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An Interview With: Anya Goy

Published on 25th March 2014

If you’re a fan of rainbow hair, chances are you’ve seen the work of Anya Goy. Trained at Vidal Sassoon, she’s been wowing us with her gorgeous rainbow locks across social media and her website rainbowhaircolour.com.

We chat with her about her life as a hair colourist and discuss the latest trends and techniques in hair colouring.

When did your love of rainbows start?

I’ve always been a rainbow fairy. The day I was born there was a rainbow in the sky. As a kid I had a giant rainbow painted on my ceiling. People think it’s something you will grown out of, but I only get worse with age. I even got married in a rainbow wedding dress. The rainbow hair is just the tip of the iceberg.

Even Anya's wedding dress incorporated rainbows! Even Anya's wedding dress incorporated rainbows!

How did you get into hair colouring?

I’ve always loved to do hair, even before I trained. As a teenager I’d always be talking my friends into letting me colour and cut their hair. Plus dyed my own hair with everything I could get my hands on (with some awful results!). I’ve upset a few mums by getting colour all over friends bathrooms. One of my friend’s mum’s even banned me from their house after I got black hair dye on her carpet! Of course, with a love for all things rainbow and bright, the punk colours where my favourite. I’d often have people suggest I become a hairdresser.

When I was finishing school, I wasn’t sure what to do. I knew I enjoyed being creative; I’d come top of my class in art and film. I considered going to university, but the people I knew who had studied creative subjects all had massive uni debt and worked to pay it off in jobs that had nothing to do with art or creativity. My mum suggested a gap year working in a salon (she used to be a hairdresser as well) save some money and meet interesting people. I went for in interview with one of the best salons in town. The owner offered me the job, and gave me two options; become an apprentice, get paid peanuts, and spend all day sweeping. Or he could send me to Vidal Sassoon to study, train with the top stylist in the industry, live in London and after just 9 months come back to work for him as a fully qualified senior stylist with the wage to match. Oh and he would sponsor me. I went for the second option.

Tell us what it was like training at Vidal Sassoon.

Sassoon’s was one of the most incredible experiences. It was full on, intense and expectations where very high, but you didn’t just learn hairdressing, you learnt the architecture and design of hair. It changed the way I saw shape and colour. I had the honour to study with some of Sassoon’s top art directors, who where amazing to watch. My colour teacher used to affectionately call me Rainbow Bright. My first hair cut took me 4 hours! It had to be perfect. If your section wasn’t straight, you do it again, and again. We also got to collaborate with London collage of fashion when Sassoon’s put on a hair show at Wella Studios. Seeing your work on the catwalk is an amazing feeling.

Anya's work was exhibited in a Vidal Sassoon catwalk show at Wella Studios Anya's work was exhibited in a Vidal Sassoon catwalk show at Wella Studios

Sassoon’s also taught me to see inspiration everywhere. As such my experience living in London was just as much a part of of my training as my time in the academy. London shaped my sense of style. I’d offend spend time at Camden markets, wondering around Cyber Dog, just soaking up all the neon colour, street fashion and punk/goth/alternative hairstyles. On my lunch breaks from the academy in Mayfair I’d go browse Vivian Westwood’s, or drool over Alexander McQueen’s avant-garde designs in Selfridges. London breaths creativity, ideas and colour! Sassoon’s taught me the craft, London sparked my imagination!

If you could invent anything, what would your fantasy hair product be?

I would love to create a colour range that lightens and colours the hair vibrant colours all in one go (no more pre-bleaching), with zero damage, but rather is like a deep conditioning treatment, leaving the hair super silky and shiny. The colours would last well, but still fade (so you can still change them all the time), but fade out nicely giving you different pastel tones toward the end.

If we are talking pure fantasy, then these dyes would also change colour on the hair with heat (like a mood ring). So when you heat style your hair you get completely different tones. I’d also have a glitter range that infuses colourful sparkly glitter on to the hair shaft while colouring that doesn’t wash right out (like glitter hairspray) but lasts as long as the colour. Oh and the colours glow in the dark.

How do you think fashion and popular culture influence hair trends?

I think they all influence each other. Fashion can influence hair. The pastel hair trend started in 2010 on the catwalk at fashion show’s for Proenza Schouler and also Giles Deacon. Now actresses, singers and bloggers are all transforming their look with milkshake, lavender, mint and candy floss colours.

Other times a hair trend influences the fashion. Ombre (blended/fade out colour) first started as a celebrity hair trend. Now it’s seen on fabrics and even nails!

Pop culture is often the driving force for turning a type of hair colour into a trend. You just need a few celebrities wearing bright colours in their hair (such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj). See it in films (Hunger Games), music videos, entertainment. Suddenly bright colour goes from being perceived as rebellious and alternative, to trendy and a fashion statement.

The irony of pop culture of course its that while it influences the masses, driving hair trends, pop culture itself if often influenced by the individual. Fashion designers, hair artist’s will affect popular culture by their individuality. Of course, once their unique style becomes adopted by others, it ceases to remain unique. It becomes, popular.

