Coloring your hair with crazy shades is a great way to get out of a style rut. Forget every hair color tips magazines taught you before because it’s a brave new world you’re entering with rainbow hair.
Hey, you’re only young once, right? Better go all out and try every hair color you can while it’s still sorta acceptable to have a full head of bright colors and not be judged too harshly.
Whether this is your first time straying off the natural hair color spectrum or whether you’re a veteran in the art of spunky hair colors shopping around for new looks to try, congratulations! You came to the right place.
Here’s everything you need to know about the many ways you can rock rainbow hair and more.
Start discreet with a hidden rainbow in your hair
Still afraid to go full rainbow? Don’t worry, you can definitely start with a “hidden” rainbow color in your hair. We personally think that coloring a portion of your hair (preferably a part in the middle back) looks cool as a full head of color.
Besides, the great thing about it is that you can have the best of both worlds. You can rock your unique hair color on your off days at work and keep your look professional during the rest of the week.
To better hide your hair color during the work days, opt to place the rainbow colors lower in your hair almost at the nape. That way, your colorful secret is perfectly tucked beneath your natural locks and no one’s the wiser.
Showcasing your inner rainbow
When you finally get out of your confining cubicle, make sure to style your hidden rainbow hair to showcase it in the best ways possible.
We find that reverse braiding, like the one above, works particularly well if you have the majority of your colors near the nape of your neck. But it will still work even if you have your colors higher up.
Half-up hairstyles are the best ones to wear if your rainbow hair colors are focussed at the middle of your head. We find that fishtail braids pairs well with the colors and makes for a cute yet easy look.
Or you know, you can go for something as fast and simple as a top bun. It does the job fairly well and it will only take you a few seconds to put up. Done and done.
If you want to go extra fancy for a date or a chill dinner with your friends, you can show off your unique hair with a loose Dutch braid. Keep it messy and loose to get that effortlessly chic look. Finish the look and curl the ends of your braid a little bit for extra measure.
Go all out with a full head of rainbow colors
If you’re ready for the real thing, here are some awesome rainbow hair looks you can use as inspiration for your own.
You can follow the one above and part your hair vertically into sections and color each one with a different color until you have a full rainbow. If that’s too much work for you, you can always save this picture and have your hair done at the salon to get the best results.
Here’s the same look at a different angle. Doesn’t it look cool? It even looks great when styled in wavy curls.
If using all seven colors feels a bit too much, you can always just pick four or five of your most preferred ones and run with it. Just make sure you still follow the ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) order to keep the rainbow look more obvious.
Another creative way to rock rainbow hair is through an ombre color style. Though this may be harder to DIY on your hair, the results are absolutely worth it, trust us. The style looks best with extra long hair as it provides enough length to keep the color transitions smooth and seamless.
You’ll find more rainbow ombre looks in the dedicated section we have for it below.
Try pastel rainbow hair colors if you want a softer look
Opting for pastel shades is also a great idea for rainbow hair. Since the colors are lighter and paler, your hair won’t stand out too much. Correcting coloring mistakes is also easier with pastel hair.
Opting for pastels also gives you an overall softer look than bright and saturated colors. Besides, pastels are still pretty trendy these days so your locks will definitely stay in style and Instagrammable.
When it comes to rainbow pastel hair, you can go for a more “conceptual rainbow” style and not have to follow the ROYGBIV order for your look. The one above is a great example of how you can do this and still end up with gorgeous rainbow-inspired hair.
Of course, you can also choose to do it ombre style if you have super long hair. You can either follow the one above and start your rainbow with the warmer shades first with the cooler ones at the bottom.
But going the reverse route will also work. Just make sure to choose colors that are more or less in the same shade and tone range to keep the look cohesive enough.
Stand out from the crowd with brighter, more intense colors
If you’re the type to not shy away from the spotlight, consider opting for brighter and more saturated colors for your rainbow hair. Substitute regular colors with their “louder” versions. For example, instead of using regular red, go for magenta. Instead of using just plain old blue, use bright blue-green and so on.
See what we mean? Doing so would definitely make you look like a cool anime or comic book character come to life. If that isn’t absolute #goals, we don’t know what is.
For an even more unconventional look, ditch sectioning each color into thick parts and color your hair the same way you add highlights to natural hair. To make the look work better, cut down the colors you’ll use into just three or four ones of the same tone (warm or cool) to still end up with a cohesive look.
Though there’s really nothing stopping you from using all colors of the rainbow as long as you’re artistic enough to pull it off. This My Little Pony-inspired look proves it.
Lowkey, bright rainbow hair highlights
Sometimes taking care of colored hair can be exhausting. If you don’t want to worry too much about aftercare, you can still enjoy rainbow hair by opting for colored highlights instead.
The great thing about rainbow highlights is that they work well with just about any natural hair color from the darkest black to the lightest of blondes. Note: dark-haired girls will most likely need to get a little bleaching done to have the colors show in their hair.
We’re particularly biased towards choosing extra bright colors as rainbow highlights. They just make your hair pop up and works well for all hair colors. Here it is on blonde hair.
And here it is on black hair. Looks pretty cool, right. Besides, going for highlights instead of a full head of new color(s) will definitely come out cheaper in the end. Another great thing about it is that highlights are easier to cover up just in case you’re not happy with the end color you get.
Rainbow hair meets granny hair
You know you’re super trendy when you start mixing two hip hair trends into one hairstyle. But can we really blame anyone who mixes granny hair with rainbow hair? The end results are definitely impressive and gorgeous, don’t you think?
