PRETTY PASTEL PINK HAIR ON MODELAs I have mentioned before, I have been in the hair industry for 20 + + + years. I worked as a stylist and salon owner for 10 years, and I also taught at a few beauty colleges during the bulk of my career while maintaining a clientele part time. During my career as a cosmetology instructor, you can probably imagine some on the catastrophes that I witnessed. Some of most tragic and irreversible disasters that would happen would sometimes involve bleach.
With the popularity of the fashion candy colored hair so prevalent right now, it is no wonder that mistakes are all too frequent.

If you want to have that perfect pastel pink, candy~colored pink, hot pink or any other pink colored hair, you  must begin by bleaching the hair properly and safely.  If the hair is not pre~lightened sufficiently, you could end up poor results to say the least.


dog with bad pink dye job
dog with calico looking pink hair

There are so many things that can go wrong during the bleaching process.  If the hair is not lightened enough, the results will not be the same as seen on the pink dye label.  And if the hair is over bleached, the hair may be too damaged to accept color.  And if the bleach is not applied evenly, you will end up with a calico cat look.

So, as a licensed cosmetologist and cosmetology instructor, I whole heartedly advise that you have your hair lightened by a licensed stylist. However, if that is not possible because of cost or convenience, I want to give you the best advice I can to bleach your hair at home so you can achieve the most beautiful pink hair. (or whatever color you choose)


>Bleach can be very damaging to the hair. It alters the chemical structure of your hair which can compromise the structural integrity of your hair causing it to become dryer and weaker, and possibly break off.

overbleached hair
over~processed hair

>You should never apply lightener to previously lightened hair. This can cause extreme breakage.

>The darker the natural color of hair is will determine the strength and processing time of lightener. The texture of the hair (fine, medium or thick) will also determine processing time.

>You should apply lightener to hair in 4 sections. I would advise doing one section at a time. This way you will have more control and less chance of damage. It will take longer but worth it if it saves your hair.

>The hair will go through stages of color as it lightens. Darker hair will experience red, orange, peach, gold and bright yellow tones before it arrives at a light blonde color.stages of lift during bleach


>Hair must go through these stages in order to reach a light or pale blonde shade.

>People have been known to panic at the sight of an orange or yellow brassy color and wash out the lightener believing something has gone wrong. This is why you may see people walking around with unpleasant tones of blonde hair that may resemble an orange creamsicle.trump with creamsicle


>The heat from our body will cause the lightener to process more quickly at the scalp area.  The heat will permeate approximately 1/2 out from the scalp.  Because of this, bleach should not be applied directly on scalp until mid~shaft has almost reached desired level.

>If hair is lightened to a yellow stage (banana peel color) and you apply a blue color, the end result will be green hair. Remember blue + yellow = green.

>After 40-45 minutes of processing, lightener will lose energy and lifting power will slow down considerably. If the hair has not reached the desired level of blonde, and the hairs structural integrity is not compromised, hair should be shampooed and dried before reapplying lightener.

>Lightener can be mixed with 10, 20, 30 or 40 volume developer (hydrogen peroxide). I strongly suggest that you never use anything stronger than 20 volume. Anything higher can cause excess damage to hair and cause serious burns to scalp. You will achieve greater results if you mix smaller portions of lightener and 10 or 20 volume developer as you are applying to hair. This will maintain the energy of the lighteners lifting power and result in less damage and an overall more consistent result.

>Bleach works very quickly. It should be applied carefully and quickly. I suggest you enlist the help of a trusted friend.trusst ffall


>If you have long hair, your hair ends may be dryer and more damaged than the roots and mid~shaft of hair because hair ends have had more time to become compromised due to sun and styling. Because of this, you should not apply bleach to the ends until mid~shaft has almost reached desired lightening level.>If applying a temporary fashion color like pink, blue, teal, purple, etc., the hair should be lightened to a pale blonde (the color of the inside of a banana) in order to achieve the desired color and depth.>The following bleach application  instructions are for hair that has not been pre~lightened (bleached) or been dyed with permanent color.  Instructions are for virgin (non-chemically treated) hair only.

OK if that has not deterred you from proceeding then here we go.

You will need:
>On the scalp lightener
>10 or 20 volume developer
>Hair alligator clips
>Tint brush
>Squirt bottle with water
>Hand towels
>Latex gloves
>Temporary fashion color
>Cape or protective covering

bleach and pink hair color supplies and set up

Below are some of the brands of products and tools that I am familiar with and would highly recommend.

