The hair color trend picking up the most steam right now is pastel-toned locks. Coming into the mainstream, nontraditional hair colors are no longer reserved for punky teenagers and alternative, indie types.
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Think you don't have the guts to pull off pastel-colored hair? From subtle hints of muted pinks to all-over pastel color, here are three ways to give this trend a whirl while staying true to your personal style.
FOR A SOFTER LOOK, TRY THE BALAYAGE
Balayage is perhaps one of the biggest buzzwords in beauty right now. This hair-coloring technique (which many say is the new ombre) is perfect for people looking for a more subtle, less in-your-face look. Instead of applying the color with foils, the stylist actually paints it on freehand.
"Lots of people are transferring over to the balayage for a number of reasons," says Roy Teeluck of the Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City. "The reason is because it has a much more organic look. It also has an appeal because the maintenance is much less frequent."
The balayage is a great option for people just beginning to dabble in nontraditional hair color. Instead of going from mousy brown to all-over turquoise, try this understated take on pastel-colored hair that's perfect for people who aren't looking to go too bold.
FOR SOMETHING A BIT MORE FUNKY, TRY DIP-DYED ENDS
Dip-dyed ends are a more drastic way of showing off pastel-colored tresses. Teeluck says that the most-requested colors for this look in his salon have names like "Mystical Mint" and "Too-Cute Coral."
"We've been seeing this a lot, and the colors are quite vibrant as far as pastels go," he adds.
The look is less abrupt and more fluid, gradually fading from a person's natural hair color up top, to synthetic tones throughout the tips. The final result is a bit more daring than the balayage without going too over the top.
FOR SOMETHING MORE BOLD, TRY ALL-OVER PASTELS
Before you shy away from the idea of a fully pastel mane, keep in mind that the current trend is a bit muted.
"What we're seeing right now is all about watered-down pastels, soft pinks, dusty violets; all very editorial and urban, like you're not trying too hard," says Marylle Koken, founder of The Harlot hair salon in Los Angeles.
What Koken has been seeing the most in her Venice Beach salon are unique hybrids of authentic hair color and synthetic ones. She also says that blondes are gradually becoming more icy as different variations of gray continue to trend hard.
"Clients today are so daring, so out there," says Koken. "And I think that all-over pastel colors are a great way to show off your alter ego."