13 Exquisitely Creative Hair Color Ideas

No longer relegated to the coifs of regal punk rockers, creative color is all the rage! You can find it everywhere from high-fashion catwalks to Main Street USA. Decadent rich hues and soft pastel shades grace the manes of celebrities, spark up advertising campaigns, and are even worn by the little girl next door. A myriad of color choices await you; from permanent shades, high-intensity pigments, temporary color and even the new ‘hair chalk’ craze.

Pastel Bob

Pastel Bob hairstyle Instagram @kimakazehair

Q&A with style creator, Kim Williams
Hairdresser @ Salon Republic in Los Angeles, CA

How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This client has fine hair with a bob haircut. I love adding loose curls to give her volume and also show off all the ranges of pastel colors.

My favorite part of this look is how adding texture to hair can make delicate colors pop even more and show off any hidden colors that a straight style wouldn’t.

What products do you recommend to create and maintain this look?

I added a volumizing cream from DFI to give this client a big boost of volume along with using the Babyliss Pro Prima 3000 for the perfect undone curls. It’s my favorite tool and the fastest to create any texture curl!

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

What’s great about pastel colors is that depending on skin tone, anyone can pull them off. I recommend lighter skin tones and cool skin tones for the specific pastels I used here since they are considered cool colors.

Luckily for stylists and clients, fashion colors are becoming more and more common and accepted by society as the ‘new norm. Pastel colors are a great transition for clients wanting to simply try out different tones, but not commit to deep or bright tones. Some pastel colors can be so subtle that they can complement any skin tone or lifestyle!

Like most fashion colors, pastels fade faster than permanent color, so it’s best if the client also invests in a dry shampoo to help extend the time between washes!

Bold Simplicity

Bold Simplicity hairstyle Instagram @cutz_up

Q&A with style creator, Simone Ho-Sang
Hairstylist & Colorist @ The Glam Lounge Salon in Ft. Lauderdale, FL


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This is one of my all time favorite creative colors. It’s a statement color. It’s edgy, chic, daring, and says “I’m a risk taker”! I love its simplicity and bold taste at the same time.

What products do you recommend to create and maintain this look?

To recreate this look, you would need a lightener of your choice with 20 vol. Joico’s Peacock Green, as well as a warm blonde from your favorite color line.

For maintenance, a moisture shampoo and conditioner is highly recommended. Adding a light serum before ironing will help achieve this look’s polished finish.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This type of creative color is for the risk taking client who isn’t afraid of turning heads!

Jewel-Toned Color Melt

Q&A with style creator, Samantha Burck
Hairstylist / Salon Owner @ Samantha B Hair Studio in Arlington Heights, IL


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This as a jewel-toned color melt. My favorite thing about this look is the dimension and interchanging pops of color throughout. The colors all just melt into one another.

What products do you recommend to create and maintain this look?

The products I used to create this look and recommend are by Pulp Riot. I used Pulp Riot Blank Canvas to remove any remaining color before applying the finished product. I used Pulp Riot Nightfall for the base color, a mix of Absinthe and Area 51 for the green, and a mix of Candy and Cupid for the pink.

To maintain this color I recommend Pureology shampoo and conditioner (preferably the Hydrate or Strength Cure) and Pureology Color Fanatic 21 spray for a leave-in product.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

The type of client I recommend this for is someone who is definitely ok with high maintenance color. This is a color that needs to be taken care of well. You must always use cold water when washing and also not wash more then two to three times a week at the most. Professional color preserving products are a must!

I personally think colors like this look the best on someone with a paler complexion for the best pop of color. Since it is a vivid fashion color, the client needs to be ok with embracing the fade since vivid colors don’t last as long as others.

Five Alarm Fire

The heat is off the charts! A perfectly-rich red hue is a powerful way to make a statement when you’re ready to stand apart from the crowd. It’s a high-maintenance look that commands attention and suits a outgoing personality.

Depending on your natural shade, this color can be achieved in a one or two-step process.  Frequent touch-ups are absolutely necessary to reduce color loss and fading.  You can keep this color fresh at home between salon visits by using a color-infused conditioner or gloss treatment.

creative hair color wavy cut creative hair color way cut 2

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

Ruby-Red hair works best with fair skin and light-colored eyes. Hair is best worn long and straight or with some waves.  However, this look can be quite striking on short hair as well.

Tip:

This shade is the epitome of high-maintenance hair.  Use a color gloss or a color-enhanced conditioner to refresh your shade between salon visits.

Mint Deluxe

A blast of freshness!  This cool minty / sea-foam green tint is a great way to add a some distinction to monotone hair. It’s a bold, punky look that’s fashion forward and edgy. Depending on your natural shade, this color can be achieved in a two-step color process or by simply adding extensions.  If you decide to color, keep in mind this temporary pastel shade will fade quickly. If you desire a longer-lasting hue then colored hair extensions may be the answer for you.

creative short black mint color creative short black mint color 2

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

These minty-fresh streaks work best on peach, olive or dark skin tones. Dark, straight tresses provide the perfect backdrop to dramatize this look.

Tip:

If you are a color chameleon, try this look with colored hair extensions.

