Are you someone that has thought about trying out yellow hair color and are no stranger to fun, trendy colors? I love any hair color that makes people stare at you with amazement and sometimes even confusion. If this sounds like you, firstly, you are my type of person and have come to the right yellow hair ideas and style guide.
I have colored my hair yellow once and mixed it with a neon green root. It was one of my favorite colors, and some people would agree, but others were happy to see it gone. Yellow hair is definitely not for everyone, but for who it is for, it will most likely become one of your favorite colors.
Bottom Line Up Front
Yellow is a hair color that makes a statement no matter how your style it or what shade you go with. If you aren’t too sure about yellow hair color, you can try it out by doing peek-a-boo pieces of yellow instead of an all-over look. If you are ready to dive head first into a yellow color, I love a neon yellow color or golden yellow, depending on your skin tone.
A Few Things You Must Know
Yellow hair is one of the most effortless fashion colors to achieve because yellow is what everyone’s hair naturally lifts to. It is a color that stands out and can last much longer than other fashion colors. However, a few challenges come with yellow hair that you should be aware of before committing to the color.
You Must Bleach Your Hair
To get a bright and true yellow, you must first bleach your hair to a pale blonde, which goes for those that are a natural blonde. The good thing is you don’t have to worry about lightening it past all the yellow because you’ll be adding that right back in. However, it needs to be lifted to where there is no orange left in the hair, or it will not be a bright yellow color.
Yellow Can Easily Look Like An Accident
Intentionally coloring your hair yellow must be colored to a bright and light color because yellow is also the color that people’s hair turns when they incorrectly dye their hair blonde. This means that people could easily mistake your hair for a mess-up. I recommend staying away from darker brassy yellow colors and choosing a very light yellow or a cool-toned yellow, meaning yellow with a green base.
Yellow Is Difficult to Remove
If you ever decide to be an ashy blonde again after going yellow and achieve it, let me know how you did it because I have never seen it done in the ten years of doing hair. I don’t think anyone fully understands why, but yellow stays in the hair. Even when you cover it with a darker color, it may come back at some point. The best way I’ve seen to cover yellow is with another vivid color. Still, you must remember to counteract the yellow with a neutralizing color, or the color will turn out whatever color is made by mixing the new one with yellow.
Yellow hair is overall not a popular hair color, but not because it is unfashionable or ugly. On the contrary, it is so unique and fashionable that it will stand out more than almost any other color that you could do. It’s one of those hair colors that you may only see on the runway or on people who seem ahead of the times with their fashion. If you are brave enough to rock this color, you will most definitely be in trend.
Doesn’t Look Like An Accident
As mentioned above, yellow can easily look like an accident because it is the color your hair lifts to if incorrectly coloring your hair blonde. All of the yellow hair color ideas on this list are very clearly not an accident but can still be easily attained. This is done by mixing with other hair colors, such as grey or green, and using yellows that are not brassy or a lighter golden color than natural.
A Color for Everyone
Yellow can be difficult to pull off because it is such a bright, unique color. Even though, if you decide to go for this trendy style, different shades of yellow work for different skin tones and styles. You can go for a more subtle style with peek-a-boos or stand out with a bright golden yellow all over. No matter your skin coloring or how much yellow you want, there is a style for you below.
Yellow Hair Ideas and Styles
Peek-a-boo pieces are a form of chunky highlighting done on the underneath layers of hair, so they only show when the hair is moving or below the layers on the bottom of your hair. Yellow peek-a-boo pieces are a great introduction to yellow hair or perfect for someone that wants something subtle and match it with natural color or another vivid color everywhere else.
Yellow and Black
Yellow and black are two colors that happen to look great together because they are highly contrasted. Black is a color that sucks in light and is deep, and yellow is one of the lightest colors you can get while still getting a ton of reflection. You can style yellow and black together in many different ways, like ombre, yellow peek-a-boos under black hair, and color blocking the yellow and black colors.
