Pastel hair dye | 7 cool colors you’ll love this year.

What is the latest trend in hair dye? Pastel hair dye, of course! If you’re looking to spice up your life and stand out from the crowd, pastel is a good place to start.

But will you really suit these super-soft colors? Looking for some ideas and inspiration? We’re here to give you an in-depth guide on some of the best colors out there.

From what color will suit your skin tone, to how long it lasts and which products you’ll need for a complete look, this blog post has everything! So let’s get started!

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What is pastel hair color?

Pastel-colored hair is hair dyed in soft, gentle hues of color.

The hair dyes that are best for this look are generally soft, light colors which can be found in many different hues and shades depending on the type of pigment used to create it. They add a kind of soothing texture and softness to your hair.

Pastels are a fun and flirty look that’s perfect for spring and warmer seasons. But that’s not to say you can’t rock them all year round by mixing it with other styles.

They’re fabulous to use as accent color mixed with blonde highlights, ombre, balayage, hair streaks and split hair dye to add a pop of color and dimension.

Unicorn, mermaid and sugar spun styles are where these soft shades come into their own to create a unique, stunning fantasy look.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

pastel hair dye collection pinterest board

Can you dye your hair pastel without bleaching?

Sure! But only if you have a light blonde base to begin with.

Some hair dyes contain lighteners that will help to lift your hair a level or two.

But if your hair is brunette or darker, you will need to bleach and lighten your hair to get the perfect pastel look.

Pastel hair dyes come in permanent shades but direct dyes are best for achieving a bright, vibrant hue – so semi-permanent and temporary colors. So you can experiment with different shades, colors and techniques easily.

lavender hair color instagram post
Lilac pastel hair dye colour Instagram
Unicorn rainbow hair color Instagram

Can I dye my hair pastel at home?

The best news is, yes! You can get the look at home thanks to a load of gorgeous hair dyes you can buy in a whole range of colors.

Whether you’ll achieve the dream hue your heart desires all depends on your base color – the color your hair is now.

If you have a light blonde or platinum base – this is perfect! You’ll need a super-light almost white base to create the soft sheen of color. Match a shade to your skin tone and off you go!

If you have a light brown base color or darker hair – you’ll need to lighten your hair first.

This will involve bleaching your hair to take it up a level or two (or more!)

Always chat to your stylist before attempting to bleach your hair. They’ll be able to give you some great advice based on your natural coloring and hair condition so you can bleach your hair safely.

Once your hair has the right color base, you can experiment with these dyes to get the look!

Best pastel hair dyes at a glance

Hair dyeLooks likeBuy it now
MANIC PANIC Cotton Candy Pink Semi-Permanent Hair Colorq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B091G3RV6D&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B091G3RV6D
Adore Shining Semi Permanent Hair Colour, Soft Lavenderq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077J7GC2Z&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B077J7GC2Z
Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Brights Pretty Pastel Lilac Hair Dye.q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07Z49W7N8&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBbest lavender hair dye
Adore Shining Semi Permanent Hair Color Green Appleq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0844NQRJ2&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B0844NQRJ2
Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Bright, Denim Steelq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07Z49W7N7&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07Z49W7N7
BLEACH LONDON Awkward Peach Super Cool Color - Semi-Permanent Hair Colorq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B08Y962FT6&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B08Y962FT6
Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Tint, Sext (Dusty Rose) q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B081517738&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B081517738

Best pastel hair dyes

#1 MANIC PANIC Cotton Candy Pink Semi-Permanent Hair Color

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They say:

  • Vegan, Cruelty Free and PPD Free ingredients.
  • This beautiful pink color gives your hair a light pastel hue that is sure to turn heads!
  • The vibrant semi-permanent hair dye won’t lighten your existing color
  • Contains nourishing conditioners that will leave your locks feeling soft and healthy.
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Reviewers say:

“I used this on my natural black hair and I was amazed by the results! The colour lasted well over a month and was really vibrant, with a slight hint of pink. My hair felt so soft and healthy too.”

“I used this on my blonde hair before I bleached it for an ombré look – the pink came out looking brighter than expected, but I loved it!”

“This color is perfect if you want to make a statement without going too bright. It’s subtle yet still noticeable enough to get noticed.”

We say:

If you’re looking to add some brightness to your existing color or just want something subtle and sweet, Manic Panic’s Cotton Candy is the perfect pastel shade.

Pastel pink hair is a classic. The gentle hue will add a delicate pop of colour that won’t be too intense — plus, it smells amazing and won’t damage your hair. For a cooler shade, try their Fleurs de Mal pink – it’s not so electric on lighter hair.

Best for: Soft pink highlights or subtle ombre looks.

