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DIY Hair: Five Gorgeous Pastel Hair Colors

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Give yourself gorgeous pastel hair!

Give yourself gorgeous pastel hair!

Pastel Hair Is Beautiful!

All I ever really wanted was pastel hair, and at times, I had it. My hair dyeing escapades were quite the experience, but they had to come to an end once I got a new job. If I could go back and do it all over again, I'd do all five of these awesome colors!

Two Dyeing Techniques

When dyeing hair a pastel color, you'll usually start with a brighter pigment. You can do one of two things from here—dye with the color straight from the bottle, or dilute the dye with conditioner.

  1. Apply Undiluted Color: If you opt to use the color straight, be prepared to wait a few washes for it to fade. This is what I did with my lavender hair.
  2. Dilute Color With Conditioner: If you want pastel hair immediately, dilute! Fill a little bowl with about 1/3 cup of white conditioner, and add a teaspoon of color. Mix it up, and add color/conditioner to achieve the shade you want. Apply it as you would normal dye! I used this method for my mint streaks (see number 4 below).
Cotton Candy Pink

Cotton Candy Pink

1. Cotton Candy Pink

My hair was pink for a very short time, but it wasn't quite this shade. I had dyed it using Manic Panic's Shocking Blue, and it eventually faded to pink somehow.

Manic Panic does make a Cotton Candy Pink, which comes out very light and sweet. Word on the street, however, is that Special Effects' Atomic Pink creates a much more vibrant pink!

My hair faded to pink weeks after an application of Manic Panic's Shocking Blue.

My hair faded to pink weeks after an application of Manic Panic's Shocking Blue.

2. Baby Blue

I wanted this color, an electric baby blue, when I first started dyeing my hair, but I never achieved it myself. I didn't bleach my hair light enough before I applied the blue dye, so it came out a greenish teal color.

If you're going for a pastel blue, your hair needs to be absolutely white when you dye it. If your hair even has a hint of yellow or orange, the blue won't come out as a true blue, but teal or green instead.

Some great dyes to use for this color, if you do it right, are Manic Panic's Bad Boy Blue or La Riche Directions' Atlantic Blue.

3. Lavender

Kelly Osbourne brought some attention to pastel hair after she went to a lovely lavender nearly four years ago! I also had this color for a short time—I used Manic Panic's Ultra Violet, and I applied it straight to my hair. It was pretty dark at first, but eventually it lightened up to a nice pastel purple.

I'd definitely recommend Ultra Violet—but if you're going directly for this lavender, dilute the dye with conditioner before applying. Other dyes that will work include Manic Panic's Electric Amethyst and Lie Locks.

Kelly Osbourne rocking lavender hair.

Kelly Osbourne rocking lavender hair.



4. Mint

I never would've thought I'd like any tone of green in a hair color, but mint is so so pretty. I had mint streaks for a little bit, and I loved them! You can get away with having dark roots with certain colors, but mint is not one of them. If you're going to go for mint hair, you really should keep your roots in check!

To achieve mint hair, try out Manic Panic's Atomic Turquoise (diluted) or Pravana's Mystical Mint.

A faded application of Atomic Turquoise

A faded application of Atomic Turquoise

5. Peach

Peach is so pretty! I tried peach streaks for a while, but I wasn't fond of the dye (Manic Panic Pretty Flamingo). The resulting streaks were very pale. I'd rather use a concentrated dye and dilute it myself than start off with an already very light dye.

To accomplish peach hair, you can do a few things. Rather than bleach your hair white like you would need to do for a pastel blue, you can leave it with its yellowish or orangey tones. Use a pink dye, like Manic Panic's Cotton Candy Pink, on top of your yellow hair. Color theory tells you that your hair will be a nice peach color!

If you already have super-white hair, try using Manic Panic's Pretty Flamingo. Otherwise, peach hair dye is pretty hard to find. You'll have to experiment with mixing different oranges and pinks!

Manic Panic Pretty Flamingo

Manic Panic Pretty Flamingo

Go Dye!

Seriously. I'm living through you! If you have the opportunity to dye your hair crazy colors, do it. And please, share photos!

If you're looking to go pastel but first need to know how to bleach, check out my articles on how to bleach dark hair and after-bleach care.

If you want more vibrant colors, I've done a review of Manic Panic hair colors, as well! Head on over to that article and check out some photos.

Also . . . I quit shampooing. It's quite interesting, actually. Catch my six-month update here.

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.


Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on February 18, 2019:

I think it's worth a try. Gray hair doesn't hold color as well, so it may fade quickly. If it were me, I'd try a deeper purple which your grays will hold longer than a pastel.

Irene on February 16, 2019:

My hair is dark brown to black but there is quite a bit of gray. If I die my hair with a pastel color will the gray take the color? Basically what I want is dark hair with lavender instead of gray.

