Interactive, AI-based filters are all the rage right now. The latest of these appearance-changing add-ons that has rapidly taken over TikTok comes in the form of a hair color–changing filter. Influencers and regular users alike have gone mega viral, posting before-and-after videos on the app that feature super realistic images of their hair in a drastically different shade. As a result of the convincing “after” images, tons of users are tempted to run to the salon to make the change real, but we reached out to celebrity colorist, Chad Kenyon, to get the inside scoop on whether or not this filter is a trustworthy way to make this change.
First off, it’s important to understand that though TikTok is full of different kinds of face and appearance-altering filters, this viral hair-changing trend is not the result of a TikTok filter at all. Users are achieving these life-like results from an outside app called FaceApp, which allows you to upload a picture of yourself and alter several aspects of your image, including your hair length and color. From there, individuals insert the before and after pictures into another app called CapCut to create the smooth transition from image to image.
“While this may be helpful in helping color clients decide whether or not they want to make their desired color changes, these filters do not necessarily take into account how the chemistry of hair color and hair lightening works,” Kenyon begins. “You see, we all have two hair colors so to speak: the color you can see and the underlying pigment which is in the realm of red, orange and yellow. So we’re doing much more than, say, painting a white wall red because when we’re dying hair, we’re also opening up the cuticle and exposing the underlying pigment.”
Though it can be cool to see how someone with stark, black hair can end up platinum blonde and pull it off, Kenyon’s main words of wisdom to anyone looking to make a big color change are to stay realistic. “It’s fun to play with these filters and bring the images to a pro colorist for consultation as long as the client maintains realistic expectations,” he says. “Not all desired results are always achievable.”