Make Your Hair Look Like Cotton Candy

By Lauren Thompson

chanel pastel hair

Chanel Resort 2013

From the runways to the red carpet, pastel hair has been one trend that never seems to go away.  Most recently, Kelly Osbourne, Amanda Bynes, Ke$ha, Sienna Miller, and Demi Lovato have all been rocking the colored hair and look shockingly chic.  

Kelly Osborne has been sporting lavender locks for quite some time now, which is why she’s become the poster child for pastel hair.  Sienna Miller is the most recent celeb to hop on the hair color train, with her rose gold tint she debuted at the British Fashion Awards. And remember earlier this year when Helen Mirren dyed her hair pink?

Photo credits: INF, Getty, JustJared, Abaca

Are you feeling inspired? Are you ready to make your hair look like your favorite sugary carnival treat?

If you’re teetering on the edge or not ready to commit to coloring your entire head, add some peek-a-boo strands like Dakota Fanning by using some clip-in extensions. You can also try hair chalk, which is super easy to apply and it washes right out!

“Pastel hair works best on women with light complexions and light eyes. It’s also easiest to achieve on blondes because the hair has already been lighted,” says John Whelan, Color Director at NYC’s Nunzio Saviano Salon.

Although pastel hair may not seem that serious, it’s really important to see a professional if you’re going to take a dip in the color world.  For the dark haired girls, lightening your hair will be the most difficult part of the process.  It’s not something we’d recommend buying over the counter and doing at home! But we all know you’re going to try to candy coat your hair on your own… so…

Here are our tips to at-home pastels:

  • Always test the color on a piece of white paper before applying it to your hair
  • To make a color lighter or softer, mix it with conditioner
  • If you have dark hair, lighten it before your dye it
  • Use cold water to lock in the color
  • Use a color protecting conditioner immediately following the dye process

You can add a strip of color by using a product like Manic Panic. The downside is, you may have to mix your own shade because they don’t have many softer options.

The lightening process can be long and frustrating, but here’s how to cut some corners.

  1. Try Clairol Basic White 2 Lightening Powder and mix with a creme developer until it’s the consistency of greek yogurt.  [For lighter shades, use the 20 volume developer and for darker shades, go with the 40 volume developer].
  2. Section out the piece you would like to color, and place on a piece of hair foil.
  3. Saturate the hair with the lightener and fold up the foil.
  4. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then check it! [Make sure that the lightener does not dry up. If it does, apply more].
  5. Keep checking until the piece has lifted passed the brassy phase to a light blonde color.
  6. Shampoo well and dry.

Once the lightening process is complete, you can apply your pastel color. Let it sit on the hair for about 30 minutes before you rinse it out and use your conditioning product.

If you want to be on top of the latest trends and be shocking, fun, and fearless then you should just do it! Go pastel! Here are some of the most inspiring editorial photos of the trend that we’ve come across: