From Marie Antoinette’s pastel powdered wigs of privilege to the 1940s’ Parisian High Fashion Coiffeurs Union pinning it ‘the next big thing’, our current obsession with pink hair isn’t a new one. But, for some time now, pink has been intrinsically tied to breast cancer awareness and fund raising, and the shade has been the banner for this community. So, when we heard about Goldwell’s recent #Goldwellgopink campaign - they’re donating $100 to the McGrath Foundation for every pink haired Insta post using the hashtag and the @goldwellaus handle – our Managing Editor, Rikki Hodge-Smith, raised her hand. Of course, the marriage of beauty trend with an exceptional cause was a no-brainer for Beauticate to be involved, but going pink, for Rikki, represents more than a hair change. It’s a community of support for women, in more ways than one. Here, she explains.
Ahh pink, so controversial and yet so entirely common. With our growing progressive attitude toward gender norms, it has taken an (understandable) hit. Pink for girls, blue for boys blah blah blah. But, pink isn't just an awkward banner in the toy aisles. It's more than just "you should like that colour 'coz you're a girl". For me, it's the shade that has represented a myriad of examples of the bond of sisterhood...
Today, you’re hard pressed to pass a salon without a rose gold mane exiting. So it’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t all scrolling cotton-candied crowns on the daily via Instagram, Pinterest and our street… Once upon a time, I didn’t associate pink with a hair trend, I associated it with two sisters I met years ago. In another life, I worked in magazines and wrote a lot about women’s health. One particular story involved siblings who were born with a rare genetic mutation, BRCA1, putting them at 80% higher risk of breast cancer. One, a young mum, had already been diagnosed and undergone a mastectomy to save her life. The other, a pre-emptive double mastectomy to do the same, and save the lives of future children. Their spirit and support of each other, and women facing the same battle and decision, was inspired and life-changing. They were doing the story to promote a pink bracelet, with profit of sales going to breast cancer sufferers and survivors. This rosy shade meant a whole lot more to them than ‘pretty’.
Fast forward to nine months ago, I had my first baby. It’d been a long time since meeting these two women, and perspective shrunk considerably to just ‘holy crap my life is now in a pulveriser’. A lot changed. The obvious, (I don’t do tuck jumps with the same…let’s say, confidence…I once did), the expected (have you heard parents don’t sleep? We never say) and an unexpected shift in my own identity. Some of it was intense and reshuffled a lot of priorities. Some of it was a little less deep but still telling – like, a sudden urgency to colour my hair pink. As mentioned, today this isn’t an out-there rebellious act… But, being the girl most likely to be basic and only rebel against conformity when it’s not even rebelling, I felt it best not to disappoint. And look, when hormones are the 11th biblical plague of all who are pre and postnatal, acts that make you feel like you’ve stripped yourself of caring about what anyone thinks of you, are a bit common.
But, through all of this change, the most poignant was the connection to a community of mums I didn’t think I needed (I didn’t go into mums’ group with a good attitude…), and a depth of friendship in those around me I didn’t know was available. Over time, my original pinking faded, but the shade marked a chapter in my life that, if titled, would be ‘Support’. As entirely sleepless nights became I-sorta-sleep-now and baby brain began to make room for other things, thoughts of the sisters re-entered my mind. And with it, a reminder of what the colour meant to them. Although for entirely different reasons, the crux of what each experience (and the shade that umbrella'd it) meant was much the same: it's about standing up and showing support for your fellow sister, literal or otherwise.
So, when I heard about Goldwell’s incredible campaign, asking beauty folk, and beyond, to go pink and Insta it in the name of breast cancer research and funding, I was all in. It’s not just about going a crazy colour (although, I will say, I don’t know what Frenchy was whinging about in Grease. Pinks definitely have more fun), or even falling victim to trends, it’s about a bond. From personal connotations to the colour, to that inevitable connecting twine of those diagnosed, those with loved ones who’ve been diagnosed, or those that may face diagnosis in the future - all of which, statistics are too high – we’re bound.
Go on, go pink to support the McGrath Foundation. Post a pink-hair pic of yourself to Instagram, with the hashtag #Goldwellgopink and the handle @goldwellaus and they’ll donate $100 to the cause. Also, Goldwell are donating $2 for every purchase of the Goldwell Kerasilk Color range. Find your nearest Goldwell Salon here. Campaign runs until May 31.
There was just one more thing: how do you actually take care of pink hair? We asked Wildlife Origin’s Premier Technician, Elle, what it takes to keep this rose love alive.
1. Lock in colour
“To prolong the life of your gorgeous pink locks always use a colour saving shampoo,” says Elle. To achieve a brighter hue of pink, the hair needs to be a clean blonde underneath, which can dry strands before you’ve even started with your desired shade. So investing in a great cleanser like Goldwell Kerasilk Color Shampoo that won’t further dry out your locks is vital.
2. Don’t overwash
Particularly for pastel pink shades, the colour won’t hold onto the hair strand like more traditional hair colours do, and washing it too much will just have you watching your colour, and your money, wash down the drain. “Try to avoid washing your hair everyday,” warns Elle. “Try just a couple of times a week depending on lifestyle.”
3. Nourish to intensify
It’s important to give your hair a weekly dose of TLC to ensure your colour not only doesn’t fade, but so that you can control the shade over time. “Once a week intensify the pink by conditioning with a great conditioner or mask,” says Elle. Try Intense Luster Mask and mix with Goldwell Kerasilk Color Conditioner to soften the intensity.