25 Best Blue Hair Ideas to Show Your Stylist *Immediately*
Plus info from the experts about how to maintain it.
Confession: I have about a thousand saved IG posts of new hair color ideas. I’m talking tons of dimensional caramel hair colors, a mix of strawberry-blonde hair ideas, and, of course, a few rainbow hair ideas. Because when it comes to my hair, I’ll try anything once. But the look I’m obsessed with right now? Blue hair in every shade and tone, like blue-ombré hair, dark-navy colors, and barely there tints. And it makes sense why blue hair is so trendy right now: It’s so customizable, virtually everyone can wear it (see: going cooler or warmer to match your skin tone, or tiptoeing into the look with a sheer at-home color gloss).
But just in case you didn’t think blue hair was for you, I rounded up 25 of the best blue hair looks and ideas of 2022 to screenshot asap, and also chatted with hair colorists Kacey Welch, Dolly Hernandez, and Nikki Lee about how to maintain blue hair, the best shades to try, and more.
Dark, blue-black hair
Pro tip: If you’re hesitant to go for a full-blue moment, match your shade of blue to your skin’s undertone, says Hernandez. “Cool and neutral skin tones can wear most cool-toned blue hair colors, while warmer skin tones usually look the most natural with purple and green-based blue tones,” she says. You can also let sections of your original hair color peek through for a more cohesive and purposeful finish, like the blue-on-black mix seen here.
Icy-blue hair to match those ~ocean eyes~? Yes, pls. Just know that a light-blue shade like Billie’s will fade fast, so try to limit the number of times you suds up each week, says Welch, adding that "any time you wash your hair, you will wash away the color,” she says. And, as is always the rule with color-treated hair, make sure to avoid all sulfate-based shampoos, which will strip the color out of your hair. And yes, dry shampoo and a hat like Billie Eilish’s will be your best friend for when the greasy roots come.
These blue highlights look especially stunning in contrast to naturally dark hair, though you can always opt for a deeper blue to get a less vibrant finish. Just make sure not to DIY this one at home—bleach, toner, and a whole lotta blue dye will definitely need a trained professional for the best result.
Bright-blue money pieces
When I first started experimenting with blue hair, I tried clip-in extensions under my bangs for a peekaboo look to get a taste of the color without having to dye my own hair. And that’s the perfect way to copy Bella Thorne’s look here, tbh. “Blue clip-in extensions are a great way to try this idea out,” says Welch. “If you can’t find blue clip-ins, buy blonde ones and color them blue with any permanent blue hair color.”
Not ready for an all-over dye job? I get it, which is why I love these dip-dyed ends, which are easy to grow out (just trim them off when you’re over them). Just know that unless you have light-colored hair, you’ll need to bleach your ends first to get this baby-blue shade, which isn’t exactly gentle on your ends. So make sure to saturate them in a high-protein deep conditioner (it’ll help strengthen your hair) right after your color appointment, and incorporate a bond-building treatment into your hair routine once a week to keep it healthy.
If you’re looking for a blue hair color that doesn’t require a trip to the salon, go for a semi-permanent hair color in a vibrant-blue shade. Yes, this will show up best on light-toned hair (and look more like a tint on dark-toned hair), so if you’re looking for a bright-blue shade without the bleach, opt for a temporary hair color wax, which is especially gentle on curly hair types.
Bright, teal-blue hair
Welch’s clients often ask for green tones in their blue hair color, resulting in a seafoam or teal shade like this one on Karol G. Just know that to get this bright teal, “your hair just must be lifted to a pale blonde first for the blue pigment to really show,” says Lee. So, you know, bleached. Just make sure to load up on conditioner afterward, or opt for an in-salon, deep-conditioning treatment like hair botox.
Dimensional aqua-blue hair
This color is full of varying tones of aqua, giving your hair major dimension and intrigue, even when the color starts to inevitably fade. Playing mixologist to get the right balance between green and blue tones will be necessary though, so make sure to ask your stylist for a full spectrum of blue-greens, and even some emerald-green tones too (according to Stefanie DiMeo, the colorist who created this look, in her IG caption).
Navy-blue and aqua hair
Can’t decide between a few shades of blue? Why not mix ‘em all together, like this super-cool, seamlessly blended color that goes from navy to teal to a brighter aqua. Trust: This combo will make your waves or curls look even fuller and more defined.
Blue-and-black micro braids
If you wanna play with color on your curly, coily, or 4c hair without the damage, bring a few bundles of blue braiding hair to your braider next time you get braided. And, as always, keep your braids smooth and shiny with a sheer coat of hair oil each morning or before heading out.
Blue balayage hair
“I love the way dimensional hair color makes anyone's hair look thicker and more natural,” says Welch. “And believe it or not, you can achieve a natural blend with blue hair colors as long as you paint on the color intentionally throughout,” she says. Need an example? Screenshot this blue balayage look that combines two tones of blue on a deep-navy base.
A pastel-blue base is basically the perfect canvas for a rainbow hair color, because it has juuust enough depth to make every other cotton-candy shade stand out as a contrast. I’m def going to DM this to my colorist for my next spring hair color.
