The Ultimate Pastel Hair Guide - How to get and KEEP Mermaid Hair.
Hey Everbody!

After I posted The Complete Guide to Dyeing Your Hair Grey (which has been one of most successful posts ever!) after I struggled a lot with the high-sought after hair color, the demands for a guide for pastel hair was pretty loud so I thought, why not? These two posts are interconnected, as most as I said for grey hair does apply for pastel hair too. I will also give you a short comparison on all hair dyes I have tried so far and how they have worked for me.


One reason I switched from grey to pastel hair fairly quickly, was the fact that grey hair was just insanely high-demand and almost impossible to keep in a nice state. If your hair is almost white as a base this will not apply, but I constantly had to tone my hair because the grey washed out so fast and my hair then turned into a weird looking, brassy grey-green. Not quite what I had in mind. After a few months, I grew quite frustrated and switched over to purple hair - which has the benefit of slowly into grey hair when being washed out. But let's focus on the pastel aspect here.

What I said on grey hair in my last guide applies for pastel hair just as much:

Grey Pastel hair is an extremely high maintenance color. And take this from someone who had every haircolor under the rainbow: If you thought a vibrant red or green is hard to keep, this is even harder. It is not, and can never be, a permanent hair color and will fade (quite significantly) every time you wash your hair. If you are not that much into taking care of your hair and experimenting with colors and toners, this hair color is probably not for you.

It also requires extremely light blonde (almost white) hair to turn out beautifully, so if your hair is naturally darker, it will get even more damaged in the process. You can have nice long pastel hair but your hair will need a lot of patience, even more pampering and a bit of experimenting around. (More info on how light your hair needs to be and what to do with yellowish blonde hair, see my last guide on how to achieve grey hair)


There is currently an abundance of pastel hair dyes outside and it might be really hard to chose without knowing which dye provides what. Skip to the last part of the post to see a short comparison on all the hair dyes I've tried so far and how they have worked for me in term of color and lastingness.

Which hair dye should I use?

While I do use pastel hair colors once in a while, I strongly suggest that you go for a darker color in the same shade than what you have in mind. So if you go for mint hair, dye your hair a medium turquoise. Or, if you are going for rose or dusted pink hair color, you should go for a medium pink tone. Why you might ask? Pastel shades fade insanely quickly. When you dye your hair that exact "almost white" rose shade, it will be gone after two washes, guaranteed and you can throw your money down the drain too. However, if you use a slightly darker color (doesn't even have to be super dark, just a more vibrant shade!), the hair color will wash out to your desired hair color AND the residue hair color will stay longer in your hair. I promise you. 

While Candy Floss and Peachy Coral are gorgeous shades, my hair either didn't take them or they were gone with just a few washes



I don't know the exact science behind this process, but whenever I dyed my hair directly into a pastel shade, it looked really pretty but was gone after a week. I dyed my hair turquoise for a few weeks and it washed out to the perfect, beautiful mint hair color. That mint hair color stayed in my hair for months. Only thing I did was re-dye my roots as my natural hair color is pretty dark. I tried it with different hair colors and while mint lasted insanely long (to the point that I had to do a light bleach wash to get it out of my hair), it works the same for pink, orange or purple. It will naturally fade into rose, peach or lavender if you're just patient enough for 2 weeks. 

The thing is, when your hair is bleached to a very light blonde, your hair will get stained. Which means that you'll never get rid 100% of all dye pigments. With using slightly darker colors, you can use this process to your advantage, as your hair will basically get "stained" in a rose or minty hair color and you'll get to enjoy your pastel hair much longer!

Which leads me straight to the next important topic - longevity of your hair dye. Not all hair dyes are created equal, but which one should you use? I have used a vast variety of different hair brands and will give you a quick comparison based on my own experience. Based upon that, alternative hair brands are performing a lot better than colorful hair colors of established beauty brands such as "L'Óreal" and the like. Those performed absolutely poor and I won't mention them otherwise.


My personal favorite is Crazy Color, but I have also used Directions, Adore and Arctic Fox which seem to be the most accessible brands for most. So let's get started with facts!

DIRECTIONS

How much? 89ml for 6-8€ depending on where you buy (buying in bulk on ebay or amazon seems to be the cheapest option)

Where? Directions is the most accessible brands for Germans and can be found in any specialized hair shop as well as alternative fashion shops. Easy to get throughout Europe and Asia.

