Recently, I went back to my natural hair color. No, not the dark-brown, almost-black hue I was born with, but pink. Not only is it my favorite color, but it also represents my essence, so I always joke that it’s my “natural” shade. Making the decision felt easy, but as I got closer to my hair appointment, I started getting nervous. Even though I had done pink many times, I had really fallen in love with being blonde. Of course, the fun thing about dyeing your hair is that you can always change it, and any hairstylist will tell you that pink is a bit easier to deal with than a more intense, saturated color. It fades faster compared to darker colors like blue, which can be both good and bad—there have been times when my pink hair faded out and I was back to blonde faster than I had anticipated.
It may be my own favorite color (I have everything from a pink kitchen to a closet filled with pink clothes, purses, and shoes), but pink certainly has an overall allure. Pink hair appears on trending-hair-color lists every couple of years and was a popular go-to during the early part of the pandemic. And thanks to Barbiecore, 2023 was the year of all things pink. From a psychological standpoint, pink is known to be calming and associated with warmth and love. Not to mention I think it looks good on everyone! There are so many different shades of pink, from bubblegum to rose gold, so it’s versatile enough to make it your own.
To get me excited for my big pink return, I decided to channel one of my favorite pink-hair icons: Lady Gaga. She’s currently blonde, of course, but her pink era will (indefinitely) live rent-free in my brain. Frederic Aspiras, Gaga’s hairstylist, told me that the decision for Gaga to go pink fell in line with the release of her 2020 album Chromatica. “The pink hair was the key hair color for that album era,” says Aspiras, who also believes that pink hair can complement anyone. “It’s very fun and gives anyone who colors their hair pink feel a sense of carefree joy. It always puts a smile on anyone’s face!”
Ready to make my comeback to pink, I found myself in the hands of Mai Hernandez, artistic educator and brand content creator at Joico and master colorist and co-owner of AM Salon in West Hollywood. “I absolutely love pink, especially for first-time color clients or those who are unsure but want to try a fantasy color,” she says. “In my opinion, it fades the prettiest, and it suits most skin tones due to the wide range of shades and versatility when it comes to making it warm or cool.”
Since my hair is already super processed from being blonde and I’d be adding color, I wanted to make sure I was equipped with everything I needed to keep it healthy and looking good. To make sure my hair was strong and soft, Hernandez used Joico’s brand-new KBOND20 Power Masque ($39), which is part of its popular Defy Damage line and what she calls a game changer. I’d also be doing the hair mask at home about once a week. According to Valerie Robinett, vice president of digital/integrated marketing and education at Joico, the mask not only protects my colored and processed hair but also enhances its radiance. “Crafted with care, KBOND20 boasts 20 key ingredients, including one lipid, 18 amino acids, and Moroccan argan oil. This perfect formula is the secret behind its ability to repair, build bonds, and protect your hair, ensuring it remains stunning and resilient,” she explains.
Once I saw my pink hair, I heard angels singing. I was back, baby! If you’re ready to make the jump to pink this fall (or return to it like I did), keep reading for everything you need to maintain your color and keep your hair in tip-top shape.
More Products for Vibrant & Healthy Pink Hair
Hernandez recommended I use the Blonde Life Brilliant Glow Brightening Oil to not only keep frizzies away but also make sure my strands look and feel their best. It has nourishing monoi and tamanu oils; arginine, an amino acid that boosts elasticity; and a repairing peptide complex.
Joico's Defy Damage line is a longtime favorite of mine. This cream helps protect against all things heat—hot tools, blow-drying, and UV exposure—so you won’t have to worry about breakage or color fade.
Listen… This has been my secret weapon for years, and now it’s easily available to buy on Amazon. It contains a powerful combination of 10 keratin and amino acids to repair and rejuvenate the hair while sealing the cuticle. Spritz it through your strands after shampooing, leave it on for a few minutes, and your hair will feel mind-blowingly (or is that hair-blowingly?) soft and healthy.
With all it goes through, processed and dyed hair can end up looking dull. Use Sexy Hair’s Gloss n‘ Glow Rinse after you shampoo by applying it in sections in a zigzag, massage it in, and leave for just eight seconds before you rinse it out. You’ll have 23 times the amount of shine!
One of the secrets to making your pink last is not overwashing it, so get yourself a good dry shampoo! This one from celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons’s line has a special scent-releasing technology and notes of citrus, green floral, and creamy wood.
I am obsessed with the way this leave-in conditioner smells, but I also love how nice my hair feels whenever I use it. Spritz it on after you wash your hair, and don’t rinse it out. It’s made with both prebiotics and postbiotics, using coconut yogurt and ginseng to keep your hair soft and conditioned and your scalp healthy. It's very necessary for dyed hair!
A satin pillowcase is not only one of those little things that feel luxurious, but it’s also great for keeping your hair healthy while you sleep. This pink one from Kitsch’s Barbie collab is perfect for me, as I won’t have to worry about my pink hair staining it!
If you’re not ready to take the (semi)permanent plunge to pink, try something that’s less of a commitment, like this $11 hair makeup from Good Dye Young. It lasts just two to six washes, so you can put your pink on a trial period before you decide to join the club!