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How to Dye your Hair Pink

Published on 15th November 2012

So you’ve decided you want pink hair. Where do you start?

Let’s begin with a quick overview of the basics of dyeing your hair pink, or any other unnatural colour.

Colours* like pink, blue, purple, green etc. are translucent. This means that the colour underneath, your base colour, will show through the tint. Since these dyes don’t contain any peroxide, they can’t lighten your hair but they don’t damage it either.

Excellent. Now we know we can top up our pink hair dye as often as we like without wrecking our hair… and you will probably find you need to recolour occasionally because unfortunately there are no permanent pink hair dyes out there. If you read on I will tell you which dyes are as close to permanent as you will get!

*By the way, I’m referring to dyes like Special Effects, Manic Panic, Directions, Crazy Color, Stargazer, Adore, Punky Color etc. Basically most dyes that aren’t mixed with peroxide.

So with that in mind, we need to start off with light-coloured hair for the best and brightest pink results. Unless your hair is already light blonde, you’re going to have to use bleach or a blonde hair dye to permanently lighten your hair.

Lightening your Hair

Assuming you’re not already platinum-haired, you’ll need to go through a permanent transformation and try life as a blonde!
The easiest method for this is using a permanent high-lift blonde dye that you can get in any pharmacy or supermarket. The bad news is that this is only a viable option for the already blonde. Generally if your hair is light brown or darker a blonde dye isn’t going to lighten your hair enough —we’re aiming for platinum!
The other option is bleach. I won’t pretend bleaching your hair is easy. It is a much more difficult process than the usual dyeing experience. I’ve written up a guide on how to bleach your hair.

A few words of caution:

  • Never skip the strand and sensitivity tests. You’re dealing with strong chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and unexpected colour results so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the pack.
  • If your hair has been previously dyed, proceed with caution. Your result may be very uneven or it mightn’t lighten enough. Some dyes even react with bleach, so as stated above, do the strand test!
  • The warmth from your scalp will make the bleach process faster, so don’t apply it right to the roots until the mid-lengths are an orange-blonde colour.
  • Bleach is much, much thicker than normal hair dye so you will need to section your hair carefully to make sure it covers.

Bleaching your hair for the first time can be difficult. If in doubt, have it done by a professional. Touching up the roots at home is a much easier process.

How Pink would you like your Pink?

Now for the fun part —choosing your colour! What kind of pink do you want? If you’re undecided, have a look through our pink gallery for inspiration!

Pale Pink, Baby Pink, Pastel Pink
For a subtle hint of colour that looks great with all skin tones, try some of these shades:

A perfect example of pastel pink hair colour

Photo by Felectric

Pastel dyes contain less pigment which makes the colour lighter, but also means it washes out more quickly. This is a great option for anyone who gets bored easily but keep in mind it may take several weeks for it to wash out. Another thing to keep in mind is that your blonde must be very light and very even before applying a pastel shade or the results will be undesirable.

Super Bright, Neon, Medium-toned Pink
If you want a longer-lasting, bright pink your options are huge! Choose from cool-toned pinks, warmer shades or colours that even glow under UV light!
Here are some options:

Gorgeous, luminous pink hair.

Photo by Becstasy

Of these dyes, Atomic Pink, Cupcake Pink and UV Pink will all glow under black (UV) light! Atomic Pink is extremely long-lasting and for most people lasts several months before needing touched up. Cupcake Pink is also great for longevity!

Deep Pink
Deeper shades are the best choice if you weren’t able to get your hair light enough for the other options. Most darker colours will cover dark blonde and may even give a subtle tint to your hair if you want to try dyeing it pink without bleaching.
Great choices for deep pink include:

A beautiful shade of deep pink.

Photo by Noir_ange

Since dark colours are more pigmented, expect some colour to bleed out when you wash your hair. It might even rub onto your clothes/towels/bed linen when your hair is dry, so take precautions until you’ve washed your hair a few times.

Some Inspiration!

Now you know how to dye your hair pink, let me tempt you with some photos from other HairCrazy members!
Pink Hair Gallery

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