If you’ve ever gone through Instagram looking for the perfect photo of your pastel hair to show your dye, you’ve probably heard of Guy Tang. He has over two million followers on the site, as well as 1, 6 million on YouTube, where he is an exuberant educator for dyes around the world. She is one of the colorists who helped transform bold and non-natural hair as popular. And no wonder, because his colors were made to be shared with the world.

Rather than a traditional Instagram legend, most of its photos list the formulas they used to perform each coloring operation (from the initial color picking to gloss and Olaplex conditioning), while its YouTube channel goes deeper for show the process of taking people from their natural brunettes to misty sunny figures with sunshine. Earlier this year, MyIdentity launched a professional hair dyeing line that allows salons near you to recreate creations from metal lavender to Phoenix hair that looks neon during the day but shines like a fireflies in black light.

When I call him to talk about his inventive colors, he just returned to Los Angeles, Sydney. Tang travels a lot these days. So much that it stopped accepting customers unless they agree to be part of the YouTube educational series. Tang moved to Los Angeles seven years ago, and the oldest hair color transformation on his YouTube channel is in May 2014. Clearly, he had a meteoric rise in a short time.

I start with the obvious question: Where does he get the ideas for these colors? Today it is not surprising to see the hair that shines in the dark, unicorn-colored hair directly from a Lisa Frank drawing or a ridge that fits our rose gold iPhone, but someone had to come up with combinations of color that have become the hottest trends. “You know, they do not follow trends,” he says. “Probably why.” He explains he does not care what celebrities do with their hair; he continues to scan the world for the color combinations that interest him. “We mixed the shadow of our eyes in different tones, why can not we do that in our hair?” He says. “I take that concept and inspire me from the things that surround us every day.” But dream of a new color and make it work in real life are two different things.

Tang says he always loved the photo and thanks his training with a room to approach hair color. “When studying photography, you have to understand the primary colors and the way the light touches – everything is related to enlightenment.” The color of hair is not so different. Even if we classify hair as “blond”, “brunette” or other lightweight, what we see in people’s head – even in their natural color – is an endless blend of varied shades, pigments and shadows.

It is likely that this obsession with the camera will help him be so successful in the social media age. Tang is very open about the fact that color appears different in real life than in the room. “There are two different types of hair color – one for editorial and one for commercial use,” he says. “If you want things to appear on the camera, you have to exaggerate the tones.” A subtle pink could be blonde on Instagram. When Tang had clients, he said that part of the pre-color consultation with the person sitting in his chair implied the image of where they wanted the color of their hair to shine.

In the past, trying and tweaking led to its color creations, but with the invention of MyIdentity, he had to enter the lab with a chemist to make sure each color worked the way he promised each time. “I had to understand science before I could become an artist,” he says. He did not mention how much he made them create the first metallic color he enjoyed, but he explained that the color line made it possible to achieve its results without “mixing five things to do it.”

Unlike painters or photographers who have almost unlimited abilities to change the color until it is just right, hair can be damaged by too much processing. “We need to think about the integrity and health of hair,” says Tang. “You can just push your hair to a certain point.”

As anyone who spent several long days in a stylist chair just to get the lavender hair can attest, patience is the key to getting the perfect color. “People often rush to get these colors,” he says, “Customers are anxious and hurry their stylist.” But these colors take time. “It’s just like cooking.” If you want a stewed beef sandwich, you must stop baking first, and you can not put it in the microwave.