Guy Tang Interview: How to Express Yourself Through Hair Color


how to express yourself through hair color with Guy Tang

What does your hair say about you? Chances are, it says quite a bit. Most people use their hair to express themselves and show their personalities to the world. A certain haircut, color or texture makes each person unique. This is where self-expression is born. 

And expressing yourself isn’t just about curating your physical look, this practice has much deeper ties, too. 

Self-expression is critical to our happiness and confidence. And since hair is at the center of identity for many people, we wanted to write this article to show you how to express yourself through hair color. We also recruited the help of celebrity hair colorist, music artist, and social media star Guy Tang to share his expert tips for using hair color to express yourself. 

Meet Guy Tang

Guy Tang is the very definition of self-expression. He is authentically himself across social media, inspiring others to embrace themselves and turn the volume up on self-expression. Guy is also the creator of #mydentity, a bold and exciting salon brand — now available at SALONORY. Not only does #mydentity offer professional hair color, toners and styling products, but the brand has an empowering mission to uplift the hairstylist community. 

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#mydentity by Guy Tang caters to bold and creative spirits with high-quality colors like dusty lavender and electrifying yellow. Guy specifically developed these hues to fill the gaps that currently exist in professional hair coloring products, meaning that these colors are one of a kind. The color products are available in permanent, demi- and semi-permanent options and come in a variety of colors that range in boldness. There is truly a color for every personality. 

#mydentity is new to SALONORY, and we are so excited for hairstylists and clients to experience these products. So, we asked Guy to share his top tips for expressing yourself through hair color and his advice for stylists using #mydentity products. 

What Colors Help You Express Yourself?

Before you begin using hair color to express yourself, it’s essential to determine which colors excite you. The color pink was so important to Guy when he was younger. 

“I always wanted to wear pink colors, but my parents always pushed blue on me,” Guy says. ‘“You may have to fight for certain colors to learn how important colors are to express yourself.” 

Guy calls himself a hair color activist because he feels that he has always had to fight and justify the freedom to embrace color. 

When you’re figuring out which colors you love, Guy suggests taking the gender out of colors. For example, if a color has a more masculine feeling for you, try to abandon that way of thinking to broaden the palette of colors you could enjoy. 

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Here are some tips for figuring out the colors you identify with most: 

  • Look at Your Surroundings – When you look around your bedroom, office, dorm room or environment, which colors are most prominent? If you gravitate toward certain colors, these may be hues that make you feel true to yourself. 
  • Finding Flattering Colors – What colors do you wear the most? What colors do you feel look best on you? These are your flattering colors. If you think they look good on you as clothes, have you thought about what these colors could look like on your hair?
  • Try Something New – #mydentity comes in various colors, from more mellow pastels to bold and bright hues. While embracing colors you know look well on you and feel good to you may feel comfortable, it may be exciting to embrace a color you usually don’t. While using permanent or demi-permanent hair color is more permanent, you could use semi-permanent colors that are more temporary if you decide to take a risk with a bolder color. 
  • Hair Colors You Love – Have you ever had a hair color that you were obsessed with? Or, maybe you saw someone walking down the street who had a cool hair color. If you have been wanting to try a hair color you have been swooning over, it may be time!

Have you identified some colors that feel true to you? At SALONORY, we believe in the freedom of color expression — just like Guy believes. This means that we think you should embrace the colors that feel right for you. But if you’re unsure whether the colors you love are practical for your current hairstyle, texture or color, we will share some helpful tips from Guy below. We also recommend talking with a stylist who can help you determine your next hair and color moves.

Best Colors for Light Hair

If you have light hair (also known as hair color levels six through 10) and you want to embrace more color by using professional hair color, Guy recommends that blondes try more subtle tones like: 

  • Pastels
  • Rose gold
  • Silver 
  • Lavender 

Yes, you can embrace any color you want, but Guy recommends these lighter colors for a few good reasons. Lighter colors are easier to transition to for those who want to maintain their hair health and keep the service on the more affordable side. Bolder colors take a lot more processing on clients with lighter hair colors. Extra processing is possible, but it will drive up the cost of your service and it can compromise your hair’s health. 

“Look at the color wheel and work your way across the wheel gradually to achieve the color you’re looking for without lots of damage,” Guy says. 

When a stylist adds color to blonde hair, doing it gradually and over time can help ensure that color stays vibrant in the client’s hair for a longer time — while keeping hair healthy. 

Image of a woman with dark green hair

Best Colors for Dark Hair 

If you have dark hair — levels one through five — chances are that your stylist will need to lift the base of your hair to put any color in it. Once your hair is lifted, it’s possible to add lighter or more vibrant colors. 

“I always give the option to enhance or neutralize darker hair colors,” Guy says. “I actually use green (Wicked from his collection) on my brown hair color, which shocks people, but green balances out the red and has yellow undertones, reflecting off the hair. Green is actually a brunette’s best friend!”

Guy recommends these colors to enhance your hair color: 

  • Red
  • Copper tones

If you want to neutralize or more closely control your color, you could try: 

  • Green 
  • Blue
  • Ash base

When Guy travels to other salons, he notices that many stylists and clients are scared to lift the base of their dark hair.