This side rainbow ombre on gray hair is the perfect one to wear on pride events this coming June. No need to buy and wear other rainbow merch when you have the rainbow on you already.
You can choose extra bright colors to better show their colors’ contrast to the paleness of gray hair like the one above. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative about how you can inject your rainbow colors on your hair.
You can place the colors on the top layer of hair or focus them on one side of your head.
Rainbow hair in ombre style gradient
Unless you’re really confident about your DIY coloring skills, we suggest you leave this one to your hair stylist instead. Blending multiple colors into an ombre style rainbow hair is pretty tricky. Hey, you wouldn’t want to end up with a massive hair fail and end up on Brad Mondo’s channel, right?
Besides, view it as a way to treat yourself for a great work done at school or at work. You certainly deserve to look your best this coming summer.
Pro tip: block out an entire day or afternoon for your hair appointment if you have dark hair. You’re definitely gonna be sitting at that salon chair for a while to achieve the rainbow hair of your dreams.
Rainbow hair for short-haired women
For bobs and lobs
Although most of the looks you’ve seen in this list are done on long hair, that doesn’t mean that short-haired girls can’t rock rainbow hair.
In fact, rainbow hair can look more “edgy” and cool on shorter hair lengths, don’t you think? Case in point is this ultraviolet bob hair that looks straight out of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie.
Get creative with how you can put in as much color as you can, given the length of your hair. Here’s a clever way of getting the entire rainbow in a short bob.
You can also go the low-key route and focus the colors at just small sections of your hair. Rainbow highlights would definitely pair well with bobs and lobs.
For pixies and buzz cuts
Yes! You can wear rainbow hair colors even on something as short as pixies (and even buzz cuts)!
Grow your pixie a little longer up top and you can recreate this absolutely stunning rainbow-colored layers on your bangs. Just don’t forget to use foils to avoid leaking colors onto other sections should you decide to do this yourself at home.
If layering colors is just too difficult, you can always simplify the look and use fewer colors and opt for larger sections. Take inspiration from the simple yet cute look above.
Go the extra mile and color your buzz cut as well. Just be careful not to put too much color onto your scalp as the dye would definitely stain it afterward. Always use a dye applicator brush and put some petroleum jelly on your ears and nape.
If you’re bold enough, try out these geometric buzz cut look with rainbow colors. While you can definitely DIY the color, we recommend that you go to a barber or a salon to get the buzz cut styling to avoid bald patches and sloppy lines.
The best rainbow hairstyles for long hair
Of course, long hair is still the best canvas for the most elaborate rainbow hairstyles.
The extra length allows you more room to be creative and think outside the box. A great example is this space-inspired rainbow hair look that’ll be perfect for people who love cool-toned colors.
Here’s another great example. You can even incorporate other color patterns within the rainbow one to end up with a more complex look.
Just make sure to practice proper aftercare for your hair especially if you’re a brunette as bleaching and depositing new color can be highly damaging to your strands. Load up on hair masks and treatments to revive your locks back to life.
Make sure to skip some shampooing days to help your hair retain moisture and preserve color more effectively.
Blondes are luckier though as their hair is light enough to show color and not end up too damaged in the end. All you need to do is buy a couple of new hair products to accommodate your new bright hair colors.
Getting rainbow hair with naturally curly hair
Coloring and bleaching naturally curly hair may be more difficult but it isn’t impossible. Besides, rainbow hair looks awesome on curls, too.
To avoid too much damage to your hair (which can cause your curls to lose their tightness), opt for rainbow highlights at first and see how you like them.
Once you’re sure you’re ready for the commitment, you can then go all out and get a full head of rainbow hair. We suggest that you let your hair rest in some olive oil overnight before bleaching it to further reduce potential damage.
If the unthinkable happens and you lose some of your curls because of the bleach, don’t worry. They’ll most likely return after some TLC.
One non-damaging way curly-haired girls can get rainbow hair is through braiding or dreading colorful synthetic threads onto their hair. You can find plenty of these for sale online. Though you might need to block out an entire afternoon in your schedule to finish putting them up in your hair.
Look extra cute with rainbow bangs
Getting rainbow bangs is definitely a throwback to your emo or scene days back in middle school. Make your younger self proud and prove to your mom that it isn’t just a phase.
It can even work for people of all ages. Hey, fun knows no expiration date, eh? This would also be a great look to wear to pride events. It’s cute, it’s simple and most importantly, it’s within the theme.
Go for a future perfect look and incorporate your rainbow bangs with a short and edgy haircut. Can we just say how much we’re into this multi-length bangs though? Not a lot of people can pull off this avant-garde look but it never hurts to try.
Be a cute pastel emo with an ombre style rainbow side fringe. This looks best on short hairstyles that’s got extra length on top.
Wildcards: Glow in the dark rainbow hair
Glow in the dark hair is all the rage right now and it’s not hard to see why. It’s practically every little girl’s dream come true, right?
The great thing about this new trend is that it allows you to rock a regular bright-colored look in the day but turn it into something unique at just a flick of the black light switch.
We can’t help but think how good this type of hair color will look when done in a rainbow style. See how cool the look is for yourself in these pictures.
Can you imagine having this done and then going out to party at a dark-lit bar or a rave? You’d literally be glowing. We don’t know if hair can get more unique than that.
If you’re looking for a sign to help you make your final decision, THIS IS IT. Load up on hair colors or set up an appointment at your salon and get the rainbow hair you’ve been dreaming of.
Want more rainbow hair inspiration? Scroll down and check out the rest of our gallery below.