Pink hair and pink hair dye – a hairdresser’s DIY style guide

pink hair style

Ever wanted to dye your hair pink? Hairdresser Anya Goy gives her top DIY hairdressing tips on choosing the right shade of pink hair, with thoughts on what your favourite shade of pink hair says about you!

So, do you want to dye your hair pink? As an alternative hairdresser I can say that  THE most popular colour request is for pink hair, so you’re not alone. Pink hair is like the blonde hair of the alternative world. Why? Because they’s both gots binga-banga-bing-bong hotness appeal! We look at the whys and wherefores of pink hair and what pink hair dye says about you…

Pink hair – Meaning and symbolism

Pink is traditionally a girl’s colour, and as a result pink is associated with youthfulness, love and femininity. Pink is a softer, less violent red. Both colors denote love, but while red is direct, hot and passionate, pink is playful, flirtatious and romantic. “Dressed in Pink Makes The Boys Wink” is an old expression suggesting that men find pink attractive.

In Japan, the hotness appeal of pink is well known. Japanese adult movies are known as ‘pink films’ due to pink’s sexual connotations. In feng shui, the colour pink is connected to love and marriage and is believed to soothe the heart.

Pink hair – Fame and Celebrity

Pink is probably the most famous alternative hair colour. P!nk, the singer, made her name from her iconic pink hair. Lily Allen also made an entrance with flamingo pink hair at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Avril Lavigne’s blonde and pink streaks are famous in her music video “Girlfriend”. Gwen Stefani had memorable pink hair back in 2000. Kelly Osbourne (daughter of Ozzy Osbourne) not only likes pink hair on herself but has also dyed her dog’s fur bright pink. In 2006, actress Rachel McAdams sparked the question “Is pink the new blonde?” with her punkish fuschia streaks.

Teen singer Joss Stone dyed her hair pink to annoy her record label bosses after they begged her to become a blonde. MySpace models Audrey Kitching and super drag queen Jeffrey Star both made a reputation with their iconic pink hair. Britney Spears even has her pink wig. Tarina Tarantino the jewelry designer is also famous for her pink hair, and even teamed up with Barbie to produce the limited edition Tarina Tarantino Barbie doll – with, of course, bright pink hair. Lastly, let’s not forget My Little Pony with its original bright pink mane. Having so many celebrities – usually alternative celebrities to some degree – adopt pink hair at one time or another only increases the popularity of having pink hair.

Pink hair – Psychology

Pink is the ‘sweet’ colour that makes things taste ‘better’

As it happens, pink has an interesting physiological effect on people. It’s actually known to make us crave sugar. This is partially why pink dye is added to cotton candy (or “fairy floss”, although it would be a brave fairy – or a little runty one that’s been bullied by the tooth fairy – who’d floss their teeth with pure pink sugar) since processed sugar is white. Psychological studies have also shown that sweet pastries are thought to taste better when they come out of pink boxes or are served on pink plates.

Calming pink could sap Samson’s strength better than a haircut

Pink has also been found to have a tranquilizing effect. Some studies of the colour pink suggest that male weightlifters seem to lose strength in pink rooms. Prison holding cells have been painted pink as an experiment and have effectively reduced erratic behaviour. The tranquilizing effect of the colour pink was made use of at Iowa State University in the 1970s: Football coach Hayden Fry had the visiting team’s locker room painted pink as a much-debated attempt to, erm, relax the players more than they would have liked!

Back to hair – What colours work with pink streaks?

Pink streaks in your hair can look really stunning when you match them with complementary colours. Pink’s opposite colour in the colour wheel is light green, so this combination will give a great contrast. Pink fortunately works well with almost all the other colours. One good combination would be pink and blue streaks. The only two that it will clash with is red and orange. If you just want pink streaks and an all-over natural colour, I would suggest using black if you like hot pink, and light blonde if you want candy pink streaks. Brown bases can look OK, but to really get those pink streaks standing out I’d suggest blonde of black for the natural all-over colour. Red heads with pink streaks usually don’t work unless you’re specifically looking for a jarring contrast. For any combinations, you’ll need to put the colour in foil packets to stop them mixing.

Thing to watch out for when you dye your hair pink

If you have had a previous alternative colour in your hair and it has washed out but you still have residue, you need to consider how this may effect the the result of the new shade of pink you wish to dye your hair…

For example: If I have recently had blue in my hair, my hair will still have a pale blue residue. If I then want to put pink over it the result will be more of a purplish-pink colour.


Another example: If I previously had yellow in my hair last time, I will have a pale yellow residue left. If I then want to put pink over it, the result will be more of a light orange colour.


Another thing to consider with dyeing your hair pink is which shade of pink you want to go for. How long do you want the colour to last? The darker the shade of pink dye, the longer it lasts, and the lighter the shade, the quicker it fades.

For example, Special Effects Atomic Pink Dye can last for a month (or more if you know how to maintain) but FUDGE Paintbox Pink Moon may only last two weeks.

Finally… Is pink truly the new blonde?

I’ll let you decide. But one thing’s for sure – pink hair is here to stay.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel a deep and unnatural urge to eat some candy floss…

Pink hair and pink hair dye

How to dye your hair pink – Anya has THE definitive site with hairdresser advice on how to dye your pink.