What It’s Like To Have Pink Hair On The Upper West Side

From the March Harper's Bazaar

So I dyed my hair pink. There are lots of reasons I did this. I’ve always loved how pink hair looks. Remember when Gwen Stefani did it with that 70s feathery ‘do? Fantastic.

Pink hair is having a moment in fashion now, though perhaps not for the Upper West Side mom contingent. Since I straddle a lot of different roles simultaneously, I decided what the hell. Using my beauty editor gig at Fashionista as my rationale (research, you know), I emailed Misty (my beloved hair stylist from Scott J on 72nd and Columbus) the Harper‘s picture above and asked: “Can you do this to my hair?” Her answer: “Hell, yes! Make an appointment. ” So I did.

The juice

A scary neon jar of Manic Panic in Cotton Candy Pink sat at Misty’s station. I eyed it warily and reiterated that I wanted my hair to be a soft baby pink, not 1982 pink. And for god’s sake, not on my whole head. Misty assured me that it would look much softer than it looks in the jar. Then I noticed a small line of print: “Glows under black light!” Perfect. The next time I go to a rave, or uh, the AMNH, I’d be ready.

Misty at work

After some back combing, painting, foil application, and 30 minutes under the dryer, the pink was set. After washing my hair, applying a gloss, and drying it into waves, I was ready to face the world. Shit. What did I just do?

Here are some of the encounters I had:

Starbucks on 76th and Broadway: The barista loved it. Raved about it. Needed to know every detail of how I achieved the look.

Barney’s Co-op on  Broadway: My regular salesgirl did a double take at me, then said,”Your hair’s pink!” That’s all.

My kid’s UWS school:  The seven- and eight-year-old girls looked at me and giggled and pointed. Later at the carnival-themed school auction, people asked, “Oh, did you do that to your hair for this party?” Ooh. Burn.

-The Baseball Center (73rd and Broadway):  Coach Victor, who spends all day long teaching boys how to play baseball in one of the stinkiest underground environments I’ve ever been in, gives me the thumbs-up. “Yo, pink hair!” Yo. That’s good, right?

Gwen Stefani, the inspiration

My friends and MILo, who are highly amused by my occasional insane decisions, have been lovely and supportive, even going so far as to give me frequent compliments. You’re all lying through your teeth, but I love you for your enthusiasm, people!

So in case you’re planning on coloring your hair a shade that does not occur in nature, know this: It doesn’t last very long. It’s been a week and it’s faded down to a pastel pink. In another week it’ll be gone.

But I did it. I had pink hair.

Me, Day 3



  1. ronnyking · March 9, 2011

    There is a color depositing conditioner, made by Davines, that is used to help with red heads color fading. Well it’s hot pink. If you put it on your already pre- lightened hair it will turn your blonde pink. The amount of time you leave it on determines the depth of the color. And it fades out after a few washings, where as manic panic is a bitch to get out.
    I say make your hair even pinker!

    • UpperWestSideCheryl · March 9, 2011

      Damn, I wish I had known this last week. I’ve faded to a sad easter egg now. Thanks for posting!

  2. Pamela · March 9, 2011

    Dear Cheryl,
    Remember me, of “Meet Morag and Pamela”? Well, check out our friend Victoria. Scroll to Feb 20 – http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

    LoveloveLOVE your pink hair!! You go, girl : )

    • UpperWestSideCheryl · March 9, 2011

      She is AMAZING!! I love that blog so much. I hope he’s still snapping when I’m an octogenarian. If I can’t be on the Sartorialist, I’ll take Advanced Style.

  3. Lynne · March 9, 2011

    I have pink hair & live on the Upper West Side! I did it last year with my stylist in Las Vegas and have kept it ever since. I adore it. I use Paul Mitchell Hot Pink and I get the bottle from my stylist to touch it up myself once a week.

    My placement is different than yours, I’m brown on top with the pink placed in the middle so it shines out underneath my layers. I adore it. I work in live-entertainment marketing, so it throws people off in big meetings, but they always smile by the end. My favorite moment was in a meeting with the head of PR for Bloomingdales – she bluntly asked “why pink?” and I looked her in the eye and said “why not?”

    • UpperWestSideCheryl · March 9, 2011

      Yours sounds fantastic. It’s sneakily pink. I’m going to be on the lookout for you now. If I have my camera with me…watch out!

      • Lynne · March 14, 2011

        LOL! I’ll be on the lookout…

        I’m actually really excited about this post, because I’ve been hopping from hairdresser to hairdresser in NYC trying to find someone I like. I think I’m going to give your girl a try.

  4. Lynne · March 17, 2011

    Just wanted to say thank you. I had an appointment with Misty tonight and she was amazing. Finally found a hairdresser in NYC.

    • UpperWestSideCheryl · March 17, 2011

      I’m so glad you liked her. But let’s not tell anyone else, OK? Don’t want her to be TOO in demand

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