There’s no denying that new hair color trends take center stage every season. One of the most popular hair color trends of the moment is pastel hair—in a variety of different hues. You can opt for multi-toned hair, like mermaid hair or unicorn hair, or rock a single mellow shade. In other words, you have plenty of colors to consider.
However, the best way to find your perfect pastel hair color isn’t to choose the first hue that catches your eye. You’ll need to think about what will pair best with your skin tone. And, of course, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn exactly what the process of going pastel entails, as well as unique pastel hair shade suggestions for every skin tone.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GETTING A PASTEL HAIR COLOR
Before you embark on your journey with pastel hair colors, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, if you’re starting off with a dark base color, you’ll need to rely on hair bleach to lighten your locks. After all, the goal is for your gorgeous pastel color (or colors!) of your choice to show up.
What’s more, it could take multiple sessions to reach the end result you’re looking for, so it may be best to enlist the help of a professional colorist. Plus, if you’re envisioning a multi-tonal cotton-candy-inspired hair color, a pro colorist will be adept at expertly weaving multiple pastel hair colors throughout your mane. It’s also a good idea to bring an inspiration photo with you, so your colorist knows exactly what you want.
If you’re more of a DIYer, you can play with pastel hair color, too. Create a pastel hair color masterpiece at home using the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Colors, which are available in a variety of soft shades. These lighter pastel hair dyes work best on bleached, light blonde hair or highlighted hair. If you have brown hair, you’ll need to lighten your hair beforehand, which you can do using the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach. Just make sure to follow the instructions listed on the packaging for a seamless process.
If you crave a look with a shorter lifespan, try using the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Sprays or the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Colors to get the job done. Designed to give your mane a burst of color that can be washed out in a single shampoo, each pastel hair dye offering requires zero commitment, so you can play around with the colors.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST PASTEL HAIR COLOR FOR YOUR SKIN TONE
When it comes to pastel hair colors, the sky’s the limit. Still, you’re going to want to take your skin tone and undertones into consideration to find your most flattering match. Keep reading as we take out the guesswork and break down which pretty pastel hair colors pair well with which skin tones and undertones below.
THE BEST PASTEL HAIR COLORS FOR FAIR SKIN WITH WARM UNDERTONES
If you have fair skin with warm undertones, your features will look beautiful paired with pastel purple hair and soft blue shades. Lucky for you, pale purple and ocean blue pastel hair colors are totally on-trend with this season’s mermaid hair vibes.
Product picks: L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Blue, L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Pastel Blue, or L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color in Lilac
THE BEST PASTEL HAIR COLORS FOR MEDIUM SKIN WITH WARM UNDERTONES
Medium skin with warm undertones requires warmer shades to make your features pop. Pastel colors like rose gold and pinkish-purple will do the trick. And once you give these colors a try, you’ll fall more in love with your mane every time you look in the mirror.
THE BEST PASTEL HAIR COLORS FOR DARK SKIN WITH WARM UNDERTONES
Those with darker skin can easily get away with a brighter hair color. Sure, we’re talking about pastel shades here, but nowadays, fluorescent pastels hues are all the rage. Think: super-bright turquoise, for example.
THE BEST PASTEL HAIR COLORS FOR FAIR SKIN WITH COOL UNDERTONES
The best way to accentuate cool, fair skin is to pair it with warmer pastel shades, like light pink and red. The mix of opposite hues will balance each other out for a gorgeous end-result—especially if you have freckles. Not to mention, this hair color mimics strawberry shortcake perfectly.
THE BEST PASTEL HAIR COLORS FOR MEDIUM SKIN WITH COOL UNDERTONES
Medium skin with cool undertones is best served by highly saturated pink hues—think hot pink and pastel fuchsia. Although pastel hair is thought to be pale, it may be best to pump it up for a more vibrant look that better suits darker skin tones—otherwise, you may risk washing out your skin tone.
THE BEST PASTEL HAIR COLORS FOR DARK SKIN WITH COOL UNDERTONES
If you have dark skin with cool undertones—lucky you! You’re among the few who can switch between warm and cool colors. That’s because pale colors like pastel green look equally as stunning as one such as purple when set against your dark skin. Wear them separately or pair them together for a rainbow-inspired pastel ‘do that’s sure to have all eyes on you.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF PASTEL HAIR
Semi-permanent hair colors don’t require a whole lot of extra care, given the short period of time they last. On the other hand, if you’re working with permanent pastel hair color, you’ll most definitely need to elevate your hair care routine. Below, we’re sharing three hair care tips to consider.
1. SWITCH OUT YOUR SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER (AND ADD A HAIR MASK)
You may be obsessed with your current shampoo and conditioner, but when it comes to caring for color-treated hair, it’s a good idea to consider sulfate-free products. Try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair and Defend Conditioner. Additionally, you’ll want to incorporate a hair mask, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair Remedy Balm, into your routine once or twice a week to help give your mane an extra dose of TLC.
2. LOWER THE HEAT IN THE SHOWER
It doesn’t matter if you’re using all the best hair care products for color-treated hair, if you’re washing your mane in hot water, you could be doing your pastel hair a disservice. That’s because hot water can strip your strands of essential oils, leaving your hair feeling dry and your color looking dull. Thankfully, there’s a simple fix: Shower in water that’s lukewarm instead of scalding.
3. OPT TO AIR-DRY
Heat styling is great, but all that heat can do a number on your hair. Instead of creating loose curls with a curling iron, try using the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse to build soft and bouncy body, or reach for a can of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Precious Oil Satin Hairspray to achieve a sleek and shiny look. Not only can the latter help create the appearance of major shine, but its strong hold can also help tame flyaways.
Editor’s tip: Since some hairstyles naturally call for heat styling, we won’t insist on banning it altogether. On those days, just be sure to protect your strands with a heat protectant. All you need to do is spritz the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray onto damp strands before blow-drying, and then again before using a flat iron or curling iron.
Prepare yourself, getting pretty with pastel hair colors might lead you to want an even brighter, bolder look. If that sounds like you, check out our article, How to Create Prism Roots Using Our Colorista 1-Day Sprays, for a vivid hair color idea that’s sure to suit your fancy.
Discover more tips & tricks
Keep your skin happy
Shop Featured Hair Color products