woman with dark green tips

Green Hair, Great Idea: Everything About This “Not-So-Basic” Hair Color

In a world full of rainbow-colored unicorn locks and candy floss tresses, green is the most underrated hair color of them all. Although most people prefer the basic bright colors (e.g. pink, orange and yellow), others search for colors on the other side of the rainbow and realize that green hair is the way to go.

Whether you’re still trying to live your Slytherin dreams or you’ve been inspired by Billie Eilish’s green hair, going green with your locks is always a good idea. The best part is there’s no such thing as one shade of green hair color: dark green, light green, emerald green hair — the green color wheel gives you plenty of options.   

Is Green Hair Popular Now?

Yes. In fact, many celebrities are rocking the green hair agenda. Famous people cycled through nearly all the bright shades of the rainbow, including yellow, purple and bold pink, over the past years. It seemed like green evaded everyone’s list — until now.

Apart from Billie Eilish, the list of green hair enthusiasts includes Dua Lipa, Kim Kardashian and SZA. These celebrities have been seen dyeing their hair green or slipping on green wigs. K-Pop stars are also big fans of the green hair trend. Momoland’s Nancy, Pentagon’s Wooseok, BTS’ SUGA and NCT’s Chenle have each dyed their hair emerald, minty green, lime and other shades of green. MAMAMOO’s Solar astounded everyone at the 2019 MAMA Awards with her Shego-inspired black and green hair.

With so many people dyeing their hair green, it’s an understatement to say that green hair color is popular. It is an in-demand color that you can try, especially if you’re bored with your hair.

Which Hair Types are the Best Candidates for Green Hair?

But before you jump ahead and dye your hair green, take your hair type into account. Dyeing your hair green requires serious bleaching, so if you have darker hair or have colored your hair before, re-consider your hair color decision. Excessive bleaching can cause damage to your hair.

But if you have never colored your hair or have naturally lighter locks, go crazy with the green hair color trend. As long as your hair isn’t too damaged or the dye job will not further damage your locks, going green should be fine.

How Do You Dye Your Hair Green?

Whether you choose to work with a hairstylist or DIY your green hair agenda, the process of dyeing your hair green can either be simple or tricky — depending on your chosen style and technique.

The first step of dyeing your hair green is lightening the strands. This creates an even canvas, so the green hair dye is applied evenly on your head. If you want to dye your hair pastel green or neon green, your hair must be bleached to the lightest shade possible. If you have naturally dark hair, you may have to go through multiple bleaching sessions to achieve a platinum blonde color.

Regardless of how much hair lightening you’ll need, it’s best to combine a bond builder into your green hair dye so your hair can maintain its integrity.

On the other hand, if you want to achieve hunter green or emerald green hair, you don’t have to bleach your hair too much. As long as you achieve a deeper shade of blonde, you’ll be fine.

A rule of thumb with bleaching your hair and dyeing it green: the lighter you lift the color, the prettier the fade (aka the inevitable end of every green hair adventure). You’ll either look like a gorgeous mermaid or a perky green hair anime girl.

Hair DIY: Green Hair Ideas and How You Can Do It

If a professional dye is outside of your budget, that’s OK. Almost everyone is dyeing their hair at home with varying results. As long as you have the right hair dye, tools and patience to dye, you’ll achieve your desired hairstyle.

Consider the following green hair color DIY ideas:

Bright Green All-Over

This look means once you go green, you never go back (until the hair color fades). To achieve a gorgeous lime green hair color, lighten your hair to a level 8 or higher. Don’t forget to use a crème lightener or volume developer during the bleaching process.

Once you’ve reached the right shade of blonde, start applying the green hair dye. The easiest way to apply the dye is by doing it section by section. Also, apply the product with gloved hands.

 As for your dye selection, use demi- or semi-permanent green hair dyes. When you apply these products to your hair, leave them on for 45 minutes to an hour. The longer you leave the dye, the better.

If you don’t want your hair to be neon green or if you prefer to bleach your hair dark blonde (level 7 or higher), go for an emerald shade of green. When dyeing your hair emerald green all over, make sure to remove orange shades on your hair; otherwise, your hair may look rusty.

A Slap of Green

Shock family and friends with a chunky highlight of green partially hidden by your hair. This style is perfect if you aren’t committed to coloring your entire head.

To achieve this look, just bleach the strands that you want to color a level 7 blonde or higher. While dyeing, pin the rest of your hair back so you don’t accidentally dye the other locks. Leave the green hair color dye on for 30 minutes to an hour before washing out.

Since this style won’t take up all of your hair, maintenance and upkeep are easier. If the color starts fading, all you have to do is re-dye that section.

Ombre Green

If you are feeling more experimental or want a more creative hair color, create an ombre effect with your hair. Combine emerald green and lime green hair dye to achieve a gorgeous and multi-dimensional effect that’s lovely to look at.

Once you’ve chosen your two green hair dye colors, section your hair off and apply the shadow root (aka the darker color). Use a tint brush to apply the dye. Once you’ve applied the shadow root, apply the lighter color and blend both colors to achieve a gradient look.

Leave the dye on for 30 minutes to an hour or longer for a more vibrant effect.

How Long Does Green Hair Last?

woman with green hair reading a magazine

Like any hair dyeing project, the sassy color of your hair will retain its vibrancy for about four to five days. If you’re luckier, you might enjoy vibrant green hair for a week. But as you continuously expose your hair to different elements, as well as the lethal combination of conditioner and shampoo, the color of your hair will slowly fade.

Even if you use color-safe products, the shade won’t last as long as you hoped for. If you’re lucky, though, you’ll still end up with an awesome shade of green.

How Do You Maintain Green Hair at Home?

To avoid dealing with awkward green hair fading, you’ll need a custom-colored conditioner. If you have more room in your budget, consult with a stylist for a custom conditioner that prolongs the color of your hair. Make sure to wash out the conditioner with cold water. You can also use color-depositing conditioners to refresh your green hair color.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you have to limit your hair washing to just once a week. Dry shampoo will be your new best friend. Plus, add heat/UV protectants and moisture masks to nourish your hair.

What Clothes Go Well With Green Hair?

One of the reasons some people are hesitant to go green with their hair is they think it will clash with their outfits.

Green hair color doesn’t limit your clothing choices. You can still wear classic, professional, casual or sporty attires. You must, however, be selective with the colors of your clothes. Be more discreet with your shades. You can wear a combination of brown and beige, white and black or gray and other asphalt colors.

To keep your wardrobe from looking dull against your hair, use colored accents: bags, shoes, scarves or accessories.

Anyone with green hair will stand out from any crowd. So, if you want a fresh change in your appearance and not stick to the basic hair colors, it’s time to go green with your hair.

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Maggie Wheeler
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