Pastel hair: my love hate relationship

Pastel hair: my love hate relationship
Photography by Kristina Yenko

I’ve had purple hair for over 3 years now, with over half that time with tape in hair extensions. What they don’t tell you about having pastel or “crazy” coloured hair is how much hair you lose from the bleach process. In my early teens I had really thick, full hair which by my mid teens I was experimenting with hair dye and would change it up every few months; red, balayage, purple ends, ash blonde – you name it, I did it! There was a constant need for me to find myself through my hair and be happy with it. This ultimately was found when I finally took the plunge and got my hair professionally bleached at a reputable salon and eventually settled with my now signature lilac hair.

emi unicorn purple pastel hair

The pros for me for having purple hair meant I finally felt like myself – I felt confident, I felt free and I felt like me. I guess the cons would be the cost of maintenance is pretty high up there: I spend around $400AUD every 6 weeks for a trim, roots bleached, olaplex and hair extension refresh. Not to mention how much I spend on salon quality shampoos, conditioners and treatments as well as purple hair dye. The upkeep has been quite intense, but I would be lying if I hadn’t researched into costs before I had decided to commit to purple hair.

Now I wanted to put the record straight. If you want pastel or “crazy” coloured hair,  you will have to bleach your hair (lighten if you are lucky to be a natural blonde) to a platinum blonde. This could take 1 session (though highly not recommended as it’s best to do the bleaching process slowly and let your hair recover/rest between sessions) or up to 3-6 bleach sessions to get to the optimal shade. As I had previously been box dying my hair, this meant my hair wasn’t virgin (all natural/unprocessed/dyed) hair which resulted in considerable hair loss/thinning after the bleaching process. This was pre-Olaplex days so my hair suffered all in the name of pastel hair. Even though most people say wearing tape in hair extensions won’t damage your hair, it will still pull out your hair – from the roots – once they come lose and want to fall out.

A photo posted by Emi Unicorn (@emiunicorn) on

Fast forward to now and I’ve finally decided I want my thick, full hair back. This means no more bleaching, no more hair extensions and a lot more treatments, biotin tablets, healthy eating and TLC for my hair.
I guess the point of this post is, do your research and be aware of what products are out there to help you prepare for chemical bleaching and the damage involved and do not rush the process. Most pastel haired bloggers or influencers you see will be wearing some sort of extensions as it’s just not realistic to have full thick hair when you have to put your hair through so much damage to get to rainbow mermaid hair. I will definitely miss my hair length and thickness (thanks extensions!) but won’t be missing how damaged it’s been. Bring on healthy hair! If you have tips or tricks or recommended hair products, I would love to know what they are 💖💖💖