What’s cuter than pink? Gradiated pink, that’s what.
We’re all aware of the cotton-candy hair trend. Bright, candy-colored locks once a native solely of the alternative, Hollywood or haute couture scenes are now a commonplace thing. Instagram and Pinterest have also skyrocketed the popularity of these trends, as bloggers and other style savants have taken to pink, blue, purple or other #unicornhair shades in a major way. And one of the latest iterations of this trend has also come to our attention, and it’s in the form of pink ombré hair. This fun twist on regular one-note pink is definitely on our radars. What better way to stand out even more? Read on to learn how to nail the pink ombré hair look at home.
Step 1: Start with Day-Two Hair
Leave your hair unwashed for a couple of days to allow for your natural hair oils or sebum to coat the scalp. This can help shield from any stinging or irritation from the dye.
Step 2: Detangle
Gently brush hair with a detangler brush or wide-toothed comb to remove any knots.
Step 3: Create Sections
Section it off. Divide hair into six different parts: Top left, middle and right, and bottom left, middle and right.
Step 4: Tie Off Each Section
For easy dye application (and a foolproof visual aid), mark off your locks by tying 1 to 2 hair elastics onto each section, similar to creating a bubble pony. Plastic hair ties are best, as you can easily snip them off after use.
Step 5: Apply Hair Dye
For a striking pink ombré, it’s best to start on already-bleached or color-stripped hair. (Lucky ladies with virgin and/or non-bleached hair, check out our neon ombré hair tutorial for a full prep.)
In a well-ventilated area, mix your pink dye, carefully following the box directions. Use gloves and a dye brush when doing so. Note: Most people like using strips of aluminum foil to help apply and set the color during the dye process, so best prepare these beforehand if so.
Working piece by piece, lay one full section flat against a sheet of foil, starting with the ends. For a light-to-dark ombré (or blonde at the top and pink at the ends), apply some dye on the foil and let it set longer on the lower bubbles than the higher bubbles (Ed’s note: Color is more intense the longer it stays on hair).
If you want the color to transition more naturally, use your hand (with protective gloves) instead of a brush and apply the dye straight from the tub onto your hair in even strokes or dabs. Starting from the tips, massage the color in carefully, especially at the bubbles for a more natural line. Want a really professional-looking gradiation? Intermediate level tip: Color aficionados who don’t want to use the bubble-pony trick can try backcombing hair at each transition point.
If you want to dye all of your hair, you have to repeat the process slowly and carefully. Something to note, though, it is always best when the color is intense at the bottom. When you are bleaching the middle and upper part of the hair, you aim for a bit of unevenness, and don’t let the color sit for too long. It shouldn’t be as intense as at the tips.
Step 6: Check as You Foil
Your clock starts running the moment you apply dye onto your strands, so periodically check your earlier foils to see if they’ve reached your target intensity. You might have to rinse these first ones off even if you’re not done with setting all your sections.
Step 7: Rinse with Warm Water and a Color-Safe Shampoo
When you’re ready to rinse, use a gentle, color-safe shampoo with lower sulfates and frizz control such as Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo and Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Conditioner. Ideally, your water should be warm or almost tepid.
Step 8: Deep-Condition and Rinse
Coat on a deep-conditioning treatment to help nourish and replenish your just-dyed strands. We like how Bed Head by TIGI Colour Goddess Miracle Treatment Mask helps restore hair proteins and fortify damaged hair. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, rinse with warm water and you’re ready to rock your new pink ombré hair!