70 Rainbow Hair Ideas that Will Brighten Your Day

You might have seen it trending on Instagram. Or you might be one of the over two million people who watched Brad Mondo freak out over these insane bright transformations on YouTube. The truth is that rainbow hair has been one of the best trends of the year. 

In fact, rainbow hair became so huge that The Guardian wrote a whole piece on it in November 2019. They start off by saying that, in the UK, with the looming prospect of Brexit peppering some very gray months ahead, women have now taken to coloring their hair rainbow style to cheer themselves up. This might be a little too deep and a little too political, but one thing we do know. Rainbow hair is here to stay. 

And we’re super glad it is because it’s one of the coolest trends to come out of the end of this long and eventful decade. So let’s welcome the 2020s with a bright outlook on life and try to learn as much as possible about rainbow hair!

rainbow hair

What Is Rainbow Hair?

An explanation is in order just to make sure everyone is on the same page, especially people who have never tried rainbow hair and are very eager to hop on this trend! And it’s only our pleasure to explain. 

Rainbow hair can be considered any coloring job that involves several – three or more – colors at one particular time. As opposed to popular belief, rainbow hair doesn’t really ask you to dye your hair in the actual traditional colors of the rainbow. You can, if you want. 

But you can also stray from that pattern and choose a different palette. For example, you can opt for a Christmas look with shades of red, pink, gold, and green. You can go for a unicorn pastel look that has shades of pink, soft orange, coral, mother of pearl, turquoise, and lavender. Or any combination you want as long as there are more than two colors in your hair.

During the past few seasons, rainbow hair has also come to define the idea of coloring your hair in one, solid color, usually a neon one. However, that is a little more unusual and it tends to stretch the definition of rainbow hair.

You might also like – 95 Reverse Ombre Ideas and Tips Only for Cool Girls

Things to Know Before You Get Rainbow Hair

Even though rainbow hair suits absolutely everyone of every age, race, and every hair type and length, there are a few things you need to be aware of before going for this magnificent trend. They will help you decide whether or not you are ready to embark on this colorful journey!

  • You will have to bleach you hair

No matter what your current hair color is, you will have to bleach it before getting rainbow hair. Yes, blonde girls, you too! Bleached hair and blonde hair are two completely different things.

The bleaching process will lift all preexisting color, will remove all the natural and artificial pigmentation in your hair, and will open up the hair cuticles. In this way, your strands will be completely prepared to receive the new and bold colors that make up the rainbow look.

However, you need to be aware that bleaching is an intensively damaging process that will take its toll on your hair. Bleach in itself is a very powerful chemical that does not help the hair in any way. 

Because of this, please do not attempt to bleach your hair at home. YouTube is filled with fail videos of people trying and not succeeding. Some attempts have resulted in dry and brittle hair, others in yellow rather than pale blonde strands while some individuals even managed to melt their hair off. Always see a professional if you want to bleach your hair.

Also See: 95 Reverse Ombre Ideas and Tips Only for Cool Girls

  • Understand the limits of rainbow hair

It’s time for the truth. What you see on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest is not necessarily fake but it has been heavily edited. You need to understand that before you start on the rainbow hair journey. Non-natural, neon colors are almost never that vibrant in real life. 

Even if they are, you won’t be able to get a vibrant result with box dye at home. What you see in pictures can only be the result of a professional job at a salon where the hair stylist can control how much pigment they add to the dye. And even then, the color will start to wash off immediately.

  • Rainbow hair takes time

This will not be a one-day job. In other words, you will not be able to get rainbow hair in one sitting. It might be possible to do it if you go to a salon and have plenty of hours to spare in a day. 

However, if you’re doing it at home, this will take a few days or even weeks. The bleaching process alone could take several attempts. In between you will need to allow you hair to rest.

  • Rainbow hair can be expensive

Here’s the rule of thumb when it comes to rainbow hair. The more colors you want and the more vibrant you want them to be, the more money you will have to pay. As explained above, rainbow hair is not really something that can be achieved with box dye. 

Apart from that, depending on the number of colors you have and the way they are distributed on your head, it could be expensive to maintain your rainbow hair.

  • The undertones of your skin

Before you choose the color palette for your rainbow hair, think about your skin tone. Does it have warm or cold undertones? This is much like choosing a foundation and if that logic helps you, use it here! 

The best way to go about it is to choose a color scheme for your hair that is opposite your skin’s undertone. For example, if your skin has a golden or yellow undertone, go for purple, blues, and green shades of hair. They will balance each other beautifully.

