Beauty: Hair chalking

Jackie Mantey, Columbus Alive
Photo by Jodi Miller

Get lost, feather hair extensions. Hair chalking is the latest trend to steal your thunder in the fast-and-nonpermanent department.

"I saw it on Pinterest and loved it," said 24-year-old Kaitlin Van Meter, a receptionist at J.Bentley Studio & Spa in Powell who started chalking her hair a couple of weeks ago. "I thought, 'I could do that.'"

The ease of creating the illusion of dyed hair without actually having to dye it is part of chalking's appeal for Van Meter. So is the fact that the faux-dye look only lasts a day or two - no long-term follicle commitment necessary.

Plus, there's this: "I kind of feel like a My Little Pony," Van Meter said, laughing.

Sign us up.

How to chalk it up:

Spray. Prep the strand you want to chalk with hairspray, gel or water. Moisture helps soak up the color.

Color. Use soft chalk pastels. Sidewalk chalk won't stay in, and oil pastels are too sticky and dye too deeply. They sell packs at most art supply and craft stores. When the hair is wet, rub the chalk up and down on the desired area until the color is just a bit darker than you want it to look when it's dry (the color will loosen its grip as it dries). Wear something you don't mind getting covered in chalk. It can get messy.

Dry. Van Meter said that when she preps her hair with hairspray she just lets it air dry after she's chalked. However, if you use water, let the hair dry and then flatiron the strands. That helps the color set.

Style. Chalked and curled ends rock on Van Meter. We also like randomly strewn full-length streaks when hair is put up into a bun or updo - it says, "I have the heart of a wild child but act like a boss." The chalk will come out after a couple of washes. Use clarifying shampoo and leave-in conditioner on those bad-boy strands afterward to help them recover from the chalk's dryness.