As a German teenager, I have used Directions for many years before I even knew other hair dye brands who make these colors existed. The consistency is a gooey, pretty thick paste (think jelly). To me, I feel the jelly texture makes it a bit harder for the hair in general to absorb color. I always have to let these sit for quite a long period if I want a really vibrant outcome, so I usually wait 45mins up to an hour. The colors turn out really well and close to their examples, even the pastel shades. My personal favorite shade is Lavender (a light purplish-rose pink)

They do wash out averagely for me - I usually have significant fading results after 2 weeks. Even though they are not my favorite, I occassionally use them as they are the easiest to access for me personally. I do recommend them if you have no access to superior dyes such as Pravana or Crazy Color. You do get the least amount of dye for your money though.



CRAZY COLOR

How much? 100ml for 3-12€ depending on where you live (cheapest on ebay if you're in Germany)

Where? Crazy Color is a brand from the UK, hence, most accessible and cheap there. It is easy to get throughout Europe from ebay, amazon or various other shops. Doesn't seem to be available (or if, expensive) throughout North America.

My personal absolute favorite brand! Best hair dye I've ever used! I have to be honest here: So far, I have not heard negative experiences from anyone I've recommended this dye to. I love everything about this hair dye: You get more dye for your money, the consistency is a lot more liquid (more messy but seems to get a more even result for me) the colors are insanely vibrant and they STAY. Compared to all other hair brands, these last "forever" for me. They do wash out, obviously, but I can easily go a whole month without having to re-dye my hair. This shit is serious. If I only could use one brand, it would (and mostly is) this brand.

Be very careful with their blues and greens though: I was NOT able to wash these out completely. My turquoise faded to a nice mint green but other than that, I was stuck with mint green. For months. No joke. I actually had to bleach the rest out, something I absolutely never do (and yes, I have tried everything else from head and shoulders to pure vitamin C. Nada.) So if you use their greens or blues, be very sure that you want to have this color for at least a few months :)

The only negative thing I have to say are their very light pastel shades: Those have been very patchy or sometimes didn't take at all, so I wouldn't recommend these. You would need extremely light hair for these shades to get their worth in color as they are just SO light. If I want a pastel shade, I always use their regular dyes and lighten then up with conditioner. I especially love their purple shades! Verdict: GET THIS.



Arctic Fox

How much? 118ml for 15-30€ (in Europe, probably cheaper in the US)

Where? This hair dye is made in the USA, so it is equally expensive to get in Europe. Don't even try if you're in Asia.

This is the most expensive hair brand I have ever used and while it has the prettiest packaging of all, it has been by far the most disappointing experience for me. There seems to be some sort of internet hype about this brand (probably because of the packaging and fancy name..?) but let me tell you, it is absolutely not worth the price it is sold for.

The consistency is somwhere between Directions and Crazy Color - not as gooey but also not as runny. A nice in-between. They do have gorgeous shades - Wrath is a stunningly red-pink to dye for. It's one of the prettiest shades I've seen. BUT. This stuff doesn't stay. At all. I have been SO disappointed by this. Even though the initial result has always been gorgeous and super vibrant, this dye washes out so fast :( We're speaking 3 to 5 washes max until most of your hair color will probably be gone. I had a very vibrant pink (with Wrath) that was almost blonde after just two weeks. Just, no. I work too hard for my money for my dye to fade so fast. I've asked around on my instagram and a lot of people have messaged me that they had the same disappointing experience. So if you can, I'd suggest you invest your money in some other brands mentioned here.


ADORE

How much? 118ml for 4$ in the US, 8-12€ (with shipping) in Europe

Where? Dominant in the US market, but also easily get by via ebay in Europe

I've stumbled over this hair brand I have never seen nor heard about before, when I was visiting NYC. The dye was cheap and they have a great diverse array of colors so I thought, why not take a few bottles home with me. And I'm glad I did! I really liked this hair dye. The consistency is very runny (almost like concentrate shampoo) and not too easy to handle, but I had very good results with this. While those wash out averagely, they fade nicely and I always had a leftover hue at the end which made my hair look great still. This dye stayed a bit longer in my hair on average than Directions, but not as strong as Crazy Color. I'd definitely buy this dye again if I came across it somewhere :)

The only downside with this dye is that you can't really "bleach" it out if you have to. I don't know the exact science behind this, but when I bleached my roots and came over the leftover pink, those parts turned bright orange. It is not a problem in general though as they did wash out completely for me (only some leftovers at the roots, which is usually the case).

Other than these four, I have heard great things about Pravana and ION, however, I have personally not used these dyes and sadly can't give you any opinions on these. I would really love to try Pravana but they are very expensive to get in Europe and the risk of disappointment is too great for me. If you have any opinions on these or any other hair dyes I haven't covered, please let me know in the comment section! I hope this will be helpful to all the mermaid-candidates out there :) If you have any questions, leave a comment or message me on instagram! (I usually respond a lot faster there.)

Have a great day, a good weekend and most importantly: happy Halloween to y'all!

Lots of love,

Sam

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