                               Manic Panic Cotton Candy Pink Hair Color
punky pink hair color                      Jerome Russell Punky Hair Color, Flamingo Pink

unicorn pink hair color   Unicorn Hair – Bunny Pastel Baby Pink Hair Dye. Vegan Hair Color
blonde me bleach                               Schwarzkopf Blond Me Crystal Powder
clairol-basic-white-2-de-dusted-extra-strength-powder-lightener-8oz (1)                                    Clairol Bw2 Powder Lightener
DEVELOPER CLAIROLClairol Professional Pure White Creme Hair Color Developer, 20 Volume
pink color bowl and brush setDMI Pink Tint Set  Tint Bowl, Tint Brushes, Sponges, Measurement Jug + Carry Case

1. It is advised not to apply lightener to hair that is freshly shampooed. Hair that has not been washed within 24 plus hours has allowed the scalp to produce oils that can help protect the scalp from irritation. Do not vigorously brush hair or irritate scalp in any way prior to application.

2. Part the hair into 4 sections. See diagram. This will help ensure a more organized application. Once hair is divided into 4 sections, you will begin to take subsections.

four partings in hair

side view of four hair partings

3. Mix lightener according to instructions on label. A sour cream consistency is what I prefer for better penetration of lightener. I prefer working with a bleach mixture that is the consistency of yogurt.mixing bleach


4. With gloves on, start in one of the back sections at the nape. This is where our hair is the darkest and most healthy as it usually never sees the sun which can be very damaging to our hair.parted subsection


5. Part hair at nape horizontally  approximately 1/8 – 1/2 inch subsection. Apply lightener 1/2 away from scalp out to damaged or pre lightened ends. Make sure to cover entire subsection completely with lightener being cautious not to create any tension on hair. Use gloved hands to work lightener in gently.                      bleach app process ~if ends of hair are dry or have split ends, apply bleach up to but not past dry ends. (you will apply to ends later)

6. Take 1/8 – 1/2 inch subsections and work your way up the back  section until you reach the crown, working thoroughly and quickly.view of bleach application

7. Once you have completed entire section, it’s time to check the first subsection at nape:

  • Gently clip section up leaving first subsection down. Place subsection on towel, spray with water and gently wipe hair going in one direction towards ends. Wipe until hair is free of bleach and dry.
    wiping bleached for test strand
      bleach test strand

    -check color of dried hair. Wet hair will always appear darker. If it has reached a stage that you can see yellow or gold, and no red, orange, or peach tones are present, you are ready for next step (go to step 8 now).

  • If red, orange or peach tones are present continue to process.
  • Remember the darker your hair is when you begin, the longer it will take.
  • If hair has not reached desired level after 45- 50 minutes, you will need to shampoo,  condition, and dry section and repeat  steps 1 – 7 on same  section  of  hair.  Once hair has lightened to a yellow-gold stage, proceed to  step 8.

8.  Once the mid~shaft of section you are working in has lightened to a yellow~gold stage, you can now apply bleach to the scalp and ends of hair by gently taking one subsection at a time and apply bleach to scalp area and then the ends of same subsection.  Continue to do this one subsection at a time.  Be careful not to put any tension on the hair.  Hair is in a very fragile state at this point.  You must also be gentle with the scalp.  Do not use pressure to rub bleach into scalp.

9.  Once you have completed applying to scalp and ends, gently go through mid~shaft and look for any dark spots that may have not lightened evenly and apply more bleach to those areas.

10.  Now for the remainder of the processing time, you will need to cover bleached section with saran-wrap.  This will help keep the body heat in and stop bleach from drying out.  Once bleach starts drying out and reverting back to a powdery substance, It will not longer lighten the hair. The saran-wrap will also allow you to see the hair as it lightens.bleach application covered


11.  Keeping in mind that wet hair looks darker than it actually is, you want to watch for the lighten to a light yellow shade.  Your ultimate goal is for the hair to be a pale yellow (inside of a banana) when it is dry.  You will want to test a small section of hair as you did in step 7.  If the color resembles the inside of a banana (pale yellow), then it is now time to shampoo and condition section of hair bleach was applied to.

  • It is important to thoroughly shampoo section of hair without   irritating scalp, as it is very tender at this point.

12.  Once this section is shampooed and conditioned, you can repeat steps 1 -11 on the other back section of the head.   And then proceed to front sections, one at a time.

Remember, I am only suggesting that you do one section at a time   in order to achieve more even results and prevent unnecessary         damage to the hair.

13.  Once all four sections have been lightened to pale yellow, shampooed,  conditioned, and thoroughly dried, you can proceed on to the color application.



