As Cate Blanchett's hair is dyed pink, we look at why pastel shades are surprisingly flattering

Cate Blanchett for September 2018 W Magazine  - Viviane Sassen/Viviane Sassen
Cate Blanchett for September 2018 W Magazine - Viviane Sassen/Viviane Sassen

You heard it here first. Pastel pink hair is the new daring hair hue of spring 2019. Leading actress Cate Blanchett  debuted her new rooty-pink hairstyle on this month's W magazine proving it to be a bold, yet perfectly acceptable, colour-choice for women over 40 (Blanchett is 49). Continuing the trend, New York based designer Marc Jacobs debuted his spring summer 2019 collection earlier this week, a stunning spectacle of pretty pastels. The models were adorned in bubblegum-coloured fabrics with 37 of the girls sporting matching pastel-dyed hairstyles. 

The looks were created by Redken hair-duo Guido Palau and Josh Wood who worked tirelessly three days beforehand and solidly on the day to pull off the looks. Thirty-seven models agreed to have their hair dyed to match their outfit in the 60s-inspired show.

Marc Jacobs  - Credit:  Randy Brooke/WireImage
Marc Jacobs Credit: Randy Brooke/WireImage

"I colour-coordinated with Marc based on the clothing to create this overall exaggerated, high-fashion look," says Guido. There’s blues, peaches, greys, reds, pinks - every colour you can think of. I’ve blown all the girls out, then I am teasing the hair and using pads and extensions in the chignons and the ponytails. Hair colour expert, Josh Wood adds, "Marc didn’t want a ‘fun’ pastel, he wanted an aged, vintage pastel where they look like they have a history and  more of a grown up pastel that you would see women, not girls, wearing. We created deliberate roots on each girl as it stops the hair from looking like a wig  and keeps it modern. 

“I worked with Marc and Guido very closely on these looks," says Wood. Every model had one or two fabric swatches that we colour-coordinated with their hair and outfit. We first bleached the girls hair with the new Redken Flash Lift with Bonder Inside, which protects the hair, then applied a metallic base coat for each girl and then added the sorbet colours.

"People are embracing color more and more now, regardless of their age," says wood. The fear of changing your hair colour  has  gone as you can dye it without drastically damaging it.

Pastel pink hair and unicorn highlights used to be the go-to styles for those born in the early Nineties. Recently however the trend has transcended all ages groups. From Helen Mirren and make-up artist Mary Greenwell to most recently Cate Blanchett, the over 40s age bracket are becoming increasingly more receptive to beauty's boldest hair trend. So much so, what was once dubbed as 'crazy colour' is now becoming the new norm in terms of hair colour.

“More and more women are asking for vibrant and colourful shades when they come to the salon," says L’Oreal Professionnel colour ambassador Jack Howard. "Nowadays, it's much easier to incorporate pastel tones through the lengths of the hair, and going semi-permanent is a low commitment option that appeals to all ages – not just millennials.

Helen Mirren  - Credit:  REX/Shutterstock/Copyright (c) 2013 Rex Features. No use without permission.
Credit: REX/Shutterstock/Copyright (c) 2013 Rex Features. No use without permission.

Headmasters hair colourist Siobhan Jones agrees and pinpoints social media as the catalyst for the trend as women have become accustomed to seeing change and variation within the beauty industry. "Clients are more daring with their make-up and wardrobe choices meaning that they don’t have to play it safe when choosing a new hair colour," says Siobhan. On Instagram alone, over 2.8 million users have posted with the hashtag #pinkhair; more than 1 million have used #mermaidhair and #greenhair; and there are already over 227,000+ posts for #colorfulhair. 

This new shift in attitude is one of the reasons L’Oréal Professionel has created its new in-salon colour service. Called  #colorfulhair, the technique champions the full colour spectrum rather than traditional blonde, brunette and red hues, and launches this month for as little as £15. The range includes seven inter-mixable shades that have the potential to create over 1,000 bespoke colour combinations, whether you want super bright highlights or soft, muted pastel tones.

The colour is formulated to last anywhere between 4 - 12 washes, depending on the brightness of the shade you opt for. "The idea is that colourful shades such as pink and coral can become commitment-free, meaning you can be blonde at the beginning of the week and pink at the end, or vice versa," adds Siobhan. "There's a lot of room to change your colour personality and look regularly." 


L’Oréal Professionel #colorfulhair
L’Oréal Professionel #colorfulhair

Our stateside friends are also getting in on the act too.  Former Redken executive Steve Goddard has created Pravana, a collection of at home dyes consisting of canary yellow, sky blue and orchid. In a recent interview with Allure he vowed that he will "never introduce anything that's not exciting" and hails the latest scientific advancements that  now mean colouring causes considerably less damage to hair. Siobhan agrees "hair colour and bad condition use to come hand in hand,  yet L’Oréal's #colorfulhair range contains three conditioning agents so hair doesn't feel dry or brittle." 

How to embrace chic, colourful hair

While the idea behind this trend is that any one of any age can sport rainbow-coloured hair, there are a few key rules worth playing by. 

Pastel hues work best on pre-lightened or naturally light blonde hair

"The blonder you are the better pastelised colours will show up and last longer. The Pink Sorbet or Sunset Coral mixed with Crystal Clear (from the #colourfulhair range) look beautiful on blondes," says Jack. "However, this doesn’t mean blondes can't have something more vibrant, such as a magenta shade." 

Subtle flashes of colour work best on brunettes 

"Iced Mint and Navy Blue work well on darker hair. However, if you are brunette but have blonde balayage or caramel pieces, a brighter pastel finish will take to the pre-coloured hair very well," explains Jack.

It's always worth having a consultation with your hair colourist 

"That way you can discuss whether you want the coloured hair pieces hidden, for a peekaboo finish. Or, if it’s for an event such as summer party you may want the colour to be more visible," says Jack. The other advantage of a consultation is that hair colour works best when the correct shade has been positioned to frame and compliment the skin. "This is something that can only really be designed and created by a professional,” he adds. 

The Peekaboo pastel finish by Jack Howard - Credit: Instagram
The Peekaboo pastel finish by Jack Howard Credit: Instagram

Make sure your hair is in good condition first

"Healthy hair holds pastel colours better as its able to absorb more of the pigment," says Sam Burnett, creative director of Hare and Bone. "If the hair is strong, you can expect better shine and overall glossiness. Invest in colour protecting shampoos such as KMS ColorVitality, £10.95.” 


Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting