Hair Mascara

Hair mascara can add temporary bold highlights.

Hair mascara is an ingenious product that allows the user to add temporary highlights to individual sections of the hair without the fuss and permanence of a salon process. Moreover, these fun flashes of color contain no ammonias or peroxides, therefore, the hair shaft incurs no damage. This product works well on both long and short hair. So, if you're hankering for a way to update your evening look, then mascara is an essential cosmetic.

Waves of Color

Hair styles and colors are as seasonal and fickle in the fashion world as any other trend. But whether you're looking for chunky streaks or striking highlight, any trend-diva will be faced with the dilemma of just how permanent she wants her new look to be. Temporary hair dyes can be messy, and permanent dyes disrupt the hair cuticle. These considerations paved the way for a new product that hit the limelight around 1997 when narrow hair streaks were huge on the catwalk.

Extending its debut to 1998, the fashion world experienced a streak craze. Dior's Mascara Flash was a runway hit. From pastels to neutrals, models sported contrasting highlights in their hair. Opaline, chestnut, cedar, and paprika are just a fraction of the names these colors boasted.

Later, Aveda brought in its "Mask.Hair.A" which offered five shades including amethyst, garnet, white opal, brown topaz, and bronze. The marketing scheme behind these jewel tones was that each color contained resins and naturally derived colors from trees in the Amazonian Rainforest.

L'Oreal, The Body Shop, and Trevor Sorbie also leapt into the market until the craze died out towards the end of 1998.

The Advantages of Hair Mascara

Highlights and streaks may be nothing more than a trend to their wearers. Though punky trails of color might be an interesting way to update your style for a night out, you may not enjoy your festive new look in the morning. Hence, hair mascara offers all the fun without the negative "day after" effect, when you've had a chance to rethink your intrepid hair decisions. The temporary dye washes out easily with shampoo and, most importantly, the mascara merely coats the hair shaft so no damage occurs.

The Application

Before applying mascara to your precious strands it is important to consider whether or not you are trying to achieve a natural effect. Hair mascara should only be applied to dry hair. Depending on your desired look, you can apply the mascara from the hair root to the tip, or just at the last inch of your hair or bangs for a frosty look.

Natural Effects

If you're interested in subtle or blended highlights, apply the product from the root to the tip of your hair. Then, before the mascara has a chance to dry, brush or comb your hair gently along the area where the product was applied. This will blend the color evenly into your hair. For face-framing highlights, apply a lighter shade of mascara along a few strands of hair that frame your face.

Striking Streaks

If you're going for a more flamboyant look, apply contrasting shades of mascara to your hair, but do not brush the color through. Instead, allow the mascara to dry in place. This will result in bold streaks. For an even more noticeable effect, try using multiple shades of color, perhaps blue, pink, and green. These contrasting ribbons of color make for a pixieish party look.

You can also take application one step further by streaking the hair and then braiding the colored strands. Or, hair can be parted in the center and bold streaks can be applied on either side in parallel sections. The potential styling options of hair mascara are numerous and even extreme.

Finding Mascara

Because hair mascara was more of a period-product, much of the hype died out after 1999. Thus, it can be difficult to find, even on the web. Running an extensive Google search or calling your local beauty supply store may yield some results, but for the most part hair mascara has fallen deep into the annals of cosmetic history.

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