Dark & Lovely Helped Me Embrace My Inner Dennis Rodman With Their New “Poppin’ Pink” Dye

Getty Images / John W. McDonough

As I’ve gotten older, I must confess, albeit reluctantly, that I’ve morphed into a bit of a conservative regarding my appearance. My undergraduate years were filled with nothing short of self-expression. My hair served as a canvas for every conceivable hue, including pinks, blues, oranges, and beyond. 

But, in my final year, just as I was on the cusp of entering real adulthood, I had a change of heart. After years of acting as my own hairdresser, bleaching and coloring my hair on a weekly basis, I had damaged my hair to the point of almost irreparable ruin. That said, I realized it was time to bid adieu to my color-exploring days. 

Then, 13 years later, along came Dark & Lovely with a tempting proposition: to dive back into the world of hair color. “Poppin’ Pink,” specifically, for Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday tour. But was I ready to give up my now, signature jet-black fade– which complemented my fusion of classic and trendy aesthetics perfectly? The thought of returning to the world of hair color had never crossed my mind. Who knew the concert would be the thing to draw me back into the realm of hair dye– especially with such a bold hue.

The “Poppin’ Pink” shade that they reached out to me about was a play on the brand’s Play in Color initiative, which was created to empower Black women and creators to express themselves through color. Though I was a bit hesitant, how could I say no to Nicki and a good cause?

To make it even better, on the day of the concert, I was scheduled to meet with celebrity hair stylist and colorist Dhairius Thomas. Thanks to his top-tier reputation in the industry and color expertise, I felt comfortable entrusting him with the task of bleaching my naturally raven-black hair.

From the start, I explained to Thomas that I was a bit nervous about bleaching my hair after many years of being dye-free. From that, he took the time to explain each step, ensuring I was comfortable and well-informed about what was happening to my hair.

Thomas opted to use the “Uplift” Bleach Kit. This is a fairley new product that’s been designed with the specific intent to safely lighten hair in preparation for the color application. It was reassuring to know that the product we were using was specifically designed for this purpose.

One of the standout features of the “Uplift” Bleach Kit is that it offers eight different levels of lift. This ensures that the hair lightening process can be tailored to the unique needs and preferences of each individual, offering a level of customization that is truly impressive.

The bonus part of the kit is that it includes a violet toner conditioner. This is a critical component in the process because it ensures that the hair retains its much-needed moisture after the bleaching process. This greatly minimizes the risk of potential damage. In my personal experience, it was on the third attempt that Thomas was finally pleased with the bleach blonde level of my hair, and could proceed with the application of the “Poppin’ Pink” color.

After the rinsing and drying process, I instantly transformed into my “Sasha Fierce” alter ego, marking the re-emergence of “Stixx” with a vibrant pink mane (or bald fade, that is). “The Barbs” truly weren’t ready for me at Nicki Minaj’s show.

Thomas even remarked that my coloring process was one of his favorites that he’d done in quite some time. I have to say that I felt the same as the overall color turned out better than I expected. Will I keep the color for a while? Only time will tell. But as of now, I’m embracing my “Poppin’ Pink,” 1995 Dennis Rodman era, if you will.

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