Vidal Sassoon is a perfect example of one hairdressers individual unique style being adopted by pop culture at the time. He was the creator of the famous 60’s bob cut (aka the wedge, a-line or graduated bob). Once pop culture and celebrities picked up the style, it became a hair trend that still is popular today.

So fashion can influence hair. Hair can influence fashion. Hair trends are not just influenced but driven by pop culture. However pop culture is in turn is influenced by both fashion and hair designers… That’s why I say they all influence each other, and each trend has its own roots.

Where do you draw your inspiration from when it comes to hair dyeing?

When working with clients who don’t have a specific request I often looks for inspiration from their outfit, the necklace they are wearing, colours on their frame of their glasses, hand bag, nail polish, shoes, dress, leggings, whatever catches my eye. I believe unnatural hair colours aren’t about working with a persons skin tone (of course they aren’t naturally occurring colours!). But rather about working with the persons sense of style, look and taste in fashion.

I also get ideas from the internet, I’m a huge fan of Pinterest. If I see a colour combo and think of a client it would look great on I’ll pin it to show them next time they come in.

However my favourite source of inspiration is the world around us. It can come from anywhere… a cupcake in a shop window, a dream, a fair ground ride, film, art, fashion… even music can spark an idea.

This hair colour scheme was inspired by an opal This hair colour scheme was inspired by an opal

What’s your favourite brand of hair colour?

I get asked this question a lot. The truth is I haven’t found one brand that does every shade perfectly. Some brands are great for warm tones, others for cool. Some brands are better for lasting power, others better for a short term colour change. So I use quite a wide range to achieve the results I want. I also love to mix and make up my own tones, even mixing across the different brands.

In the salon my colour shelves have a minimum of 6 different brands. So depending on the client, what they want plus what the hair throws when lightened I’ll then pick my weapon of choice (or mix to make what I need). I believe colour needs to be tailored to each person.

As I say in my book “Everyone’s hair is different, and so is everyone’s taste. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing”.

You change your hair often, do you have a secret weapon for colour removal?

Yes, don’t remove the colour (if possible). I use my understanding of the colour wheel to change my colours. I let the hair fade as much as I can, go swimming, take nice hot showers, use anti dandruff shampoo. Then when I have very pastel residue left I’ll work out my next colour palette with consideration to what residue tones I currently have to work with. You’d be amazed at the range of colours you can do without a colour removal.

I think sometimes people are to quick to grab the bleach. You may gain the exact colour you want with a colour removal, but you reduce the condition each time, and the result is fast fading dull colours and hair that feels like chewing gum. I’m all about maintaining the health of the hair first.

That said when I need to do a colour removal, I do have a non-bleach, ammonia free, secret weapon that’s brilliant for cleansing out colour build up in just 10 minutes, with minimal damage to already bleached hair. But as it’s a secret weapon you’ll have to read my book to find out what it is! ;)

What has been your favourite dye job on yourself or others?

Obviously I love the rainbow colours, it’s my signature look and you can do so many variations.

One of my recent favourites was a reversible rainbow Mohawk. It was so much fun to do, my model Jo gave me complete creative freedom, so I could work visually and improvise elements as I went.

It’s reversible because the top can be style forward into a long sweeping side fringe, but the rainbow colour pattern is different on each side. So style the fringe right and you get the red, orange, yellow at the front. But then style the fringe left and the rainbow is done in reverse on the other side. So you get violet, indigo, blue. (The green/teal is the centre, and meets on both sides of the pattern).

This colourful mohawk hairstyle is a reversible rainbow depending on how it's styled This colourful mohawk hairstyle is a reversible rainbow depending on how it's styled

And then because having a reversible rainbow Mohawk wasn’t cool enough, I also added some clipper art on each side. And then coloured that in as well!
I even have a short video of me doing this hair colour that you can watch here
and a blog post with more pics/info.

Clipper art on the side-cut gives this rainbow hairstyle some added texture Clipper art on the side-cut gives this rainbow hairstyle some added texture

Finally, any tips, tricks or pieces of advice you’d like to offer HairCrazy’s readers?

I have so many, it’s hard to pick one! I think as HairCrazy readers are generally experienced with bright colour, so I’ll give you a trick that I don’t think many of you guys will know.

This is a mixing trick that’s straight from my book. I call it ‘Black Magic’. This technique turns black direct dye in to blue!

So black is made up of all three of the primary colours; blue, red and yellow. However of the three colours, black is mostly made up of blue. So an interesting thing happens when you pastelize black by mixing it with conditioner or a mixer/pastel-izer dye… it turns blue!

I’ve found some blacks (such as Directions Ebony) have a slight teal (green blue) tone when lightened, where as ‘blue blacks’ (Adore or ‘N Rage) give a more true blue.

You can even make a pastel blue by mixing only a tiny speck of black with a LOT of conditioner (because you need so much to dilute the black, a mixer/pastel-izer dye is not cost effective, so just use conditioner.) This is a great way to do a super cheap pastel blue, as one bottle of black would last years.

Anya’s book on colouring with unnatural shades is” available to download from her website. It includes product reviews, advice on colour theory, dyeing techniques and is stuffed full of pictures, tips and useful info!

Use the discount crazy_20 by 30th April ’14 and receive a 20% discount!

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