beauty

The moving story behind this rainbow hair tribute.

Rainbow hair isn’t exactly new. From pastel to fluorescent, the trend has dominated heads over the last few seasons and we’ve seen close to every colour combination possible.

But there’s something very special about colourist and Pravana artistic educator Lissette Cruz‘s latest brightly coloured creation.

For her entry into Pravana’s Show Us Your Vivids hair colouring competition, the Florida-based hairstylist decided to use the opportunity to honour the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting earlier this year that occurred in Orlando.

Image: Courtesy of Lissette Cruz.

In June, 49 people were killed and 53 others injured after 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen opened fire in gay nightclub Pulse.

"I wanted to choose an inspiration that was near and dear to my heart. Every single one of my clients knew someone involved in the attack," Cruz told Refinery 29.

To do so, Cruz connected with Pulse attack survivor Passion Wilson-Suarez who gave the colourist a green light to do whatever she wanted to her hair. (Have you seen rainbow hair for brunettes? Post continues after gallery.)

Rainbow colours were an obvious way to pay tribute to the LGBQTI community.

Over eight hours, brightly coloured panels of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet were applied to Wilson-Suarez's hair, who reportedly regarded the transformation as a way to to tell her story of a tragic and traumatic experience she still struggles to speak about.

However the most powerful detail of the hairstyle is only revealed when Wilson-Suarez puts her hair up.

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Image: Courtesy of Lissette Cruz

Inspired by the rainbow pulse tattoo she saw on Wilson-Suarez's forearm, Cruz shaved the design into the nape of her neck to represent both the survivor and Orlando's incredible strength, before finishing it off with glitter.

The look was completed with a garland head piece as another powerful symbol.

"For me, that was to signify an angel of unity. That was the most important part," she said.

Image: Courtesy of Lissette Cruz.

"Because whether you’re gay, straight, Catholic, Christian — whatever it is you believe in, unity transcends everything."

While Cruz didn't win the competition, her design is catching the eye and filling the hearts of plenty.

“When I was done with her hair, it wasn't about the contest anymore. Every little thing I had been worried about that day just completely went away," she told Refinery 29.

"My heart was full of so much joy and so much love, not only for my community of Orlando but for what people went through and are still going through."

Image: Lissette Cruz.

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