Rainbow hair artist Anya Goy tells us how the multicoloured magic happens.

Anya Goy has always been surrounded by rainbows. There was one in the sky the day she was born, and one painted on the ceiling of her childhood bedroom. She even said her wedding vows in a multicoloured dress.

So it’s only fitting that Goy has grown up to become a rainbow hair specialist.

“I’ve always been a rainbow fairy. People think it’s something you will grow out of, but I only get worse with age,” the talented colourist explains. This enthusiasm fused beautifully with her love of colouring other people’s hair… and her own.

Anya wore a rainbow wedding dress when she got married - now she has hair to match. (Image supplied)

These days, Goy — who trained with esteemed hairdresser Vidal Sassoon — is famous for her vivid hair creations, which you've probably seen on social media or her website Rainbow Hair Colour.

It's not every day you meet someone who makes rainbows for a living, so we seized the opportunity to ask Goy anything and everything about creating (and maintaining) a head full of beautiful colours.

What's the biggest misconception about rainbow hair?

"'Wait 'til you shampoo it - then the colours will go all muddy'. The truth is, the colours run into each other much less than you would expect. With correct colour placement you can even use colour blending to your advantage. Following the proper home hair care routine also makes a massive difference."

Image supplied

How long has the demand for rainbow hair been going, and have you seen it increase in popularity?

Although bright hair colours have been around for a century (the earliest record of pink hair was in 1914), Goy says the first full-spectrum rainbow hair creations emerged online in 2006-07. Hair artists like Ursula Goff, Melanie Dawn Harter, Megan McKayLizzy Davis and Goy herself were among the first to use all the colour at once.


Pravana's Vivid professional hair products, celebrities embracing brightly-coloured hair, and YouTube sensations like Guy Tang and Rebecca Taylor have changed the public's opinion of rainbow hair, Goy adds, and the proliferation of rainbow trends on Instagram have only added to the popularity.

"We now have a flood of rainbow hair inspiration, which in turn clients see and bring a Pinterest board of ideas into the salon for their next colour adventure. I don’t see this trend slowing down any time soon," she says. (Post continues after gallery.)

What are the things every woman needs to know before she even thinks about rainbow hair?

"If you need to shampoo your hair every day, or spend a lot of time in swimming pools or swimming in the ocean, rainbow hair may not be suitable for your lifestyle. These colours require special care and are best suited to those who only need to shampoo once or twice a week," Goy says.

It can also have an effect on your behaviour and how other people respond to you. "If you are shy it can give you more confidence — it’s a talking point and people will ask questions. They'll also recognise you ... you can’t be rude to someone and expect them not to remember you," she adds.

"But with a head full of rainbow hair it’s easy to be happy. How can you not be full of joy when you're a magical unicorn?"


Watch: Our favourite short hairstyles, as modelled by celebrities. (Post continues after video.)

How do you find the right specialist?

You need to do your research. Goy says it's a good sign if a salon stocks Manic Panic, Directions, Adore, Pravana or Goldwell Elumen products, and uses Olaplex. It's also worth checking out their work on social media so make sure you like it.

Before you book, she advises doing a full consultation and quote — this will ensure there's enough time and that you can budget for the overall cost. Also, take plenty of inspiration photos, and if you've never experience an on-scalp bleach before and this is required for the look, raise this with the colourist. You might need a patch test.

"Rainbow hair work can take between five and seven hours, so bring a good book and some lunch or snack food. Rainbow hair also lasts much better when washed in cool water, so prepare yourself for some cold showers!" Goy adds.

As a rough guide, you can generally expect to pay $300-$400 for a full head of bleach and rainbow foils. However, the cost varies depending on your hair length, whether it's virgin or previously coloured, the complexity of the design and the number of colours being used.


More of Anya's jaw-dropping creations. (Images supplied)

Can you talk us through the actual process of changing someone's hair to rainbow hair?

"The hair needs to be pre-lightened to a creamy blonde base for the rainbow colours to show up at their best. This requires the hair to be bleached to achieve this clean blank canvas. I would always recommend using Olaplex to protect the hair during this first step. You don't necessarily have to do a full-on scalp bleach, unless you want a full head of rainbows," Goy explains.

"Once you have created a nice blank canvas the possibilities are endless, as are the techniques used to create them. Some techniques use foil or mesh to separate each colour, while other techniques, such as colour melting, are done freehand. Some use a combination of both foil and freehand techniques. I have also used fine art brushes to paint more detailed designs."


If you're a little scared of the rainbow hair trend, how can you dip your toes in?

"Pastels are the best way to experiment with zero commitment. Pastel colours such as lavender or candy floss pink will fade right back to blonde within two to four shampoos."

Are there any skin types that suit rainbow hair more than others?

"Actually, the idea that certain colours suit certain skin types mainly applies to natural hair colours. When we talk about rainbow or unnatural colours it's more to do with what suits your sense of fashion and style. I tend to take cues from people's clothing and accessories, and tailor the colours to suit [this] rather than their skin type. After all, rainbow hair will never look 'natural'."

'Sunset' hair on one of Anya's clients. (Image supplied)

Currently, what's your favourite rainbow hair trend to try on customers?

"I love the Underlights trend, it’s great for those who need to hide their rainbow hair for work or school. The term was coined by hair artist Ruby Devine, and it’s essentially a hidden panel of rainbow hair in the back. Makes for a great surprise when you tie your hair up, or start head-banging at a gig!"

Have you ever had rainbow hair?