As interesting as watching paint dry? Let us convince you that actually, the process of colouring hair can be really rather satisfying
Anyone who’s ever used a box colour at home and regretted the outcome will appreciate the skills that professional colourists nurture to get our hair looking fire. An expertly folded fan of foils… a rainbow of fruity-hued inky sections, wet and glistening at the backwash… a perfectly patterned placement of balayage… And now, more are sharing the work, technique and skills that go into creating stunning colour on social media – just look for #processporn to see what we mean. We’re convinced you’ll get a kick out of it.
A great place to start on Instagram is @processperfect, a feed that’s entirely dedicated to the development part of the colouring appointment. Hairdresser Amelia Fugitt’s feed features shot after shot of meticulously folded foils, strand perfect sectioning and beautifully blurred balayage (pre-rinsing, naturally).
One of the reasons we’re seeing so much more of this work is to showcase the skills of colourists absolutely, especially after lockdowns, when we were all clamouring to get back in their chairs. However, it’s also a great way to illustrate why professional colour costs what it does. There’s no slapping on a bowl or tube of tint. Highlights, balayage, face-framing, root shadows… they all take expertise, time and skill.
“When you see a perfectly smooth head of foils with a gorgeous after picture, you’re more likely to book with that stylist than any another,” says Amelia.
“Process porn isn’t just the after shot of a beautiful vivid colour, it’s the entire process and, at the moment, people are craving the process,” agrees Heffy Wheeler, Pulp Riot Artist and founder of Hx Hair in Rugeley. “They want to see the transformation from beginning to end.”
And now, thanks to Reels and TikTok, you can enjoy even more. “I often set up my phone on a tripod and film the entire process, speeding this up for the final edit – it’s so cool to watch back,” says Safy B, founder of Safy B Salon in Aylesbury.
Find ASMR content soothing? Well, we’ve got just the thing. Colour being rinsed off in slow motion, fingers running through the hair to remove excess colour on a vivid, a foil being pulled out really slowly… “ASMR proved to be a huge and strangely adored video trend that does not seem to be slowing down, so I show the people what makes their senses tingle!” laughs Norman Boulton from Not Another Salon in London. “Lots of close ups, squeezing, and milking motions when twirling colour around in the hair make for super satisfying processing content.”