Can you even call yourself a millennial if you haven't saved Juergen Teller's iconic image of Kate Moss, pastel hair splayed against stark white bedding? In the past few years, celebrities like Kaia Gerber, Hailey Bieber and Cardi B have each had their candy-coloured hair moment. In fact, so many A-listers opted to dye their hair blush during last year's lockdown that trend forecasters dubbed the colour 'Pandemic Pink'.
My obsession with bubblegum-coloured locks goes back even further, though. I have fawned over iconic shots of Brigitte Bardot in Two Weeks in September and Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette. As a teen I doted on Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore, Kate Moss and Angelina Jolie’s pink tresses. Fifteen years have passed since then and at 31 (though I often ogle throwback images of pastel manes on Pinterest), the colour has eluded me. Until now. There's one pretty pink shade in particular which pops up on my Instagram discover feed so often that I can only assume the algorithm is egging me on: rose gold.
I'm not alone in my quest for blushing pastel. Searches for 'rose gold hair' have been trending on Google since 2020 and TikTok videos with the hashtag #rosegoldhair have been viewed a staggering 41.3 million times. On Instagram, there are more than 500,000 posts dedicated to #rosegoldhair, with entire accounts set up in ode to the shade. You might be thinking, Leave it to Gen Z and, sure, I worried it would make me look like a Tumblr throwback in a millennial body. But as cheesy as it sounds, the unofficial motto as we teeter into a life of 'new normal' might just be YOLO. Dyeing your hair may not seem like a radical act to many people but to someone who has spent their years on this Earth very much clinging to the pool edge, it signifies a mental shift. I am sick of saving joy for a far-off future that never seems to roll around. I'm ready to escape my comfort zone and grab life with both hands. Starting with my hair.
What is rose gold hair?
On blonde hair, rose gold sits somewhere between a peach and a pinky hue. On darker hair it can look slightly smokier with a lilac tint. The fun of this colour is the dimensional aspect and varying tones and depth, which imitate a metallic shine. The beauty of rose gold is that while it creates a visible transformation, it doesn’t have to be done in salon. Semi-permanent colours have come a long way from the products of my teens, with clever formulas and 10-minute dyes offering viable options for commitment-phobes like me.
My hair is a champagne blonde rather than platinum, with warm undertones. Because of this, I opted for BLEACH London's Rosé Super Cool Colour, £6.50. If you did want to lighten and tone the hair first to create a more neutral, creamy tone, try the Champagne Super Toner Kit, £9, or pre-tone with the Pearlescent Shampoo, £6.25. You could even make dyeing a two-step process and bleach your whole head first. I didn't opt to do this as I wanted the rose gold to be temporary so that it would be easy to return to my usual colour if I wasn't sold. Brilliantly, BLEACH offers a guide for a variety of hair types, such as coily and afro hair. If you're unsure what's best for your hair type and colour, and require bespoke advice, BLEACH has a Hair Line and Hair Quiz. This is helpful, considering hair dye isn't a one-size-fits-all product.
How can I dye my hair rose gold?
Now to dyeing. I performed a patch test 24 hours before applying the product all over, which is a must to avoid any potentially dangerous allergic reactions. I simply applied a tiny amount of the colour behind my ear and dyed a small strand of hair. After 24 hours and no reaction, I was good to go. I wetted my hair and towel-dried it, donning an old towel to soak up any mess. I admit I felt nervous. I used BLEACH’s Eco-Conut Bowl And Tint Brush, £4.65, to apply the colour but in my excitement I forgot about gloves. Luckily, I found a disposable pair at home and got to work in front of a mirror. As advised, I applied the rose gold dye through the mid-section and ends first, then to my roots, brushing through with a hairbrush as instructed.
The dye was easy to distribute and though I was advised to use three bottles of dye for my elbow-length hair, two was more than enough. As I waited 30 minutes for the rose gold to take hold, I pondered my fears: that it would come out patchy or clown-orange. Or that it would look okay initially but ruin my blonde colour permanently. They might be silly thoughts to stress over but as Fleabag once explained: "Hair is everything."
When the time was up, I rinsed off my colour and dried and styled my hair as usual. I loved the end result — a warm, dreamy pastel which felt like happiness in hair dye form. I'm shocked to say that I actually wanted it to be slightly bolder. I wish I had dyed my entire head at the same time, as the bottom is more pink and the top peachy. But this adds to the three-dimensional rose gold effect, so all is not lost. Next time, BLEACH suggests adding a dollop of the bolder Gobby Pink Dye, £6.50, to the mix.
What is the best rose gold hair dye?
Besides BLEACH, there are so many rose gold hair products to choose from. Try Garnier Olia Bold 9.2 Rose Gold No Ammonia Permanent Hair Dye, £6.99, or L'Oréal Preference Infinia 8.23 Rose Gold Light Blonde Permanent Hair Dye, £7.99, if you want long-lasting results. If you're after colour that fades evenly over time, try Crazy Color Semi-Permanent Rose Gold Hair Dye, £5.50, or you might be swayed by colour depositing masks, which are everywhere at the moment. These nourishing hair masks contain pigments of colour and are a super speedy way to refresh hair. Moroccanoil, Wella Professionals and Josh Wood Colour (which has a great Rose Brunette Gloss and Pink Quartz Hair Glaze) all offer colour-depositing products filled with clever ingredients that condition deeply while transforming your hair. At-home products like these mean you can create all manner of looks, from an all-over dye to ombre, dip dye or even a few streaks of colour.
How long does rose gold hair last?
So what of my new rose gold look? The response from friends was solely positive and even my mum (who I would have pitted as Team Blonde) loved it. Pink hair made me and my clothes seem cooler, and I loved wearing it with a bold red lip. The downsides? Many items in my bathroom are now fuchsia and my scalp was slightly pink afterwards – but that did fade after my first hair wash.
The dye is said to last for three to 10 washes. Eight washes later, I'm left with just one stubborn streak towards the back of my hair. I'm pleasantly surprised that the dye washed out to reveal my permanent blonde colour shiny and intact. I'm very impressed — and I got the chance to live out my teenage dream. I will 100% try this again. Pink hair? I do care.
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