salon secrets

Colorful Hair: How To Get The Perfect Pastel Hair

July 21st 2017

With over 720,000 posts tagged with #pastelhair, this color trend is definitely one of the summer’s hottest. From monochrome styles to tie-dye, from candy pink to gentle, almond green, the range of pastel shades to choose from is almost infinite. To help you find your perfect shade, FAB asked for the advice of Jenny Pelter, technical director of the artistic team at the Westrow salon in Leeds, England.

FAB: A big hit with stars like Kylie Jenner and Cara Delevingne, pastel shades are loved all over the world. Are colors like these suitable for all skin types and complexions?

Jenny Pelter: Yes, because pastel tones are great for creating a custom-made hair color. It will suit all skin tones because you can create both warm and cool shades by using darker or lighter pastel tones.

FAB: Are they suitable for all hair types?

J.P.: Yes, the most important thing is healthy hair. If your hair is over-processed, no amount of pastel color will stay in the hair once shampooed.

That’s why it’s essential to have a consultation with your colorist before going pastel, just to make sure your hair is in good condition. If not, you might just need an extra-treatment and a good haircut to get rid of any damaged or split hair.

FAB: As a professional colorist, what are the main technical challenges behind a pastel hair style?

J.P.: The hardest part of achieving pastel hair is getting the base color you need. To achieve the best pastel shades, you first need to pre-lighten the hair to an orange or pale yellow, depending on which pastel you’re going for next. 

Different hair reacts – and therefore lightens – differently, so you have to be very careful during the pre-lightening process. Some hair is quicker to change than others, sometimes it takes more than one session. Patience is definitely key, and it’s always better to take your time to avoid damaging the hair.

So, pastel shades are a lot of work. But once you achieve the pre-lightened base, the fun part begins and you can design your pastel creation!

FAB: What should a stylist tell their clients who are interested in getting a pastel style?

J.P.: It’s really simple. Your pastel hair options aren’t limited by your hair type, but actually by how much work you’re prepared to put into it. For clients who are ready to take the plunge, upkeep and maintenance need to be their main focus in the long-term.

Pastel hair colors are fragile, especially in sunny climates. To keep your pastel shade looking its best for as long as possible, make sure you choose the best protective treatments that stop UV rays from bleaching and discoloring your pigments and, as always, make sure you follow Jenny Pelter’s expert advice.