Now this is the fun part!  Time to apply that fashion color to the hair.

There are many brands of fashion colors out there.  Most of them are ready to apply and do not need to be mixed with anything.  Make sure you read instructions when purchasing color in case it does need to be mixed with a processing liquid.

Some colors will come in a jar, tube, or bottle.  I suggest that no matter what container it comes in, empty color into a bowl for easier application.

This is a time when you can be creative and use more than one color and apply it however and wherever you want.  Here is a link to some suggestions on how to apply color to achieve different looks.

You will want to apply a new towel and protective covering before beginning.


  1.  It doesn’t matter which section you start in so pick a section and begin by starting at bottom of section.  Take 1/2 inch subsections and apply color directly on scalp all the way out to the pink color on hair
  2. Continue taking subsections until you reach the crown, being sure to  completely saturate hair with color.  Any hair that is not completely covered will cause uneven color results.   I chose to apply 3 different pink temporary colors in order to demonstrate how different colors appear on pre-lightened pale yellow hair. 3 pink haircolor applications
  3. After you applied color to all 4 sections, quickly check to make sure all the hair is covered completely.
  4. Process the color for the amount of time specified by the instructions.  However, if you leave the color on longer than directed, it will not cause any further damage to hair.  But make sure to leave on as long as directions say in order to achieve full color deposit.  Two of the colors I used had a        15 – 20 minute processing time.  However, the third color had a 30 – 40 processing time.  I processed all three colors for 45 minutes.  Because they are all temporary colors, there is no chemical action taking place during processing.
  5. Once the hair has been fully processed, remove color according to directions.  Some colors will direct you to shampoo and condition, while other colors may instruct you to just rinse color out thoroughly with water.                                     – whether you shampoo or just rinse, finish the final rinse with  coolish water.  This will help color last longer.
  6. You can now dry and style your hair and check out your new pink-haired self.  (or whatever color you choose).  Have fun, and below are some tips on how to make your color last longer.

pink hair top view



The two pink colors I used on the crown and mid section turned out to be almost the same color in the end.  The  Manic Panic Hot Pink I used on the bottom was my favorite (middle picture).  It was definitely the most vibrant and had the best coverage.  Although, I did like the other two lighter pink colors even though they look so similar.



Most fashion colors are temporary or semi-permanent colors which mean that they WILL fade with every shampoo.

But there are things that you can do in order to lengthen the life of your beautiful fashion colored PINK (or any other color) hair:

>Lightened hair must be treated with extreme care.

>Minimize heat applied to lightened dry hair. Use a thermal protector when styling. Air dry when possible.
ovationl thermal protect spray                                         Ovation Hair Thermal Protection

> A good hair re-constructor or deep conditioner should be applied once a week or bi-weekly.  I would strongly suggest that you take the time to apply a re-constructor after you have completed the bleach process and before you apply the color.  You just want to make sure that you completely rinse out the re-constructor and thoroughly dry the hair before applying color.  I have used the ApHogee Re-constructor for several years now and I have always been completely satisfied with the results.  Each time I apply it to my hair, I cannot keep my hands out of my hair for the next few days.  I love the way it helps my hair feel so much stronger and healthier.  I highly recommend this product.
aphogee hair reconstructor                       ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor

 >A leave-in conditioner applied to ends of hair will help maintain condition of hair.                                                                                             healthy sexy hair leave in treatment               Sexy Hair Concepts Healthy Sexy Hair Leave In Conditioner


>Make sure that you use a sulfate-free shampoo.  Sulfates are drying to the hair and will strip color at a much faster rate than sulfate-free shampoos.  Make sure the shampoo you choose to buy says that it is color-safe.

>You will want to use a good moisturizing conditioner in order to help replenish the loss of moisture that the bleach has caused.
healthy sexy hair shampoo and conditioner color safe                Sexy Hair Healthy Sexy Color Safe Shampoo & Conditioner

>Always use cold water as the final rinse when washing hair.  Cold water will close the cuticle of your hair which will help lock the color in your hair longer.

>One way to keep your color bright in between washes is to add a small amount of the color you used on your hair to your conditioner.

>Before making a full commitment to bleaching and coloring your hair, a good idea would be to purchase some clip-in fashion color hair extensions in order to choose the right color for you.  There are some really pretty colors and good quality hair available at considerably reasonable prices.
PINK CURLY HAIR CLIP INS      Long Curly Wavy Light Pink Clip in Full Head Set Hair Extensions
hot pink hair extension clip ins      Full Hair 16 inch Hot Pink 8B Clip in Hair Extensions for Highlight