This Summer’s Millennial Pink Hair Trend Will Make You Miss Tumblr

This Summer’s Millennial Pink Hair Trend Will Make You Miss Tumblr

Megan Fox with pink hair


The summer of 2023 was all about bright, hot, vibrant Barbie pink. The color was everywhere, from our closets to our manicures to our lipstick rotation. But true pink lovers everywhere didn’t forget where they came from: a little color called millennial pink.

Millennial pink, the pastel, not-quite-cotton-candy, not-quite-salmon pink shade prevalent during the late 2010s and early 2020s, was so named by writer Véronique Hyland because it seemed to pop up on anything and everything: office spaces, furniture, logos, and beauty products. The color (mostly) fell out of favor mid-pandemic, replaced by other trendy pastels like lilac before giving way to Barbie pink. Or was it? It certainly looks like that specific shade of pink is gearing up for a triumphant return—but this time around, it’s via hair color, less so home décor and book covers. 

Kim Kardashian with pink hair


The Trend

For a while, it seemed like everyone had pink hair: Kylie Jenner, Katy Perry, Ciara, Justin Bieber, among many, many others. It basically defined an entire era of pop culture history. But the color faded from the trend cycle, replaced by more viral, TikTok-charged trends like cowboy copper. But then, a glimmer of pink appeared again, first on Jenner, then Megan Fox and Kim Kardashian. Rihanna went for a brighter pop of pink, signaling the ultimate return of the color. “Lately, celebrities are more open and experimental with their hair colors, and it’s definitely celebrities setting the trends,” says celebrity hairstylist Dimitris Giannetos, who gave Fox her marshmallow pink color at the beginning of 2024.

“Pastel pink is always the ‘It’ color and it’s never gonna go away,” he continues. “It’s the ultimate teenager dream color that everyone wants to do at that age.” 

Ciara with pink hair


Pale pink also suits the optimistic attitude of spring and summer. “I think pastel pink is fresh again because spring’s arrival often sparks a desire for renewal and lighter, fresher aesthetics. Pastel tones can evoke a sense of rejuvenation and whimsy, perfectly complementing the transition from the cold, dark days of winter to warmer, brighter days,” says Richy Kandasamy, vice president of color development at R+CO and a member of the R+COLOR Collective. 

Kylie Jenner with pink hair


Another perk of pink? It’s so flattering, and there’s a shade for everyone. “Pastel pink suits a wide range of skin tones and offers a fun yet subtle departure from natural hair colors,”  says Chase Kusero, celebrity colorist and co-founder of IGK Hair Care. “It’s adaptable in its intensity, which can be dialed up or down, depending on personal style and the occasion. A pale pink is particularly flattering for those with fair to medium skin tones, as it can enhance natural undertones beautifully.” Kandasamy agrees. “The soft, delicate hue of pink adds warmth and luminosity to fair complexions, while also providing a subtle contrast to darker, deep, and tan complexions,” he says.

Karol G with pink hair


How to Get the Look

If you want to go pale pink but you’re a brunette, redhead, or have black hair, you’ll have to bleach your hair, full stop—and the process could take several weeks. “For those considering pastel pink for the first time, it’s crucial to understand that this color works best on light or bleached hair to truly pop,” Kusero shares. This is definitely something to discuss with your colorist, as bleach can be damaging and dark hair often takes several processes to fully lighten.

Cardi B with pastel pink hair


Those with blonde or pre-lightened hair can go pink at the salon or DIY it at home via box dye or semi-permanent creams or color-depositing conditioners like those from brands like Manic Panic, Good Dye Young, or Overtone. (Of course, this all depends on how comfortable you are with coloring your own hair. If you’re a newbie, definitely do a strand test and stick to temporary color.) Giannetos recommends L’Oreal Paris Feria Permanent Hair Color ($12) in Smokey Pink, and Kusero likes to refresh pink with IGK’s Color Depositing Hair Mask ($29) in Strawberry Milkshake.

Shania Twain with pink hair


Post-dye, use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair to keep your color in your hair and not on the shower floor. Kandasamy’s pick is R+Co Gemstone Color Shampoo and Conditioner ($68), plus the brand’s Gemstone Ultra Shine Glossing Treatment ($38) to deeply condition and enhance your candy-colored shade. Dreamy!


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