Royal-blue ombré hair
The most popular blue shade that Lee’s clients ask for? Deep, royal-blue tones with tons of dimension, like this ombré color. My favorite way to wear this hair color is with beach waves and a generous spritz of texture spray for the full mermaid vibe.
Dark-blue and violet hair
Not a fan of blue, blue, and more blue? Ask your colorist for some deep-purple undertones that’ll help give your hair more depth without feeling too overly blue. You can even play up the purple tones even more by adding a purple shampoo and conditioner to your wash routine.
Just sayin’, these moody denim roots feel like the epitome of a winter hair color to me. Think: ice queen, but in a Nightmare Before Christmas way, not in an Elsa way. You’ll have to bleach your roots though if you’re starting with black or dark-brown hair for the color to show up, but just make sure you massage a moisturizing scalp serum into your roots three times a week to keep your hair healthy
Before you touch your hair with dye, consider testing out the blue-hair trend with a wig, à la Shay Mitchell’s by hairstylist Tony Medina. It’ll give you a chance to try one (or a few!) tones before committing to a specific look with major upkeep. Just be sure that you choose a wig made from human hair if you plan to create these wet-look waves on yours, since synthetic strands can melt under heat-styling and be difficult to clean.
Bright-blue ombré hair
I’m loving the contrast between this bright, comic book-esque blue ombré paired with shiny, voluminous waves. But make sure to spritz on a heat protectant before you use hot tools on dyed hair, says Hernandez. “The excess heat from curling wands and flat irons can lift your color and make it appear dull and fade faster,” she says.
Dark, royal-blue and indigo hair
If you’re already starting with medium-brown hair, you can play around with this dimensional dark-blue at home with temporary hair dye. It’ll give your dark hair a blue tint, but you can also layer on a couple shades to customize the finish, like this color that includes deep-navy, royal-blue, and indigo hues.
Purple and blue hair
This hair color is a whole ~vibe~ on its own, combining purple and blue tones to create a selfie-worthy gradient. But to make the maintenance a liiittle easier, have your colorist start the first shade a little farther down so regrowth is less noticeable. Yup, a shadow root even looks good with bright colors.
We love a shade that feels neutral, even when it’s very much not. Enter: This navy blue that feels casual and chill, thanks to the fact that it blends perfectly into black. If you wanna copy the look, ask your colorist to leave some true-black pieces throughout to add dimension.
Look, blue hair doesn’t have to be vibrant and bright to be striking. Take this silver-blue hair, which pulls gray with just a hint of light blue. It’s perfect if you like icy tones rather than warm, green-based blues or bright shades.
Dark royal-blue hair
Influencer Na’cier has my vote for Best DIY of 2022 with this royal-blue wig, combining two bundles of blonde hair and dyeing them with Arctic Fox Hair Color in Poseidon. But if you’re not into a project, grab a dark-blue lace front wig from Amazon, which will give you a similar look.
Remember: Moisturize TF out of your curly hair after you bleach and dye it to get this vivid blue hair color. We’re talking allllll the deep conditioners, curl creams, and hair oils. Sure, there will be a bit of damage (bleach, sigh), but just think of the endless selfies.
As a general rule, deep-blue shades fade a bit slower than bright-blue shades. Still, to keep yours from looking dull, smooth on a hair-gloss treatment once every two weeks to keep your color shiny and fresh. Then, in between, boost your hair’s softness with a moisturizing leave-in conditioner.
Half-and-half blue hair
Okay, if you want hair that speaks for itself, you’ve gotta screenshot this one to show your colorist. The two-toned lime green and blue make this style feel unique and fresh, so even when it fades, you’ll still be working with a definitive lewk, not a washed-out color. Bonus points for pairing it with a matching colorful eyeliner.
Is blue hair hard to maintain?
Blue hair can be hard to maintain because it fades v fast, just like all “fashion” colors (blue, pink, lavender, etc.), but you can still expect it to last four to six weeks, says Welch. Want to keep the color vibrant a bit longer? Load up on a color-depositing blue conditioner once a week to “maintain the richness of the blue,” Welch adds. Then, you’ll want to head back to the salon for a touch-up (or coat your hair in the same semi-permanent dye you used at home).
Similarly, you should avoid washing your hair as much as possible. “Every time you wet your hair or shampoo your hair, you will lose some of your color’s pigment,” says Hernandez. When you do shampoo, choose a sulfate-free shampoo for color-treated hair that won’t strip out your color as quickly and cause unnecessary dryness.
Do I need to bleach my hair to dye it blue?
If you want a vibrant-blue color, you’ll need to bleach your hair first. “Your hair must be lifted light enough to deposit the blue tone on top, depending on how light or dark of blue you’re going for,” says Lee. “If your hair is too dark, the blue color won’t show.” But if you already have blonde hair, or if you just want to add a slight tint to your hair (like an indigo shade or a blue-black color), you can just coat your hair in a color-depositing conditioner or semi-permanent color to avoid bleaching.
Ok, so ready for blue hair? The Shampoo Lounge has been attending to an international and Indonesian clientele since 2012 so check out our instagram, our website and our TripAdvisor reviews! We can’t wait to have you in.
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Article written by Beth Gillette for Cosmopolitan