Just when we thought we had seen every variation of pink hair (rose gold, millennial pink, peach), we're met with a new member of the blush family. Enter "dusty rose." Unlike its brighter, more playful counterparts, this hue has ashy undertones, but it has the same highly coveted level of searchability that has us spending more time on Pinterest than a bride-to-be.
It's one thing to fawn over a board dedicated to this vintage take on pink, but it's a whole separate level to take the plunge and get the hue yourself, right? So in an effort to give you all the information you could want regarding this dusty color, we spoke with Stephanie Brown and Felicia Dosso for everything you'll need to know about the hottest shade of the moment. We also rounded up the best dusty rose hair photos for your viewing pleasure. I mean, it always helps us decide, so why not? Keep scrolling for some seriously dreamy photos, plus find out what the color, dyeing process, and aftercare entails.
Getting the Color
Getting a perfect blend of the heathered hue is the same process as if you were dying your hair brond: there are brighter shades, darker shades, highlights, lowlights—all important details that factor into the final color. "Champagne pink and rose gold are warmer pinks," Brown explains, adding, "Dusty rose is an ashier pink and is also a little more intense—almost like a velvety look where rose gold has a more sheer look." We see what she means, as the hue created above certainly looks like a velvety dream.
Why It Works
Hair color trends are always evolving, Dosso says. While there are so many shades of pink that are popular right now, she says a lot of them lean more towards the warmer and brighter side like Constance Wu's shade. "Dusty rose is for the girl who wants a softer, more subdued cool pink."
Brown says: The good thing about dusty rose is that it's "both a warm and cool color so it looks good on almost everyone."
Start with a Base Color
Blondes, redheads, brunettes, and black hair can all dabble in the hue: "You can have any base color," Brown tells us, though she thinks a light base gives way to the optimal dusty rose hue. We have to agree, if the above picture is any indication, dusty rose looks amazing no matter what.
A Lighter Base Makes it Easier
Dosso echos Brown's statement, saying dusty rose usually turns out best on naturally lighter bases. "Anywhere from light brown, to dirty blonde and lighter," she says, "Naturally light hair tones hold less red pigment, which is essential for achieving a cool-toned pink, like dusty rose."
You Need to Pre-Lighten Hair
"The hair needs to be pre-lightened to a pale yellow to white, otherwise this color won't show up too well," Brown explains. "The darkest you can have for it to show up a little would probably be a level seven to eight medium to dark blond."
Plus, it's always best to avoid over-processing hair, even if you're set on achieving a specific look. "If your hair is naturally dark you should aim for a more realistic shade of pink for your hair—something warmer, like rose gold," Dosso says.
How to Achieve It
Depending on how dark your hair is, this will be a discussion to have with your stylist before they begin. However, you can also opt for more of a tint—this way, you're not committing to a full head of bleach. This color really does blend well whether you're using a tint or going permanent, feel free to stick with your dark base color like in the photo above.
Mixing Pastel Tones
"To achieve this color, I like to mix a pastel pink and pastel purple or pastel blue," Brown explains. "The good thing about these colors is they are straight pigments so you can see what the color will look like before applying it to the hair. Pravana color is great and Schwarzkopf has a dusty rose already made for you. But you can use almost any brand you like. At home for myself, I love using the Overtone conditioners."
"Hair texture is always a crucial part of the coloring process," Dosso mentions. Because the hair needs to be lighted significantly in order to achieve a ‘dusty rose’ tone, she says it also needs to be strong and healthy enough to do so. She does not recommend doing this process on "very fine or brittle hair."
Highlights vs Single Process Color
Trying to decide between highlights and single-process color? Dosso breaks it down for us saying: Dusty rose highlights tend to be high maintenance because "the tone may fade, and you will need to re-gloss it every few weeks." If you go for a single process dusty rose, it's actually even more high maintenance as you'll "need to lighten your hair every 4 weeks, followed by glossing it," she says.
Gloss touch-ups are a matter of personal preference, Dosso says, and since this isn’t a permanent color, it may fade faster depending on how often you shampoo your hair.
The aftercare is usually the toughest part about major dye jobs, and Brown confirmed our suspicions. "With creative colors like this, it usually needs to be touched up often. That's why at-home maintenance is important if you want the color to stay."
Brown's favorite at-home masks include Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 ($28), Uberliss' Bond Sustainer ($20) which is also available in Pink Rose ($20), Briogio Don’t Despair Repair Conditioning Mask ($36), and IGK's Offline ($38) which Brown loves to mix with bond sustainer, saying it's an amazing combo that she's tried on platinum clients before.
How to Preserve the Color
Fortunately, Brown offered some helpful tips for preserving the color: "Don't shampoo too much and only use shampoo for color-treated hair. And again, Overtone conditioners are great for at-home maintenance. They have several colors for you to choose from, and they condition hair, which can sometimes be damaged from lifting hair to very pale shades of blond."
How this Color Fades
There's a silver lining to all of this, though: Any time you're dyeing your hair a certain color, you want to ensure it fades nicely, which is often the case with dusty rose. Brown explains, "This color—and pinks in general—fades well, at least in my own personal experience. Even if it's uneven, it's soft enough that no one can tell, and they just see pretty pink pieces in your hair."
Try Semi-Permanent Color
Brown also recommends Manic Panic's Cotton Candy Pink Semi Permanent Cream Hair Color ($10) if you're going the DIY route. "It's simple to use if doing it at home by yourself." The only problem is it will probably read more pale pink than the "dusty" hue you're after, as it doesn't have gray undertones, so if you want more of a vintage pink, it's best to visit a professional.
Be Like Elle
Hairstylist, Jenda Alcorn, turned Elle Fanning's usual blonde into a dusty rose that really highlights all its major selling points. Incorporate a peach tone into the dusty color for a subtle take on a bright look.
Working with Undertones
It's all in the blending, Dosso says, noting dusty rose will enhance natural pink undertones, giving your skin "that extra glow" as she calls it. "Each skin tone can carry a different shade of pink," she says, adding, dusty rose is like the "pink version of a cool blonde." We can totally see how the rosy hues compliment everyone uniquely.
Mix Rose and Silver
Try a mix of rose and silver for an updated twist on the trend. To help maintain this unique color between touch-ups, use pigmented conditioners like Overtone for an extra boost.