Here is a fact we wholeheartedly believe: Some women are unicorns. Whereas most of female-kind is happy to settle for beachy blonde highlights or a rare ombre tip, you’re not about to settle for anything less than vibrant. You’re not just anyone—you’re a lady who needs rainbow hair. We adore the neon combination of shades on all skin tones and in all variations. Whether you’re choosing a peekaboo stripe of rainbow or really creating something major (we see you, peacock hair), you’re committing to a lifestyle with hair that’s a serious focal point.
If you’ve been looking for a dramatic change for your red or dark brown hair, rainbow hair dye ideas might be just the thing to take your style up a notch. Release your inner wild child and book an appointment with a hair colorist. Like all Instagram-friendly hair looks, this one requires time, money, and patience. Be sure you’re prepared to give all three before committing.
Why Try Rainbow Hair ColorFashion is really going through a neutral phase—white sneakers, minimalist t-shirts, and “no makeup” makeup. In a world where everyone looks like they escaped from some sort of future space prison, it’s no wonder we’re seeing a strong return to bright colors in hair. Not sold on rainbow hair dye quite yet? Maybe you just don’t realize how many variations on the trend are available to you, or can’t envision bleaching your dark hair blonde. No matter your base color or length, we’ve handpicked a rainbow trend that’s a fit for you. While everyone is busy blending in, we’re all about standing out.
The Best Rainbow Hair Dye Ideas To Try Now
Pastel Rainbow Hair
Edge into rainbow hair dye with a pastel look that's basically made for fair or dark complexions. Combine a touch of every color in the rainbow and prove that minimalist rainbow hair is totally possible.
Nothing is more gorgeous than the sun setting over a warm summer day, so bring that vibe into your life with the help of sunset hair. This look can include anything from deep violet to tangerine, so make sure you have a good long consultation with your stylist to ensure you get the final look you've been dreaming about!
Saturated Rainbow Dip Dye
If you’re a bold lady who’s not afraid of making a statement, use this moment as a chance to try several trends at once with dip dyed rainbow hair. Instead of an entire head of brilliant hues, your colorist will create a rainbow that begins in a straight line about two-thirds of the way down your head. The look is especially striking on lobs or blunt bobs. Why not get noticed?
Cotton Candy Hair
Cotton candy hair hit the social media scene a few years ago, combining two of the most popular trends on social media (things with cute names, soft pastel hairstyles) to create a mega hit that not even hairstylists saw coming. If you’re something of a kawaii devotee and can’t imagine your life without pinks and blues, say hello to your new favorite color.
Unlike unicorn hair, the cotton candy variation is all about soft, cloud-like color surrounding the face. Instead of bright hues in distinct patches of color, your stylist will aim for well-blended pastel shades. When cotton candy hair is done right, it’s a fanciful look that’s surprising and lovely.
If you’re thinking of trying to replicate the look at home, be sure you’re starting with a white blonde base. The brighter the color you start with, the better your results will be.
Rainbow Peekaboo Highlights
Hair stylists are crafty people and have never met a professional dress code they couldn’t get around. Thus, they’ve invented rainbow peekaboo highlights—basically, the best way to have multi-colored hair without anyone knowing.
Instead of applying rainbow colors throughout your hair, your stylist will part your hair (as if for a half ponytail) and apply the kaleidoscopic hues in a line. With your hair styled and down, no one will notice your added flash of color.
Lemon Gradient Hair
There's no way to compete with the drama of someone who's dyed their whole head neon yellow. If that sounds appealing to you, give lemon gradient a try!
We weren’t kidding when we said the beauty community is losing its mind over fairytale creatures. Mermaid hair is a newer addition to the fold, highlighting shades of turquoise, green, and aqua. You don’t have to live in the ocean or sing romantic ballads to be a mermaid, anymore. Anyone can achieve the rainbow-hued look, thanks to a very talented colorist and long, wavy strands.
Unlike classic rainbow hair, mermaid strands start with a blue-green base that gives everything an aquatic tint. Whether you opt for a navy base or a something a little brighter (we’re big fans of luminescent aqua), you can’t go wrong. As with all bright colors, this look involves a good deal of maintenance to keep it from becoming muddy. Talk to your hair stylist about the amount of work you’re prepared to do before ever taking a seat in his or her chair.
Neon Dream Hair
Subtlety isn’t for everyone. When it comes to making a commitment to rainbow hair, there’s a choice group of women who won’t settle for anything less than neon. Sound like you? Make sure you bring photos of the vibrancy you desire to your consultation so that your colorist understands the work ahead of him or her.
Why get highlights when you could get fairylights? Subtle hints of color have all the fun of rainbow hair without the intense care routine to keep the shades vibrant.
It’s official: Mythical creatures have taken over the beauty industry. Maybe it’s to combat the state of the world, but hair gurus have really begun to take a fanciful approach to color.
Unicorn hair isn’t just any take on rainbow hair, either. This look calls for striped of very cool, vibrant shades that read more ‘90s cartoon character than scene kid.
Vintage Rainbow Waves
When it comes to updos and waves, it’s important to consider which looks will show off your hair color to the best effect. If you’ve already spent the time and money it takes to create the perfect rainbow mane, a classic Hollywood glam wave is the way to go.
Rainbow Rooted Hair
Hooked on rainbow hair? You’re not alone. The whole world is rediscovering how feminine and gorgeous visible roots can be. Lest you worry your regular color is taking away from your style or falling a little flat, try a rainbow of hair colors across your scalp. Instead of seeming like a lost mermaid, your look will read as fashion-forward and chic. Plus, the whole world is a little kinder to a woman who’s bold enough to wear a rainbow on her head. Trust us.
Rainbow Ombre Hair
Rumor has it blondes are already the ones having all the fun, so why not take a lighthearted approach to hair? On platinum or ash blonde hair, rainbow ombre hair looks beautiful and less over-the-top than a full head of colors.
To ensure you’re still office or school appropriate, ask your stylist for pastel highlights. They’ll look lovely in your hair, without totally dominating your look.
If you’re anything like the brunettes we know, you’ve spent your entire adult live waffling between wanting to bleach your hair to try an adventurous color and never wanting to touch it.
Luckily, peacock hair happens to be the best of both worlds. The moody, jewel-like look incorporates subtle purple, green, and blue highlights into dark manes. Instead of dunking your whole head in bleach, you’ll only need to damage a few strands.
Metallic Rainbow Hair
Metallic hair is a new trend, one that’s taken social media by storm. Beauty gurus everywhere might already be replicating the style, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it.
Instead of bright neon color or pastels, this technique involves hand-painted blues, purples, and pinks applied throughout the hair. Like light coming through a prism, metallic hair looks three-dimensional and vibrant.
Striped Rainbow Hair
One of the things we adore about playing with hair is that you can always find a new way to wear color. If you’re not interested in a whole head of pastel hues, you can absolutely go bold. Instead of committing to the mermaid life, try dreamy rainbow stripes.
Cool Rainbow Hair
If holographic hair is dappled and reflective, then cool rainbow hair is its moody, blue-purple cousin. This technique layers reflective shades of blue over a silvery base. The resulting shade is stunning, all bright notes and metallic base.
We love this look on all skin tones, but find it’s most flattering on long hair. The extra length will give your stylist plenty of room to play. When your color starts to fade, you’ll be able to swap damaged ends for fresh, silver bob.
Get a rainbow hair dye look just in time for Pride. Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.