Unicorn hair. Mermaid hair. Cotton candy hair. No matter what label you stick on it, the essence remains the same: pastel hair colors have conquered any and all trends these past years. We don’t even need to explain why. Just one look at a pastel hair job and you’ll be swooning in seconds.
Today, we’re happy to be your personal guide in the whimsical world of pastel hair colors. We’ll show you the prettiest bubblegum shades in all the land, spanning all colors of the rainbow.
Even more, we’ve reserved a special section in our guide for tips, tricks, and everything you need to know before you start to transform your tresses. Ready, set, pastel, go!
1. Red Pastel Hair Color Ideas
We’ll start things off with a selection of warm pastel hair colors. Arguably, the richest tone in the category is red. A slightly washed out reddish pastel is a dream come true for alternative girls.
We particularly recommend the shade for women with green or blue eyes. The combination creates a powerful and captivating contrast.
2. Pastel Pink Hair Colors
As far as popularity is concerned, pastel pink has definitely stolen the spotlight. A feminine and graceful tone, anything remotely close to light pink is a popping choice.
You can choose any specific shade on the pink spectrum, from an ashy rose to cotton candy. The girly pastel seems to look outstanding on women of all kinds, regardless of their particular features.
3. Orange Light Pastel Hair Colors
Are you the type of girl who always carries the spirit of summer in her heart? Then an orange pastel hair color will do your personality justice!
It’s the best choice for outgoing women who always love to look on the bright side. You can make your pastel orange more intense or washed out, as preferred. We’re sure the results will be breathtaking all the same.
4. Golden Pastel Hair Colors
We’re all for unconventional hair colors. At the same time, we’d be lying if we were to say they’re for everyone. Some girls feel and look like absolute queens when rocking natural hair tones.
Therefore, we’ve sprinkled in some low key pastel ideas for them too. If you want something that’s more wearable on a day to day basis, try a honey golden pastel shade.
5. Rose Gold Pastel Hair Colors
Another trend that has taken the world of aesthetics by storm is rose gold. From makeup and nails to jewelry and even smartphones, rose gold is the picture-perfect tone we’ve all been waiting for.
As a hair color, it brings a discrete metallic sheen to the classic strawberry blonde. It’s a chic, trendy, and sensational pastel hair color choice.
6. Champagne Pink Pastel Hair Color Ideas
While we’re at metallic shades, we have to bring champagne pink into the conversation. Even though it comes in quite close to rose gold, it leans far more towards the platinum side.
Pink is used as an ever so gentle tint for a feminine touch. The resulting rosy blonde is to die for, even more so if you’re looking for a balanced yet distinctive shade.
7. Yellow Pastel Hair Colors
Want to take a walk on the wild side? Then dare to try out a neon and pastel yellow hue. Of course, you can choose to go in a single direction, but the combination is visually delicious.
Start with a vibrant sunflower yellow at the base and move towards a paler tone as you slip to the ends. The tasteful balayage will impress everyone!
8. Neon Pastel Green Hair Colors
If you’re into the whole neon wave, we have yet another pastel-like mix for you to consider. Neon green has made its way to the top of the charts as a massive trend these past few years.
Just like rose gold, it’s become an aesthetic staple in countless areas. As a hair color, neon pastel green will make you stand out from the crowd in a fun and creative way.
9. Mint Pastel Green Hair Colors
Are you more of a wistful soul? Shroud yourself in romance with a deep mint green hair color. While it retains the playfulness associated with pastels, mint green also has a dark and mysterious vibe. As a result, you’ll get the best of both worlds!
For a more vibrant alternative, we recommend seeing all the ways you can rock teal hair color too!
10. Pastel Mermaid Hair
Even though mermaid hair comes in all sorts of forms, a blue-green pastel tone will get you as close to the ocean as possible. The subtle color mix is superb, particularly when you turn things up a notch and slide into the realm of saturation.
11. Pastel Blue Hair Colors
Our next series of beautiful pastel hair colors all revolve around blue. First off, we have a medium baby blue that will send your mind straight to a cloudless sky. It’s an adventurous idea, but one that you’ll also be proud to wear no matter the season.
For some more blue love, don’t hesitate to take a look at our top of the coolest (pun intended) shades of ombre blue.
12. Steel Blue Pastel Hair Colors
On the other hand, you might be searching for something even more on the pastel side. For that, we lovingly recommend a pale steel blue shade. It has equal tints of blue and gray to get the ultimate icy combination.
The outcome suits a wide range of skin tones, depending on whether you want to match a fairer complexion or complement a darker one.
13. Navy Pastel Hair Colors
What if you were to pair polar opposites by using navy and silvery-white? You’d obtain a brilliant contrast for a unique blue pastel hairstyle.
