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Ghosted Hair Color: The Silvery Trend The Internet Loves

photo of girl with short silver hair

Ghosts aren’t something to be frightened of—at least, not when it comes to the kind you’ll find in a salon. After months of mulled wine hair and vibrant color melts, fanciful winter colors have been dethroned by something icier: ghosted hair color.

This multifaceted shade is a direct descendent of opal hair and holographic hair, two looks that lean heavily on reflective colors and cool tones to recreate the glint of a semiprecious stone. If pearlescent, social media-friendly shades make you want to call up your colorist immediately, you’ll want to pay close attention to this one.

What is ghosted hair color?

Like nearly all colorful hair, ghosted hair begins with a mane that’s been bleached to remove any trace of pre-existing color. Your colorist will build an icy silver or blonde shade before painting very pale blues, purples, and grays throughout your hair.

Rather than creating a standard balayage or foil highlights, your pro will aim to create flashes of color as you move your head. Those sudden pastel tones give the trend its spooky name—did you really see blue just then, or was it all your imagination?

If you’re interested in trying the trend for yourself, save a handful of social media photos to your phone before sitting down for a colorist consultation. In the age of social media branding, one stylist’s “ghosted hair color” could mean something entirely different to another professional. The only way to be certain you’re talking about the same shade is to bring photo examples.

What kind of maintenance does ghosted hair color require?

As a general rule, light and bright shades will always be more high maintenance than, say, chestnut hair color. Bleach is inherently damaging to your strands, which means it’s extra important to use salon quality products developed to support weakened hair. As an added bonus, they can help protect the color you’ve invested in between salon appointments.

Cool-toned hair can take on brassy or yellow undertones in the blink of an eye, so be sure you’re prepared to combat the problem with a purple or blue shampoo developed to protect your blonde or silver. When it comes to product recommendations, your stylist is the best resource. He or she knows the custom needs of your strands better than any digital resource could.

As any woman who’s tried a hair color trend can tell you, the hardest part of a new ‘do is upkeep. With a shade as whimsical as ghosted hair color, those roots can become an issue more quickly than you’d think. That’s why it’s prudent to start with a shadowed root—you’ll not only benefit from the added depth of color created by the darker root shade, but also have a little more leeway when it comes to your real roots growing out.

What’s the best way to wear ghosted hair color?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to trendy, blonde-based colors. On one hand, wearing it on waist length hair is a showstopper move. By the time your strands have reached that length, it’s likely the last few inches are in an extremely fragile state and you’ve been meaning to cut them off. This is a win-win: Bleach your hair, wear ghosted hair color for several weeks, then chop off the damaged ends. You’ll be left with a chic blunt lob that’s right on-trend. If you’re more likely to start with short hair, try the ghosted trend on a bob. Short hair moves all the time, meaning you’ll get the most from this striking blend of colors.

Whatever you decide, we want to see your phantasmagoric new look. Use the hashtag #hairdotcom to tag us in your posts.

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