These Mermaid Hair Colors Are a Work of Art

woman with purple mermaid hair


Mermaid-inspired hair colors have been trending for a while now, and the fervor only seems to continue escalating. After all, there are so many ways to interpret the concept. Come Halloween, mermaid costumes continue to be one of the most consistently searched on the Internet. Alas, while you might have your mermaid hairstyle and makeup down pat, or at least in the works, adjusting your hair color to under-the-sea perfection is the cherry on top to achieve the ultimate finned masterpiece of a look—whether you're dressing up for a holiday or channeling these sea-dwelling creatures in your day-to-day.

Luckily for you, we totally have your back. Once you've decided on your undulating style of choice, we recommend sifting through the below 43 shade options to seal the mystical deal. Truly, the sky (or should we say the sea?) is the limit when it comes to mermaid-perfect hair colors. Celebrity hairstylist and owner of Hair Addict Salon, Michelle Cleveland, defines mermaid hair as "long, flowy locks in a vibrant color and tone."

Meet the Expert

"To achieve these vivid shades, you first need to pre-lighten the hair," says George Papanikolas, Matrix celebrity colorist. "The more pastel a shade you choose, the lighter the pre-lightened hair will need to be, so darker hair would have the easiest time staying in the Fuchsia/Red/Orange/Yellow family. Blue and Greens would need to be pre-lightened to pale yellow."

Mermaid Hair Color

Choosing A Shade: The sky's the limit when it comes to mermaid hair. "Since these shades are not technically 'natural,' you really have the freedom to choose your favorite fun shade," Papanikolas says. Check out some images on Pinterest to get ideas.

Maintenance Level: High. It depends on the look you go for, but generally, unnatural shades require more upkeep to stay vibrant and conceal roots.

Goes Great With: Everything. Any skin tone and hair texture can try mermaid hair. The look is so easily customizable and encompasses a wide variety of shades. The key? "Work with what you got!" Cleveland emphasizes. "For example, eye color, skin tone, and hair color should all harmonize and balance to achieve the perfect result. If you have warm color eyes and skin, then it would be ideal to opt for a cool-toned hair color shade."

Similar Shades: Rose gold, purple, red, blue ombré

Price: $14+ for DIY semi-permanent, $50-$200 at a salon (price will vary based on whether you do all-over color or highlights)

Keep scrolling to submerge yourself into all shades of mermaid hair.

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Sparkling Garnet

Lucy Hale wears a long bob hairstyle with deep pink balayage


If you're looking for a color that still veers more natural, we love the versatility of Lucy Hale's lovely shade of garnet. So much, in fact, we think we'd continue to wear it even after we've shed our fins. 

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Loch Ness Lilac

Keke Palmer wears a lilac buzz cut hairstyle and purple T-shirt


Despite what Instagram and Pinterest might have you believe, you don't need natural length or pounds of extensions to pull off the ultimate mermaid-perfect hair color. We love Keke Palmer's pop of lilac. 

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Rainbow Fish

Back view of braided hairstyle with jewel=toned highlights and flower adornments


Can't decide on just one (or two or three) colors? Why not swim full speed ahead and try a rainbow-striped vibe out for size? Bonus points for braids aplenty and whimsical touches of flora

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Purple Rain

These dimensional purple waves have us swooning. Excuse us while we call our colorist right this second.

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Glittering Magenta

If you have a flair for the fiery, this hot magenta hue is kind of like Ariel's signature shade of crimson—but a heck of a lot cooler. 

"I tend to recommend staying in the Pink/Fuchsia family since these tend to fade easily," Papanikolas notes. "The Blues/Greens have a tendency to stick to the hair and are much harder to remove if you want a change."

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Murky Mauve

Side view of woman with curled mauve ombre mid-length hair


Rose gold hair has been having a major moment for, well, years. For an edgier take, we love the ashiness of this mauve shade.

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Love the idea of purple hair? Make the prospect even brighter with highlights of electric blue. It's less expected (and far more mermaid-appropriate).

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Electric Coral

However, if you do want to follow Ariel's trademark shade of red almost exactly, we think we've found a match. 

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Blue and Lime

Dark blue, teal, and lime green gradient long bob hairstyle


Green is a nice take on mermaid hair, but an entire verdant head can be a tad intimidating. This spell-binding graduation from navy roots to aquamarine to bright lime feels (maybe?) more manageable. 

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Acid Mermaid

The acid green peeking out from this teal 'do gives these under-the-sea waves a punk makeover.

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Speckled Blueberry

Ombré hair is still going strong, and honestly, the technique screams mermaid. You can achieve the look with any collection of mermaid-inspired hair colors, but we're especially partial to the nuance of blues and purples. 

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Woman with voluminous tangerine natural curls and red lipstick


Sporting rainbow hair doesn't necessarily mean going with a dare-to-be-different shade like lime green or bubblegum pink. This burnt orange is bold enough to make a statement while maintaining a bit more subtlety.

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Strawberry Red

Adding a bright hue to naturally textured hair makes curls pop. To avoid fried, dehydrated spirals, use a lightweight oil that moisturizes hair without weighing it down, like Verb's Ghost Oil ($2).

