How To Do Rainbow Hair

Want to learn how to create rainbow hair? It isn’t as hard as you might think. While it does require lots of different hair dye colours, as long as you carefully section off your hair then it is straightforward to apply.

Can you dye your hair rainbow?

To dye your hair rainbow you will need to bleach your hair to a light blonde for vibrant results. Once you have lightened your hair and toned it to remove any brassiness you can move on to adding rainbow hair dye.

The first of our rainbow hair colour techniques is for a full head of rainbow hair. Before you begin, make sure you've got the following tools:

  • Disposable gloves to protect your hands from staining.
  • A tint brush for precision application.
  • Petroleum jelly to protect against drips and stains. 
  • An old towel to protect your clothing.
  • A comb to detangle your hair and work the dye through.
  • Sectioning clips to help you to segment your hair neatly.

To begin, section your hair and comb through, to ensure your locks are smooth and tangle free. Starting from the front of your hair, begin the dyeing process with a yellow hair dye and apply the colour to the middle section of your hair, using a tint brush. Aim to cover around two inches of hair in this shade. See our yellow hair dyes, here.

Next, apply red to the uppermost section of hair, stopping when you reach the yellow section. To avoid harsh lines, gently blend the two colours together to mask any obvious divisions. See our red hair dyes, here.

Apply about two inches of pink hair dye directly underneath the yellow section, using your fingers to softly blend the two colours together. See our pink hair dyes, here.

Apply orange hair dye using a tint brush straight underneath the pink panel. As before, softly mix the colours with your gloved fingers to ensure a gradient look. See our orange hair dyes, here.

Next, apply around two inches of purple hair dye to your hair, in a similar style to before. See our purple hair dyes, here.

Next, use your green hair dye to cover another two inches, making sure you blend carefully. See our green hair dyes, here.

To complete the rainbow, apply blue hair dye to the last few inches of your hair. See our blue hair dyes, here.

You can adjust the width of each colour of hair dye according to the length of your hair to achieve your full range of rainbow colours. For example, if you are creating rainbow hair short you may need less than two inches per colour. This method can also be used to create a vertical rainbow effect. Simply apply in vertical strips instead.

Once the colours have fully developed, begin to carefully wash out the dye, making sure you wear gloves throughout. An easy way to do this is to section the hair, then hold the hair flat under cool running water until all dye is removed and the water runs clear. This technique minimises the risk of colours bleeding or blending into one another. 

If you have created a vertical rainbow, it is much easier to prevent the colour from bleeding into the other strips as you can cover with foil while you are dyeing and then wash in sections.

Finally, dry your hair and style. 

How to do rainbow hair?

In this step by step guide, we show you how to create rainbow hair tips.  Before you begin, you'll need the following equipment:

  • Small hair elastics, preferably the 'no-snag' style.
  • Disposable gloves to protect your hands from staining.
  • A tint brush for precision application.
  • An old towel to protect your clothing.
  • Petroleum jelly to protect against drips and stains. 
  • A comb to detangle your hair and work the dye through.
  • Sectioning clips to help you to segment your hair neatly.

Bleach the tips of your hair, if you need to lighten your hair for more vibrant results. Once your hair is lightened, allow it to recover for a couple of days before applying hair dye. 

When you are ready to start dyeing your hair, thoroughly detangle your hair and begin to section off into small ponytails, tied with hair elastics.

Without removing the hair elastics, rinse out each ponytail separately with warm water and wash with a mild and gentle shampoo.

Towel or blow dry each ponytail if your hair dye brand needs to be applied to dry hair. 

Get your rainbow of different hair colours to dye each hair tip a different colour for a rainbow effect. If you haven’t picked out your selection of rainbow hair dyes yet, then make sure to check out our hundreds of hair dye colours to choose your favourites.

Wearing gloves and using a tint brush, use each colour on the ponytail tips. Use the hair elastics as a guide for how high you want your hair dye to reach.

Comb through your individual ponytails for even colour coverage. Isolate each hair section to avoid the colours bleeding into one another. You can wrap a small amount of foil around each section to help with this. 

Allow to process in accordance with your hair dye brand instructions. 

Rinse out each ponytail individually with cool water until the water runs clear, then dry and style your new cool rainbow hair.

How much does it cost to get rainbow hair?

If you are creating your own rainbow hair it can cost between £15 and £70. However, if you have purchased larger tubs of hair dye you will have plenty left over to create another rainbow style or something like a two tone style. If you need some extra accessories such as bleach, toner, hair care products, tint brush, and mixing bowl then it will cost extra but plenty of these products can be reused and will last a long time.

What is the best colourful hair dye?

Best colourful and bright hair dyes for a new crazy rainbow hair colour:

  • Yellow Hair Dyes: La Riche Directions Bright Daffodil, Crazy Color Canary Yellow, Crazy Colour Caution UV
  • Red Hair Dyes: Crazy Color Fire Red, Manic Panic Pillarbox Red, Manic Panic Vampire Red
  • Pink Hair Dyes: Crazy Color Pinkissimo, Crazy Color Candy Floss Pink, Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink
  • Orange Hair Dyes: Crazy Color Orange, La Riche Directions Mandarin, Manic Panic Electric Tiger Lily
  • Purple Hair Dyes: Crazy Color Violette, Crazy Color Hot Purple, Manic Panic Purple Haze
  • Green Hair Dyes: Crazy Color Toxic UV, Manic Panic Enchanted Forest, Manic Panic Venus Envy
  • Blue Hair Dyes: La Riche Directions Midnight Blue, La Riche Directions Lagoon Blue, Crazy Color Bubblegum Blue

See more rainbow hair colours, here. At Blue Banana, we have hundreds of shades for you to choose from!

What colours stay in the longest?

Generally, darker hair colours last longest so if you are creating rainbow hairstyles you may find that the blue and purple hair dye stays vibrant for longer than the yellow and pink tones. Make sure to reseal your leftover dye so that you can use it later for touch-ups in order to help your rainbow hair last longer.

Looking for inspiration? We have plenty of other rainbow hair colour ideas that you can learn to do by following our other hair dye style guides.

  • Pastel Rainbow Hair: Make sure to check out our how to guide on pastel hair colours to turn your rainbow hair pastel.
  • Hidden Rainbow Hair: For tips on how to create rainbow hair underneath, take a look at out two toned hair guide for step by step instructions of the peek-a-boo hairstyle A.K.A rainbow hair hidden.
  • Rainbow Hair Highlights: You can also create rainbow highlights blonde hair or any colour by following our how to guide on highlights.
  • Rainbow Ombre Hair: Ombre hair colour can add a more natural look to your rainbow hairstyle. Find out how to do the ombre technique with our How To guide.

Want to skip the semi-permanent hair dye but still want to add some rainbow fun to your hair? Why not try out temporary hair colour in the form of hair chalk, hair gel, or coloured hair spray? Alternatively, you can add some clip in rainbow hair extensions for an instant new look.

Creating a rainbow hairstyle at home does take patience and maintenance but it is certainly worth it for the fun colourful results. Plus you will have rainbow hair dye leftover to try out a new colourful hairstyle once your first one has faded. There are so many ways you can add rainbow colour to your hair, which one will you try first?

Please Note: Blue Banana hair dye information should be read alongside professional advice. Blue Banana makes no guarantee of validity and additional instruction should be taken from trained persons.