“People don’t want to see the underlying pigment of their hair, so you see a lot of highlights and toning,” Guy says. 

But he wants to change that. Over the past year, he’s been educating colorists and producing videos teaching them how to lift the base and embrace the warmth of hair properly and in different colors. 

Different Coloring Styles

When it comes to coloring hair, there are tons of ways to showcase vibrant shades. Just because you want hot pink hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to dye your entire head. Different coloring techniques can give you a more subtle or vibrant look — depending on the look you want. 

  • Color Ombre If you want to maintain your natural color while also weaving in some color, an ombre hairstyle would look incredible. Your natural color will remain on your roots and your new vibrant color will blend out to your ends.
  • Color Highlights – If you’re unsure about how a vibrant color could look on you, try a few strips of color in your hair. Guy likes to focus on subtle tones underneath bold colors because those are the tones that actually help define the hair color. “People don’t see the subtle tones, and it’s not always about a huge transformation,” Guy says. “Subtle tones make the color believable.”
  • Color Wash – A subtle color wash may interest you if you have light or pre-lightened hair. This looks like a dusty lavender or subtle rose color. 
  • Underside Color – If you want a subtle color that has the potential to be bold, you can dye the underside of your hair the color you are thinking of. You will see tiny peeks of it throughout the day.

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How to Make Your New Hair Color Last

Whenever you get your hair colored, you want to make sure the color stays vibrant long after you leave the salon. However, you may notice that color can fade quickly from hair. Colors like pink and red tend to leave hair faster than other colors, but most hues will drastically fade after a few washes. To help preserve your hair and self-expression, Guy has some expert advice to share. 

  • Get a Glaze Treatment – If your hair color has faded or isn’t the same tone you want it to be, you can visit your stylist for a glaze or tone. Guy recommends that hair stylists glaze or tone on dry hair while letting the hair process for the full time — per manufacturer instructions — to lock in or revive color if it’s dull. If a stylist tones or glazes wet hair, it will still tone, but it will shorten the longevity and lifespan of the color. 
  • Use At-Home Color Conditioners – For hair that has the same color all over, clients can use #MyRefresh color conditioners. These conditioners deposit color onto the hair making it look more vibrant. These conditioners may not be the best for clients to use if they have highlights or multiple colors in their hair. 
  • Wash Hair Less Frequently – Not only is it healthy to wash your hair every other day, but this can also help you maintain vivid color longer while keeping your hair healthier. 

Upkeep is essential if you have a high-maintenance hairstyle, which is why it’s critical to keep these practices as a part of your hair routine. 

“It’s totally normal to have color fade,” Guy says. “You have to maintain the same as you would with your nails.”

Portrait of a woman with wavy brown hair

Using #mydentity to Express Yourself

We are really excited to be carrying #mydentity at SALONORY. Now, this product is more accessible to hairstylists and can easily be sought after if clients request it in the salon. 

“I love the online aspect of SALONORY,” Guy says. “It’s modern, accessible and users have options. Convenience is huge, too, and products ship quickly when you need them. Sometimes stores don’t carry what you’re looking for, so the convenience of having products like #mydentity online is great.”

For those new to the #mydentity brand, it comes in multiple types of colors (permanent, demi, semi, etc.) and in multiple ranges (Natural Ice, Rose Gold, Silver Smoke etc.), making it the ideal color range for every stylist to have on hand. 

In addition to stunning colors, #mydentity features a line of lightening and toning products, along with hair care and hair styling collections. Whatever service your client is looking for, #mydentity has the products to provide them with striking results!

With this line, I wanted to create staples that pave a way and set long-standing trends that allow stylists to be proud of their work,” Guy says. 

But most importantly, Guy wants people to celebrate their identity — something he struggled with growing up — with #mydentity. 

There is a story of empowerment on each box of color to inspire colorists and clients. Some of these colors and stories include:

  • Wicked Color – Tells the story of being misunderstood and people not understanding your side or your perspective.
  • Shadow Ash Collection – There is no shadow without light. At our darkest times, we have to remember the light is shining on us.
  • Super Power Collection – We all have that power within us. We have a responsibility to make a difference.
  • Naked Collection – All about being honest with yourself and owning your authentic self.
  • Midnight Collection – Being in an in-between/transitional phase or having a twilight moment.

A selfie of Guy Tang and 2 beautiful women

“I want a pulse behind every collection,” Guy says. “If people look at the brand and just see color, they are colorblind because the brand is much more than color.”

#mydentity is the perfect color product to switch up your look with. And if you couldn’t already tell by the name of Guy’s line, these colors were developed to inspire and center around one’s self-expression and identity. 

Whether you’re a hairstylist or a client, Guy has a refreshing perspective that inspires self-expression. If his advice and insight intrigued you, you can join his Facebook community, HairBesties, where he connects with his community.  

We hope that you are feeling inspired to take risks when it comes to self-expression and trying a new hair color. While you may rely on your hair as your main form of self-expression, it’s important not to take it too seriously. Taking risks and trying new styles and colors can boost your confidence and help you see yourself in a new light. These experiences are a win-win for your self-expression. 


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