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Level Up: Dyeing Your Hair Pastel

@catecutdye in Frosé So, you want to dye your hair pastel? We don’t blame you. These hair color shades are oh so dreamy. BUT they’re also the most fickle shades of the rainbow that require lots of added TLC. But don’t worry, they can still be achieved with proper prep and maintenance. And lucky for you, we know all of the tips and tricks to going pastel in the comfort of your own home to get the most perfect pastel look for less! But first, let's talk about hair levels. All pastel shades require a level 10 base for their soft pigment to really pop. If you aren’t quite there yet, pre lightening your hair to the appropriate level is a MUST. However, getting to a level 10 is a marathon, not a sprint. It may take multiple tries before getting to your desired level. To learn more about the process of bleaching, read our blog on all things at-home lightening to get the perfect lift. How do you know what level your hair is? When we talk about your hair "level" it's just a standardized way to identify the lightness of your hair. When you're using a semi-permanent hair color, your current hair color is key to the end result. So if you're not quite sure how to find your hair level we're here to help. Can I go pastel if I have dark hair? Short Answer: Not without lightening your hair first! Long Answer: If you want a light color like lavender, you may not need to be platinum to get stellar results. However, pastel shades will require a level 10 base. Since the tones in your hair are going to interact with any color you put on top - if you have a yellow-toned, level 9 blonde base and you use a pastel blue hair dye (like Periwinkle), the blues will mix with the yellow tones in the hair to create a green. The same thing happens on non-platinum blondes with Sterling hair dye (since Sterling has a blue base). Think of your hair like a canvas! The darker your canvas, the harder it is for colors to show up when you paint over it. Hair is just the same! The lighter and closer to platinum you get, the more vibrant these super light shades will appear. Toning out any yellow left during the bleaching process before applying your pastel shades will make sure your desired shade shows up the most true to tone. #AFPROTIP: Something you can do to counteract yellow tones without a toner is add a few drops of Purple to your mix! Periwinkle hair dye or Purple AF hair dye are great candidates. Purple helps off-set yellow tones to prevent a blue shade from pulling green! My hair isn't platinum but it is pre-lightened blonde. What pastel colors would work well for me? Short Answer: Warm tones are the easiest, since they work well with the yellow tones already present in bleached hair! Long Answer: Pastel pinks will go rose gold on golden blondes and other pinks will appear peach depending on the base color of the dye. In general, warm tones are going to work well on level 9 hair. Also, purple is the holy grail of colors since it acts as a bridge embodying both warm and cool tones. A pastel purple can actually help tone your level 9+ hair! Pastel aqua greens can work too, but you might need to adjust your recipe and add in a few drops of a purple or another shade to prevent it from going too grassy. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the color choices, don’t worry! If you need help or personalized color recommendations you can always reach out and ask us! How long will pastels last? Short Answer: It can vary anywhere between 4-8 weeks! It mostly depends on how you care for and wash your hair. But generally, they don't last as long as deeper or more pigmented shades. Long Answer: If you love pastels and don't want to go a deeper shade and let it fade, maintenance is absolutely key, babes. Not only will you need to touch up your roots (since lightening your hair is essential) but you'll also need to recolor your hair often to maintain its vibrancy. A simple way to upkeep while you wash your hair is by adding in a few drops of a more pigmented version of your selected shade to your conditioner (An example of this would be by adding in a few drops of Virgin Pink hair dye to your conditioner, if you’re currently rocking Frosé) to keep up our color in-between applications. It should come as no surprise that the lighter your hair is to begin with, the longer it will hold color. Be sure to keep that in mind! #AFPROTIP: Maintaining pastel hair can be a commitment but if you aren't ready for a full on bleach out, you can always have a stylist create a balayage for you that's light enough for you to color on your own! Then, you won't need to touch up your roots every few weeks and you can do different pastel shades that suit your mood at any time! How can I make my pastel hair last longer? Short Answer: Adding a few drops of a more pigmented shade to your conditioner in between applications + dry shampoo. Long Answer: The bottom line is that the more you wash your hair the more your color will fade! The first thing to consider is dry shampoo! Grab some HERE to keep your hair feeling and looking fresh between washes. Secondly, you'll want to make sure you are using color-safe products (ie. shampoo and conditioner) that don't contain harsh chemicals, sulfates or silicones. And lastly, you can create your own color conditioner by adding in a few drops of a deeper version of the pastel shade you have to keep color vibrant in between applications! Plus, you can add a few drops of the darker shade to your OG mix to give it a bit more staying power. Is there a product I can use to turn my leftover darker dyes into a pastel? Short Answer: Yes! It’s called Arctic Mist and it was made specifically for cases like this! Long Answer: Arctic Mist is the same consistency as our dyes but it’s a completely colorless pastelizer made specifically to mix with our deeper shades to lighten them up as much as you want!. Simply add a base of Arctic Mist to a bowl and add in your deeper shade one drop at a time until you get your desired result! @cheylist in Virgin Pink and Arctic Mist Diluter How can I see how each color will look on my hair? Short Answer: Check our product pages! We have swatches on each one! BUT make sure to always do a strand test to make sure you’ll end up with a result you’ll be happy with! Long Answer: Everyone's hair is different and results will always vary based on how often you’ve dyed, your hair health, your hair level - so a strand test is your best friend. That said, you can check our product swatches to get a general idea of how each shade is going to look on your hair level! They look a little something like this: Here are the hair levels you'll generally need for each pastel shade: Frosé What you need: Level 10 #AFPROTIP: Frosé can be applied to level 9 hair but the pink will interact with the yellow tones present to create more of a peachy rose gold. @saskiatattam in Frosé Girls Night What your need: Level 10+ @Alexis_hair__ used Girls Night Periwinkle What you need: Level 10+ @hadar_kawaii_hair in Periwinkle and Girls Night Neverland What you need: Level 10+ @alexisrakun in Neverland and Iris Green Sterling What you need: Level 10+ @faithlrobertson in Sterling If you’re looking for something a little more unique, there are dozens of custom mixes that will do the trick! Here are a few of our favorites: Rose Gold What you need: Level 7+ Colors to use: Virgin Pink + Arctic Mist OR Arctic Mist, Poison, and Girls Night. If your hair is level 9 you can use Electric Paradise + Frosé! Get more recipes here. Girls Night, Poison and Arctic Mist Diluter on level 10 hair. Lavender What you need: Level 9+ Colors to use: Mix Neverland and a few drops of Violet Dream for the perfect lavender hue! Get the mix here. Applied to level 10 hair Pastel blue What you need: Level 10+ Colors to use: Periwinkle OR Arctic Mist + a drop or two of Poseidon for an icy blue. Arctic Mist Diluter and Poseidon applied to level 10 hair Mint What you need: Level 9+ Colors to use: Arctic Mist and a bit of Iris Green for the perfect mint Applied to level 10 hair Baby Pink What you need: Level 9+ Colors to use: Arctic Mist, Poison and Girls Night work incredibly to create the dreamiest pastel pink. Applied to level 10 base Pastel Peach What you need: Level 9+ Colors to use: Arctic Mist and a dollop of Poison (the darker the base color - the more Poison you'll need)! Applied to level 10 base The prettiest of pastels come with BIG commitments but are so worth it for the results. We call it a labor of love for a reason! But we’re always here for you for every step of the way. If you ever need us, just give us a shout for all of your color needs! Email [email protected] for specific answers!

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