Antique Rose

Delicate rose can be a delight. This soft, metallic mauve offers a feast for the senses. Muted rosy undertones and silvery swirls are beautifully balanced against a deep violet-brown base. Depending on your natural shade, this color can be achieved with color-blocking techniques or via a highlight and toner process. This shade will fade but should still remain lovely in it’s lighter incarnations. As the color evolves, the contrast in colors will gain even more depth and dimension.

creative auburn swirly hairstyle creative auburn swirly hairstyle 2

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

This rosy hue works best on peachy or light olive skin tones.  Hair is best when worn above the shoulder and textured to enhance the multi-dimensional color and style.

Tip:

Try some vintage-inspired hairstyles for a sophisticated twist.

Apricot Fusion

Take a bite out of this delicious apricot hue.  A subtle yet dynamic pop that’s perfect for the spring and summer seasons. It’s a fun change blondes that desire something new yet wish to remain ‘light’. This super-reflective color is best achieved on light hair in order to avoid brassy tones. When paired with a deep base, the lighter ends give the illusion of fuller, thicker hair.

choppy strawberry blonde creative hair color choppy strawberry blonde creative hair color 2

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

Fair and warm complexions work best with this eye-popping shade.  Hair is best worn short and choppy or with a razor-finish.

Tip:

Keep this look fresh and modern with some crimped texture or accent braids.

Teal Tickle

This peek-a-boo packs a punch.  This jewel-toned teal sparkles brilliantly against a rich base or a pale blonde. This color is best achieved with special-effects coloring and will require lifting your natural base. You may also experience a slight change in texture so treat your hair with love by deep-conditioning regularly.  Placement is key this to look to maximize the versatile styling options color blocking offers.

creative teal highlights on dark hair creative teal highlights on dark hair 2

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

This look works great with cool-toned skin.  Hair is best worn short with a modern cut and longer fringe lengths.

Tip:

For more depth and dimension, try a subtle gradient of color from light to deep teal for added contrast.

Royal Radiance

Prestige and intrigue await. This royal blue hue is a lovely way to transition darker locks into late autumn and winter months. A great alternative to merely adding highlights or ‘going lighter’. This look is best achieved with colored hair extensions.  If you’re set on achieving this color on your own hair, it will take some time and expertise. The darker your hair, the more complex the process will be. Consult with your hairdresser for this technically-savvy color accent.

long bangs with creative blue highlights

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

Blue is compatible with cool tones so go for your favorite shade and with the correct undertone. Hair can be worn from short to long with either a few streaks or bold panels of color.

Tip:

Try an updo or a top knot to highlight your special effects color.

Punky Pink

A playfully perky update. This dimensional pink pop is a great way to add ultra-feminine charm to your style. By strategically placing your color in the fringe and face-framing area; you can make a statement without having to color all over. This pretty hue can be achieved with a two-step color process. This shade fades fast but is easily refreshed as well. Intensify the contrast by placing deep magenta tones offset with baby pink for a stunning look.

brunette hair with creative pink highlights

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

Pink works well with a variety of skin tones:  try a cool magenta hue if you’re cool-skinned.  If your skin is on the warmer side, try a soft, baby pink or a lovely coral shade. A great color choice for a variety of length and texture.

Tip:

Soften up traditional pink locks with a coral kick. A perfect on-trend spring choice!

Ice Princess

Stop them cold with this unique steely blue shade.  These cool-toned silver blue streaks are a perfect accent for dark or light hair.  This is also a great way to blend grey hair as this shade will fade to a silver finish. You can achieve this is in a two-step color process or with a few well-placed colored hair extensions. This look is not for the shy but perfect if you’ve been searching for a hair color that’s a bit out of the ordinary – this is it!

creative blue highlights creative blue highlights 2

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

This icy shade works best with cool-skin tones. Hair is best worn short to medium-length with soft, shaggy layers.

Tip:

Try a blunt cut or an A-line bob to highlight the placement of these face-framing streaks.

Copper Blocked

Danger. . .curves ahead! What a stunning way to accent the gorgeous lines of this asymmetrical haircut. A burst of copper flare is a super-cute way to spice up a rich auburn hue. This shading is easily achieved with color blocking techniques and can be modified to suit your hairstyle. The creativity is in the design and placement to allow maximum versatility in styling.

creative brunette forward swept cut creative brunette forward swept cut 2

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

A warm, fair complexion perfectly suits this lively hue.  A chic, ultra-modern shape is a must to enhance the bold splash of color.

Tip:

Add great texture to this look using a crimping iron or small barrel curling iron.

Purple Passionista

A regal red-violet as plush as velvet!  Historically, purple is associated with royalty and nobility.  While you may not experience people bowing at your feet, you’ll certainly make a powerful statement with this lush hue.

This shade is an easy favorite as it’s easily achieved on dark hair.  It’s absolutely beautiful in it’s many incarnations, from rich violet to a soft lavender tone.  It can be achieved via a one or two-step hair color process or with some extensions. Either way, you’re sure to garner love and admiration from your loyal subjects.

brunette hair with purple color

Best Skin Tone & Hair Type:

This look can work well for a variety of skin tones.  Cooler skin tones work best with violet tones while warm complexions are best with red tones. Hair can be worn short and punky or in long wavy layers.

Tip:

Try coloring just the ends for a fashionable look that grows out with ease.

With so many ways to achieve these out-this-world shades; the hard part is deciding on which color to choose first. Before you take a dip, take a look at your natural hair color level, skin tone and your closet.  Your fashion style plays an integral part in showcasing your personality so keep your favorite wardrobe staples in mind. Most of all, experiment and have fun!