Hair Flair: Pixellated hair

These three coiffure fads – pixellated hair, man buns and the wet look – have their fans and detractors

Pixellated hair dye was created by a Madrid hair research and development company called X-Presion, and it named the dye technique xpresionpixel. -- PHOTO: X-PRESION CREATIVOS/INSTAGRAM
Pixellated hair dye was created by a Madrid hair research and development company called X-Presion, and it named the dye technique xpresionpixel. -- PHOTO: X-PRESION CREATIVOS/INSTAGRAM
Events manager Amelia Koh’s job gives her the flexibility of sporting daring hairstyles so she decided to give the pixellated look a go. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Technology has taken over our lives and now it has even seeped into hair colours - in the form of digital pixel patterns.

Hair fashionistas, the future is now. A new hair dyeing technique, the pixellating process involves colouring squares or rectangles onto hair in different layers.

When the colour has set, the blocks of colour blend into one another to create a graphic effect.

Although only a handful of salons in Singapore are providing the service, some adventurous fashionistas have already started to don the edgy colours on their head.

Take events manager Amelia Koh, 27, who got bored with her ombre pink locks and decided to give this trend a go on her long straight hair - pink pixels on the left and green pixels on the right.

"My job gives me the flexibility of sporting daring hairstyles. I'm always game to experiment with hair colours and styles.

"My hairstylist suggested the pixellated hair colouring, and I thought why not," says Ms Koh, who has previously sported blonde highlights in her hair.

Pixellated hair dye actually originated from a mistake by a Madrid hair research and development company called X-Presion.

The Spanish hairdressers reportedly created the pixel pattern by accident on a model at a hair show.

They spent months to research the pixellated dye effect on hair to come up with the "xpresionpixel", a name for the dye technique.

The trend has spread to London and New York, thanks to the power of social media.

In fact, local salon Salon De Choix's owner Sharon Wu, 45, found out about pixellated hair dyeing techniques through X-Presion's Instagram account.

She starting experimenting with hair colours in her salon at Killiney Road, and developed enough skills to offer the style as a professional service. A pixellated dye job there costs between $100 and $200.

Most of her customers are students and working adults in their 20s.

Hairdressers say that usually, these are people who have tried other "loud" hair colours or unconventional colouring techniques, such as ombre, where the hair is dyed in gradient from light to dark, or dip dye, where the tips of the hair are coloured.

An advantage that pixellated hair colouring has over normal dye jobs is that you do not have to touch up the roots. As creative director of Picasso Hair Studio, Jesly Teoh, 30, says, the pixels will travel down as the new hair grows out.

The salon in Haji Lane offers pixellated hair colouring service, including haircut and treatment, for $299. If hair bleaching is required, the price is $359.

However, the colour typically starts to fade within a month. Ms Teoh advises customers to go back for touch-ups to keep the colour fresh and bright.

Although the trend is making inroads abroad, in Singapore, it seems that pixels will still be more commonly seen on computer screens than on hair.

Hairstylist to the stars Kim Robinson, 57, who owns the high-end eponymous salon at Ngee Ann City, says that it will take "a while for the Asian market to accept this new edgy idea".

That is because "having patterns on your hair is like making a statement, similar to body tattoo", he adds.

Kim Robinson does not offer pixellated hair colouring at its salon here.

Some people, especially practical-minded ones with corporate jobs, are also quick to dismiss pixellation as a passing fad. Remember rainbow hair? Or dyeing the underside of your hair?

Legal counsel Angie Tan, 28, who wears her straight long hair in a safe shade of brown, says of the pixellated hair trend: "It may look fashionable on a runway model, but it will look outlandish on a regular person. Unless you are trying to get attention, why would you make your hair look like a colourful digital screen?"

But for a few brave souls, pixellated locks are still the way forward. Take housewife Kaslyn Chiu, 37, who has sported pixellated locks in pink on her shoulder-length hair since April.

Madam Chiu, who previously sported ombre hair in blue and green shades, says: "When I'm out shopping, passers-by will stop me to tell me my hair looks pretty and ask me where I got my hair done."

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