Real Simple June 8, 2023

Real Simple


Craving Color? Try One of These 8 Bright Hair Colors


Go bold with a hue outside of the norm.

When there’s an entire rainbow spectrum of colors to choose from, sometimes it feels like a creative oversight to simply go with a typical variation on blonde, brunette, or natural red. Opting for a bold, bright hair color can make you feel more in tune with yourself, or perhaps even channel a whole new version of you. If you’re keen on diving into a kaleidoscope of color, consider asking your colors to paint on one of these trending bright hair colors.  

Pop Art Red

For the ultimate showstopper, consider this statement red hair color that practically glows. Michelle Hong, founder and creative director at NYC The Team, says it’s a “pop art red” and that it’s one of those colors everyone will notice even from a distance. 

“Since the color is very dramatic, I recommended pairing it with dramatic makeup and styles to pull off the whole look,” Hong says. She notes that this is partial to color bleeding and fading, so take care in the shower and note that you may have a bit more upkeep. We say it’s worth it, though! 

Ocean Blue

On the near-opposite end of the spectrum you’ll find this deep blue hue, which mimics the depths of the sea and lends a sense of moody mystery. “It's a fantastic choice for those who want to make a bold statement this summer,” says Min Kim, an ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel Global. “Achieving this look typically involves a bleaching process to create a light blonde base, followed by the application of a vibrant turquoise or blue dye.” Similar to the rich red above, this hue is prone to color fading so refresh as needed or enjoy the fadeout.

Bright Yellow

Let’s finish out the trifecta of primary colors with yellow, a sunny shade that’s perfect for all those summertime events you’ve got coming up. This particular style, worn by Tilda Swinton, features platinum-white hair with yellow tips. “Yellow is one of the most avoided colors, and to see it paired with platinum is a new twist,” says Lorena M. Valdes, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “I love that it’s just a pop of yellow ribbons rather than an ombré or just at the roots.” She notes that if you have fair skin with warm undertones, the color may be a bit overwhelming. Otherwise, have at it. 

Baby Pink

Those craving a girlish hair color that still feels bold and bright should consider this baby pink hue worn by French actress Marion Cotillard. “It’s soft and feminine, but also a fun, chic color that gives a romantic vibe, Hong says. As a bonus, pink is known for seriously flattering pretty much every skin tone, so if you’re unsure what’ll look best on you then give this color a go. Just note that you’ll probably need to use a color-depositing conditioner once a week to maintain the color. 

Mint Green

For a sweet and flirty spin on dark green, consider dyeing your strands this pastel variation worn by actress Tina Leung. “The minty green hair looks candy-like, whimsical, and gives it-girl vibes. It's soft, fun, and fantasy-like,” Hong says. Whether you’re ultra fair or deep complected, any skin tone can pull this hue off. However, if you have naturally dark hair, it’ll require much processing to get to a shade light enough for this minty color to stick. 


Similar to the minty green above, achieving this dreamy lavender hair color typically requires a lightening process to achieve a pale blonde base, followed by the application of a pastel purple toner or dye. 

“The softness and femininity of this color are what make it truly captivating,” Kim says. “It adds a touch of ethereal elegance to any summer ensemble, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a whimsical and dreamy vibe." She adds that this hair color complements any complexion. The delicate contrast is a nice boost for cool-toned skin, while it adds a nice sense of balance to those with warm undertones. 

Electric Orange

If red isn’t quite your thing but you love the boldness it offers, consider an electric orange hair color instead. “I love the vibrancy, and that it has a lot of depth to the color,” Valdes says. She describes it as an “electric orange” that’s applied over bleached strands and then toned. It’s not quite neon, but it definitely feels like it’s surging with energy. 

As for who this electric orange flatters most, she says it’s best for those with naturally warmer undertones. “Cool skin tones may not feel their best in this color. If you notice cool-toned reds feel off then I would avoid this” she says. 

Coral Pink

For a variation on the soft pink above, dare to try this bold, coral-leaning pink worn by actress Erika Alexander. “What I love about this color is its eye-catching intensity and its ability to instantly elevate any look. It exudes confidence and adds a playful touch to your summer style,” Kim notes. 

She says this color works well on a variety of skin tones. “Fair skin can be complemented by the striking contrast it creates, while medium and olive skin tones can benefit from the warm undertones that enhance their natural glow,” says Kim.