Pastels are having yet another magical moment right now (insert shooting star and unicorn racing over a rainbow over Debby Ryan’s new hair for her summer TOUR). Everywhere you look someone is going some shade of candy-coated, but it’s summer here in the US so it’s not hard to get the bug! If you have an interest in dipping into the pastel pool this summer there’s a couple of things I think you should know…
- To get your hair a soft shade of pastel, you must have pre-lightened it. There’s just no way around that. Pastels just pick up best of hairs when they’re super light blonde so talk to your hair colorist and don’t attempt the prelightening at home please.
- It’s best to do some sort of variation of color to avoid looking like you’re wearing wig (i love a wig for the record, just don’t want to look like you’re wearing one if you’re not). I prefer to add some dimension or a second color. In all of the shades on this post, you’ll see that. Up top we’ve got the two tone which is really cool and fun when you’re going to be sporting braids and buns all summer. Next we have my friend Bri from designlovefest.com! She wanted to incorporate pinks and purples (but not go all-over with it) so we did an all over lightening and then I painted a mix of pink and purple on her roots. When she sets her hair down it’s more of a subtle shade seeping through. SO fun and will look epic with a braid! Then we have Debby again right below with her lavender hair. Some strands I painted lavender and some I painted with conditioner to keep them lighter in order to break up the purple. And at the bottom, we have Emily who had a full highlight prior to her seafoam green. We didn’t bleach her whole head unlike the other two, instead we just added the blue/green mix over her previously highlighted hair, allowing the dimension to stay!
- My MOST IMPORTANT pastel for going pastel is to overshoot. All of these photos were taken the first day the hair was colored so it’s going to fade from here. I want that. I always make the hair one full shade more intense/more vibrant to allow for fading. It usually settles at a good place if you go just a little more intense. People always tell me or comment that they get bummed when they finally get the pastel shade they want but then wash it down the drain almost immediately. If you go a tiny bit richer, you’ll fade out to the perfect spot and it should stay for a little extra time. Also, talk to your colorist about this because it depends on the condition of your hair, but the whiter your hair is to start, the longer the pastel typically stays, unless the hair is too damaged.
- Look for color locking shampoos like THIS , THIS or THIS and use a good COLOR CONDITIONER or MASK but get it on and off quickly. When I had pastel hair years ago I would try to wash and condition my hair as quickly as possible in the shower to avoid giving excess time for the pigment to rinse out. It was just my weird thing. I always thought the pink faded quicker when I stayed in the shower longer.
The truth is, pastel is going to fade quicker than a full-intensity color so don’t have unrealistic expectations, ya know? Also next week I have a good pastel hair hack coming up for you… So stay tuned for that!