For those of you with a discerning eye, you’ve probably noticed the influx of pastel shades that have been appearing in the locks of some of our favorite fashionistas. While colored hair isn’t new on the fashion scene, pastel hues are a refreshing take on the look.
As with many trends, our first taste of pastel hair came from the catwalk. In September, at New York Fashion Week, Proenza Schouler (bottom left) sent a flock of models down the runway, their hair dyed in muted shades of blue, green and purple. “We wanted something young, something that felt fresh, so we looked to surfing and skating, the things we grew up on,” Lazaro Hernandez said at the time. Little did they know that within weeks, pastel locks would be the trend du jour.
Fast forward to October where at Paris Fashion Week, Giles Deacon also opted for fresh, water-colored tresses. Model of the moment, Dree Hemingway (top, right), was spotted outside the show, sporting a subdued pink wash in her normally blonde locks. In November’s issue of Dazed & Confused, models cavorted their way through an editorial with a plethora of muted rainbow shades (top, left). As with most trends, Ashley Olsen (far right) was quick on the uptake, wearing several streaks of pale green and purple in her hair when she attended the Tim Burton tribute at Moma two weeks ago.
Several hair stylists have started to see this trend come to the forefront of fashion. “On the runways this year we saw this washed-out look, in hair color and makeup,” says Stuart Gavert, the hair colorist on the set of 2008’s Twilight. “[The trend] is more based on the hair style than the hair color itself. The hair [must be] messy and not straight.”
Bearing this in mind, we decided to ask Kristoff Ball, the visionary (and colorist) behind Gwen Stefani’s bright pink hair back in 2000, how to go about getting this look. “You start by bleaching the hair to a pale yellow, or, close to white – the pale yellow helps to hold the color.” Kristoff recommends choosing a darker shade than the color you want, as it will fade over time. “When I [gave] Gwen Stefani her famous pink locks, I dyed [her hair] an extreme hot pink, knowing it would fade to the lighter/pastel pink we desired. I recommend going brighter – you’ll be much happier with the results.”
Once you have your colors picked out, Kristoff advises grabbing a pair of gloves to prevent your hands from staining. “If you are doing multiple colors, do one color at a time. The colors will blend and bleed if you don’t. If you are blonde, make sure to separate pieces and rinse so the color doesn’t bleed onto other strands. Once color is applied, the longer you can leave it on the better. Color won’t hurt your hair.”
Kristoff recommends using dyes from Manic Panic, Crazy Colors and Fudge. “For those wanting something a little less permanent, try pastel snap-in clips that can be bought at any beauty supply store.” Whether you go all out, or make it by faking it, you’re sure to be at the forefront of fashion with your pastel hair.