The Curly-Haired Girl's Guide To Pastel Hair Color

Photo: Courtesy of Raychillster/Naturally Curly.
Your Instagram feed is a veritable rainbow these days, and you’re feeling the urge to try the trend. But, there’s just one problem: Your hair is curly. Curly and coily locks are more delicate than straight hair, as each bend in the strand is a weak point prone to breakage. Also, curly hair tends to be more porous and, as you probably know by now, you need a significant amount of moisture to keep it healthy. Unfortunately, lightening and coloring only aggravates these issues by causing more breakage, higher porosity, and more dryness.
Don't fret just yet — there's a way for you to do pastel! By paying attention to a few key steps, you can get in on the trend all your straight-haired friends have been rocking.
Advertisement
The Coconut-Bleaching Method
If you want to get pastel or vibrant locks, then you will most likely need to lighten your hair before coloring. Unless you already have very light, blonde hair, the pastel hue simply will not show up on your strands, which will make bleaching or double-processing a necessary step in the process. Of course, bleaching can be damaging — but coconut oil can help. We recommend the coconut-oil method.
The night before your bleaching appointment, take pure, unrefined coconut oil and saturate your strands completely, from root to tip. Cover up with a shower cap, and leave in the oil overnight. The next day, bleach (or go to a professional stylist) with the oil still in your hair. The oil acts in the same way that your hair's natural oils do, protecting the tresses and scalp from the harmful effects of bleach. Some women in the curly community have even found that it helps the bleaching process go faster.
Temporary Color
There are many color options on the market when it comes to blues, purples, and pinks, but you’ll find that most of them are temporary. Manic Panic and Pravana are among the most popular lines carrying an array of unicorn colors, and both wash out over time. If you don’t want to commit to the rainbow and are looking for an even more temporary fling, then try artist’s soft pastels (make sure they’re not oil pastels or chalk) or cream eyeshadow, like Maybelline’s Color Tattoo. These options will appear vibrant even on dark hair, but application and maintenance can be a little messy. Watch this video for directions.
Vibrant Color
Now that you’re a pastel-haired beauty, you’ll want to know how to maintain the color and keep your curls healthy.
Avoid Sulfates
Curlies prefer sulfate-free shampoos as it is, but if your hair is color-treated, then you will definitely want to avoid these stripping agents as they’ll make your hue fade faster.
Advertisement
Add Color To Conditioner
Mix a small amount of your hair color in with your conditioner, so that every time you condition, you are also giving yourself a color touchup.
Do A Weekly Protein Treatment
Protein will help fill the holes created by bleaching the hair, and it will also help soften the hair when it feels like straw. We like ApHogee’s Two-Step Protein Treatment.
Advertisement