Maybe it's the takeover of millennial pink on our social feeds that has us daydreaming of rosy tresses lately. With a whimsical yet bold type of look, it's no wonder we can't stop pinning every pastel-hued hairstyle we see on our beauty boards. You may think this color is too bold to try on yourself, but go ahead—take another look. If our favorite pins are any indication, this style is more versatile than you think. Hair-colorist Jeanise Aviles, co-owner of 1-900-Bleach Me says she loves pink hair because it’s versatile and there's a shade for everyone. "My clients with pink hair range from teachers to nightlife performers, therapists, lawyers, punks, students, children—you name it."
Meet the Expert
- Jeanise Aviles is a hair-colorist and co-owner of 1-900-Bleach Me.
- Julia Elena is a hair-colorist and owner of Color ID, a hair and creative private studio located in Brooklyn.
Julia Elena, owner of Color ID, loves the actual dyeing process and always recommends scheduling a consultation before going in for a change. "This is such an important part of the process because it is really how you get to know a person; their lifestyle, and their look, and then I can determine based on the information I gather what hue of pink will fit them best," she says, noting each look is a unique color combination.
Pastel Pink Hair
Choosing a Shade: "Light hair showcases the color better because the hair is already light. On dark hair, pink can be subtle, and grounded. It’s important to discuss the shade of pink with your hair-colorist because brighter colors and even pastels will require darker hair to have the bleach stay in longer." Elena says. Purple is a great additive to help soften both the pink color and underlying pink skin tones. For darker skin tones, a variety of pink shades can work.
Maintenance Level: It's definitely high-maintenance. Get a touch up every six to seven weeks if you're going pastel pink from roots to ends. For hair painting, it can be every three to five months.
Goes Great With: A bright matte red lip, glossy eyes, and lots of mascara.
Similar Shades: Platinum, rose quartz, icy violet, pastel lavender.
Price:"If you are having your hair completely transformed this would absolutely require a consultation and it can cost anywhere from $400 to $1000 and up. If you are coming in for a bleach and pastel touch up it could possibly start at $300 and up. If you already have your hair bleached and just want to add pastel pink this service could be $50-$150," Aviles says.
Keep scrolling for all the pastel pink hair inspo from stylists, celebs, and our hair experts themselves.
Petal Pink Bob
When you think of pastel-pink hair, "minimalist" isn't exactly the first word that comes to mind. Somehow, Jessie Bush of We the People makes the trend look subtle, opting for a whisper of pink coloring with a soft pearlescent sheen. This color will gradually fade over the weeks, so only truly consider it if you're willing to maintain regular upkeep.
It's official: Models love pastel-pink tresses. Irene Kim, known for experimenting with dozens of technicolor hues, always seems to come back to her favorite shade of pink. Kim opts for a brighter iteration, weaving in hints of orange and yellow for a summery version of the color. The technique looks like hair painting, which Elena recommends, saying it creates so much depth and allows for more natural-looking hues throughout—no matter what color you're after.
Like Kim, influencer and model Nyané Lebajoa is no stranger to bold locks, but pink is a permanent fixture in her repertoire. The casual, undone version of pink here is effortless: slightly grown out and piled high for enviable cool-girl style. The peachy-pink tone is subtle, dreamy, and perfect for the season.
For a more low-maintenance take on pastel-pink hair—or to ease your way into an allover dye job—try dip-dyeing instead. This is a great option for brunettes who are wary of lightening their hair enough to get the vibrant pastel to shine through. The gorgeous rosy pink here looks so lush.
Just a Hint of Pink
Alternatively, try out the color by dyeing just a small swath of hair. It's a low-commitment start that allows you to see how the color looks overall. Think of it as the kiddie pool version of a deep dive into pastel pink.
Looks like celebrities are taking part in the pastel pink trend, too. Katy Perry's cotton candy pink 'do is certainly eye-catching in and of itself. She's known for her bold hair colors, though she also has been known to embrace jet black or platinum blonde.
Elle Fanning is another blonde celeb that went pink. Her sherbet-drenched strands look amazing against her pale coloring and light eyes. There's something so effortless about this look, but we can totally see it all dressed up with a bright pink lip and one of her iconic Rodarte dresses on the red carpet.
A Bright Pastel Lob
In most cases, it's important to accentuate skin tones and not match them—unless that's the look you're going for. Elena mentioned she has clients with pink skin tones that are afraid to try pink hair, but strangely pink cancels out the pink, she says. It all depends on the hue you're after and while a hair colorist has the experience necessary to advise on what looks best, pink is a personal decision.
A little trick to keep your pink vibrant: Elena gives clients a mixture of New Wash ($40) with some of the pink direct dye so they can upkeep the color at home.
Pink hair can also be super sultry, like Nicki Minaj in her long pink braids grazing the floor for her "MotorSport" music video, which is one of Aviles's favorite looks.
While super sweet, this level of color is a commitment. As both experts mentioned, it'll fade quite quickly, depending on hair texture and how often you use shampoo. If you go in for a double process, get a touch up every six to eight weeks. With highlights, you can wait two to three months. Go in for salon treatments like Olaplex and Milbon, which can be done as often as every four weeks to every other month.
