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What It's Like to Dye Your Hair Pastel Green

Taking "going green" to new — very literal — heights.
Look, mom! Green hair! Photo: Marcy Cline/Bumble and Bumble

Look, mom! Green hair! Photo: Marcy Cline/Bumble and Bumble

Everyone who knows me knows that my favorite color is green. I own a pair of Beats headphones in my favorite shade of emerald, and "loves the color green" appears in both my Instagram and Twitter bios, which is really the height of publicly professing your adoration for something in 2016, no? 

The pastel hair trend has been around for some time now, and while I always thought it looked great on models like Jourdan Dunn and Fernanda Ly, I wasn't sure how I could pull it off myself. But then I decided to go for it anyway. 

The Inspiration

I scoured Pinterest and Google Images for pastel #hairspo that showed someone with medium-length, wavy, dark-brown hair like mine. As for the color, I was dreaming of a pale green with cool, muted undertones. This Pin of Cara Delevingne with mint strands ended up serving as reference for my colorist, Marcy Cline at Bumble and Bumble

The Process

The first step was to bleaching my hair to a pale blonde that would allow the color to show up (putting a green dye on super-dark strands won't accomplish much). Cline applied Clairol 7th Stage Creme Lightener spiked with Olaplex (to prevent hair breakage) and let it sit for about two hours. Here's what that looked like:

Plastic wrap > actual hair. Photo: Me

Plastic wrap > actual hair. Photo: Me

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The next step was to eliminate any yellow, brassy tones with a lavender toner (Cline used Redken Shades Color Gloss in 9B). Now, my hair was fully prepped for the color dye, which was actually a pas de deux of two slightly different tones: "I put Pravana ChromaSilk Pastels in Blissful Mint and Manic Panic Creamtone Hair Color in Sea Nymph on alternating strands of hair so it will have more dimension within the green tones," says Cline. Yes, I wanted my hair to be green, but a natural-looking, multi-tonal green.

The Result (and how to maintain!)

After almost six hours at the salon, we (and by that, I mean she) succeeded in nailing the perfect steely toned green, which now peeks subtly from in between my dark brunette strands. From here on out, it's all about maintenance. To keep the color from fading, Cline recommends washing hair as infrequently as possible (two or three times a week, which sounds great to me) and using products that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair, like Bumble and Bumble's Color Minded Shampoo and Conditioner. "When shampooing, I would also recommend rinsing with cooler water, since this will help keep the color locked in," says Cline.

Ta-da! Photo: Nina Frazier Hansen

Ta-da! Photo: Nina Frazier Hansen

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