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Oil Slick Hair Is The Perfect Hair Color Trend For Brunettes

oil slick hair

Oil slick hair is the perfect trend to try if you have dark hair you want to add color to without bleaching. It is a beautiful blend of hair color which allows the wearer to bask in the glow of varied shades of blues, greens, purples and pinks.

The colors were an intriguing concept that I’d never considered for my own brunette hair. Dark hair doesn’t hold bright colors, so what could they be talking about? Apparently, I very was wrong and it very well could be done; I was just looking for the gorgeous colors in the wrong places.

Have you ever seen an oil slick? Probably. Maybe when you were young it would catch your curiosity as you passed by one with your mom at the grocery store. I remember seeing them on the ground, little puddles of rainbow; I loved it.

My mom would always grab my hand and urge me along away from the pretty puddle and to the store. But, my line of sight would always follow the puddle as I walked away. The ways in which the colors swirled against the dark background of asphalt- tinted water were mesmerizing. When I heard about the oil slick trend, I got excited. Other people thought it was a good idea too, and put the colors in their hair no less? Yes. Sign me up.

I am totally on board with this trend, and shockingly not many people participate in it (at least from what I have seen on a day-to-day basis). I will be jumping on board the oil slick bandwagon soon enough; I need to call my stylist! After recently indulging in the dark lob trend of late 2018/early 2019, I want something new to add to my hair bucket list, and this trend appears to fit the bill.

Have you ever wondered what an oil slick actually is? The origin is not nearly as visually appealing as the result, if you want to know. It is actually pretty bad for wildlife, and creation of oil slicks should be avoided, if at all possible. Stick to the hair trend. It’s better for everyone, especially you and your cute self!

Typically, an oil slick is the result of oil floating on an expanse of water. It takes the appearance of a rainbow when a person sees it and can range from as small as a puddle (like the previously shown image) to as large as miles of ocean; it is not good for the environment to say the least. Cars, in particular, will frequently leave behind tiny oil slicks in the parking lot of the grocery store, like I talked about earlier also. Oil slicks, if large enough, can kill off a substantial amount of subaquatic wildlife. Obviously, this is bad. Therefore, origin of the trend is not nearly as attractive as the result of the hair, and yet the hair trend is gorgeous to behold.

We Have Aura Friedman To Thank

After seeing her clients show interest in brighter colors on a darker hair, world-renowned celebrity stylist Aura Friedman was the first stylist to paint the hair of her clients to resemble oil slicks. The way she paints the hair was unique on every person, and people loved her for the vibrant hair color art she created. She created the trend in early 2018, and hair has never been the same.

According to Trish Gabalvy of Tricoci University, Freidman said, “I’ve been trying to re-create gasoline or oil when it’s on the ground and it rains,” she said. “I find that when you take a dark purple and a dark green and layer them one on top of the other, you end up with this iridescent feeling.” The ink-iness of the colors make the coloring beautiful to behold. Aura’s Instagram boasts many more unique painted hair color options, so if you are interested, visit her page below.

Since the creation of the oil slick hair color, many hair colorists have taken to the internet to share their different forms of delivering the requested colorful dark hair. No one really displays the natural knack for it that Aura, the creator does, but mimicking her vision definitely created a whole new trend! Who wouldn’t want to have dark hair and rainbow hair at the same time? I’d love it, personally.

Is The Oil Slick Dye Process Expensive?

To put it mildly, yes kind of. Nearly all professionally produced hair color costs a pretty penny. Even just one color, for instance burgundy, can cost up to $300 at the salon if you aren’t careful. Some places will charge a lot more than others for color styles like this, but if you do your research you may get lucky! The particular technique required for oil slick hair is a bit more costly as it does have to be hand-painted. Keep that in mind when you’re looking for your favorite new colorist!

What Can I Expect?

It can be a bit difficult to apply hair color properly in general, so how does one get the oil slick color result? The technique for application is very similar to that of the balayage technique in which the hair is sectioned and painted in a “V” shape, to get a seamless stream of color that sort of melts into the rest of one’s hair. The balayage technique is actually the best way to paint the vibrantly muted colors involved in oil slick hair because of the level of difficulty involved in applying bright colors in general.

While this particular hair trend is intended to be brunette- and dark-haired-maven-friendly, it all depends on the shade of hair you begin with. For example, medium-tone to lighter-tone brunettes will generally have an easier time of applying the colors and getting them to absorb better. Dark hair typically won’t hold non-natural tones in general because dark dye creates a thicker layer which the bright colors would need to penetrate. If you have particularly dark hair, dyed or not, you will probably need to lift your original color in the areas you want to apply the brighter tones.

The Best Oil Slick Products for DIY-ers

Bright colors, muted or not, are best applied by a professional, although you can definitely turn it into a DIY project! Make sure if you decide to take a shot yourself that you deep condition after dyeing to avoid permanent damage to the hair coated by your semi-permanent vibrant tones!

So what are some good products for adding color to dark hair?

  • Manic Panic: This brand is renowned for its wild and bright colors, across the internet. Their semi-permanent dyes are great options for achieving your oil slick look at home! Get them here.

  • Unicorn Hair by Lime Crime is another great option for your most-wanted oil slick looks. Get it here.

  • Loreal Paris offers colors specifically intended for darker hair with their Colorista semi-permanent hair color line. Their colors are deep, pretty and budget-friendly! Get it here.

  • Splat! Dye is one of the most popular semi-permanent hair colors available. With their wide range of options, at super affordable prices you can’t get much better! Get it here.



How To Maintain Oil Slick Hair

So how do we keep the color in your hair? This can be a feat in and of itself. Few products work well enough to keep all color in your hair, especially if it’s dyed brightly, but here are some of the best to help to help keep your oil slick on your hair and not in your shower!

  • Redken products in general are pretty great, but their Color Extend products are awesome for keeping color where it should be. Get it at

  • Lime Crime’s semi-permanent color brand has pint-sized hair tints that can actually allow you to refresh your color and make it last longer! The packette tints can be found here at

  • Joico’s Color Infuse Shampoos and Conditioners allows you to refresh your color in the shower, and what could be easier! I can vouch that they really work, and you can get them from Ulta Beauty.



We definitely think this trend is here to stay. Oil slick hair is the dark hair spicer-upper that we have always dreamed of and look forward to seeing evolve and adapt as the beauty industry changes. It’s already been turned into hair color, nail polish styles, and lipstick styles, so who knows what will be next? All we know is we love it and can’t wait to see.