The dyeing process really depends on the look clients are after, and depending on the style, it'll be obvious when you need to refresh the color. With an ombre style like Nikki Lee from Nine Zero One Salon, or added highlights, it might require painting so the time in between touch-ups is longer and actually lends itself to a natural grow-out process. A more saturated look could be a combination of a full process plus painting, and therefore require more upkeep. A consultation is essential so you can discuss all the details. For someone with olive skin, Elena would probably use a bit more peach around the face, or even add in some purple to soften yellow tones in the skin.
When it comes to light pink hair, look no further than model Fernanda Ly as a source of inspiration. Ly has walked for Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and more—all with pink hair in tow. The cut, along with the color, is what makes the look here. Her blunt bangs and subtle layers create a sleek combination that balances out the whimsical color.
Sweet and Pink
This pastel pink take is equally as inspiring, and a little easier to pull off with subtle layering. While Ly's version above is sleek and modern, Lana Condor's pink hair color and cut looks more like a total fairytale dream come true like.
Rock 'n Roll Pink
This pastel pink look is by Aviles at Seagull Salon in NYC and manages to look grunge-cool with an added modern femininity that's so rad. PS: Here are some things to avoid in order to keep hair this fresh: saltwater, chlorine, hard water, and drugstore shampoos. Aviles also recommends avoiding natural or organic shampoos and conditioners, as your bleached hair will need more nourishment than they can provide. Plus, don't go near a hot tool, unless it's GHD and you're sure to prep with heat protectant.
Use a pink color depositing conditioner like Overtone's Pastel Pink Daily Conditioner ($18) and Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 ($28) in between salon visits to keep hair healthy and bright. Also, replace rubber bands with softer hair ties like Slip Silk Scrunchies ($32) as bleached hair needs to be treated like silk.
Glam Retro Waves
Pink hair can be super glamorous, as seen on Salma Hayek at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Aviles is a fan of this look as well, citing Hayek as a pastel pink hair reference she likes.
The Pastel Version of Rose Gold
Mixing pastels into your look doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a head of shockingly pink hair. For a more subtle version of the trend, try a mauve blonde. This take by Ramirez Tran Salon in Los Angeles is a metallic rose gold. If you're not ready to jump headfirst into full-on pastels, this subdued take could be a way to experiment with the trend.
Bring in photos! Both experts say it’s helpful when clients bring in references as it helps them get a better idea of what you're looking for, even if it's not exact. Also, bring in reference photos of looks you do not like as well, but don't get too attached to anything in particular. Be open!
Zara Larsson is another celeb that rocked pink hair on the red carpet. Her straightened style looks super futuristic under the lights.
Talk about a throwback look we're coveting. Gwen Stefani sported a bright wash of pastel pink in 1999 on her way to Paul McCartney's Record Party, which, no big deal or anything. FYI: Bleach is a harsh product, no matter how you slice it, Elena says, so it will inevitably be a bit drying on the hair. Her advice: go lighter on the hair tools and use extra gentle products. If you take care of your hair it can be healthy, even with color, she says.
Use the right products, listen to your colorist about time between touch-ups, and remember that your hair needs love. Think about your hair and your scalp as an extension of your skin.
Pastel Pink Bob
Helen Mirren's amazing pink style was temporary but honestly, she's still pink hair goals through and through. When it comes to semi-permanent color, pastel pink will show up on naturally blonde hair, but it's possible the color won't last unless the hair is porous.
Pastel pink definitely won't show up on naturally darker hair unless you use a wash out color like Jerome Russell's Temporary Pink Spray ($6). As for the difference between semi-permanent color and a temporary tint, the semi-permanent color goes into the hair while temporary color lays on top and comes out on your next shampoo.
With a darker root look, try a highlighting technique. When a client asks for their roots to be natural, Aviles also suggests clients bleach all of their hair to ensure consistency in the color throughout, so any unwanted warmth will be avoided. Pastel hair is achievable no matter what your natural color, but it's especially important to invest in moisturizing hair care products with naturally dark hair as bleach will have to stay on longer and will absolutely need more aftercare.
We'll end this round up with a signature look because this all-over blush pink style is certainly a contemporary classic that's bound to stay in style for quite a while.
How long does pastel pink hair last?
Pastel pink hair tends to fade faster than other hair colors. There are plenty of tips and tricks, though, that can help to extend the life of your semi-permanent hair color.
What hair color works best for pastel pink hair?
Lighter colored hair works best with pastel pink hair because hair must be bleached before dying it to a lighter pink shade. Of course, if you have naturally darker hair, you can still rock this style. Just keep in mind there will be a bit more time and energy that goes into the upkeep.
How do you maintain pastel pink hair?
If you're set on this look, know that it’s a commitment. "The upkeep entails effort, money, and quality time with your colorist," Elena says. When it comes to these kinds of 'fashion colors' on bleached hair, though, they can be tailored to what you’re able to budget or have time for. Aviles, who specializes in pastel, bleach, and creative colors, says these details can be discussed at any time.