Summer Hair Colors: Crazy for Color This Season

You - ordinary? Boring? Never. Sexy, sizzling summer style is all about trying new things. Stand out and rock some sweet bubblegum or blue-velvet hair.

It’s all over the runways and celebrities like Katy Perry, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and even Lauren Conrad are going grape over it. Do it just for a night or get semi-permanent.

Many of us consider ourselves rebellious when it comes to our hair. Sure, we’ve been blonde, brunette and red-head, but (unless we are 90’s kids) how often have we experimented with actual color? I mean, we have the whole rainbow to choose from…

You don’t have to be punk to rock some sexy, unexpected color-splash; in fact- that’s half the fun. Celebrities like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Pink and Lady Gaga have set the playing field for all kinds of unexpected hair-color-glam.

This summer, go wild with sexy, punchy, unexpected hair colors, and feel free to experiment with a wide array, as you can always opt for wash-away color-kits.

You can also decide to just experiment with sections or strips or the hair’s tips (thanks to Christina Aguilera – who can forget her seductive red tips?) or a peekaboo section that can only be seen when the hair is up. Hey, the sky is your limit!

Trying it out – Chalking the hair


A tip from Lauren Conrad:

Wanna find out what a little color spruce can do for you? Hit up a craft store and pick up art soft pastel chalk. Apply to dry hair then dampen.

Continue to apply the color until it is vibrant. Let dry and seal with a hair-straightener, then hair-spray. Make sure to wear gloves when applying and “brush out” with a hairbrush before showering. You can even go crazy with lots of different colors all at once – have fun! 

The real deal

Step 1: Stripping the color


In order to dye your hair, you are going to need to bleach the “black” or the “brown” away. This is to ensure maximum potency and to achieve the actual “desired” color. For instance, if you are a brunette and you dye your hair blue – you’ll end up with dark hair with a tint of dark-blue, if any difference at all.

Keep in mind that bleaching the hair is a very delicate process, as incorrect bleaching can lead to hair falling out, dry and brittle hair and even that “orangey” faupax that we all hate.

Though it is certainly possible to do it on your own, I always recommend having a professional strip hair 100% of its color. This is to ensure that you don’t completely ruin your lovely, versatile locks (this step is unnecessary if you already have white-blonde hair).

If you feel like you want to take it on (and one thing about doing it yourself is that you’ll save a lot of money), follow these guidelines.

Go to an established beauty store (not a convenient store) and pick up a standard bleach kit. I recommend an actual beauty store so that any questions that you may have can be answered, as the staff is generally knowledgable of its products.

If your hair is thick or long, pick up two kits.

  • Medium blonde – dark blonde: 20 volume developer
  • Dark blonde – medium brown: 30 volume developer
  • Dark brown – black: 40 volume developer
  • Red hair – I highly recommend seeing a stylist as red hair requires multiple bleachings.

You will need to purchase a purple toner to balance the hair and to offset the yellow that will develop. You should also make sure that you have shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair and a deep-moisturizing treatment for later.

In addition, I recommend running by all your purchases with an employee.

After you have picked up your bleaching kit, you can select a fun color for after. You can always experiment with different colors by using wash-away kits.

I recommend this for beginners, as you may really dislike a color and if it is a semi-permanent (or permanent if you later decide) it will take many washes to completely wash away.

With vibrant colors, picking the right color can drastically affect your overall appearance (as opposed to a less dramatic change like brown or black).

Step 2: The Color guide


When choosing a color, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What color will look good with my skin-tone?
  2. What color will look good with my eyes?
  3. What color will look good with the types of clothing I wear?
  4. What color will my job find acceptable?

Many jobs are okay with dyed hair – some or only okay depending on the intensity of the color.

Some jobs are okay with less dramatic color differences, like dark blues/purples/reds. Some of these same jobs might find “limorita” and “tangy orange” unacceptable. It is always a good idea to check with the boss before making a drastic change.

Step 3: Matching hair to eyes


To understand “complimentary” colors, refer to a color wheel. I find that the most appealing colors highlight the eyes.

Wiki: “Complementary colors are pairs of colors which, when combined in the right proportions, produce a neutral color; either white, grey, or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast and reinforce each other. complementary pairs are red–cryan, green–magenta, and blue–yellow.”

When you go into the makeup aisle, you notice eyeshadow palates specifically designed for eye colors. You notice that blue eyes are usually paired with bronzes and oranges – this is because orange is roughly opposite of blue on the color wheel.

You can see complimentary colors in action by referring to Vincent Van Goh’s painting Starry Night and the Florida Gator’s football team, whose colors are orange and blue.

When choosing a color to highlight the eyes, try and get as close to opposite as you can on the color-wheel. Obviously (if your eyes are blue) you may not want to dye your hair orange.

Instead, look for other close-by colors on the wheel. You could always go with a vibrant coral or even red.

Step 4: Maintenance

After you have dyed your hair, be sure to not wash your hair for three days. When you are washing your hair, use cold water and a color-safe shampoo.

Try and go light, and always use lots of conditioner. Once a week, use a deep-moisture treatment/mask. Roots will be much easier to bleach and touch up, although keep in mind that the color on the roots will most likely be brighter than the rest of the hair, as the rest of it might have slightly faded.

This is a great opportunity to mix lots of different colors or tones (some people like to do fades of color, as in dark-light). If you want to keep it all the same color, you will need to add color to all of your hair.

Step 5: Eyebrows

I always recommend darkening the eyebrows to either dark brown or black. You can choose to dye them, but an easier option is to just pencil them/shade them in with either an eyebrow pencil or brow-shadow.

Having distinctive eyebrows is generally important so that the face doesn’t look washed out. This can be skipped for fair-skinned women who are dying their hair a light/pastel color. I still however, always recommend a little darkening. 

What’s hot right now

Right now, the “Hello-Kitty” chic punk scene is all about odd pastel colors; bubble-gum pinks, light limey greens and baby blues.

The harder, edgier punk and grudge girls are rocking vibrant, and often offsetting colors like oranges, corals, yellows and reds. The rockabilly scene is crazy over bright blues, reds and even two-toned silver/white with black hair.

Pin-up has always loved dark, midnight blue (thanks to Bettie Paige) and fiery reds. But the biggest trend of all: light-pink and white/silver hair. Believe it or not, but the white hair has been slowly gaining a following. It can be both hardcore and classical, depending on how you dress.

Inspiration? Marilyn Monroe.

But who needs a scene anyway? One awesome aspect of coloring your hair is the freedom of expression! Go wild this summer – you have your whole life and the whole spectrum of colors.


  • The candy shop
  • The ice cream truck
  • The Sunset
  • The beach
  • The bubblegum machine
  • Andy Warhol
  • The Flower Shop
  • The Farmer’s Market
  • The toy store
  • The Poolside
  • The rainbow
  • The wine
  • Your closet
  • The cosmetics
  • The jewelry
  • The Galaxy

Colors are everywhere! 

Cover photo:

About the author

Alexandra Meehan

Alexandra Meehan is a poet and writer residing in Gainesville, Florida. When she's not writing, she is biking or spending time with her partner Cathrine and their beloved Australian Shepherd, Pekoe.

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