How to Look Great in Neon

By Christina Heiser

Unlike leg warmers and shoulder pads, neon is enjoying a welcome comeback. Here’s how to pull off eye-catching makeup shades and look fashion forward — not like a throwback.

Celebs like Lauren Conrad and Katy Perry have been stepping out with neon-colored strands lately. “When adding bright neon colors into hair,” says Jet Rhys, a celebrity stylist and co-owner of the Jet Rhys salons in San Diego, “it’s essential to lighten the section of hair you’re coloring before placing the pigment on it. If you don’t, the color will not be seen.”

If you have blond hair like Conrad’s, pinks, tangerines, and Tiffany blues will work best, says Rhys, while neon yellows look great on sandy blonds because of the color contrast. Blues, greens, and magentas work best on brunette hair.

“The new trend for placement in the hair is a three-inch ribbon right behind the middle of the ear,” says Rhys, “and also a few streaks on the bangs if your hair is collarbone length or longer. This looks so pretty as the hair moves — you get a peek-a-boo surprise. Also, when the hair is braided, the reflection is amazing!”

If you’re timid about adding such color, you can achieve the neon effect without dyeing your hair. Try Sultra’s clip-in hair extensions ($18 each) in bright pink, purple, or blue.