Over at Byrdie, we live for women who aren't afraid to experiment with daring hair colors. There's something so unapologetically gorgeous about walking into a room with a bold hair color that others can't help but compliment. We admire women who have that kind of confidence. Oh, to be a hair unicorn! What a fun life to live. The exact hue we're digging at the moment is navy blue.
Lisa Marshall at Davide Hair Studio in New York describes navy blue hair as a deeper, more muted blue, calling it a fantasy color. Each shade she makes is unique to that individual client though, in general, she usually mixes deep blue and black tones together to achieve this shade. We have to say, there's just something so undeniably cool (literally and figuratively) about this kind of midnight blue hair. FYI: If you don't want a permanent color change right now, try Splat Hair Chalk ($10) in its navy blue shade. This temporary hair color glides on your hair so easily, leaving a major color payoff.
But if you're set on going all the way, expert celebrity colorist Michael Casey of Eliut Salon shared his most important tip when it comes to dyeing your hair a bold color like blue: "If you want pastel, green, or blue hues, you need to pre-lighten your hair to a very pale blonde first and then deposit the color. These colors fade very fast, so you will need to spend a lot of time refreshing the bright colors," explains Casey. In other words, make sure you're ready for the commitment.
Going navy blue means hair first has to be lifted and pre-toned to remove the warmth that hair naturally brings up, but that doesn't mean it's a high-intensity hair color. Marshall says navy blue is a great idea for two reasons: The first is that it's easy to achieve for darker hair colors. While hair must be lifted first, due to the depth of the pigments, Marshall says the hair doesn’t need to be as light as it would be for past pastel trends. Secondly, the color lasts a long time—for the same reason that the pigments here are deeper and are less likely to fade fast.
Plus, the right color placement can change the entire look. "Navy blue may be very strong for someone with fair skin, so adding peek-a-boo panels may be a better option," Marshall says, noting darker and richer skin tones can definitely go a bit bolder with this look. As for texture, she will often guild a client into different placement options based on their natural texture. Long, straight hair can have more “block coloring” options, while she would recommend more of a “highlight” or “balayage” look for a client with short curly hair.
Some of our favorite It girls in Hollywood have worn iterations of this wavy, cobalt shade. We rounded up everything we could find, including the prettiest styles from celebs, to everyday hair goals from bold ladies rocking this vibrant shade.
Let these gorgeous indigo shades convince you to go blue. Check it out below.
Choosing a Shade: The end shade, and how it fades depends on how the hair is initially lifted. If it's a pale enough yellow, navy dyed hair should eventually fade to a lighter blue over time. Marshall says if there's too strong of a yellow undertone, hair will go more towards the green side. While if orange is left in the hair, it can end up fading a little “muddy.”
Maintenance Level: Direct dyes are more high maintenance because they are not designed to last very long. However, once the hair is lightened, it's an easy process to just apply the navy blue again once it fades. For an all-over navy blue, there is much more work involved. You must keep up with lightening your re-growth every 4-5 weeks, she says.
Goes Great With: Anything you decide. Use a pallet to try out a bright eye look— match your hair or choose a complementary color.
Nicole's Slicked Back Style
Look at how incredibly chic Nicole Richie looks in this deep blue style swept-back into an updo. She's tried just about every hair color under the rainbow and pulls them all off flawlessly. As proven in this photo, minimal and understated makeup looks gorgeous paired with the mysterious shade of blue.
Katy's Statement Wig
Katy Perry, also an infamous hair unicorn, obviously has a thing for blue. Perry's longtime colorist, Justin Anderson, has nailed just about every shade imaginable for the singer. This color chameleon walked the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in a playful blue wig accompanied by the sharpest cat eye.
