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How to Dye Your Hair Pastel

Updated on September 5, 2012

How To Dye Your Hair Pastel

Obviously you've come to this page because you've seen pictures of girls (or guys!) with AMAZING pastel locks of hair. At first it seems overwhelming-- almost an artistic endeavor that is only for the creative to even attempt. That's wrong, dying your hair is for anyone who wants to look great. Once you figure out the perfect formula, it's only a matter of figuring out what color you want to choose (which can actually sometimes be pretty daunting).

The main factor in making pastel hair look GOOD is buying quality products. Of course, quality products are slightly more expensive, but they are WORTH IT. You do not want to end up with streaky color because you didn't buy the bleach that was $1.50 more. So, my young jedis of hair color, follow me through a journey of hair perfection!

1. Bleach Your Hair

Of course the first thing you want to do is bleach your hair. If you have dye on your hair from a previous dye you should strip that off first with L'Oreal Color Zap or Clairol Uncolor (you can find these at Sally's and maybe Walmart). Depending on how light your hair is and how sensitive your scalp is, you may need to bleach your hair a few times before it hits the right color. The color you need to bleach your hair to is a very very pale yellow or white.

I have found that the best bleach powder to use is White Out brand because the powder is always fine and mixes very well with the Developer Cream (I naturally have brown hair and generally use a level 40 developer, but if you have a sensitive scalp you may want to use a level 20, but you may have to bleach again). The reason you don't want to go cheap on the bleach powder is because often times cheap bleach powder can be crystallized and doesn't mix well with the developer. The brand of the Developer Cream usually doesn't matter, just the cheapest one you can find at the beauty store.

Depending on how dark your hair is, leave the bleach on anywhere from 25-40 minutes

TIP: ALWAYS bleach your ends first. Your roots become lighter faster for some reason and if you bleach them first you will inevitably have white on top and orange on bottom.

It would also be a very good idea to purchase a reusable mixing bowl and a reusable pair of latex gloves (the gloves are very very important)

Hair Bleach Products - Buy trusted brands!

As I stated before, Quick Blue from L'Oreal has a beautiful, fine texture that gives you a wonderfully smooth mixture. Because L'Oreal is a trusted brand, I also recommend purchasing the L'Oreal Oreor creme developer.

If you still have color in your hair from a previous dye job, use Color Zap to remove the color before you bleach.

2. Tone Your Hair

When I say "tone your hair", I don't mean start it on a work out regime, I mean hair toner. Hair toner is used to remove all of the brassy, yellowy tones from your hair. Wella Color Charm in T18 is a good one to use, but Clairol also has very good toner, as long as you get the lightest ash blond or lightest blond. If you want to use Clairol and are unsure, ask someone at the beauty supply store, they know which one will make you platinum.

You mix the toner with Developer creme at a ratio of 1:2 (one part toner two parts developer). Wait about five minutes for the mixture to turn a purple color. Apply the toner all over your hair and leave on for as long as the box says (about 25-40 minutes)

Buy Your Toner - My product recommendation for toner

Clairol High Lift Cool Blonde is amazing. Out of every toner I have used, I have seen the best results with this product. Obviously, Clairol is a known and trusted brand, but Clairol's toner is bounds and leaps above every other toner brand I have tried

3. Dye the Hair!

a beautiful result!
a beautiful result!

Finally, once your hair has toned to a lightest blond it can get, its time to add the dye! I recommend getting Ion Color Brilliance hair dye for unnatural colors because I have found it to be the most vibrant, the longest lasting, and very reusable. I do not recommend buying Color Jamz (I believe that is the name of the brand), it ends up coming out very streaky and is a generally weak dye that washes out in about a week.

To get that wonderful pastel hair all you have to do is mix your dye with ordinary white conditioner (make sure the conditioner does not have sulfate in it, though). Plop a heaping portion into your mixing bowl (about enough to cover your whole head unless you plan on making two batches), then mix in the color. Always ALWAYS start with less and add more later if you feel the color isn't vibrant enough. Be sure to mix the dye really really well with the conditioner so that you don't get any random spots darker than the rest of your hair!

Once you have applied the dye thoroughly, wrap your head in saran wrap to keep the dye moist on your hair. Leave the dye on your head for at LEAST TWO HOURS. You can leave it on longer if you want a stronger color, but check the mirror often for desired result.

Wash out the dye and enjoy your beautiful new style!

An additional note:

I have found that the easiest colors to do pastel are pinks and purples because they are warmer and will mix well with any yellow tones in your hair that might not have been completely toned out, also these colors seem to last longer

Which Brands of Dye to Buy - My personal opinion

I have found that Ion Brilliance brand is the most vibrant and the longest lasting. However, Ion only has blues and pinks. so for those of you looking for green or orange I would suggest going with the tried and true brand of Manic Panic. It washes out a lot sooner, but it's a good enough brand and comes in every color you could ever want. Do NOT get Color Jamz brand, it barely sticks to your head the first time you apply it, and the rest washes out shortly thereafter (not worth the $5).

Ion Red Semi Permanent Hair Color Red
Ion Red Semi Permanent Hair Color Red

comes in red, magenta, fushia, sky blue, aqua, and teal


Want Pastel Color But Not Ready To Dye Yet?

That's okay! Why not just fake it instead.? eBay has tons of awesome cosplay wigs auctioning for very cheap! Instead of taking that plunge and dying your hair, just pretend you have pastel hair-- no one will be able to tell the difference (and wigs are a hot new fashion trend!).

Vote on what you think looks best!

Which pastel color do you think looks the best on hair?

See results

Duel Hair Debate

So, you've voted on which color you think is the best for pastel hair, now, with the two top voted colors, debate which is the best and why!

What color is better for pastel hair

Photo Gallery - Photos of pastel hair

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Very palepastel bluepastel purplevery pale blueombre purple or silverpastel pink and purplepastel pink and blueice bluebeautiful multi colorsvery pale pink
Very pale
Very pale
pastel blue
pastel blue
pastel purple
pastel purple
very pale blue
very pale blue
ombre purple or silver
ombre purple or silver
pastel pink and purple
pastel pink and purple
pastel pink and blue
pastel pink and blue
ice blue
ice blue
beautiful multi colors
beautiful multi colors
very pale pink
very pale pink

Comments on Pastel Hair

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    • Pinasheart profile image


      6 years ago

      Ive always had a thing for purple hair. especially pastel purple. I will one day get to it. ^__^ thanks for this lens. i enjoyed it!

    • adragast24 profile image


      6 years ago

      Informative and beautiful article, thanks for it.


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