What You Need to Know About Having Pastel Hair

I have wanted to dye my hair an unnatural color for as long as I can remember. After I graduated high school, I finally did it. I went to a salon, paid too much money, and ended up looking like Lavagirl. I asked for bubblegum pastel pink and the stylist gave me bright magenta and told me it would fade. I held myself together and immediately drove home to try and scrub it out, accomplishing nothing but staining my bathtub pink. Even though it was a rough couple of weeks, I learned a lot from the experience. I learned how to dye my hair on my own for a lot less money and a lot better results, and I learned that hair actually doesn’t matter as much as people think. Over the past 2 years, I’ve had almost every pastel color in my hair. Some I’ve loved, some I've tolerated, but they have all happened and I don’t regret any of it. Here are some other things that I’ve learned about life with pink (or purple, or blue, or green) hair.


1. Anyone can dye their hair.

The most frequent comment I get about my hair is “I could never pull that off.” So I’m here to reveal a secret: there is no secret. There’s nothing special I have and someone else doesn’t that allows me to “pull off” pastel hair. I mean, I guess it does take a certain amount of guts to initially dye your hair, but after that first round of bleach is done and there’s no going back, you will feel amazing and will hopefully realize that anyone can pull it off.


2. It does take A LOT of work.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that it's easy to maintain pastel hair. If you really want to do it right, you have to take cold showers, use special shampoo and conditioner, and be careful about damage from bleach. Personally, I touch up my roots about once every 2 months. It takes about 7 hours start to finish. Your bathroom is going to be covered in blotches of dye possibly forever, but it’s so worth it.


3. DIY is better than a salon.

Like I said, I went to a salon when I first dyed my hair and really regretted it. They messed up, but I still had to pay a large sum of money. If you have a stylist that you trust to do a good job and the means to pay for it, go right ahead! But for me personally, I was much happier with a tub of bleach from Sally’s and a bunch of YouTube tutorials. Plus, I’d rather spend 7 hours in my own bathroom watching Netflix to pass the time than in a salon with a bunch of strangers.


4. People will treat you slightly differently.

I get a lot of weird comments from strangers or even friends about my hair. Not enough to change how I feel about it, obviously, but enough that it is definitely irritating. People often make comments that aren’t compliments, so there’s no good way to respond. Things like “It takes a certain type of person to pull that off,” “My mom would kill me if I did that,” “Is that permanent?” “Isn’t your hair so damaged?” … These are all things that people have said to me on multiple occasions. In response, I usually give a tight lipped smile and politely respond, knowing that they usually mean well.


5. In the end, it is definitely worth it.

The bleach is going to sting your scalp, the dye is going to stain your counter, you might get some looks from old ladies at the grocery store, but in the end, having dyed hair is so fun. I love the aspect of cheerfulness that it adds to my everyday life.


If you’re considering dyeing your hair, my advice is to go for it. The pros definitely outweigh the cons. Having unnaturally colored hair has helped shape my confidence and my identity so much. Though I am more than my hair color, it is still a huge aspect of who I am, which I love. Everything from the botched dye jobs to the genuine complements I receive has helped me become who I am. What is on my head, whether good or bad, isn’t everything. People often ask me why I dyed my hair. It makes me happy, which is the only motivation I need.