Caitlin on May 28, 2016:

Thank you!!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 27, 2016:

I don't know how professionals operate, but I do know that's why I do it myself! I have heard from so many people how they are unhappy with something they paid for - I'd rather do it myself because I know what I want, and relatively how to get there. And then if it doesn't turn out as desired, at least I didn't spend hundreds of dollars on it.

You've got the right idea - If you don't want any sort of roots, just be careful bleaching them from home. Don't leave the bleach in for too long - it shouldn't take that long to work on unprocessed hair. Also, when diluting with conditioner, use less than what you think you'd need. In my experience, it always comes out lighter on your head than the color you've mixed in the bowl!

Caitlin on May 25, 2016:

So I wanted lavender hair and decided to get it professionally done bc my hair is light brown and long. In February 2016 I had it bleached and dyed a dark purple. It faded to a nice shade but by then my roots were growing out and I wanted to get a whiter canvas to work with. So I got it bleached again three weeks ago and had it dyed this vibrant purple. So it hasn't faded that much and I'm kind of annoyed that I've now payed 1200 for hair that is not my desired shade. Do all professionals dye it bright until it fades? I showed her a pic both times and she was like "oh yeah this will look great". I'm just annoyed that once again my roots are growing out and my hair is still not "pastel". I think I'm going to have to wait for it to fade and have a friend bleach my tips and then dilute color with conditioner..any advice?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 16, 2016:

Ellie - Use a low volume developer, like 10 volume, and bleach over time!! Trying to do it all at once will kill your hair. Use lots of conditioner and oils to moisturize your hair in between bleaches. I bleached my own hair about 6 times with 10 volume, over the course of 3 months. It's a lot of work but it's worth it in the end.

Ellie on May 16, 2016:

Any advice on how to get your hair white blond safely???

nat on March 27, 2016:

are any of these colours permanent?? Looking for a permanent pastel dye

Cutie206 on February 06, 2016:

I like lavender the best and pink

Sarai on October 17, 2015:

Just went through a three week mess of getting my hair to white, and im toning it for the last time now. Luckily my hair is super strong because otherwise i dont know how it would have survived the four bleachings I've had to undergo to get it white from red. Wish me luck, I'm going to try every single pastel here. ♡

Courtney Rhodes on July 19, 2015:

I love the peach. I just don't know if i have the guts to do it!

ejrebel on June 16, 2015:

I got the same result with the manic panic blue but it went silver so I bleached it and it came out pink on my roots (kinda looked cool actually)

Tiffany on June 16, 2015:

You should use punky colour its like the original manic panic.. manic panic is a rip off of punky colour.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on February 17, 2015:

Nice!! Sorry you had to waste your time and money with other things!! Some people have suggested RAW to me, So far I haven't been able to test it out in its full glory - but I'm a HUGE Manic Panic girl.

Skullgurl on February 17, 2015:

I am Manic panic pro...i was a bad bad gurl and tried Ion Srmi-perm Brilliance...i wanted the pastel aqua, lavender, and pale pink. I had tried the diluter from MP once before and it didn't work i strayed....WHAtAMISTAKE! It was to thick going on, and not easy to leave in overnigjt like i do w MP. It got all lumpy and almost lard like. I washed ot out w vinegar and cold water...and...UGH....HALF MY HEAD WAS W OUT COLOR. It was horrid. So i paid 25 bucks to buy Ion..and two days later paid 30 more to do it right wp. Thanks to this article i doluted my osn colos and got the perfect pastels!! You RAWK! XOXO-Skullgurl Metalchick- 40- Wisconsin

micheala on December 14, 2014:

I have used this technique when I did my own pink/peach and blue/teal. With the pink it turned out amazing and I used "Splat" hot pink and mixed it with cholestrole. The splat had a thinner consistency and was more workable than the thicker manic panic. You can buy the splat anf cholesterol at walmart.

MKS on September 30, 2014:

Love the variety!! You look great with pretty much any hair color, so lucky :) I just did pastel pink (like this , I plan to keep it up with Overtone conditioner - they have a ton of different shades, even pastel orange which my friend is going to try to get a peach effect. PS holla at VA, I lived there for a while!

Jemjoseph on September 11, 2014:

I love to see pastel colored hair, it's ethereal and looks like it's straight from a fairy tale.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on June 18, 2014:

I don't think so, my art instincts are telling me no! Yellow and purple make brown, and so if your hair has any sort of yellow tones it will start to look muddy. Your best bet is to try to get it as light as possible before dyeing!

Grace on June 18, 2014:

I love the lilac/lavender look ... would you think that would work on natural strawberry blond hair :) ?

Anyway, thank you very much for your helpful photos!