Pastel Hair Dye Guide (Method, Products, and Brands to Use)

Updated on November 12, 2019
noosepaper profile image

I've dyed my hair three different pastel shades. Through extensive research and trial and error, I have found the perfect dyeing strategy!

What could be cuter than a head of bubblegum-colored hair?
What could be cuter than a head of bubblegum-colored hair?

Want to learn how to dye your hair pastel? This is an in-depth, step-by-step guide to dying hair pastel colors.

Pastel hair is a recent beauty trend. Even Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne jumped on the bandwagon! Pastel hair is really cool and it's not as hard to attain as one might think. I've dyed my hair three different pastel shades and a couple of other ones in between. Through extensive research and trial and error, I have found the perfect strategy for attaining pastel locks.

In order to get your hair the color you want, you must keep in mind two things: One, there is no substitute for quality products, and if you pay less now, you will pay more later to fix your hair. Two, don't overdo the bleach! I am guilty of bleaching my hair too much, and although my hair has never broken from over-processing, it is possible. Just be safe!

Spend a Little Extra on Quality Materials

Bleach should be handled very carefully (buy some reusable latex gloves). Don't let it get on your skin. I know this sounds really unavoidable, because you are putting bleach on your head, but you don't have to worry about getting bleach on your scalp for the most part. Just make sure you wash it off of your hands, shoulders, and neck.

Now, remember what I said about paying for quality? When buying your bleach you do not want to compromise. I always buy Quick Blue bleach powder. It costs maybe 50 cents to $1 more than the cheap stuff, so it's not that much more expensive and it's leaps and bounds better. Often times the cheap bleach powder is crystalized and extremely hard to mix. Quick Blue is always a fine powder and mixes with the developer perfectly.

I naturally have medium brown hair, so I buy vol 40 creme developer. If your hair is lighter, get vol 20 or vol 30. Speaking of developer, get L'Oreal. It's a trusted brand. Creme developer is pretty much universal.

Make sure to buy a mixing bowl as well if you don't have a bowl that you will never use for anything else ever again. You can also buy a brush applicator, but I just use my gloved hands to apply.

Unless you have extremely light hair to begin with, you'll have to use bleach to get your perfect pastel do.
Unless you have extremely light hair to begin with, you'll have to use bleach to get your perfect pastel do.

Step One: Bleach Your Hair

Of course, unless you naturally have very pale blonde hair, you must first bleach your hair in order to attain pastel color.

Always follow the instructions for mixing on the back of the bleach powder packet. Once you have mixed the bleach, it's time to apply.

Remember: Always apply the bleach on your tips first. Your scalp will bleach faster than your tips and if you apply on your scalp first you will end up looking like a fireball.

Keep the bleach on your hair for about 25–35 minutes, checking often to see what it looks like. You can keep it on up to 45 minutes or so if you're still too dark. Most people will tell you to let your hair rest for a week before re-bleaching. That probably is better for your hair, but I never do that because honestly I don't want to walk around with nasty orange or yellow hair.

Toning is critical to getting the perfect pastel shade.
Toning is critical to getting the perfect pastel shade.

Step Two: Tone Your Hair

This step is optional if your hair has been bleached to a very pale yellow or white. Otherwise, you probably have some brassy tones still stuck in your hair.

Toner is an extremely important part of achieving pastel hair. If you don't tone your hair, you can end up with uneven color and murky tones. I buy Clairol High Lift Cool Blonde. Mix the toner with creme developer following the directions on the box. Let the toner sit for about five minutes while it turns a purple color, then apply to your hair generously. Leave on hair for 25–45 minutes (as directed) and wash out.

Lavender locks are unique and eye-catching!
Lavender locks are unique and eye-catching!

Step Three: Dye Your Hair

Finally! Time to dye your hair the beautiful pastel color you want! I recommend buying Ion Color Brilliance Brights. However, if you want to dye your hair mint green, buy Manic Panic (Ion doesn't have a green color and Manic Panic is pretty good—it just doesn't last as long). You also need to get a big container of normal white conditioner without sulfates.

  • Squirt enough conditioner to cover all of your hair into your mixing bowl, then add a little bit of the color you want. Start with less dye—you can always add more later. You cannot subtract. Ion dye is very thick, so mix it well.
  • Once you have the color you want on your hair, apply it very, very generously and wrap your hair in plastic wrap so the dye stays moist.
  • Make sure you have nowhere to go the day you dye your hair, because you'll want to leave the dye on for at least three hours. There is a bonus here: you get a deep condition!
  • Rinse all of the conditioner and dye out of your hair. Voila! You should have perfect pastel hair!

Which pastel color do you like the best?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Caitlin Morrow


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      12 months ago

      I used ion permanent brights lavender and it turned dark blue. Did I leave it in too long or something else?

    • pumpkincat210 profile image

      Courtney Rhodes 

      4 years ago

      I have two blues from the brilliance bright collection. One is lighter than the other. Can I mix them?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What colors are you using in the first pic, the two tone with purple and what color ion blue, is thst aqua or another

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      how do u do your tips? and what color ?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)