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Elan Nashville Blog

Fashion, Style, Hair and Skin

Pastels: Not Just for Chicks Anymore

by Fiona McLeish on Jul 22, 2015

If you’ve been paying attention to pop culture as of late, you have probably noticed a trend. It started when platinum was not enough for some of us ‘blonderexics’, and we wished for silver or grey hair; which was the wanting of hair that had a slightly blue hue or maybe a purple metallic cast. The upkeep of this colour, for most of us, required either shampoos or conditioners to keep the pale yellow colour at bay. Now if any of you were like me, you’d rather have pale lilac or baby blue bits than any pale yellow. This is where pastels were born.

Purple Pastel Hair Color - Hair StylesAt first, pastels were a very 'niche' part of pop culture. It belonged to the punk, grunge and goth cliques of society, but quickly caught on with the hipsters. Once they got ahold of it, we began seeing it on all different kinds of celebrities. Some of the most famous for it range from Katy Perry to Helen Mirren. After more and more pop culture icons were seen with it, the pastel craze seeped into different parts of fashion (and I don't just mean the avant-garde portion).

Who's heard of Gucci or Fendi? If you haven't, quite frankly I'm surprised that you've found this blog. For those who have, however, guess what's been in their ads lately. Pastel hair! (Insert heart eye emoji times ten.) Or, if you are one that isn't familiar with those brands, just go pick up a copy of Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan or Vogue. All of these will have some form of high fashion ad that includes pastel locks of some kind; and yes, silver counts.

Light pastel pink granny hairNow that we have established that pastels are definitely "a thing", let's talk about how to get them. First, I hate to break it to you brunettes, but you're going to need some lightener (bleach) in your life. Remember that intro that talked about how pastels came about? If you want those gorgeous barely there pastels, you're going to need to be lifted to almost white (may sound scary, but professionals can do this safely). After that's been done (by your hairdresser) they will apply the pastel dye, and voila!

Don't get too excited yet, we held up our end of the bargain, and now you need to hold up yours. Especially since getting the pastel colour took a few hours to achieve at first, this lovely part includes all of your take home! (A.K.A. Our version of a prescription.) We recommend colour safe/sulfate free shampoos and some dry shampoo. "Why dry shampoo?", you say? Because it will be your bestest friend since the days of washing your hair every day are long gone. Pastels are often made from very diluted pigment, and therefore are not made to stay within the hair for long amounts of time. This means that pastels will fade. Baby chicks are not born pink, blue, green and purple. We dye them that colour (where it's legal, of course). We aren't meant to be that colour either, but that doesn't mean we don't want it!

Pastel light purple hombre hairAs a silver lining, this lack of commitment is that you can change your colour much easier! As long as you stay within the pastel range, and don't choose to go brown on us. Personally, I recommend staying away from blue/greens until the end of your affair with the pastel range, because those tend to stain the hair cuticle and are quite hard to get rid of. Not hard to cover when going darker, just harder to get from a blue to a pink. But, after a couple of cleansing shampoos and maybe a bleach bath(if you really loved that steely blue), you'll be back to a pretty blonde. No worries. That's the gorgeous thing about these. You get to end your affair without the repercussions of going from dark to light.

Pastel hair color in fashion magazinesPastels are by far some of the most fun you'll ever have when expressing yourself, if it fits your demeanor obviously. Though I suspect you'd have clicked out of this window by now if it wasn't. I hope this was helpful/amusing and entertaining. Also, I hope that you have learned a little something about what pastel hair really is; besides being what your hipster neighbor is currently sporting.

Goodbye my angels, until next time!


Fiona McLeish