Style Points: Hair color inspired by artichokes, cotton candy and fairy dust — Carpe Diem!

FACT: Iowa City is a great place for hair.

Truth is, there is no shortage of amazing stylists and salons in our metro area. I am always seeing amazing hair around here and just a few weeks ago, I was at G Spot Hair Design flipping through the photos in a new product guide featuring a most lovely pastel hair color technique. I asked JoAnn Larpenter-Sinclair, veteran stylist and educator (12 years at G Spot!) about this new look.

Style Points
Hair color by JoAnn Larpenter-Sinclair, dreads by Angela Phillips — photo by Tonya Kehoe

What followed was an e-mail interview and a chance to photograph a model, Laura, who coincidentally, had never ever had her hair colored in her life (jumped right into the deep end!). Laura reported to me that she loves the results and especially enjoys kids coming up to her to ask her if she is a magic fairy (ANSWER: yes, she is).

Little Village: How would you describe this current trend of pastel hair color and how is is different than other color trends from the past few years?

JoAnn Larpenter-Sinclair: Vivid colors come and go out of fashion, but I think that because these colors are softer, they are more accessible and less intimidating to average person. Individuality has become trendy, and therefore there are more people willing to experiment and stand out.

LV: What are some of the names you have heard to describe this technique?

JLS: It’s not so much a technique as a color palette trend. The technique that your colorist will use varies depending on what effect you want to create and the artistry of your stylist.

LV: Are there new developments (pun totally intended) in hair color now that allow this new range of permanent pastel colors? 

JLS: Yes. There are a lot more hair color companies that carry vivid colors, and more pastels are coming out on the market all the time. When the technology gets better, the demand gets higher, and visa-versa. The colors are longer-lasting than they used to be, and come in a wider palette than they used to. The color range that is available is becoming more interesting. The colors aren’t always in a “Barbie” palette — they look more grown up and sophisticated. Really where the artistry comes in is who does your hair and how creative they are. If the color is long-lasting and interesting, it is because you have a technically-skilled, creative hairdresser involved.

LV: How long do they last and what are the names of the colors?

JLS: Davines had just developed an amazing color line called Pure Colors. The colors are completely customized based on what concentration you mix up the pigments. They can be really vibrant or opaque, or more soft and translucent, and the color range is a bit more interesting than I am used to seeing. It’s a more artistic way to approach using really vibrant colors. Pure Colors is quite long lasting, and can even be permanent depending on the porosity of the client’s hair. We also utilize a few other color lines depending on what effect we want to achieve. I don’t want to give away all of our secrets!

LV: What is something you would like to try with this trend? 


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JLS: I have a visual arts background, and really like to push the boundaries of what you can do with hair and color. I have worked with every hair color dozens of times, and don’t really have anything that I haven’t tried at least once. It’s really about coming up with unique color placements, techniques, and color combinations. That’s what makes it new and exciting, and it’s just nice that hues and tones are becoming easier to achieve with less work and more predictability. The color that I did on Laura was inspired by the colors in an artichoke. I get inspired by trying to come up with unique color and cut combinations. Oftentimes the color is inspired by the person that I am working with, and trying to bring out their personality. 

LV: OK, this question is just for fun: If you were stranded on a desert island, what beauty product would you take? (FYI: My beauty product would be Pagliai’s Pizza)

JLS: A product that I can’t live without, as silly as it sounds on a deserted island, is Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. I would also bring bring sunscreen (SPF 500) because I am fair and burn very easily. Bumble and Bumble Mending Shampoo and Conditioner because they take care of my color and smell wonderful. And a full bag of MAC lipstick…..I feel naked without lipstick. Tweezers.

LV: How can readers contact your salon if they have more questions about this look or to schedule a (free?- are they) consultation?

JLS: Yes, we offer free consultations for all of our services, and highly recommend them if you are looking for any kind of specialized color or chemical services. You can book with us by calling our Iowa City location at (319) 338-1664 or our Des Moines salon at (515) 724-2719.

Style Points
Hair color by JoAnn Larpenter-Sinclair, dreads by Angela Phillips — photo by Tonya Kehoe

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July 2020 marks Little Village’s 19th anniversary. With our community of readers alongside us, we’ll be ready for what the next 19 have in store.



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