Jaime's Light Ombré
We're in love with the ombré approach Jaime King took with her mermaid hair back in 2012 at the Saint Vintages Love Tour Cancer event in Los Angeles. From baby blue fading to deep purple, this daring hair looks so good on her. The actress filled Byrdie in on this dye job: "I’ve always wanted to dye my hair a different color but I couldn’t because of contracts, so when I wrapped the first season of Hart of Dixie I just said, ‘Let’s do it.’ My husband and I went to the drugstore and bought purple and blue dye. My husband always colors my hair for me. He’s a director, but he’s also a painter, so I go to Tracey Cunningham, she mixes my color, and then Kyle paints it on. He painted this on at home one night.”
Kylie's Midnight Blue Look
A hair color roundup wouldn't be complete without Kylie Jenner aka the kween of the ultimate hair color switch-up. On this day, she decided to debut a long dark blue layered look we totally love.
These Navy Curls
This close-up shot of deep sea-inspired curls is beyond cool.
If you don't want to go all the way with permanent color, try Splat Hair Chalk ($7) in its navy blue shade. This temporary hair color glides on your hair so easily, leaving a major color payoff.
Demi's Teal Toned Waves
Navy blue highlights? Um, love. Demi Lovato looks gorgeous in her dip-dyed, streaky lob. Here's proof that this shade looks sophisticated in a feathered, tousled style.
Thinking of adding highlights like Demi? Marshall says she usually adds in different depths of tone to all fantasy colors, saying added highlights can make an unnatural color look natural and professional.
Rita's Ever-Changing Blue
We've seen Rita Ora wear it all—so she obviously didn't discriminate against blue. The singer took a step on the wild side when she posted this Instagram picture captioned: "Today it's smurf day." Of course, it wasn't too long until she was seen wearing another shade of the rainbow on her hair, but we're here for this Instagram moment.
Extreme Navy Waves
The vibrant navy color, also known as Extreme Blue ($29) by Overtone, is a winning look. It has such pretty, hidden depth and happens to look so natural on dark hair.
Rihanna's Navy Blowout
It's no surprise navy blue hair looks completely stunning on Rihanna—she knows how to rock any style with aplomb. The all-over dark blue color looks especially sleek in a smooth blowout.
To prevent fading, use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to keep the cuticle sealed. Always use a heat protectant too, as Marshall says heat is the number one reason why color fades. A great moisturizing mask to have on hand is Oribe’s Signature Mask ($63), and Marshall says it's a good idea to ask your stylist to add some of their custom colors into the mask so you can deposit color at home.
Blue, Blue Curls
Good Dye Young's Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Blue Ruin ($12) looks so fantastic splashed across these incredible curls. Also, the matching metallic eyeshadow is honestly iconic.
Gwen Stefani's Dip-Dye
Have you ever seen navy blue worn like this before? We honestly don't expect anything less from Gwen Stefani—she's never been afraid to have fun with her beauty looks. It's her blue dip-dyed breakup hair, and we'll never be able to get over it. She paired her cobalt locks with jet black and platinum blonde, and it's literally everything.
Navy Blue Lob
This custom mixture comes courtesy of Pulp Riot's Semi-Permanent Dye ($14), which Marshall says is her favorite dye to use.
Shiny, Metallic Waves
Alfredo also used a mix of Pulp Riot paints to achieve this amazing color. There seems to be an almost metallic tone to these Hollywood-worthy waves.
Marshall cautions you must avoid drug store brand shampoos, saying direct dyes are very sensitive and can fade very fast if they are washed with low-grade shampoos. Also, try to avoid heat and hot water. This will ensure your color lasts as long as possible.
Midnight Blue Curls
These pre-lightened curls look so great with Poseidon ($11) from Arctic Fox Hair Color.
Ocean Tinted Curls
No words accurately describe these amazing curls. The color though? That's the Good Dye Young's semi-permanent color in Narwhal ($18)
Navy blue hair is the result of a lot of effort but hey, if the above examples are anything to go by, it looks like the time spent in the salon chair pays off. If you're going for all-over color or switching it up with different shades, odds are it can take more than one session to get there, especially if you're pre-lightening. The thing is, once you fall in love with navy blue, will you ever really want to go back?