The best way to freshen up your look is to start with a new hair color. It’s time to be playful, fun, and edgy when it comes to color. So, why not try a pastel dye? The best part is you can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home on a small budget.
There are so many options to choose from, including baby pink, lilac, lavender, light blue, and even pale green. If you’re feeling bold, you can even go for a trendy mermaid or unicorn look. Most of the pastel colors suit all skin tones, but you can check our recommendations in the buyer’s guide section.
Most popular hair dye brands now offer semi-permanent or permanent pastel hair dyes to fulfill the growing demand for DIY pastel colors.
In this post, I am sharing the top pastel hair dyes on Amazon to help you make the right decision before you pick your next hair color.
What is pastel hair & How do I prep?
Pastel hair refers to those light, bright colors, like cotton candy pink, pale blue and lavender. Pastel colors are vibrant and fun and perfect for those of you looking for something outside the traditional hair color palette.
Before you start dyeing your hair, you should know that pastel colors look best on virgin hair (hair that hasn’t been colored before). But, don’t feel discouraged because you can get excellent results if you bleach and lighten your hair first.
If you have light blonde hair color, it’s an easy process because it will probably work the first time. If you have dark hair, it might take a few weeks to achieve a light base. In either case, use high-quality bleach. Your hair should be a very pale shade of yellow for the pastel color to look its best.
Pastel hair dyes work on all hair types and textures, but it is a bit more challenging to get even looking results if you have curly hair. Bleaching curly hair causes a lot of damage, so you can alternatively do pastel highlights or an ombre look.
Best Pastel Hair Dyes
Best Pastel Pink: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Tint, Bunny – Pastel Baby Pink Fantasy Hair Color
Lime Crime has a pretty wide variety of pastel shades, but the baby pink stands out because it’s the perfect girly shade of pink. Pink tops the list of favorite pastel colors, so why not give it a try? This semi-permanent dye packs on the pigment and infuses your hair with fade-proof color. The color washes out gradually, after about three to six weeks.
This dye has a damage-free formula that makes your hair smooth, shiny, and healthy-looking. It’s a color-depositing product, so the pigments don’t penetrate the hair’s cortex. As well, the formula doesn’t contain ammonia, bleach, peroxide, or other harsh ingredients that can destroy your hair. Therefore, the dye actually protects your hair and makes it glowy.
- Vegan and cruelty-free.
- It makes hair shiny and smooth.
- The dye doesn’t require a developer; you apply it straight to the hair.
- The color washes out gradually.
- Free from harsh chemicals.
- It only gives a tint to unbleached hair.
Best Pastel Lavender: Adore Semi-Permanent Haircolor #090 Lavender
Suppose you want to try a purple color, lavender is a beautiful hue to start with. The Adore Semi-Permanent dye is the most affordable lavender dye, and it delivers vibrant and pigmented color. The formula is gentle because it’s free from ammonia, peroxide, and alcohol; therefore, it doesn’t damage your hair. This formula contains aloe vera, which helps protect the hair from damage.
This dye is easy to use because you don’t need to use a developer. Simply apply it to your hair and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. It gives a vibrant, bright, and shiny lavender hue. The color fades gradually, so you can always re-apply once you need a touch-up.
- Gentle formula.
- Free from ammonia, peroxide, and alcohol.
- It doesn’t dry out or damage the hair.
- Conditions and nourishes the strands.
- The color is shiny and vibrant.
- The dye stains a lot.
Best Pastel Blue: L’Oreal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color, Pastels Hair Color, P1 Sapphire Smoke (Smokey Blue)
This color is the best example of a muted, subtle pastel blue. If you’re trying out blue dye for the first time, you’ll be pleased with this ashy and smokey toned color. This shade works best on bleached blonde hair. L’Oreal’s Feria range is known for its long-lasting formula and shiny pigmented color in the hair care community. In terms of the lasting power, you can expect this permanent dye to last at least four to six weeks.
The dye is infused with three times the highlights compared to other formulas, so your hair looks fuller and multidimensional. While it’s not formulated to cover greys, it does blend in nicely, so you can’t really see them. Since the dye is very pigmented, it covers all strands evenly and looks super bright and shiny.
- It blends into the hair nicely and works on grey hair too.
- The dye makes your hair look very vibrant and shiny.
- It’s the perfect shade of pale blue.
- The color is full of highlights, so the hair looks multidimensional.
- Some people complained that the color is darker than the photo on the box.
Best Pastel Green: Lunar Tides Hair Dye – Beetle Pastel Mint Green Semi-Permanent Vegan Hair Color
Green hair color is definitely unique, but a pastel mint is a great way to join in on the pastel trend. The Lunar Tides dye is a vegan, semi-permanent hair product that packs on the pigments and gives bold, vibrant color. Hair looks shiny, hydrated, and glowy after coloring. The dye comes in a paste form and doesn’t require developer. Therefore, it’s very easy to use.
