Just when we thought we had seen every variation of pink hair, we're met with a new member of the blush family: "dusty rose." Unlike its brighter, more playful counterparts, this hue has ashy undertones, but the same appeal 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. We spoke with Stephanie Brown, colorist at NYC-based IGK Salon, and Felicia Dosso, junior colorist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York, to find out 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?
Meet the Expert
Choosing a Shade: "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."
Maintenance Level: High. "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," says Brown.
Goes Great With: Most undertones and eye colors. According to Brown, dusty rose is "both a warm and cool color so it looks good on almost everyone."
Price: Cost will vary greatly depending on your base color and whether you're opting for highlights or single-process color. For DIY, Brown recommends Manic Panic's Cotton Candy Pink Semi Permanent Cream Hair Color ($10).
Keep scrolling for some seriously dreamy photos, plus find out what the color, dyeing process, and aftercare entails.
Mauve Dusty Rose
We adore this dark dusty rose with mauve tint.
While there are so many shades of pink, Dosso says a lot of them lean 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."
Check out this pearlescent take on the trend, perfect for blondes.
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. "The hair needs to be pre-lightened to a pale yellow to white, otherwise this color won't show up too well," she explains.
Dusty Rose Ombré
Ombré is a great lower maintenance way to test out the trend if you have naturally light hair. Check out the gradient from blonde to dusty rose to rose gold to purple.
Burnished Dusty Rose
Depending on how dark your hair is, you can also opt for more of a tint to avoid committing to a full head of bleach. Feel free to stick with your dark base color for a look like the one seen in the photo above.
Mixed 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."
Cotton Candy Curls
These gorgeous, fluffy curls are a wonderful way to wear a soft, dusty rose. Having darker roots will create a more lived-in, subtle look, Dosso says. If you want something more understated, go with highlights.
"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 true ‘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."
Highlighted Dusty Rose
Trying to decide between highlights and single-process color? Dosso breaks it down for us. 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 four 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.
A shade this vibrant needs care outside of the salon chair. To keep your dusty rose gleaming, Brown says, "Don't shampoo too much and only use shampoo for color-treated hair. 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."
Faded Dusty Rose
This sharp bob is faded like a lovely vintage photograph. As 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."
This shade, like most dusty rose colors, has a healthy dose of grey tones for a muted pastel effect. At-home color will likely read more pale pink than "dusty," as it doesn't have gray undertones, so if you want more of a vintage pink like the above, it's best to visit a professional.
Curly Dusty Rose
All processed hair needs extra TLC, and that goes double for curly strands. Brown's favorite at-home masks include Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 ($28), Uberliss' Bond Sustainer ($15) which is also available in Pink Rose ($15), Briogio Don’t Despair Repair Conditioning Mask ($36), and IGK's Offline ($38) which Brown loves to mix with the Bond Sustainer.
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.
Blended Dusty Rose
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.
Keep a Darker Root
For something bolder, make sure to ask for single-process color. Colorist Camille Johnson used a dyes by Schwarzkopf to get this shade.
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.
Rock a Rosy Buzzcut
Overall, dusty rose hair is what you make of it. If like Cara Delevingne, you're aiming for a more subtle rosy look to compliment a fresh cut, we say go for it every time!