How to Get Oil Slick Hair Color The Right Way

When you hear ‘oil slick‘, you probably think of nasty pools of oil in the ocean. Oil slick hair color gives you a shiny, colorful, satiny look — but no nastiness. Aura Friedman of the Sally Hershberger Salon created the technique for dark hair to reveal the fantastic colors that everyone loves.


What Is Oil Slick Hair Color?

Friedman said she wanted to create a look that resembled oil or gasoline in a pool on the ground in the rain. She did it by layering iridescent dark green and dark purple on top of one another and ended up with an oily look.

Oil slick hair

Oil slick hair uses hues of purple, magenta, green, and cobalt, which require a dark base, so they stand out — a perfect color option for black and brunette hair.


Why Get The Oil Slick Hair Color Look?

Healthier Hair

The technique gives you the rainbow hair-color look that is so popular but without significant bleaching and damaging your hair. We know bleaching your hair to get the color you want requires more than one visit to the salon, and it is not healthy for it.

With the oil slick look, you can get the look with one salon visit, or color and style your hair yourself at home. Either way, your hair is much healthier.


Less Maintenance

Another plus is that you don’t have as much maintenance with the oil slick look, which saves you money. Typically light shades last no more than one month; oil slick hair colors can go as long as six or eight weeks because the colors are bold, strong, and longer-lasting than lighter shades.


Coloring Options

oil slick hair

Depending on your colored strands’ placement, you may choose to work with a professional stylist to create the look you want. But if you are a DIYer, you can do it at home. Think about how long you want to sport your oil slick look because you’ll need to decide whether temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent oil slick hair colors are best for you.

Colors include raspberry, purple, blue, or green. You can also mix these shades to get a custom color.


If you chose a temporary oil slick style, use washout colors that come out in only one shampoo.


Semi-Permanent Or Permanent

Semi-permanent colors are for those who want the look to last for more than a day, anywhere from four to ten shampoos. If you want to commit to oil slick hair color for the long run, get permanent hair color kits.


How to Do Oil Slick Hair Color

How to Get Oil Slick Hair Color

Choose your color and begin to apply it at the base and go to mid-strand. Apply the next color mid-strand to the ends. Use a blur brush or your fingers to blend the color. Don’t forget to alternate colors.

Watch the following video tutorial to learn how to DIY oil slick hair without hair dye.



Show your creative side. Use whatever style or creative bent that reveals the unique you. Here are two examples.

Pigtail Braids

Popular and practical — they keep your hair out of your face — pigtail braids are totally in.

  1. Part your locks down the middle into two sections.
  2. Begin French braiding one section but don’t finish it. Stop halfway and secure the braid with a clear fastener.
  3. Repeat on the other section.
  4. Fluff out the braids by gently tugging on them.


The Wet-Hair Look

This style was made for oil slick hair.

  1. Start with damp hair.
  2. Apply loads of hair gel to the roots.
  3. Brush or comb your hair back.
  4. Use a glossing spray for the rest.
  5. Maintain everything with hair spray. Note: Apply the hair spray before the gel is dry.

No matter which style you choose, oil slick hair color is a unique and surprisingly practical way to give you a look that stands out in a fun, beautiful way.

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