The collaboration just made sense. Hayley Williams (yes, that one) and makeup artist, hairstylist, and colorist extraordinaire Brian J. O’Connor had been working together for years to create Williams’s iconic Paramore-era looks. From the star’s trademark fire-hued strands to her teal-toned crop, each and every style was a creative collaboration between the two.
After countless sessions mixing other brands’ hair colors to achieve their desired effect, the idea dawned on the duo: Instead of compromising by having to mix different formulas, why not create their own? And with that, Good Dye Young was born. The goal was (and is) to create salon-quality products that people can use at home to further their self-expression.
“We actually started formulating products when we were on tour in the back of the tour bus,” O’Connor, who is also the brand’s Chief Innovation Officer, says. “All of the past work Hayley and I have done together has always been and is still used as an inspiration point as we create products together.” From the first glance, the musical influence is apparent—shade names like Blue Ruin, Ex-Girl, and Steal My Sunshine read like a playlist with the coolest track listing at full volume.
Once O’Connor and Williams got into the lab, it was important that the line adhered to a vegan, clean, cruelty-free standard while also delivering the high-impact hues that the duo collaborated on for years. Appropriately, the very first Good Dye Young product was a bright orange tone—named Riot, of course—which was an exact match to the shade Williams rocked during Paramore’s Riot era.
GOOD DYE YOUNG
FOUNDED: By Hayley Williams and Brian J. O’Connor in 2016.
BASED IN: Nashville, TN
PRICING: $12 to $30 for hair color, color accessories, and hair care. Good Dye Young-branded merch (including hoodies, candles, and mystery boxes, among other items) runs between $8 and $50.
BEST KNOWN FOR: Semi-permanent hair dyes in vivid tones with a generous pigment load, and of course, Williams’s own creative color choices.
MOST POPULAR PRODUCTS: The Semi-Permanent Colors in Ex-Girl, Rock Lobster, and Toxicity, as well as the Hair Lightening Kit.
FUN FACT: The brand’s first color was an orange dye named Riot, which was in homage to the color O’Connor created on Williams’s hair for Paramore’s Riot album.
OTHER BRANDS YOU’LL LOVE: Manic Panic, Overtone, Aura
With a full range of products and a rainbow of 24 semi-permanent colors, Good Dye Young is only gaining momentum, recently solidifying a partnership with Sephora. As much as Good Dye Young is a celebrity hair brand, it’s also co-founded by a professional hairstylist, and the brand counts several professional hairstylists and colorists as members of its product development team. “We are uber conscious of what we are putting into our products as well as how they perform on the hair, so it’s important that we have someone who stands behind a chair full time developing and believing in the products we put out there,” O’Connor says.
Good Dye Young’s semi-permanent dye formulas boast nourishing sunflower extract, while more commitment-free options like the I’m Bored Hair Makeup come infused with aloe vera and soy proteins. “It lives in the realm of temporary color, but you get the softness and shine that most temporary products don’t offer,” says O’Connor.
Thanks to innovative formulas, super-saturated hues, and a penchant for establishing trends, this temporary color line has established itself as a permanent figure in the hair realm. Good Dye Young’s future is looking as bright as its expansive rainbow of hues, and on the heels of the Darker Daze color range developed for naturally dark hair tones, O’Connor hints that we can expect to see more bold moves from the brand this summer. The good may die young, but Williams and O’Connor’s innovative ideas have a long life ahead.
Keep reading to learn more about the best products in the Good Dye Young lineup.
Semi-Permanent Hair Color
Out of the 24-color range, O’Connor notes that Ex-Girl, Rock Lobster, and Toxicity are among the most-popular shades. Depending on how often you lather up, the color lasts between seven and 24 shampoos, and it takes about 30 minutes to develop.
I’m Bored Hair Makeup
Want to switch up your color, but not ready to commit? The I’m Bored Hair Makeup is a color-depositing serum, designed to be applied directly to towel-dried hair. It lasts between two to six washes, which is perfect for giving a fun new shade a test run.
Wash Color Kind Shampoo
Formulated specifically to cleanse and protect color-treated hair, the Good Dye Young Wash shampoo nourishes your strands with hibiscus extract and coconut oil.
Looking to try a new color just for a day or two, or love to experiment with many different colors while minimizing the potential for damage? Apply this pigment-packed styling wax directly to any areas you want to play up—it’s ideal for color without commitment, as it washes out as soon as you shampoo your hair.
Prime Color Kind Hair Primer
While this spray-on primer acts as a protective shield for your colored strands against heat styling and the sun’s UV rays, it can also help to detangle and cut down on time spent blow drying.
Hair Lightening Kit
While most lighteners contain keratin, which isn’t vegan, this formula features soy protein with a side of moisturizing coconut oil. “We had to work hard to find a good substitution that would help keep the hair stronger,” O’Connor says.