All Over Yellow
This is one of those yellow hairstyles you need to be careful with so it doesn’t look like an accidental blonde. I recommend keeping it to a light yellow with no orange and keeping it very bright. All-over yellow hair can look good on almost any skin tone and is more of a color that will stand out. I especially love this color on those with the complexion of a natural redhead, also known as warm pale skin tones.
Half and Half Yellow
Coloring your hair half one color and half another color started with the Cruella Devil style of black hair on one side and white hair on the other side, separated down the center of your hair. This look has transformed to involve different colors throughout the years, using vivid colors with black or using two different vivid colors. I like black and yellow because of the high contrast, but this look also looks great with pink and yellow, green and yellow, or lavender and yellow.
I don’t think there’s anything in nature that is yellower than a sunflower, so why not mimic this yellow flower in your hair. You can do this by painting a dark violet-red brown color on your roots to mimic the center of the flower and doing a cooler-toned yellow throughout the ends. This creates a rooty style that is lower maintenance, and the yellow is easily brought back up later for touch-ups. I find this color best for those that naturally have darker hair and a darker skin complexion.
One of my favorite current trends is coloring only your bangs a bright, vivid color. Don’t worry. You don’t necessarily need bangs for this look, and you can simply color an inch section around your face yellow to create a chunky bang look without the haircut. If you are new to vivids and don’t want to start with an entire head of vivid color, this is a great starter that still makes quite a statement.
Yellow and Green
Yellow and green hair doesn’t usually strike people as a very attractive color when they hear, but as soon as I show them photos of what it could look like, they are generally pleasantly surprised. Green is one of my favorite colors, so whenever someone wants green hair, I get excited, and adding yellow makes it look even more electric. I like to describe it as a radioactive goddess color.
If you want to look like the Disney princess Sleeping Beauty, golden yellow is your color. This color looks best on those with a paler complexion because the golden tones pair perfectly with those warm natural tones in your skin. You should also be aware that this color could nearly blind people when it is shining in the sun because it reflects the sun’s golden tones so well.
Highlighting in yellow is another style you need to be careful with because it could look like improperly lightened hair. Your best bet is to go with a yellow that has a green base or couping your yellow highlights with another vivid color. You can use any shade of yellow with the highlights; this is a more subtle look than some other yellow hairstyles.
As if yellow hair could get any edgier, you add a dark shadow root to it, and it is edgier somehow. A rooty yellow is an excellent look for those who don’t want to deal with a ton of maintenance. You can leave your natural color at the base or make it darker with a demi-permanent color. To see how to do your own shadow root, look at this other article I wrote, “Root Smudge Guide.”
Yellow and Silver
I enjoy yellow and silver hair because it puts two different shades of blonde together that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. They are both lighter colors, so you don’t create any darkness in your hair, but they are still very contrasting because silver is ashy as you can get and yellow is as warm as you can get. However, you should know that the silver color fades faster than most other colors, so you may end up with a light blonde where the silver was with the yellow still there.
Yellow ombre is perfect for those who know they will eventually want to go back to an ashy blonde because the yellow only colors the ends. This means that the yellow will grow out quicker, and you can subsequently cut off the previous yellow-colored hair. Cutting out yellow hair color has been the only way that I have found to remove it completely without showing back up when the hair is bleached. You can do a yellow ombre with your natural color at the base or any other color.
Yellow and Orange
Yellow and orange hair was made famous by the lead singer of Paramore, Hayley Williams, in the early 2000s. She was way ahead of her time because coloring your hair yellow and orange didn’t become popular until years after she first did it. I highly recommend making your roots orange and the ends yellow or color blocking the two shades because yellow roots with orange ends look like an accident. This is because when hair isn’t lifted correctly, your hair turns yellow at the roots and darker throughout the ends.
Neon-yellow hair is one of the brightest colors you can do on your hair with a slight green undertone and even glows in the dark. You must put this color over an ashy blonde base so it doesn’t pull any warmth. You may need to tone your blonde hair to a neutral color before applying neon yellow if your hair is only lifted to a yellow color.
