When I heard that renowned New York hair colorist Roxie Darling was pioneering a new practice that combined hair color with intuitive healing, I was intrigued. Given all the hype around “color therapy” lately (infrared saunas, reading aura colors, etc.), I was surprised I’d never heard it deployed in the context of hair. I spoke with Roxie on the phone and she filled me in on what her new service is all about. Get the scoop below, but read at your own risk. You’ll be itching for a dramatic hair change by the end…
I’ve been a hair colorist for a little over 10 years now, and I have always felt a deep sense of purpose when it comes to hair color and personal identity. I recently started offering a service I call “intuitive hair color healing,” where I sit down with a client and talk to them about what they want to change about their life, or what they want to let go of, or what they want to embody or empower in themselves.
With that in mind, I prescribe a hair color based on their intentions. My suggestion varies every time. Sometimes it’s painted highlights to create more of a light and dark balance, or a full extraction, which is like a bleach job.
While hair is my main avenue of working with people and making people feel better about themselves, it doesn’t always stop there. Sometimes I recommend crystals that help with energy blockages, or I will tell someone to wear a green shirt, or a purple skirt, or a blue scarf around their neck, or that they need to hang a big red painting in their house.
I’m essentially practicing chromotherapy, which is the science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that lead to improved well-being. It’s become more widespread recently thanks to the infrared sauna trend, but the gist is that each color possesses frequencies of a specific vibration, and each vibration is related to different symptoms. Healers have been leveraging the power of color and light for centuries. It has been traced back to Ayurvedic medicine, ancient Egyptian culture and traditional Chinese healing.
My interest in this arena started with a color theory class I took when I was 19 years old, so 11 years ago, at one of the first salons I ever worked. The class delved into the psychological and historical meanings of each color, and it blew my mind. It really helped me develop my relationship and language with color, because I started looking at everything differently — like, “Oh, this advertisement is this color because it’s trying to trigger this emotion in me.”
When clients comes in for intuitive hair color healing, I start by asking them about their astrological sign. If they know the time that they’re born, I’ll look at their birth chart, which is a map of where the planets were when they were born. Then I ask them a series of questions: Why are you here? What is holding you back from living your best life, or making your next move? They’re big questions, but I’ve found that the answers come fast because it’s a gut response.
Depending on how the client prefers to approach change (Slow and steady? Fast and shocking?), I either prescribe subtle hair changes spread out over the course of a few months, or an all-day intensive session.
The process is ultimately intended to trigger a metaphysical transformation of someone’s perspective and psyche through a physical transformation with their hair. I’ve had actresses book jobs as soon as they left their first intuitive hair color session. People have quit jobs that made them unhappy, or entered into new relationships. Stuff like that.
I’ve experimented with color therapy on myself, too — changing my hair color to match my mood, or manipulating my hair to manipulate my mood. I recently shaved my head and stopped dying my hair for the first time in my life. It felt nerve-wracking and made me a little vulnerable, but it’s been amazing. I actually think it’s the best hair I’ve ever had, because it’s a true reflection of where I am in life. I’m feeling really clear about what the next year looks like for me, so wearing my hair in its most natural state means I can’t be put in a box, and I’m free to focus on what’s in front of me without any distractions.
When it comes to intuitive hair color healing, “no hair color” can be just as life-altering as an ombre rainbow. Never underestimate the power of any new hair-do. That’s the real takeaway here.
Roxie is a hair colorist at Suite Caroline salon, where she offers intuitive hair color healing in addition to traditional hair coloring services.
Feature image by Joe Schilling via The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images.