Try something new (at home or the salon) with this fun fad.

By Jennifer Aldrich
February 22, 2021
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I've had blonde hair my entire life, and I never thought I'd try anything different until it's time to transition to gray. Maybe it's pandemic boredom or wanting to switch things up after 26 years of the same thing, but I decided to have a little more fun with my tresses and temporarily dye my hair pastel pink. Well, it turns out I'm not the only one who's trying out a funky hue. #PastelHair has more than 1.2 million posts on Instagram featuring stunning styles in every shade of the rainbow, including pink, blue, and purple.

"I have been seeing more and more of my clients trying vivid colors in their hair lately," says Nicole Hamlet, a hairstylist at Keli Hair Beautique in Framingham, Massachusetts. "The most popular colors have been pastel tones because they complement blondes and brunettes without being too much of a statement," she adds. This trendy style is perfect for spring as it's fun, fresh, and reminiscent of the gorgeous blooms you'll soon be seeing in your garden. Plus, you can get the look at home or in the salon.

Credit: Courtesy of @nikihamz/Instagram

How to Get Pastel Hair at the Salon

If you're ready to fully commit to this bold look, head to your salon (with a face mask, of course) and show your stylist some photos of what you'd like your hair to look like. "First, you have to lift the hair to a pale white blonde," Hamlet explains. Then, your stylist will apply your desired hue with foils or by painting. Although the end result will be beautiful, it will be an expensive service. "Pastel hair colors can be quite pricey depending on placement," Hamlet says. "Normally, in the salon, I charge $125 an hour because it can be very time-consuming." (Appointments can take a few hours, so make sure you're prepared.) Because your hair is going to be bleached first, and then color-treated, use a moisturizing shampoo, such as the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo ($31, Sephora), to prevent breakage.

Credit: Courtesy of @lindamikaelsdotter/Instagram

How to Get Pastel Hair at Home

It's going to be difficult to get a seamless two-tone color, like the gorgeous style above by Linda Mikaelsdotter, hair colorist and founder of Peace and Noise salon in Stockholm, but you can get the pastel look at home. It's an affordable alternative and an excellent way to try out the trend before you make it permanent. Here are four products to help you achieve a pretty pastel look.

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

This is the product that I used to color my hair. My stylist, Maria Wheeler, who owns her own salon, loves Maria Nila because it's a professional, vegan brand that's gentle yet effective. I applied a small amount on towel-dried hair for about 30 minutes that gave me a pastel look that lasted about five washes. To go bolder, I applied a generous amount on nearly dry strands that turned out to be a brighter pink.

Buy It: Maria Nila Pink Pop Colour Refresh ($24, Amazon)

Credit: Courtesy of oVertone

This semi-permanent conditioner will make your hair a lovely lilac. All you have to do is apply the award-winning product to wet hair (or dry, for more pigmentation) for 15 to 20 minutes. The hue will fade over time, but if you'd like a refresh, just reapply the product. If you're looking for other shades, check out the Overtone website for more options, including pink, green, teal, and yellow.

Buy It: Overtone Pastel Purple Coloring Conditioner ($32, Overtone)

Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

For a beautiful light blue, try out the Lime Crime line. Apply this shade to dry, conditioned hair, leave it on for 45 minutes. Wash it out, and you'll have perfectly pastel tresses that wash out over time. (To refresh, just reapply the product.) If you're interested in more shades, check out the Lime Crime Unicorn Tint options, or for more vibrant shades consider Lime Crime Full-Coverage colors.

Buy It: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Hair Color Tint ($16, Ulta)

Credit: Courtesy of Saks Off Fifth

You can create a multicolored style with this trio of sprays that are free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. (Plus, they'll wash out right away in case you're in love with the look.) The more you spray, the darker the colors will appear, so you can customize how bright you want the hues to be.

Buy It: Eva Nyc Chameleon Temporary Color 3-Piece Spray Set ($15, originally $20, Saks Off Fifth)

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