For the best results apply the dye with a tint brush to ensure you cover all the hair evenly. Since the color is a deep mint green, it may look a bit dark after application but it washes out gradually so after a wash you get that light pastel look. I recommend this dye if you want to test out colors before committing.
- Easy to use.
- It makes the hair glow and shine.
- Vegan and gentle formula.
- Bright mint green that fades out gradually.
- The dye washes out quite fast.
Best Pastel Rose Gold: Garnier Olia Ammonia-Free Brilliant Color Oil-Rich Permanent Hair Color, 8.22 Medium Rose Gold
Rose gold is the most muted pastel shade, but it’s rich and elegant. It’s the perfect color if you like blonde but want a hint of pink tones. The Garnier formula is gentle on the hair and scalp because it doesn’t contain ammonia. Instead, it’s enriched with a 60% oil blend made from flowers that hydrates and nourishes your hair. Therefore, your hair looks smooth, silky, and shiny, without signs of damage.
The product has a no-drip formula that is very easy to apply and it doesn’t stain your skin. Plus, it doesn’t have that typical chemical scent, so you can color your hair without any irritation. The good news is that this dye also covers up to 100% of grey hairs, so all ages can use it.
- This dye covers greys.
- The formula doesn’t contain ammonia.
- It is formulated with up to 60% of natural flower oils.
- It nourishes and makes hair shiny and smooth.
- No harsh chemical scent.
- It can cause hair breakage in some cases.
Best Lilac: Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye
Lilac is one of the prettiest pastel purple colors for your hair. The Artic Fox dyes are a great options because they have a gentle formula. Therefore, they don’t contain ammonia, alcohol, PPD or peroxide which means you don’t damage your hair every time you color it. As well, this dye is vegan and cruelty-free so you can have a clear conscience.
This dye conditions your hair while it colors, so you get shiny, vibrant, and healthy-looking hair. The dye doesn’t stain the skin too much and there is minimal smearing, thus it’s quite easy to use. You can re-apply as often as needed without fear of damage. In terms of staying power, the color washes out a bit after each wash but it doesn’t leave you with patchy hair. Usually, the color lasts for about 4- 8 weeks.
- Vegan and cruelty-free.
- This dye conditions your hair.
- Makes the hair look shiny and soft.
- There is no ammonia and other harsh chemicals in the formula.
- It doesn’t stain too much.
- You need to leave the dye on for a long time, so it’s a time-consuming process.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in Pastel Hair Dyes
When it comes to choosing the best pastel hair dye, the process is similar to choosing any other boxed dye. You need to weigh the pros and cons of each formula and look out for harmful ingredients.
I will share some tips to help you pick the best option.
- Look at the ingredients: Since you have to dye pastel hair frequently, you need to use a formula that causes minimal or no damage to your hair. Harsh chemicals not only destroy your hair, but they are bad for your health too. So, begin by looking at formulas with the fewest number of harsh ingredients. Here are some of the ingredients to avoid:
- Semi-Permanent vs Permanent Dye: a semi-permanent dye is the best choice because this type of dye deposits color to your hair but the pigments don’t penetrate the hair cortex. As a result, semi-permanent dyes are less damaging and don’t leave your hair feeling as dry and brittle. Permanent dyes do lift color so they cause more damage, and since you need to re-apply pastel hues often, they are not the ideal choice.
- Vegan & Cruelty-Free: Using vegan products is an ethical choice but it’s also a good way to help the environment. As a general rule, vegan hair dyes are gentler and don’t contain the typical hair dye chemicals. Therefore, they can be used more frequently without risking your health.
- Consider your Skin Tone: Wondering which pastel hair color will suit you best? Begin by looking for a color that complements your skin tone. Here are some general pointers to help you out, based on skin tone.
Light/Fair Skin: If you have light skin, you should choose a pastel shade that doesn’t make you look washed out. The best match is a lavender or lilac purple warm tone, or even an azure green. Avoid the warmest colors which have red and orange undertones because these can really wash you out and make you look overly pale.
Medium Skin: Most pastel colors suit olive and medium skin tones. You can try pastel blues and greens. As well, you can try mermaid and unicorn hair too as all the colors suit your complexion. Even orange pastels look beautiful, so you have many options.
Dark Skin: All the pastel colors look great on dark skin tones. Bright purples, lavender, and fuchsia really stand out and make you look vibrant. Mint green and pale blues also complement dark skin. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the best pastel color but you can pull them all off, even a combination of multiple colors.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to pastel hair colors, you can stick to striking pinks, purples, green, and blues, or you can combine different shades to create mermaid and unicorn hair. Whatever you decide, you can rest assured that the pastel trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Make sure to pick the formulas that are safest for frequent use, and avoid those products that are full of harsh chemicals. After all, healthy hair is the best looking hair, regardless of color.