Boy Brights

Red and yellow and pink and green – on the streets and on our Insta-feed we’re seeing more and more men taking the plunge and giving fashion colours a try. We spoke to Charlotte Mckenna, Manic Panic UK Artist Brand Ambassador and Innoluxe Sponsored Stylist, about the rise of boy brights…

What do you think has driven a rise in men being more adventurous with their hair colour?

We’ve seen a huge rise in male social media stars – be it make up vloggers, gamers, popstars like Zayn Malik, or models – experimenting with different colour hair over the last few years. Seeing these different influencers daily has opened the eyes of the everyday man to be more adventurous with their hair colour. And not just flirting with the ‘frosted tips’ look from the early 2000s, but actually wanting to experiment with vivid colour and balayage. With more and more salons becoming gender neutral, I think men are feeling more comfortable with asking for something a little outside the norm.

In your experience, what are the most popular colours among male clients?

Greys, silvers and metallic balayage are by far the most popular colours with men at the moment. These are all designed to enhance a man’s natural colours, add texture to their haircut and are easy to wear, providing a perfect stepping stone for playing with fashion colours.

My husband is a great example of a man who loves to wear colour. He has naturally dark hair with some grey, and earlier this year I did some balayage grey through the top. Then at a gaming conference (he is a gaming podcaster), he changed the grey for Manic Panic electric lizard, which is a neon green. Now he is growing his wavy locks to have a full head of balayage.

Do you think the trend will stick around as strongly as it has in the women’s market?

I don’t think this is a trend, I think it will just become a normal part of salon life. A growing number of men will no longer just have a quick 30 minute appointment – they’ll want a colour to compliment their cut just like women and this shouldn’t be rushed. It’s not just colour either, the market is opening up as more men are wanting to invest in good home care products for their hair and have treatments at the salon, like Innoluxe and other bond builders.

Are you already witnessing a backlash against the ‘brights’ element of the men’s colour movement?

There isn’t a backlash as such, but it might take a while for some employers to get used to men experimenting with their hair colour. My husband’s workplace wasn’t sure his grey balayage looked ‘professional’ enough, as it wasn’t his natural colour, even though it looked polished. But with a woman they wouldn’t have batted a eyelid. People have got used to women are getting their hair coloured all colours of the rainbow and changing colours all the time, and this should be social acceptable for men too.