Extraordinary People

The Willy Wonka of hair! See eye-popping rainbows as stylist creates unicorn manes

These kaleidoscopic colours can be created in the salon or on wigs which can be mailed to customers.

While the world is more accepting of hairdos that don’t confirm to blond, brunette or silver fox, it’s still rare to see colours that stray outside of society norms.

Well, that is, until Mykey O’Halloran came along.

This bright, multicoloured visionary is quite simply the Willy Wonka of hair.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Mykey masterminds his kaleidoscopic creations either in the salon or by crafting wigs which can be mailed to customers.

Chatting exclusively to Uspire, the rainbow king says he believes the array of colours have a positive impact not only on a client’s physical aesthetic but also their wellbeing.

Mykey said: “Your hair is your frame around your window to the world, so it definitely is a huge identity step and initially takes courage to be bold, outside of the box, and not care what others think because ultimately you’re doing it for you.

“Clients come to me for all different reasons to be able to express themselves in the world through unicorn hair.”

He continued: “The beautiful humans that I get to create on mostly let me have creative freedom, sometimes I get a memo like ‘no green no orange’; or a particular style request like blended rainbows which give an ombré of scattered colours; or block and bold.

“There are just so many ways that colour can be put in hair to cater to a client’s desire.”

Mykey, who falls into a ‘rainbow trance’ while working, can spend up to nine hours at any given time on one client – especially if additional lightening is required for black hair.

The gifted stylist also works on multiple people at once, often with two clients simultaneously while an individual appointment is from five to seven hours on average.

Despite Mykey’s incredible imagination, and the fact we live in a more diverse world now, he still continues to come across prejudice and people who are unwelcoming of his style.

Speaking about his experiences, he told us: “I had a truck driver ask another truck driver while I was crossing the road if he had a gun, which was absolutely revolting. I said it was disgusting and stopped in the middle of the road and shook my head.

“Another incident was at a hot spring [public spa] where four guys stole my tie-dyed clothes and hid them in their locker, it resulted in me confronting them and asking if they like to be bullies. They asked why I have my hair looking the way I do, and purely, it was because of my style as to why they personally attacked me.

“I get comments like, ‘did you lose a bet or something?’ or ‘people don’t actually pay you to look like you do they?’”

But with Mykey’s positive attitude, he is determined nothing will hold him back.

He continued: “I don’t have time for haters, I know how much joy my hair brings people and the people that love it. Anyone with a shady comment feels threatened or insecure in their own self and their way to claim power is to try and take it away from someone else.

“That doesn’t work on me. I was bullied in school and I know how bullies try and win your power over, so the best thing to do is just be yourself and be unapologetically yourself, as rainbow as you want to be, and have no shame about that.”

Mykey also has a few pearls of wisdom for any young person out there who wants to experiment with colour and gender but is afraid.

Reminding our future generations that the rainbow in the sky isn’t feminine or masculine, it’s neutral, Mykey believes we should be free to play with colour – including boys wearing pink and girls wearing blue – as it is not confined to a category.

He said: “Mother Nature gave us colours to play with and wear and how exciting is it that we can do that!?!

“I have had my hair every colour and I love how each and every colour feels different and makes my eyes stand out differently or goes with my clothes differently.

“Being different is the new cool, fitting in is boring.”

Quizzed about how he continues to get inspo after years in the industry, Mykey said that anything and everything from nature to Instagram to cartoons to tattoos influence him.

He told us: “My clients inspire me too with an idea that I can elaborate on. I think our imagination and creativity is our limit, so if we have a vision, roll with it.”

Mykey added: “Draw your idea if that helps, get it out as a map before you try to execute it on a head of hair, that’s helped me in the past.

“I think originality is fun, but being inspired by other artists too, be sure to always tag and credit the artist who has inspired you, it’s worse if you take it as your own and don’t link the source of inspiration so that’s one thing I’ll say, is to credit the original artists.”

Asked how someone might dip their toe into the world of colour if they haven’t yet, Mykey said a good starting point might be to try a hidden rainbow or balayage [a highlight effect usually freehand-painted through strands to add dimension] of colours on the ends.

Looks like you’ll have to add bleach and Manic Panic to your Amazon wishlist!

For more info, click here: Unicorn Manes by Mykey.

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