Trendlet: Sand-art hair

Tresses with sand-art tones are this summer's go-to fashion trend. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

Stylists are painting multicolored hues into tresses, reminiscent of a 1970s home decor trend.

The trendlet

Sand-art hair, named so because the bright shades layered into tousled manes look like those old fishbowls filled with grainy rainbows, is so very what's up this summer.

Turquoises, purples, mints, and hot pinks are lighting up short, spiked cuts, while yellow, orange, red, and cobalt highlights sprinkled through shoulder-length ringlets are much more darling than troll-like.

Where's it come from?

In the 1980s, Cyndi Lauper and Boy George were among the first pop stars to color their hair fantasy (or never-to-be-found-in-nature) shades.

Today's bold looks are what happens when ombré - striated layers of color that go from light to dark - meets the once-gray and silver, now saturated-pastel hair trend.

It makes sense that Rebecca Taylor, Katy Perry's colorist, is credited with making the popping colors oh-so-fashionable. In a YouTube video posted in June, Taylor, inspired by a sand-art pattern courtesy of Los Angeles clothing label Clashist, colors a model's hair. The video, with more than 410,000 hits, brought attention to the look and put Pravana hair color products in the spotlight.

Some stylists use permanent hair color to get the cotton candy colors to sparkle, others use semipermanent formulas. Some stylists color entire locks - from root to tip - but the less adventurous paint just the ends.

Who's wearing it?

Perry goes full-on sand art, of course. And Kelly Osbourne has been known to blend in a few shades. However, those who have the luxury of treating their hair like a canvas - artists, hairstylists, your local barista or favorite dive bartender, music festival-goers - gravitate toward this look. Note: Although crazy colors are seemingly for an edgier crowd, this time, the extreme shades have a very girl-next-door feel.

Would Elizabeth wear it?

I'd color one lock, but a full head of Crayola crayon-tipped hair? I can't say that's me.

Should you wear it?

Take the following quiz: Do you have an artistic job? Are you going to a music festival this summer? Do you think pink, mint green, and purple on one section of hair is cool? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then get your color on. If no, experiment with fantasy colors one lock at a time.



Models: Briana Casey; Meghan O'Malley.

Stylist Cassie LeMunyon, courtesy of Suede Salon & Spa, 500 Route 73 South, # E12, The Promenade at Sagemore, Marlton, N.J. 856-985-0700.