The inspiration behind Kim Kardashian's recent bubblegum pink hair may have been a wig she wore for a Lil' Kim-inspired photoshoot, but it's inevitable that her own surprising color change is going to convince a ton of rose-tinted imitations this spring.
If like Kardashian, you're "over" your old look, pink is an edgier alternative to the neutral brunette, blonde, and red shades you may have already tried. While the celeb turned to her go-to stylist Chris Appleton to make the major hair change, hitting up a salon for the long coloring process can be expensive.
That being said, pink isn't exactly an easy color to DIY at home. So, we turned to Appleton, who's responsible for Kardashian's hot pink hair, and George Papanikolas, Matrix celebrity stylist for their tips on how to dye your hair pink.
Already a blonde? Good news: Appleton says it's easier to go pink if you already have a light base. "Semi-permanent dyes will work on a blonde base but depending on the lightness of your blonde, it will have a different shade result," he tells us. "If you're dark, you need to bleach your hair beforehand."
Papanikolas says that you should never attempt pre-lightening dark hair at home. "I would never recommend DIYing the pre-lightening as it is very complicated, and the chance for damage/breakage is high—even if you see a professional," he explains. For brunettes, Appleton suggests trying a spray-on color like Kryolan's ($10; us.kryolan.com) before committing to bleaching your base.
Appleton recommends using Manic Panic High-Voltage Classic Cream Formula Hair Color ($14; manicpanic.com), which are easy-to-use dyes that come in a wide range of shades, including a few different pink options. If you only want a short run with rose-colored hair, he suggests diluting your pink dye with conditioner to get a more pastel shade that will wash out in a few weeks.
A similar options is Matrix's Color Graphics, semi-permanent colors that are applied to the hair directly from the tube. "If you want a more pastel tone, you can dilute the pigments with the "clear" shade, says Papnikolas. "You should apply section by section, using gloves and allow to process for 20 minutes. Since these are direct dyes, they don't harm the hair so they can be refreshed as often as you like without fear of additional damage."
Since the shade can be hard to maintain, Appleton says to avoid over-shampooing your hair. "Don’t wash your hair as often, and try using a texture spray the day you would normally wash it to keep it fresh," he says. Also, use your hot tools sparingly, and on a lower temperature setting so that the heat doesn't strip the color. Along with turning the heat down on your styling tools, Papnikolas recommends rinsing your hair with cool water to preserve the pigment, too.
When you do wash your hair, use a sulfate-free shampoo like Color Wow Color Security Shampoo ($22; amazon.com) to keep the color locked in. "This shampoo doesn't contain ingredients that build up on the hair, so it keeps the color looking super fresh," he says.