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5 Things you should know before dyeing your hair pastel

Devan McGuinness is the award-winning founder behind UnspokenGrief.comUnspoken Grief, a resource and support site for those touched by perinatal loss and grief. She’s a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in various pu...

Rainbow hair reigns supreme but here's what you need know before you dye

Lavender, baby pink, green, blue and even orange colors have been spotted on the tresses of celebrities like Kristen Stewart, Kaley Cuoco and Kylie Jenner (and recently Kelly Rippa). Getting the look yourself is entirely doable — whether you decide to visit the salon or try it yourself at home.

But, is it the right look for you?

Before you jump into the world of rainbow hair, there are five things you should know before you commit to swapping your natural color for the world of pastel.

1. It doesn't suit everyone.

Platinum and black are not hair colors just anyone can pull off and the same applies when it comes to pastel colors. Sure, there are many shades to choose from — you can go pink, blue, purple or anything in between, but not everyone can rock any shade.

You need to think about what the color will look like against your skin tone and your wardrobe too. If you wear a lot of black, gray purples may end up making you look older. If you have a skin tone with more pink hues, green hair isn't going to be very complementary.

More: What to know about platinum blond before you can nail this look

2. You'll need to bleach it, a lot.

If you're starting off with blond hair, you're one step closer to obtaining a perfect pastel shade, but you're not quite there. If you have darker hair, your initial steps will be much more challenging. Before going pastel, the closer your hair is to platinum (or white), the better and that means you need to bleach it and a lot of it too.

Visiting the salon is best for this step because it's so much more than just stripping color. You want to keep your hair healthy and that can be really tricky when using bleach. Toning to remove most traces of yellow will help ensure the pastel is truly pastel once you get to that step.

3. It can be expensive.

All that bleaching and toning at the salon doesn't come cheap and depending on how fast your roots grow, you'll be going in for bleaching touch-ups every few weeks. If you choose to add the pastel at home, you will save a little money versus if you ask your hair colorist to add the rainbow. But, once you see how much semi-permanent hair color you'll need to buy to keep it up at home, you may be shocked with how little you save.

4. The color fades fast.

Unlike more natural colors, the pastel shades fade really fast. If you start off with light pink strands, in less than three weeks your hair will likely be a more peach color. If you start with light blue, it will fade fast into a green color. You need to make sure you can either keep up with refreshing your pastel every couple of weeks or get comfortable with the fade colors too.

More: How to use dry shampoo

5. You need to change your hair care routine.

If you're hoping to keep your pastel as long as possible, you're going to have to change your hair care routine. Heat and shampoo both strip the color from your strands quickly so washing your hair every few days instead of daily will help you hold on to the pastel. Also, washing your hair with cold water and avoiding too much use of heat styling tools are also essential for keeping your color.

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