However, if your skin has olive and pink undertones, you can choose oranges, reds, and yellows to highlight your skin and make it look bright and healthy. Always play to your advantages!

How to Take Care of Rainbow Hair

Since having rainbow hair effectively means having not one but but an entire plethora of vibrant, neon colors in your tresses, it becomes highly important to know how to maintain this look. Here are some ideas that will help you out along the way.

  • Start a whole new hair care regimen

Given the fact that you now have a whole new hair style, it doesn’t make sense to continue with your old hair care routine. You new hair has different needs that you have to meet. 

Let’s put it as simply as possible. Your hair has been bleached (probably several times) and then continuously dyed to get to the vibrant shade you desired. Therefore, you will need to moisturize it as much as you can. 

Use a shampoo that will not wash off the dye but one that will gently cleanse your hair and scalp. This means a natural shampoo that doesn’t foam as much. If your shampoo creates a heavy lather when washing, that means it has detergent in it. Therefore, it will strip your hair of color.

Don’t forget to use a conditioner every time you shower. Continue with a bit of hair oil and seal all the moisture in with a leave-in conditioner.

  • Go in for regular touch ups

Admittedly, rainbow hair will not be the easiest hairstyle to maintain. However, its beauty as well as the compliments you will get will make it all worth it. But this will also mean that you have to go in once every four to five weeks for a touch up.

Vibrant colors in non-traditional shades tend to wash off in the shower much faster than ordinary colors. Therefore, you will need to visit your stylist every month to get your rainbow hair back up to par.

  • Don’t wash your hair so often

Evidently, taking into account all that has been said above, washing your hair too often will lead to your hair bleeding out the color. Therefore, reduce the number of shampoos to twice or even once a week. Instead, you can use dry shampoo. It will absorb the grease and oil at the root and you get to keep your rainbow hair a little longer!

  • Say no to heat!

This means high temperatures in any way or form coming near your hair. In the shower, when you blow dry your tresses or when you style your hair. The reason is very simple. When you use high heat in any of these, it opens up the cuticles of your hair, causing the color to wash out.

Celebrities Wearing Rainbow Hair

It wouldn’t be a famous trend if celebrities didn’t get on board. But we can all breathe a sigh of relief because plenty of famous divas have sported rainbow hair. They have also given us major hair envy and sources of inspiration to look up to.

Cardi B went for the unicorn version of rainbow hair while pregnant and looked absolutely spectacular in all the photos she posted on Instagram. Although, you should know that it might not be her real hair but extensions or even a wig. 

Influencer Hannah Stocking graced her 12 million followers with a gorgeous pic of herself wearing rainbow hair that focused mostly on purple and turquoise on the first day of Coachella 2019.

Supermodel Gigi Hadid didn’t say goodbye to her signature blonde. Instead, she opted for an electric pink and purple ponytail for a photo shoot. Her fans absolutely adored it.

Singer Rita Ora opted for a more muted version of the rainbow look when she colored her hair in soft shades of pastel. Her white blonde hair served as a canvas for lavender, washed out inky blue, and a little smear of mint green.

Britney Spears went for pretty much the same colors in 2015 when she made an appearance on the red carpet for the Teen Choice Awards. Not only that, but her hair style also employed the dip-dye technique which just made everything all the more interesting.

How Do People React to Rainbow Hair?

This is a very interesting question that most girls should ask themselves before getting rainbow hair. After all, this is not the most forgiving or traditional of hairstyles and it might get you into a spot of trouble. Especially if you live and work in an environment that values tradition.

The first thing you need to know is that rainbow hair will not be permitted in schools and certain professional milieus. Most schools around the world have strict standards when it comes to hairstyles and rainbow hair is not allowed. Therefore, think twice before allowing your daughter to get it. The same goes for professions in the corporate system, education or banking system. They have strict dress codes that will not allow this hairstyle.

The second this you need to brace yourself for is the questions people will ask you about your new hairstyle. Girls that already have rainbow hair state that people ask if the color is permanent or they dyed their hair because they are celebrating a holiday.

Another large portion of people even ask if girls have permission from their parents or partners to dye their hair or if they regret doing it. Or when they are planning on going back to their natural color. All in all, you need to be aware that society as a whole is not entirely open to rainbow hair as much as social media might have you believe. Make sure you are ready for this hairstyle before you get it!

What do you think?

Rainbow hair is one of the most beautiful trends that the second half of the 2010s has brought in terms of hair styling. Not only that, but it sends an empowering message that you can be as bold and as vibrant as you wish, your hair being your calling card. What do you think?