#2 Adore Shining Semi Permanent Hair Colour, Soft Lavender

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They say:

  • Infuses each hair strand with a vibrant burst of luxurious color.
  • No Ammonia, No Peroxide, and No Alcohol.
  • Deposits natural looking color while giving your hair a healthy resilient shine.
  • Leaving your hair in better condition than before coloring.
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Reviewers say:

“I’ve been using Adore dyes for almost 20 years. I love it because its available in so many colors, they actually stay in my hair (but easy to get off skin and clean from the tub), and leave my hair really shiny and soft.”

“As a retired hairdresser I can recommend this range of colours. It is always best to use on pre lightened hair for best results in obtaining the true colour match.”

“If you bleach your hair prior to use your color will come out super bright and vibrant. If you have a previous hair dye in a lighter tone this will go over those lighter areas and tint them lilac but you will not see it as much in darker areas.”

We say:

This Adore hair dye says to apply on wet hair, but in our experience, dry is best to really take the colour so we ignored that. We applied it to pale blonde hair.

This dye is extremely pigmented even when diluted a little with conditioner so the bottle will last a few applications. The lavender colour is really vibrant and one of the strongest lavender colours on this list.

Best for: Strong lavender colour.

#3 Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Brights Pretty Pastel Lilac Hair Dye.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07Z49W7N8&Format= SL350 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBbest lavender hair dye

They say:

  • Express your colour creativity.
  • Full-head, ombre or highlights.
  • Creates a soft pastel hue.
  • Dark hair? Pre-lighten with LIVE intense lightener for a soft pastel result.
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Reviewers say:

“I tried this on my medium length, pre-lightened blonde hair and I love the result, it’s a beautiful soft lilac colour. My hair feels lovely too.”

“I purchased two kits as I’ve used this range before and know that they are smaller tubes than normal. I put loads on to make sure it’s all over but the colour is amazing just what I wanted pastel lilac vibes.”

“I have used the Live colours for years so was excited to use the Lilac!
I bought 2 boxes and left it on for 20 minutes. My hair is a mid blonde and is also really porous and takes colour well and this turned out a lovely purple pastel shade!”

We say:

This is called lilac hair colour but it’s definitely more of a purple than pink pastel shade so we gave it a go to make lavender. For this one we had blonde, pre-lightened hair ready to go for an all over look. We bought two boxes as the reviews said we’d need it but if you’re just going for dipped ends or touches one will be enough.

We applied to dry hair to ensure it really took and left it on for 25 minutes (they recommend 2 – 15 minutes). The result was an even, wash of silvery-purple hair that was soft to touch.

Best for: Subtle pastel purple wash.

#4 Adore semi-permanent hair dye, Green Apple

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They say:

  • This no commitment, semi-permanent formula is extremely versatile.
  • For bleached, lightened, highlighted and light blonde hair.
  • The colour result depends upon your natural hair colour. For long or thick hair we recommend using two packs.
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Reviewers say:

“I love this hair color!! It’s affordable, seals up so you can keep using over time, SMELLS WONDERFUL! This is now my go to for hair color. I really do love how long the color lasts, both in the bottle and on my hair.”

The colour is so bright and pigmented, I got many compliments on my hair due to this! This is a must have if you are planning to dye your hair! It’s sooo good for its price too! 

“This product is very good for it to be a semi permanent dye! The color did come as expected but it was a little tinted since I did not bleach my hair first. My natural hair is dark brown, but you can dye it multiple times to keep the product looking good.”

We say:

This colour comes out a soft, almost pastel green colour so perfect for warmer tones. It’s a runny, liquid formula so tricky to apply, but the coverage is fantastic. The best thing? The price. This is great green hair on a budget.

Best hair dye for: Bright green pastel tones.

#5 Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Bright, Denim Steel

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They say:

  • This no commitment, semi-permanent formula is extremely versatile.
  • For bleached, lightened, highlighted and light blonde hair.
  • The colour result depends upon your natural hair colour.
  • For long or thick hair we recommend using two packs.
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Reviewers say:

“I’m so in love with the Schwarzkopf brights range! They provide great colour as long as your hair is lightened to the recommended shade beforehand. For me, they last a heck of a long time.”

“I wasn’t expecting this to work so well, from the middle of the hair to the tips, it’s a gorgeous bluey colour. It covered up orange and pink colours that have been in my hair for more than a year!”

“This colour will last a decent amount of time, not just because blue is a very hard dye to remove, but I think it’ll fade really nicely. I’ll definitely be using it again!”

We say:

Pastel blue hair is not for the faint hearted! This is a bright blue, bold pastel blue colour that’s made for light hair. We used it on platinum blonde hair at the ends and it worked a treat.

It’s a little on the smokey blue side, so if you have cool skin tones and want to play with streaks and dips, this is the dye for you. Be sure you’re up for commitment though as blue hair can be hard to remove!

Best for: Pastel streaks and dips for cool tones.

