Haunted Hair

Rebecca from Red Bridge Photography
Christoper Nieto of Nieto Photography

Hair should be fun. It should be an extension of who you are – your personality, your style, your sense of whimsy, or lack thereof. So why should Halloween be any different?

On a holiday surrounded by wacky outfits, hidden identities and a mix of scary monsters and fairy princesses, Halloween is our chance to physically take a chance, morphing ourselves into something creative and daring.

Gone are the days when your only options were rubber masks and itchy clown wigs. No longer are you stuck with something around your scalp smelling of acrid plastic, making you sweat off your makeup before your evening has even started. Welcome to “Halloween hair.”

All around the Triangle people are booking appointments at salons or with local stylists to match their hair to their costumes, from wild mermaid tresses and massive pink unicorn braids to decade hair – the wild manes of the 80s and the sleek pin curls and victory rolls of the 60s.

“I have gotten to add greasy green extensions that I made by cutting up a pretty terrible Joker wig to a Heath Ledger Joker costume,” said Kristi Martinson, co-owner of WINK Hair and Makeup. “It’s interesting because I have to blend the extensions in with very short male hair. It can be challenging, but the challenge makes it so much more exciting.”

Halloween hair appointments are on the rise, especially those involving curls, braids and anything to do with Game of Thrones. Who doesn’t want to look like Daenerys Targaryen these days?

Depending on your budget and the amount of time you are willing to sit in the salon chair, options are endless. Extensions, for example, are a lot more involved than glam waves or braids, but can make an impact on your costume.

“We use extensions and temporary color upon request,” said Martinson. “We have put flowers, feathers, tiaras and some interesting forms to add some structure. I once used a red solo cup covered in a taupe sock to help build a Cindy Lou Who do.”

Creativity and lack of fear are key when going all in with your costume hair, though remember that Halloween is one day of the year and avoid anything too permanent, especially color. A little red added to mermaid tresses, some black or white in a ghostly halo, or a multi-colored braid demonstrating the peace, love and harmony of the 1970s can go a long way, but just be careful of how you achieve that look.

“I would say if you want to try a crazy color for the holidays, ask your stylist about getting Peek-a-Boo color or a spot-light color,” said Naomi Chriscoe of Sky Parlor Salon. “It’s subtle and easy to cover with the rest of your hair, but super fun. Whatever you do, don’t permanently color your hair! It will not be cheap to fix your permanent holiday mistakes. Try a cheap wig off eBay if you must DIY a fun color, or try using hair chalk.”

While salon appointments are on the rise, it is not impossible to get a Halloween look on your own. We asked the experts and their advice was simple – practice! The more you play around with your hair, the better you will get at styling it. Ballerina buns, genie ponytails and Greek goddess updos are all manageable on your own. And if you are really talented, you might even be able to pull off an Audrey Hepburn twist.

“And don’t be afraid to backcomb,” said Martinson. “Just make sure you condition your hair before washing it so you don’t do too much damage or hurt yourself trying to brush it out.”

So whether you make an appointment with a stylist or brave your own hairbrush this Halloween, have fun with it. The crazier, the better.

“You can only find so many up-styles in wigs at the store, and having plastic hair on your head will be heavy and itchy, said Chriscoe. “Talking to your hair stylist about your ideas to see what suits you best is the wisest option. Of course, if you want all-over neon green hair for the holidays, it would probably be best to buy a wig.”


“When it came time for me to transform into Heath Ledger’s version of The Joker, I could think of only one person to pull it off, Kristi with WINK. I have short brown hair, the Joker has long yellowish green hair. She took hours to dissect a store bought Joker wig and actually make it into clip in extensions! She then painted my hair greenish with some spray and began to clip in the extensions to create the look from The Dark Knight. As you can see from the photos, she nailed it.”

— Joe Bunn, Owner/DJ, Bunn DJ Company

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