Do you dream of pastel hair? The Weekender team gives this tricky trend a try
Text and Photos: Samantha Francis
Hair envy is real, especially when you’ve seen enough stunning examples — from rainbow balayage to soft gradient pinks. And every since Pantone announced Rose Quartz and Serenity as 2016’s colours of the year, pastel hued locks, in particular, has taken the world by storm.
To see if pastel colours were as universally flattering as they seemed, we tried out the new L’Oréal Professionnel Pastel Babylights colours at Salon Vim.
Fuller Looking Hair
“The last time I dyed my hair was three years ago, and even then, I’ve always stuck to natural colours like mahogany or copper.
To ease me into the world of colourful hair, my stylist, Joyce Wan, recommended that I try soft pastels as the colours are highly wearable yet subtle.
She proceeded to lighten half my hair with bleach, and added the L’Oréal Professionnel Majirel Pastel Rose (7.42).
She also mixed in L’Oréal Professionnel Majirel Pastel Mineral (7.17), a metallic blue shade, to give my hair more dimension and create an illusion of fuller looking hair.
I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. The colours are not too apparent indoors but are vibrant under the sun.
My fine hair now looks more voluminous and the colours are a nice contrast to the warm tones in my skin.”
– Nicole Ng
Flattering Candy Shades
“For somebody with no qualms about experimenting with bold hair colours, the thought of getting babylights felt a little unadventurous at the start.
Little did I expect to love the subtle streaks of pale purple in my locks, which were created with L’Oréal Professionnel Majirel Pastel Lavender (7.21).
After analysing my shoulder-length hair, which had a substantial amount of existing purple and blue highlights at the ends, my stylist Ivan decided to refresh my mane by enhancing it with even paler shades.
As such, thin babylights were weaved onto my crown, to create a gradient effect that would fade beautifully at the mid-length.
After bleaching strategic sections of my hair — for the purpose of catching the light at the right angles — the lavender colour was applied to my entire mane. The bleached streaks would catch on the lavender hues, while the rest of my hair would take on a gentle brown.
Finally, my freshly coloured hair underwent the Pro Fiber treatment so as to strengthen my hair fibers.
It was a pastel dream come true, with cool and translucent browns framing my face and distinct lavender highlights throughout my hair. Flattering, playful yet wearable, my hair looked almost as pretty as candyfloss.”
– Samantha Francis
Lovely Paddle Pop Colours
“My hair has always been on the “wild” side, ever since I started colouring it at the age of 17. From royal blue to striking orange, there’s not a single colour I wouldn’t try.
To take my love for colourful hair up a notch, my stylist Fiona decided to give my mane not just one but two different shades of pastels.
Creating the desired paddle pop look was no easy feat; she had to combine the L’Oréal Professionnel Majirel Pastel Rose (7.42) and Mineral (6.17) so as to achieve a multi-dimensional effect.
As my hair was already bleached from the mid-section, she started touching up my grown out roots along with a bond multiplier so as to limit hair damage.
The next step was three rounds of labourious colouring, where she layered on the two contrasting pastel shades, so as to make the colours pop.
Finally, my hair was treated to the Pro Fiber Level 3 treatment to nourish my oft-bleached hair.
I loved that my hair looked reminiscent of a unicorn’s mane — with soft candy undertones that flatter my skin tone.”
– Anabel Ang
A touch of granny chic
“It has always been a #hairgoal of mine to try out grey hair, but hairdressers have always advised against it because it’s a tough colour to maintain.
Despite that, I happily agreed when my stylist for the day, Gary Chew, co-founder of Salon Vim, said that he would need to bleach my hair thrice before he would even attempt to apply any sort of ash hue on.
Three rounds of bleaching, a hair toner applied to cut down the yellow and a total of seven hours later, my blonde hair was finally ready for the L’Oréal Professionnel Majirel Mint (7.71).
Using a unique ‘cloud’ application technique that is similar to balayage (a French freehand painting style), Gary and his stylists began painstakingly weaving in the mint with hints of ash grey.
At the eight-hour mark, my mane underwent a Pro Fibre treatment to help seal in the colour and prevent hair from being further damaged.
The result was totally worth the wait (and hype), and I’ve been taking great pains to preserve the colour with grey shampoo.”
– Elizabeth Lee
Salon Vim is located at #04-25/26/27/28 313@Somerset, Tel: 6884 7757
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 154, June 10 – June 23, 2016, with the headline ‘Pastel Ambition’.