We get it. Natural hair colors can get kinda boring. But at the same time, not everyone wants to commit to permanent mint green hair, or the upkeep it takes to maintain it (trust us, it’s a lot). If you wanna do fun pastel colors but you’re looking for something more temporary and low maintenance, this DIY Tinted Conditioner is the perfect way to change up your look. To prove it, we tried it out on Kat.
First things first: this DIY won’t show up on hair darker than anything in the “blonde” family, and we don’t recommend lightening your hair at home–that’s a great way to end up with orange-ass hair or a burnt scalp. If you have naturally dark hair and have not had any of it professionally lightened, that’s step one, boo. Kathryn’s hair was already a cool blonde, so we could take her straight to coral, her tint of choice.
We hit up our local Ricky’s Beauty Supply for the tools we would need to give Kat the perfect coral conditioner. We picked up an empty clear bottle with a resealable top, Living Proof PHD Conditioner (any conditioner that is white will work), and some Sparks pigments. We chose Sparks because it’s easy to apply, and the color saturates evenly.
This combination is ideal for creating a pastel tint, because you’re taking a bright pigment and diluting it with white (your conditioner). Choosing your colors depends on how complicated you want to get. If you want to make something like a baby pink or a lavender then you'll only need one color of Sparks, ex: magenta or purple. But if you want a more complex color (like periwinkle, or Kat’s coral) then you will need to look at a color wheel to figure out what pigments make up that color.
To make coral, we picked up Magenta, Orange Crush, and Sunburst Yellow pigments. Vibrancy depends on the amount of conditioner in your mixture and how light your hair is. Kat’s hair has been lightened pretty significantly, so we were able to create a more pearlescent pastel coral. If you have a darker or natural blonde hair then it will be difficult to create a pastel that will show up well–you might end up with something more subtle.
Since we knew we wanted a more translucent hue we started with about a quarter of the bottle full of conditioner. It’s important to keep in mind that darker colors (especially blue) will easily overpower your conditioner so it’s best to add them in small amounts and mix in between. Our coral color is primarily pink with notes of orange and yellow so we added the magenta into the conditioner first. Next came yellow because it’s lightest, and then some orange. We gave it a vigorous shake and swiped the color on a piece of paper towel to see if it was close to what we were looking for.
Since Kat’s blonde hair is very light and not very brassy we knew the color on the paper towel would be pretty accurate to what it would look like. If you have more yellow tones or darker blondes in your hair the color will be warmer and light pastels will not show up as well. We ended up adding a lot more magenta since we were a little heavy handed with the orange crush initially, making the mixture a little too salmony. Once you have your ratio down, you can make enough to save and use later.
Next step: get naked! Seriously, we’re not being creepy. Do this next part in the shower.
Before applying the color, shampoo your hair like you normally would, then rinse, and squeeze out all the water. Add your DIY Tinted Conditioner, comb through or thoroughly rub into the hair, and clip up if necessary. If you are starting out blonde then we recommend you let the color process in your hair for 20 minutes or longer before you rinse it out (we left it in Kat’s hair for an hour since we didn’t have shit else to do). If you already have a fun color in your hair and you are using this as a way to maintain it, then it does not need to sit as long but should stay in for the duration of your shower. Then you rinse.
Once your hair is dry, you can style as usual! Just remember if you’re heat styling to make sure to use some protection on your hair or the heat will pull out your color. Kat learned this the hard way. (Lil note: Even with legit heat protection, regular flat ironing or curling will still strip your color over time. Even professional color. It’s just science, y’all.)
Wait at least 48 hours to shampoo again so that the color molecules have time to settle in your hair. For your next shampoo you should use a professional color safe shampoo (so you’re not undoing all your hard work) and keep on using your tinted conditioner. How often you shampoo and what kind of styling you do with your hair will determine the longevity of your DIY Tinted Conditioner. Without reapplication, you can expect this to last about 1-2 weeks.
BOO-YA. Das it! Share your DIY Tinted Conditioner looks with us #beautydummyhair
- “Blonde-ish” hair to start
- Resealable clear bottle
- White color safe conditioner (the professional kind is worth it!)
- Pigment of your choice (we like Sparks)
- Clip (if you have longer hair)
- Pick a desired color and figure out what pigments to mix to make that color
- Add your conditioner to the resealable bottle. More conditioner = more pastel
- Add your primary pigment
- Shake it up real gooood
- If needed, add your additional pigments or adjust the conditioner to color ratio
- Test on white paper or a napkin
- Shower time!
- Shampoo, rinse, and squeeze out water
- Apply your DIY Tinted Conditioner and comb through
- Clip up if needed and let process up to 1 hour
- Rinse and style as usual, using heat protection
- Look super fly with your new hair and tag us #beautydummyhair