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You know an amazing colorist when you see their work on social media. And if the algorithm is in your favor, you may have found yourself double-tapping your way through a world where rich pigments – tangerine, hot pink, arctic blue – are spliced, where to buy generic carbozyne online pharmacy without prescription layered, and zig-zagged on the heads of an equally dynamic set of clientele, under the hands of not one, but two artists who push the possibilities of color to the next level.
May Ziwang and Wesley Wei met five years ago and have since carved out a technicolor utopia in the Nantun District of Taichung City, Taiwan. Both worked as assistant hairstylists — Ziwang for two years, Wei for four — before venturing out on their own. In 2019, Ziwang opened OOO-ing Studio with her partner, Light, and invited Wei to work with them.
Their individual portfolios are a cross-blend of deeply nostalgic looks from the Y2K era and a hyper-futuristic society where bright colors are the new neutrals. When Wei colors hair, he likes to keep a bit of new growth visible as a way to celebrate and preserve the beauty of his clients' natural, jet black hair. Ziwang, on the other hand, likes to play with different blending techniques that accentuate shockingly vivid colors. "I prefer a gradient or block color look," she tells Allure. "These two techniques make the color less intense and appear more natural."
For Ziwang and Wei, combining experimental cuts with bright hair dye is the most authentic way to communicate the beautifully complex range of emotions that creatives possess. "Creation needs to go through color in order to express artists' thoughts because that color is a kind of language," says Wei. Every color selection is based on the client's personal style, then reinterpreted through the lens of Ziwang and Wei who are also inspired by film, paintings, and music. The result is a breathtaking presentation that fuels intrigue while looking cool as hell.
As artists who favor creative expression and meticulous execution, Ziwang and Wei turned to hair after looking for a way to bridge their love of art and the commercial beauty industry in their country. "It's difficult to maintain one's livelihood by working in the fields of aesthetics and art in Taiwan," says Wei. "[But] the hairdressing industry provides a moderate income and opportunities for creativity. It's for these reasons that I decided to learn the techniques needed to create more work that expresses my creative vision."
For Ziwang, working with hair gives her the opportunity to create a community that is grounded in collaboration. "I really enjoy the process of co-creating, and this industry lets me do that," she says. "Helping customers express themselves was also the reason why I got into the hairdressing industry in the first place." Both are fans of the Goldwell hair dye line when it comes to bringing their visions to life. "I like to pay attention to the different colors that naturally appear across the hair when special styling isn't required. It's similar to painting, you can draw blocks and color wherever you want."
At OOO-ing Salon, they're serious about the painting thing. In fact, the salon got rid of the standard dyeing brush, replacing it with an assortment of paintbrushes – a technique they credit to the salon's art director and co-owner, Light. "She had this idea where we might create hairstyles inspired by the different color variations of the agate stone, so we started using watercolor brushes," says Ziwang. "This method has allowed us to think outside the box and create an entirely new approach to color styling."
While their use of color and cut to bring out the playful edginess of their clients has gained them a growing fan base, their approach to hairdressing still strays far from conventional norms of what is considered not only beautiful but acceptable in Taiwanese society.
"In Taiwan, the stereotypes around colored hair still exist and I do believe it is still considered a taboo," says Wei. "For example, people who have specially-colored hair usually work in art-related jobs, because most industries require low-key hair color." Ziwang agrees, adding that in some circumstances, "colored hair keeps people from getting a job, it's just the rule of the game."
Despite "practical, simple designs" being the overarching requirement for aspiring professionals in the Taiwanese market, both Ziwang and Wei are committed to executing their vision and building their community of like-minded creatives and color enthusiasts. It's paid off — the demand for appointments at OOO-ing has boomed. "At the beginning, we just wanted to have a personal space that allowed us to create," says Ziwang. "It wasn't until recently that we started to see OOO-ing as representing a new shift in the hairdressing industry."
The salon may still be young but Wei, Ziwang, and Light have already created a legacy that challenges us to reimagine how we can play with colors that were previously seen as too extreme to be wearable on a daily basis. Their work shows that it's not only possible, it is, without question, out-of-this-world beautiful.
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