Using highlights or balayage as the go-to coloring technique, a stylist can help you express your creativity and get your hair to artwork level.
14. Pastel Purple Hair Colors
Are you caught between warm and cool pastel shades? If pink is just a bit too girly for you but blue doesn’t hit the mark either, try any type of purple. When you tweak it to a pastel, purple becomes one of the most marvelous hair colors of all.
15. Steel Pastel Purple Hair Colors
Throw in some silver into any pastel hair colors and you’ll have a flawless edgy version. Take purple, for example. Tone it down with a dash of gray and you’ll get a gothic result that’s still as pretty as ever.
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16. Ash Brown Hair Colors
We’re back with a few more options for neutral pastel hair colors. If you want to seize the essence of earth tones and still be on-trend, ash brown is the solution you’ve been seeking.
Owing to its brown and gray foundation, it won’t come across as audacious. We encourage you to try it out if you want a natural approach to your pastel hairstyle.
17. Ash Blonde Hair Colors
Alternatively, you can go a few shades lighter with an ash blonde hair color. The hue is just as stylish as its brown counterpart, not to mention that it’s more on the pastel side. No matter what eye color, skin tone, or hair texture you have, ash blonde is bound to complement your definitive features.
18. Brown Pastel Hair Colors
Perhaps you like the idea of a natural tone pastel but you’re not that into gray tones. Well, in this case, we want to point you in the direction of brown pastel.
Although the base is clearly a rich, chocolatey brown, it has a good amount of pale purple undertones. It’s the most suitable idea for women who desire a slightly washed out coffee color hairstyle.
19. Pastel Gray Hair Color Ideas
Switching sides, we have an idea for girls who want exactly the opposite. If you take the granny hair trend and lighten it until you reach pastel perfection, you’ll have a gorgeous silver tone.
All the same, keep in mind that hairstylists around the world have classified gray as one of the most challenging hair colors to obtain and maintain.
20. Rainbow Highlights Light Pastel Hair Colors
Somewhere over the rainbow… you’ll find a multicolor pastel hairstyle that will take your breath away. When people talk about unicorn or opal hair, the photo above is what they have in mind most of the time.
The pastel shades are beautifully interwoven with steel white highlights to create a dreamy yet edgy hairstyle.
21. Rainbow Ombre Pastel Hair Color Ideas
On the other hand, you can keep the central idea and try a different technique. Instead of individually colored strands of hair, you can get a glamorous gradient with a pastel rainbow ombre.
If you want to add more colors, simply make the sections narrower. Conversely, create wider sections for a limited pastel palette.
22. Bubblegum Pastel Colors
Still, you might not want to go overboard with your pastel hair colors. At the same time, there’s a good chance you are into using one solid color either.
Meet them halfway with an enchanting double tone pastel hairstyle. If you’re into that cotton candy bubblegum approach, sport a baby blue base and use light pink for the rest.
23. Contrasting Pastel Colors
Traditionally, green and red are the representative colors for anything related to Christmas. But seeing how we love to break boundaries and challenge stereotypes, we invite you to put your personal twist on the concept.
How? Lighten the tones and use them for one of the most creative half and half color hairstyles. Tis the season to be jolly – every day of the year!
24. Coral and Silver Pastel Hair Colors
As an alternative, you can test coral and silver as a combination. We especially recommend the idea for women who are into the gray hair trend but want to customize it in one way or another.
As a secondary color, pastel coral will brighten your hairstyle. Simultaneously gray will tone down the potentially overpowering intensity of the coral. Win-win.
25. Complementary Pastel Colors
We’re going back to school for this one, specifically, to art class. Make the most of your color theory smarts and be bold with complementary colors.
The green and magenta tones shown above are just an option. You can also toy around with red and aqua or yellow and blue as complementary combos.
26. Citrus Fresh Pastel Hair Colors
What if you’d rather follow a certain theme for your dual hairstyle? One way to go is with a citrus fresh palette.
You can take any shade from yellow or orange to green or turquoise and attain a charming and summery mixture. We also encourage you to keep the neon pastel approach in mind in terms of intensity.
27. Frosty Pastel Colors
More of a cool girl when it comes to color temperature? Exchange summer for winter as your main source of pastel inspiration. With a well-executed balayage, your tones can flow from darker blue to silver, with subtle purple undertones to boot.
28. Warm Pastel Hair Colors
However, if you’re all about showing off your spicy inner diva, fiery tones might be the best for you. Choose a warm pastels palette, with shades that range from peachy orange to sparkling rose or hot pink.
29. Subtle Pastel Hair Ideas
Whether you’re not ready to make the transition to a full head of pastel hair or you just don’t want to, you can pair the candy tone with your natural color. For instance, let’s say your locks are naturally blonde. Lavender tips will complement them in a lovely way.
