Pastel Hair Color: The Truth Behind the Maintenance

Taylor Post
Kylie Jenner

Image via Instagram

Bright colors for your hair is a huge trend this season- from Nicole Richie‘s lilac coloring to Katy Perry’s slime green hair, all our favorite celebrities are showing off fun pastel hair dye. But looking past what meets the eye, we have to stop and ask, what kind of damage are they doing to their hair? We talked to Kylie Jenner‘s hair colorist and Matrix celebrity stylist, George Papanikolas, on her former blue hues to her now dark hair about upkeep, damage control and tips for adding these celebrity inspired colors to our own hair.

Beauty High: Kylie’s been changing her hair color pretty frequently these days. How would you recommend she (or any of us) keep it healthy with all of the dye and bleach happening?

George Papanikolas: Moisture is the key thing you want when you are coloring and highlighting your hair. Biolage Hydrosource is crucial whenever you are making drastic color changes. With hair color, lightening is the most damaging. Adding vibrant colors to previously lightened hair doesn’t damage the hair, and since they fade very quickly, you can play with multiple colors. Also going dark isn’t damaging. It’s trying to go light again where you run into problems.

MORE: Pastel Hair: Everything You Need to Know About the Trend

With colored hair, many people don’t realize how much maintenance it takes to keep it looking vibrant. How often do you touch up bright colors (like purple, green or blue) to keep them looking fresh?

Vibrant colors tend to fade very fast…usually after a few shampoos. To keep them looking vibrant, you need to redo it about every 2 weeks. More often if you like it super bright and vibrant.  It evolves into a pastel tones as you wash so it’s also fun to see the quick changes.

How much is too much with the coloring? Is health part of the reason why Kylie cut her hair shorter and went back to black?

You need to know that doing these vibrant colors, it’s necessary to pre-lighten the hair to a pale blonde. It’s easy if your hair is naturally light. For darker hair it puts more stress on the hair to get the pale tones.

Most people run into problems when they color their hair light, then go dark, then try and go light again.  The misconception is that just because you put dark hair over the highlights, it’s healthy again.  The reality is that whatever hair was previously highlighted will get damage when you try and relighten hair.  I’m not sure why she changed it but for most people it’s a contributing reason.

Do you use colored extensions to make the hair color look more vibrant and the hair texture thicker at all? 

Absolutely. That’s the best way to experiment and have fun with vibrant colors.

For ladies who can’t get a touch up as often as necessary, is there a way to keep colored hair vibrant at home? 

If you want very vibrant hair there are products out there you can try at home. If pastel tones are your target color, then adding pink or the color of your choice to conditioner will give a sheer refresh to the color when you wash. Also make sure to use SPF – just like you would on your face. Matrix makes an easy to apply spray called Biolage Colorlast Shine Shake.