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Inspiration | Barbie x Bleach

Barbie’s getting a makeover. Cool London hair salon Bleach, has collaborated with the Barbie brand for their Designable Hair Extensions line. Alex Brownsell, co-founder of Bleach, created eight Barbie looks in wide-ranging patterns and colors that can be printed onto Barbie’s hair. The user personalizes the colors and designs on an online program and can print it on clip-in extensions with an inkjet printer. It’s a great way to test color – try it first on Barbie, and if they like it, make an appointment with Bleach to get it done in real life. Every day for the next two weeks, Bleach will unveil new designs created by their stylists on their tumblr. Below are excerpts from Dazed Digital’s interview with Brownsell on the collaboration.

How did the collaboration with Barbie come about? Why do you feel she was the perfect ‘client’?
Alex Brownsell: We were asked by Mandi Lennard to create some looks for a new Designable Hair Extensions Barbie. You can print patterns onto her hair, quite a few designs which you can choose from are hair colours which we already do at Bleach so it seemed like a fun idea for us to have Barbie in the salon as a client for a few weeks to see what we could do. So far she has been perfect, there are no tantrums, no questions, she never wants a cup of tea, and never seems to need to go to the loo.

How did you go about creating the 8 different looks, what was your process? What did you use as inspiration?

Alex Brownsell: To create the looks for Barbie we basically just used everything we could – dye, marker pens, glitter, nail polish, bits of fabric, stickers, even crisp packets. We have had a few disasters whilst trying things out on Barbie’s hair – someone melted her hair off in the crimper forgetting it was synthetic, and we have also ended up with one having bright blue skin. All the Barbies have taken inspiration from real clients and people that we know (not telling any names). I created five of the Barbie looks and everyone from the Bleach team has also created their own Barbie; it’s become very competitive in the salon. A normal person’s hair dye takes a few hours, but we’ve all managed to spends weeks on Barbie’s.

Did you used to re-do your own Barbie’s hair?
Alex Brownsell:
Yes, Barbie was my first experimentation with hair styling. I remember they all ended up with a crop because I’d cut their hair and dye it with felt tips, and then cut bits out until there were no styles left apart from very short.

The Barbie Designable Hair Extensions kit provided allows people to try their own designs at home, is D.I.Y hair something you enjoy/encourage? Do you think it’s it important to experiment?
Alex Brownsell:
Your hair is one of the few things that you can change about yourself to make you look completely different, quickly and temporarily, and I think it’s important to experiment with DIY styles at least a few times in your life (or every few months like most people i know) to find out how each combination makes you feel.

Bleach, 420 Kingsland Road, Book appointments HERE or on 020 7927 7844

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