With purples and pinks and beautiful pastel shades popping up everywhere, it’s hard to fight the urge to join the rainbow. Hilary Duff, Katy Perry and Kelly Ripa are just a few of the celebrities sporting pastel tresses and crayola-colored locks these days. We’re dying to dye (see what we did there?), but before taking the plunge, we asked Boston-based hairstylist Katie Monoxelos for some advice. Now we’re sharing five stylist-approved questions you should ask yourself before you take on those pastel locks.
Can you handle the maintenance?
Depending on your current hair color, you may have to go on quite a journey to get your desired result, especially if you have dark hair. “This may end up [being] an all-day project with two to four processes. Also, pasteling is not permanent,” Katie says. You have to commit to a salon visit every four to six weeks to keep up the color. On the plus side, this gives you the freedom to change up the color every month or so, provided you don’t slide too far on the spectrum.
Have you considered the damage?
Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, but it’s important to know what you’re in for. In order to go pastel, you need to go super blonde first. If you aren’t a natural blonde, that could be quite a process. If you’re likely to flip-flop to and from dark hues likes browns and auburns, going pastel — or any trendy color — may not be for you.
“I won’t bore you with the science behind why, but it all has to do with stripping hair, filling hair and diluting color and dye molecules… If you’ve been rough on your hair, then this trend is probably not for you. There is a lot of damage to consider in this case.” (Photo via @kellyripa)
Will your boss love it?
Consider your employer. While some workplaces (like Brit + Co!) welcome the layered lilac locks, many companies have a written — or unwritten — code and may not be as thrilled by the trend as we are. Checking with your work’s dress code is important to do before you book your appointment. If there’s a “no fun colors” clause, you can always try some temporary options, like hair chalk, polish or pastel conditioner. (Photo via Michael Loccisano/Getty)
Can you do this at home?
If you’re tempted to DIY this ‘do, Katie’s simple advice? Don’t. Leave this trend to the pros.
“In my 10-plus years of coloring and educating, I have only seen this work out once, and this particular girl was an art student, so she understood color really well. In every other case, [clients] end up calling me to fix it, which ends up being a much bigger job than it would have been originally.” At the end of the day, you’ll likely save yourself time and money by going to the salon first.
Are your prepared to tell your stylist the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Don’t hold back: Tell your stylist the look you want. If it’s your first time with this particular stylist, it’s also important to tell them all about your recent hair history. From at-home dye jobs to funky cowlicks, don’t leave anything out. Katie insists, “I like hearing what you would like your hair to do, and maybe even some goals to work towards. I look at every head of hair as a sculpture. There are going to be problem areas that we need to address, so don’t be afraid to tell us what they are. As a stylist, I’m here to make your life easier and to make you feel your best.” (Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty)
If you’re still amped up and ready to commit, head to Pinterest to get inspired. A picture is the best way to make sure you’re on the same page as your stylist. Katie says, “My red could be your orange. There are an infinite amount of shades out there to play with, and it’s my job to steer you toward the perfect one.”
Once you’ve decided on the perfect ethereal hue, be you woman or merman, Katie recommends “a treatment conditioner, since likely we just stripped a lot of natural moisture and oil out of your hair to achieve those pretty pastels. Invest in a good, salon-quality color-safe shampoo and conditioner. Those two things will ensure beautiful, lively pastel tones all month long!” (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Are you ready to book your appointment? What color locks will you be emerging with?