#6 BLEACH LONDON Awkward Peach Super Cool Color – Semi-Permanent Hair Color

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B08Y962FT6&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 20&language=en USir?t=colouredhairc 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B08Y962FT6

They say:

  • Vegan and cruelty-free formula
  • Delivers safe and bold colour with an ultra-conditioning base to make sure your hair is always in top condition.
  • Long lasting, vibrant color with a good amount of shine.
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Reviewers say:

“I love the Awkward Peach! I had bleached my hair before using it, so the color was really bright and lasted for months!”

“This stuff smells amazing! Like sweet peaches haha I used it on my platinum blonde hair, definitely made a difference.”

“It’s super easy to use, no mess or staining at all, and the color is just fab!”

We say:

Looking for a pastel peach to give your hair an on-trend update? BLEACH LONDON’s Awkward Peach is one of our faves.

With its bright coral undertones, it’s perfect for giving pale blonde locks a subtle boost.The formula leaves hair feeling soft and nourished with a glossy finish that won’t fade quickly. Plus, it smells divine!

Best for: Pale blondes looking to add some coral peach brightness.

#7 Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Tint, Sext (Dusty Rose) 

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They say:

  • Vegan, Cruelty Free and PPD Free.
  • This dusty rose tint adds a rosy hue to pre-bleached platinum to medium blonde hair and gives brunettes a subtle pink sheen.
  • The semi-permanent formula conditions your hair as it colors for soft, healthy looking locks with long-lasting results.
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Reviewers say:

“I have dark brown hair and I was worried this might not show up but it did! It turned out the perfect shade of dusty rose that I wanted!”

“My bleached hair soaked this right up – the pink was really strong and lasted a long time.” “My hair feels so soft after using it – I’m in love with this colour!”

We say:

Lime Crime’s Sext shade is perfect for those looking to add a pretty pastel hue that won’t overpower their natural color.

The dusty rose gold tint will look especially beautiful on brunettes, giving them a gentle rosy shimmer.

For us, it showed up nicely against bleached blonde hair, giving an ultra-modern look. Our locks are sure to be left feeling healthy and nourished too. Didn’t last as long as some of the others on the list though.

Best for: A subtle dusty rose hue on blonde or brunette hair.

How to dye your hair at home.

Pastel hair dye FAQs

Will pastel hair color suit me?

How do you find that perfect shade? First off, you need to know that there are two types of pastel hair dyes: traditional and neon.

Traditional ones include baby blue or lavender shades while neon ones have more vibrant colors like peach or green.

Neon colors will be brighter than traditional colors but they’re harder to get and even harder to maintain.

So really, they can suit everyone! But you’ll need to know whether you have cool or warm undertones to work out the right color for you.

These are pale colors so those with a cool complexion are more able to find an ash color that suits them. But hey, warm skin tones, you can style it out too.

For example, try light pink or lavender if your skin tone is fair and blue-violet for medium to dark complexions.

Do I have cool or warm undertones?

Use our checklist below to determine what your undertones are.

If you have cool undertones:

  • Your skin tone is pink or pale.
  • You blush easily!
  • Jewel and pastel colors are so your thing.
  • The color yellow washes you out and does not look good on you.
  • You have blue not green veins in your wrist.
  • Pearls and silver jewellery look awesome on you.

If you have warm undertones:

  • You have red or golden tones in your natural hair color.
  • Your skin tone is golden, tan or olive.
  • You might have freckles.
  • You have green not blue veins in your wrist.
  • You suit bright or rich shades better.
  • Gold jewellery looks awesome on you
cool or warm undertones infographic

Which hair colors suit me?

You can also find out which hair color will suit you by taking our quick quiz! Just click on the image below!

What hair color suits me?

Try on some virtual colors with these hair color apps!

Can you pastel hair dye with conditioner?

If you want a more subtle wash, you can even dye your hair with conditioner!

Just add a few drops of hair dye pigment to your favourite conditioner and saturate your hair with the mixture from root to tip.

Leave it on long enough for the color to develop- around half an hour. Then rinse off and voila! Pastel perfection! Lucky you.

How long will pastel hair dye last?

Unfortunately, pastel hair dyes are not long-lasting colors.

The good news is that means you can change up your color as often as you like.

Use semi-permanent hair dyes and the color will wash out completely after 4-6 weeks.

Permanent hair dyes will last slightly longer, maybe 6-8 weeks, but you’ll see the color start to fade after a few washes.

Temporary hair dyes are a great way to experiment with colors, add a touch of colored babylights or dipped dyed ends to your locks. These colors wash out pretty much straight away.

As always, we recommend using only sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners to keep your color in check and make it look luscious for longer.

Parting words

So you want to try out pastel? Awesome!

We hope this round up of the best pastel hair dyes has helped you find the perfect hue to suit your hair color and style.

No matter what you choose, these products are sure to give you beautiful, long-lasting results without damaging your locks in the process.

Now all that’s left is to pick a colour and test out your new look! Good luck!