Pastel hair isn’t exactly what it seems to be. If you’re prone to perusing social media and saving every photo that shows watermelon or aqua strands, there’s something professional hair stylists have been dying to tell you for some time. Unlike red or blonde, fantasy hair colors are actually fairly challenging to achieve and maintain.
In salons across the country, we’re beginning to see a shift into muted pastel hair colors that are easier to manage and ideal for chillier seasons. Even if you’re starting with a bright shade, you may very well end up with a watercolor finish after a few weeks of normal fading.
To be honest, we’re really feeling these laid-back jewel tones after months of luminescent blue and pink. It’s a more mature, adult version of whimsical hair—the kind you can pair with a pantsuit and wear to the office. The idea here is to seem creative, not like a middle schooler gone wild with box dye.
Thinking of making muted pastel hair your own? Take a look at these ideas. As always, note that your colorist will likely need to use bleach to lighten your hair if you’re starting with a medium or dark shade. To ensure you have the healthiest-looking hair possible, ask your colorist to recommend a regimen of professional grade products for daily use.
If you’ve wanted to give blue a shot but find yourself turned off by turquoise, this silvery, moody shade is a surefire win. Paired with a blunt lob, muted blue has all the trappings of an actual adult hairstyle without making you look too much like your mother. We call that the perfect balance.
From lilac to deep purple, we’re proponents of all purple hair colors. Still, there’s something modern and fresh about this particular shade of cool lavender. When placed subtly throughout the hair, it complements your base color without stealing the show entirely. We love the shade when it’s paired with medium and dark brown hair.
In the interest of not sugarcoating it, green is a challenging color to pull off as an adult trying to make it in the world. There tends to be something very comic book heroine about the whole thing, which is not a look that appeals to most women. Instead of zipping up a spandex catsuit and fighting crime, try a faded mint that will complement your blonde hair without distracting from it.
Cotton candy hair—a blended look built with pink, blue, and purple strands—has really had its time in the sun this past year. If you like the variety but would rather not have your salon quality hair compared to a sugary dessert, bring a copy of this muted variation into your appointment as a substitute.
Raspberry hair holds a very special place in our color loving hearts. It’s the ideal blend of blue and red, a color that can be customized to run warm or cool depending on your skin tone. Additionally, the color is just a little bit surprising. We’d suggest giving the shade a try on very fair and very dark complexions.
Call it copper, orange, or tangerine, but we’re in love with this flattering shade. On a blonde or brunette base, it’s the ideal way to transition into winter without losing any of your hair’s vibrancy.