It seems like for the past few years, we've been in the midst of a pastel hair moment that shows no sign of slowing down. All it takes is a scroll through Instagram, and it seems like every top salon, colorist, and influencer is bouncing between orangey-pink hues with buzzy names like blorange, millennial pink, and pink champagne. The reason for their popularity is probably because these hues complement virtually all skin tones (and, might we add, are perfectly fitting for summer #vibes). When it comes down to it, though, they’re all just slightly different variations of a pastel classic: peach.
No matter how much we love peach, it can be a tricky color to get right, and even harder to maintain. After all, achieving a perfect blend of color is never guaranteed, especially when it comes to pastels. We don’t want fiery orange or bubblegum pink; we’re looking for a soft, subtle blend of both. So, to better your chances of peachy success and ease some of that pre-hair transformation anxiety, we consulted some hair color experts.
What to Do at the Salon
Peach can mean different things to different people. To ensure you’re getting the tone and vivacity you’re looking for, Bianca Bruno, lead educator at GLAMSQUAD NYC, advocates for the age-old, no-fail technique of bringing a picture in. Just be mindful and realistic regarding your current color. “The shade you’re going for should be achievable based on your base color. If you have jet-black hair, you’re going to get a darker orange, while a light blonde can achieve that pastel rose gold,” she says. Keep in mind that if you do have dark hair and your goal is a platinum-esque peach, it will take multiple sessions to achieve (otherwise, count on inflicting some serious damage to your hair, if your hairdresser is willing to do it at all).
But how do you make the color dimensional, not solid? Easy. The colorist will mix a myriad of shades together (combining solid shades of pink and orange isn’t enough). As Frank Friscioni of Oon Arvelo Salon in NYC, says, “I co-mix a base color with a touch of warmth of pink, rose, apricot and peach to get this effect. Great for warmer weather, I promise—this is the best way to achieve that soft, glowy color.”
How to Maintain Your Color
Despite what you may have thought, upkeep for peach hair isn’t all that bad… as long as you take the time to properly care for it. “Commit. Just like a relationship, if you want to maintain your great-looking peach hair, then you must align yourself with your calendar and your colorist and set up appointments every four weeks (perhaps three, depending on your hair growth and genetics),” says Friscioni. To prevent premature fading, he also recommends investing in a good hair gloss, whether that’s in-salon or at home, taking a steam “to hydrate your scalp and hair,” wearing a hat in the sun, and using “a color-protective styling balm or color-protecting styling mist.” He loves Olaplex’s range of products (and so do we). Try Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector ($28) for an at-home masque.
Bruno recommends using a gold-based shampoo, which is similar to purple shampoo for blondes, but “helps maintain this peachy shade by keeping the warmth in the hair so it doesn’t strip back to an ashy blond,” Bruno says. “I also recommend making a follow-up appointment with your colorist for a toner one-two weeks post-dye to both tone and refresh the shade.” As for the shampoo she recommends, it’s Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo ($16), which is “perfect for redheads, as well as those going peach.”
If you’re still a little hesitant to go all-in on the peach trend, our hair color experts have some advice for you. First, Friscioni suggests taking the color for a test run sans dye. “Whenever someone is hesitant about trying a new color, I encourage them to go out and buy a wig or extensions in that tone—just so that they can get an idea of how that color will look with their skin tone before taking the plunge.”
Bruno advocates for starting small too. “Start by dying a couple pieces underneath to keep your hair healthy—make sure it takes the color and that you’re happy with the tone. This way it won’t affect the existing color before you decide to move forward with fully embracing the trend,” she advises. After all, it costs more to fix a hair color mistake than to put in the work to avoid one.
Next, read how one editor easily maintains her unnaturally blond hair.
Opening Image: @culturemag