Can I dye my hair a pastel pink without using bleach?

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My hair is a gingery brown and it’s quite light but it’s not blonde, I want to dye my hair a pastel pink colour that is quite light, but I don't what to bleach my hair.

Can I do this without bleaching it?

Anon, UK

Pastel colours like pink, lilac and blue all need the palest of pale bases to start from. The only way to achieve this is to bleach the natural hair until it is a very pale yellow/white colour then apply the chosen colour tone on top.

If the hair is naturally light blonde then a highlift tint could lighten the hair sufficiently for the pastel toner to be applied.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London 

Hi, thank you for your question.

May I suggest trying this, I of cause cannot see your hair but can imagine the colour it is, personally I love ginger red brown hair and usually recommend to my clients to have a few High-lift highlights applied, which would give the hair a brighter and more interesting colour and textured look.

High-lift is not a bleach powder but it has lifting effects similar to bleach but is kinder to the hair. There is absolutely no way you will be able to have pastel pink hair without bleaching it, in fact the hair has to be bleached almost white for a pastel pink to look perfect and to look and take the pastel pink colour. Once your hair is nearly bleached white you can use many different shades of pastel including lilac, violet and even very light orange, and of cause any sort of pink such as Pink the singer use to wear.

Another suggestion, try on a pink wig somewhere and see how you feel before you decide to go pink, it is a big step to make. Depending on your hair quality it can be a great look, and when successfully applied can look fantastic, a real show stopper. However, you need to keep in mind this can only be achieved with a few applications of bleach and can be costly, this type of hair colour does need regular up-keep to keep the pink looking fresh.

There are of course colours on the market promising to make your hair pink, please be careful using home colours, it could result in tears. We, do have at our salon L'Oreal colours who help colour hair pink, but to cover cooper or ginger colours it will be not possible to make hair pink with out lightening your base colour. 

I suggest strongly that you ask at a good salon to do a strand test first, this should not cost much and would give you an idea of how your hair would respond to the product.

I do hope this will help,
Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Greater Manchester

Achieving a pastel pink can only be done using a pre-lightener and toner. You could get a similar result using a tint but it would be a darker, more orange colour due to your natural hair colour. A good colour technician would be able to give you a full consultation and recommend the best way forward.

Faye Turner, HOB Salons’ Creative Colour Director  

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