Another object of nature that has yellow is fire, and you can very much make your hair look like bright flames. I like to start with a dark red or black root and gradually melt the color into orange and, eventually, yellow. This is a great color for those with naturally darker hair because you can do it in sessions. You may only be able to lift your hair to an orange color the first time if it’s very dark or colored black, and the second session will make the ends yellow.
Maintaining Yellow Hair
Yellow hair is pretty easy to maintain because it is so stubborn when it comes to fading. However, your yellow can most definitely change tones and become a warmer or orange-tinted yellow. Below are a few ways to maintain your original yellow color, so it doesn’t turn into something you don’t love.
Wash with Cold Water
Hot water can open the cuticle of your hair, which is where vivid colors sit in your hair, making the yellow color molecules wash out quickly and bring out your more natural brassy yellow. Washing your hair with cold water can be challenging to get used to, but it is well worth it. When I wash my hair with cold water, I lean my head back into the cold water for shampooing and then cover it with a shower cap to finish my shower with warm water.
Use a Heat Protectant
Styling tools that use heat, including a blow dryer, can also make your yellow hair fade into a funky color. I like to use a leave-in conditioner with a heat protectant, which will work for blow-drying and any heat styling you do after the blow-drying. However, you will need a spray heat protectant on second-day or already dry hair. I also recommend not using hot tools over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t usually necessary anyway.
Use Hair Sun Screen
The sun is one of the main contributors to fading colors, especially vivid colors that are put over bleached hair. Luckily, they make sunscreens specifically for your hair and can either come in a spray or leave-in conditioner. Most color-protecting products have sunscreen in them, but they will most like tell you if they have SPF right on the front of the packaging.
Use Products with Protein
Since you need to bleach your hair to achieve a yellow color, you will most likely need to replace all the protein that the lightning process took out. Keeping your hair healthy will help it keep its color much better because a healthy cuticle holds on to color much better. I recommend using a protein shampoo, conditioner, mask, and leave-in conditioner.
Answer: You need to bleach your hair before coloring it yellow. Yellow is technically a vivid color, so you need to bleach it first for the color to show up. It would be best to lift your hair to a pale yellow before coloring it yellow, so you don’t get any orange tones popping through. If there are still orange tones, you may need to tone the hair before coloring it yellow.
Answer: Yellow hair color is one of the most difficult colors to remove. The only way I have found to remove yellow hair is to cover it with another color, like a darker color or another vivid color. If you decide to cover yellow with another vivid color, know that you need to counteract the yellow with a neutralizing color, or else the new color will mix with the yellow tone to make a new color.
Answer: Yellow hair color is trending right now, but mostly because it stands out and makes a statement. It is definitely not for those that want something subtle, and it looks best on those that have the confidence to pull off fun, bright colors and have an edgy haircut.
Answer: Neon-yellow hair can glow in the dark, especially if put under a black light. The glow-in-the-dark effect quickly fades off, only lasting about a week. Certain hair color brands also have hair colors meant to glow in the dark, giving you more of a selection than just neon yellow.
Answer: Yellow hair can be mixed many with other hair colors, such as black, grey, green, orange, and lavender. I like to use different colors with yellow that either contrast it or can naturally turn into yellow because it is a primary color mixed into it. You could even melt multiple colors into yellow, such as blue to green to yellow. You can also color block different colors together and do a half and half head look.
Should You Try Yellow Hair?
Yellow hair is definitely not for everyone because it is so far out of the mainstream colors, but I feel that anyone can pull off yellow hair if you have the confidence for it. Doing almost any vivid color is more about feeling comfortable in your hair and matching your edgy, fashionable style that already makes a statement anyway. If you are new to vivids or a bit timid about doing such a bright, vivid color as yellow, I would start with yellow peek-a-boo pieces. However, my favorite overall yellow color is neon yellow.
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