Blonde, brunette, black, and red aren’t going anywhere, but sometimes your soul just craves veering toward something different and unexpected. Cue the dreamy world of pastel hair colors, a place where soft sorbets, creamy yellows, faded blues, and bubblegum pink reign supreme—and without apology.
The pastel hair colors trend has really skyrocketed in the last few years. Major celebrities, corporate professionals, athletes, and people of all skin tones and ages have already dabbled in non-traditional fashion colors, and the trend is only gaining momentum. Whether you’ve been toying with trading in your existing color or are ready to go all-in, peep these 45 gorgeous pastel hair color ideas to get some ideas for your next hair appointment.
Which colors count as pastel hair colors?
There’s a wide spectrum of pastel hair colors. Basically, to get a pastel you take any super-saturated hue and lighten it. So navy blue or red don’t count, but powder blue and pink definitely do. Keep in mind that pastels can still be bright. Think fluorescent turquoise, neon blue, aqua, or vibrant peach.
What skin tones do pastel hair colors look good on?
One of the coolest things about pastel hair colors is that they can be flattering on so many skin tones. For example, pastel pink hair color, baby blues, and mint greens are all known for looking gorgeous on everyone. To narrow down your color selection further, you can also consider your general skin tone and undertones.
Fair skin with warm undertones looks great paired with pastel pink hair color as well as soft oranges and peach. The best pastel hair colors for people with tan skin and warm undertones are hues that bring out that warmth, like rose gold. Brighter pastels look amazing on dark complexions with warm undertones.
If you have a cool-leaning undertone with a fair complexion, we recommend leaning toward cool-toned pastels. Medium skin tones that are cooler can do the same, only you may want a bit more of a pop for that gorgeous contrast. Dark complexions with cool undertones have the most flexibility of all, so have fun with it. Think minty green or a pastel lavender hair color.
If you’re looking for even more guidance, your stylist will also be able to help you choose the perfect hue.
How To Care For Pastel Hair Colors
Like most fantasy shades, pastel hair colors can be difficult to maintain. That’s why we recommend adding a few products to your routine that are specifically formulated to extend the life of your hue. Start by adding a shampoo and conditioner like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo and Conditioner to your routine. These formulas help protect the vibrancy of fast-fading hair colors.
You should also invest in a weekly hair mask like Biolage Colorlast Deep Treatment Multi-Use Hair Mask to give your mane an extra boost of hydration.
The Best Pastel Hair Color Ideas To Try Now
Ready to get inspired? These 45 pastel hair color ideas ought to do the trick.
If you’re going to live your fantasy, do it in a larger-than-life way! This blend of cobalt and aqua is high maintenance, sure, but quite the stunner.
Festival season’s got nothing on this seamless blend of dusty blue, purple, and a hint of pink.
Just say yes to this golden yellow hue. It might just light up your life!
Seeking an adrenaline rush? Hit the go button on lime green.
If you're committing to an electric, unconventionalhair color, the best thing to do is own it. We're obsessed with the rock-and-roll vibe of this color combo.
Swamp Monster (But Make It Cute)
You’ll make others green with envy wearing this stylish blend of chartreuse and forest green.
This firecracker hair color is a nice way to dabble into the realm of pastels without stepping too far out of your comfort zone.
Pastel Rainbow Streak
For a bold flash, consider pairing a pastel base with a single streak of rainbow-drenched hair. This blue and purple hue really makes the other colors pop.
Cheery buttercup has all the zest and positive energy of a happy-faced flower on a spring day.
We’re digging the moody undercurrent of purple hair color.
If you can't have an actual tequila sunrise while sitting on a beach, invest in this hair color as the next best choice. The blend of brilliant shades will add vibrance to your overall aesthetic.
We already know you glow—that personality! Those looks! Make it really clear to everyone else by trying a hair color that literally lights up the room.
For those of us who’ve never met a hair color we couldn’t accidentally destroy, there are a few pastel hair colors that look better faded. Brilliant pink is one of these unicorn shades, developing hues of dusty mauve as it lightens. This is a shade made for women of medium and dark skin tones, mainly because the deep undertones complement the skin’s pigment nicely.
Sparkling rose gold will never go out of style. This luxe mix of blonde, pink, and gold looks stunning on all skin tones. Don’t be afraid to flex a little.
Also known as “blorange” for its platinum blonde undertones, clementine is a soft orange color that looks as sweet as it sounds.
Somewhere between bubblegum and clementine shades lies peach, a pink that’s been tinted with just the slightest hint of orange. It looks even brighter when paired with a dusty gray.
This bold orange will definitely make a head-turning impact.
To achieve this shade, we recommend starting with an icy blonde base before melting in the sunshine-y color. This color looks best on medium to medium-dark skin tones, acting as a natural complexion brightener.
Like a breath of fresh air, pastel aqua is here to infuse a little drama into your strands. If you’ve been lamenting lifeless hair or can’t seem to find a traditional shade that suits your personality, go bold.
Robin’s egg blue fits squarely into the vibrant, true-blue family. There’s no undertone of mint here—just glorious, bright hues.
This gorgeous take on pastel blue is stunning on pale skin tones.
If you’re more into darker pastels, this denim-hued hair color might just speak to you.
Cool off with this refreshing pastel hair color. You can have your colorist take it slightly lighter or darker depending on your preferences.
A moodier take on mint, absinthe is a powdery-leaning blue-green.
This one’s for our blondes, the ladies who have already committed to a lifetime of purple shampoo stains on their bathtubs and hair masking like it’s a full-time job. Girls, lavender was made for you and your pale skin.
Think of violet as lavender’s better-behaved cousin, the one who gets along with everybody. We love the pastel purple shade for all skin tones, especially considering how lovely it looks when it fades.
Unlike violet, periwinkle is a slightly paler, bluer-leaning purple. The shade brings real visual depth to lavender.
Like its flowering namesake, lilac hair is genuinely one-of-a-kind. The color combines pink and blue notes, melding them into a radiant, spring-like color that’s simply unforgettable.
Head under the sea with mermaid-inspired hair.
This shade is icy, gorgeous, and just a little bit magic.
Sunset hair color blends dark hues with that fiery spectrum of the sun taking its bow.
Bring the carnival to your hair with a dreamy blend of cotton candy pink and purple.
If you’ve always wondered what to do with your pale skin, metallic pastel hair color is the answer. This will bring punchy vibrancy to your mane.
The world’s your pastel oyster when it comes to ombre pastel hair. Try going from dark to light using the same color, or fade out to a different hue altogether.
Raspberry is a richer take on pink that flatters all skin tones.
This moody pastel looks striking against all skin tones, so if you’re digging it then don’t hold back.
If you’re not quite ready to go full-throttle, opt for this hidden pastel hair approach. It’s your little secret until you’re ready to show it off.
Hint of Purple
For another pastel hair color option that’s more subtle in nature, try this ever-so-slightly tinted purple on platinum.
Why choose just one flavor when you could have a few? This mix of bubblegum pink, lemon yellow, green, and blue is unexpected but it totally works.
Infuse a little magic into your look with holographic hair. It almost doesn’t seem real!
Opalescent pastel hair is similar to the holographic technique, only it’s a bit more watercolor and blended.
Pastel Money Piece
Not quite ready to make a commitment to all-over pastel? A money piece in your favorite pastel color is the perfect solution.
Not a fan of light or bright? Pastels can go moody, too, when paired with a darker base.
Interested in trying a pastel hair color this year? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.