30. White Hair with Pastel Tint
Finally, you can use any type of pastel as a subtle tint for your main hair color. Nevertheless, do keep in mind that you need a light base for the pastel tint to be visible. Any blonde shade will work, with platinum white as the most effective option.
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Top Tips for Pastel Hair Colors
It’s all very well so far, but pastel hair colors inspiration isn’t enough. As opposed to almost any other category of dye, pastels are highly delicate to work with.
You have to keep a variety of factors in mind, from your natural color to the maintenance, damage, and investment that come with this look change. Before you start living out your soft-hued dreams, see what the real deal with pastel hair colors is.
1. Pastels Will Pass
First of all, you need to lower your expectations regarding how long your pastel masterpiece will last. We hate to burst your bubble, but those fairytale tones can start fading as fast as three weeks after dyeing.
The girly-girl favorite, pink, is especially prone to washing away in record time. Blue tends to be more enduring, but be prepared for a greenish tint a couple of weeks down the road.
2. Brace Yourself for Bleach
To some extent, dyeing hair pastel is comparable to creating a painting. You need to start with a clean, fresh, white canvas to get the results you’re aiming for.
When applying the principle to tresses, the only solution is regretfully a destructive one – bleach. You need to strip any existing tones to get those candy hues.
3. Dark Locks are Difficult to Pastel
Speaking of which, the task becomes even more challenging for women with darker hair. If your hair is already dyed or you’re a natural brunette, be prepared for a significant amount of bleach.
Almost all hairstylists will agree that bleaching dark locks is a painstaking process as is. Although far from impossible, getting strands from deep to pastel is notably more laborious.
4. Sacrifice Your Schedule
Indeed, obtaining pastel hair can be quicker for some gals than others. However, be ready to block out as much as a full day for the appointment. Just the bleaching part can take up to six hours, particularly if you’re a dark-haired woman.
On top of that, another one to two hours can be required for applying the pastel hair colors. Don’t forget about the additional time needed for washing, drying, and styling.
5. Dish out the Dollars
Pastel hair isn’t only time consuming but also budget consuming. Sure, you can always try getting all that pastel prettiness at home by watching tons of tutorials.
But considering the amount of #bleachfails online, we strongly recommend working with a professional if you want your locks to stay intact. At a reputed salon, a pastel dye job can cost hundreds of dollars. For what it’s worth, the spectacular outcome deserves every cent.
6. Make Room for Maintenance
If you want to retain your gorgeous pastel locks more than a few weeks (and we’re pretty sure you do), prep yourself mentally and financially for regular touch-ups.
In addition, avoid heat and excessive washing like the plague. When you do wash your hair, we recommend using a gentle shampoo that doesn’t have sulfates on the list of ingredients. In between normal washing, you can use dry shampoo, but make sure you don’t overdo that either.
7. Complement Your Complexion
After you’ve seen all the stunning colors you can try, you’re bound to be at a crossroads. If you’re not sure where to start when choosing the most suitable pastel for you, turn towards your features.
For example, you can pick a flattering pastel based on your skin tone. While some pastels look fabulous on women of color, others are terrific for girls with fair skin. The trick is to work with the opposite of your skin’s undertones.
Choosing a Pastel Color Based on Your Skin Tone
Cutest Pastel Hair Colors for Dark Skin
Some of the most jaw-dropping pastel hair colors for dark skin glow with vibrancy. In other words, ladies with darker skin can venture into the universe of neon pastels and jewel tones.
If you have warmer undertones, you can experiment with greens, blues, and purples in various stages of intensity.
Best Pastel Colors for Fair Skin
As far as pastel colors for fair skin go, the lighter, the better. Just like with a darker complexion, you have to go against your undertones in terms of temperature.
Therefore, a fair-skinned gal with cool undertones can play around with peachy orange and bubblegum pink at their leisure.
On the flip side, warm undertones and fair skin are wonderful for lavender or sky blue pastels.
So, What Is YOUR Hair Motivation?
As a conclusion, you shouldn’t be afraid to try out pastel hair colors. Even though the nuts and bolts can be intimidating, you just need to work with the right colorist to make your pastel fantasy come to life. And be ready for a heart-stopping surprise once the process is complete!
We’ve laid out our final thoughts, but what about yours? If you could choose only one pastel hair color, which would it be? Let us know in a comment so we can discover our readers’ top picks!
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Thelma Ewart started painting and drawing as a hobby when she was young. She pursued arts which eventually lead her to the fashion industry. She is now a hairstyle artist that considers all of her projects as a work of art. Pursuing creativity is what drives her to become the best in what she does.