Denim hair is the latest online hair trend, and became more than simply a hashtag when Kylie Jenner did it last week. Like rainbow hair, it is less about what you look like IRL and more about what looks good on Instagram.
This internetification of our physical appearance means we are bound by the logic of the web: the bigger the wow factor, the bigger the impact.
The rise of the selfie also means the focus is now on your shoulders and your head – “portraiting”. In this context, individual features (your lips, your eyes) become more important – and your hair becomes the ultimate accessory.
It also helps that it looks really good: the way the shades fall within the locks of hair is positively Rubenesque. Plus, it looks even better under the Instagram filters Ludwig and Mayfair. “The colour now commonly recognised as Denim Blue – a dusty grey/blue, has been popular in our salon for a while now,” explains Alex Brownsell of Bleach. “The colour denim is being seen as high fashion for the first time, featuring a lot on the catwalk by super modern brands such as Vetements.”
But what does it mean? Well if the wearing of denim has connotations of being an outlaw when the colour is transported to your hair, that meaning is underlined. In this context, celebrities like Jenner and Joe Jonas dying their hair shades of grey and pink (shades that suggest a subversion of the norms), can be seen as the hair equivalent of raising a middle finger to the world. Online, your hair becomes a coded symbol of rebellion and freedom.
Zayn Malik, who has jumped around the hair colour spectrum since leaving One Direction, has vocalised this. “I … wanted to dye my hair when I was in the band, but I wasn’t allowed to,” he told Complex. No prizes for guessing which shade he will go for next …