take lots of pictures with flash.