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Rainbow Waves

Side view of woman with wavy bob hairstyle with alternating purple and rainbow gradient streaks


These rainbow strands are a true work of art. From lilac panels to perfectly placed colorful stripes, obsessed is an understatement for how we feel about this look.

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Woman with amethyst varied-tone natural curls


Mixing a trio of shades within the same color family gives this dimensional color a metallic finish.

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Stormy Plum

For a step in the subtle yet still-sultry direction, this inky shade of plum looks like it came straight from deep, dark depths of the ocean. 

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Iridescent Scales

A little silver, a little blue, a little purple… We can't help but compare this shimmering shade to the flash of mermaid scales. 

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Literal Rainbow

Woman with rainbow front-to-back gradient hair


If you're in love with rainbows, this variety of shades is for you.

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Neon Buzz

This neon buzz cut proves once again that mermaid hair isn't just for those with long, luscious locks. If you're looking for a temporary option, try the Manic Panic Amplified Color Spray ($13).

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Under-The-Sea Blue

Side view of woman with indigo to blue gradient curled hair


There's blue, and then there's blue like this impossible-to-miss royal hue. It's reminiscent of a blue raspberry lollipop, and we love everything about it.

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Galaxy Blue

This blend of blue, purple, and magenta seems somehow toned down enough to take this look from mermaid on the town to professional in the office.

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Woman with vibrant aquamarine natural curls


What could be more mermaid-like than a bright aquamarine hue?

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Brilliant Red

It's the perfect mix of a mermaid and a hot girl. Added bonus: red colors don't generally require as much lightening as others, so this is a great option for anyone whose hair is delicate or has previous damage.

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Platinum Pink

A more subtle but still impactful take on dreamy mermaid hair, those who want a fresh blonde option should try platinum with hints of otherworldly pink.

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Peacock Blue-Green

Woman with green, blue, and lime green ombre blowout and red lipstick


When you're feeling indecisive and can't settle on just one shade, opt for your top three faves, like in this gradient style of purple to blue to green.

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Blue-Green Cascade

Woman with short hair with voluminous curled blue and green top section


The shape of this gorgeous color combo mimics a waterfall tumbling into a mermaid-filled lagoon.

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Who needs to wake up to see the sunrise with hair this gorgeous? Burnt orange and pale peach capture the morning's first rays perfectly.

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Peachy Waves

Woman with wavy peach hair with slicked finger waves at roots


Peach finger waves give mermaid hair the electric Jessica Rabbit treatment.

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My Little Pony Highlights

Back view of pastel blue and purple curled hair


Channel your favorite fantastical pony's mane with this mix of purples, blues, and pinks.

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Faded Pink

Woman with pastel rose gold blowout hairstyle


Vibrant color is great, but this slightly faded pink gives off the vibe that you've been sitting in the sun all day. It's what mermaid dreams are made of.

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Metallic Opal

Prepare to mesmerize with sherbet highlights.

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Janibell Rosanne wears a pastel orange curly afro hairstyle, teal eyeshadow, and orange lipstick


This burnt orange-gold hue is just as mermaid-esque as some of the wilder colors out there.

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Streaky Pink

A fishtail braid makes the varied tones in this multi-dimensional pink stand out.

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Green and Purple Mix

Woman with curly green and purple shag haircut


Keeping these colors separate to avoid muddiness is the key to this rock-and-roll-meets-Beetlejuice option.

"Mermaid hair is definitely not a DIY project," Cleveland cautions. "Leave this process to a highly trained professional as there is a ton of science and theory involved in lifting the proper amount of your existing hair color out based on the target shade you are looking for. Additionally, a professional colorist will have the proper supplies to protect your hair as it goes through this very invasive process."

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Pale Green

Lucy Boynton wears a pale blue-green bob hairstyle with a pink flower crown


An unnatural mermaid shade looks especially chic and edgy on a chin-length bob.

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Side view of woman with twisted red and orange natural curls updo


Sunrise hair and sunset hair aren't all that different, but the deeper tones definitely give this look a twilight vibe.

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Back view of woman with lavender wrapped ponytail hairstyle with pearls


Personally, we believe that pearls make any hair color mermaid chic, but the details work so beautifully with this dreamy lavender shade.

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Back view of rainbow colored natural curls


The upkeep on a look like this not exactly simple, but it's worth it for the fabulous results.

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Cherry Cola

This rich black cherry shade reinterprets under-the-sea red in a fresh way.

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Orange and Navy

Woman with orange and navy colored curly afro hairstyle


This unusual combination has shades that are opposites on the color wheel, which is why the high-contrast pairing works so well. It's perfect for your mermaid alter ego's goth phase.

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Fuchsia Tips

Back view of curly ombre brunette to blonde hair with fuchsia tips


For a taste of rainbow, consider leaving most of your hair natural and adding a pop of color just to the ends.

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Muted Yellow-Green

Woman with pastel yellow-green natural shoulder length curls


We loved the tempered quality of the green and yellow tones here, which makes normally jarring tones much more serene.

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Peek-a-Boo Rainbow

Woman with rainbow gradient long bob hairstyle with bangs


This mix of pastel shades has a hide-and-seek effect thanks to periodic pieces being kept platinum blonde.

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