Dip-Dyed Hair Is The Eclectic Trend You'll Want To Try This Spring

Spring is almost here, and that means you'll start to see a lot more color, from blooming flowers to splashy Easter eggs — and even on your hair. Lately, touches of color, like the money piece hairstyle, have been popping up everywhere, paving the way for the return of early 2010s dip-dyed hair.

"Dip-dyed hair looks as though you've dipped the ends of your hair directly into a vat of beautiful color," Cara Craig, a professional colorist, explained to Byrdie. You might remember celebs like Kylie Jenner rocking the look nearly a decade ago, often in technicolor hues. Soon, practically everyone and their mom were sporting pink, blue, or purple tips.

Fast-forward to 2023, and the dip-dye trend is back and likely here to stay, given how easy it is to maintain. "This technique doesn't look bad when the hair grows," master stylist Linda de Zeeuw told InStyle, noting that the color may require an occasional toner to prevent fading. If you grow tired of your color, it's easy to snip the tips off rather than redye the entire head.

If it's been a while since you've embraced the look, or if you missed out when it was trending the first time, now's your chance to dip your toes in the dip-dye technique.

Beginners, start small

If you're not ready to commit to major color, minimal dye at the bottom is the way to go. This works especially well on long hair. If you decide the dip-dyed look isn't right for you, cut off the bottom inch or two during your next haircut for a fresh start without sacrificing much length.

Even if this style is low-commitment, keep in mind that it still requires lightening the ends before adding color, according to L'Oréal Professionnel Paris. For best results, make sure to visit a professional salon.

Channel your inner ice queen

Get an icy cool look by dipping platinum blonde hair in a rich blue color. If your hair isn't already bright white, start with a lightener or bleach to strip your natural color from roots to tips. Then, your dip-dyed ends can really pop against the blank white canvas.

As for what type of blue to choose, it's up to you. Go bold with cobalt or a deep teal, as seen here, or keep it light with pastel blue tips.

Back to black

If you thought dip-dyed hair was all about vivid rainbow shades, think again. Black tips are an edgy alternative perfect for lighter hair — sort of like dipping your strands in a bottle of ink. If your mane is naturally blonde, ask your colorist to add black to the bottom — easy peasy. If you're sporting brunette locks, lighten your tresses or keep your natural color for a chocolatey brown and black look instead. A blunt black line offers a punk edge, but for a softer style, ask for an ombré effect.

Try dip-dye on short hair

Dip-dyeing can work on short hair, though there are some caveats. Stylist Paul Dennison shared with L'Oréal Professionnel Paris, "[T]he less hair you have to play with, the more obvious your dip dye would be. It's really important the cut complements the color as if the hair moves more; you can have more of a diffusion of color."

Generally, you'll need a bob or longer to execute the dip-dye trend. To prevent harsh lines around the face, choose a soft dye in the same color family as your natural hair.

Don't forget the bangs

Let your fringe in on the fun by dip-dyeing your bangs to match your longer ends. Bella Hadid showed off a version of this style in a TikTok clip, revealing a bold two-tone look that might be hard to pull off (unless, of course, you're Bella Hadid).

For a softer take, like the one seen here, lighten the strands that frame your face and add wispy blue accents to the bangs and front pieces. That way, your dye is front and center without being overwhelming.

Dip your hair in two colors

The classic dip-dyed hair has only two colors, with the tips contrasting the base color. However, as hair expert Alex Brownsell — who has been credited with inventing the dip-dye technique — told The Guardian, "That whole two-tone look has evolved quite a bit."

One modern iteration involves combining two vivid dyes near the bottom of your mane. To recreate this style, choose hues that neighbor each other on the color wheel, like blue and purple.

Go for a rainbow effect

Friendly reminder: You're never too old for rainbow hair. Still, all-over Rainbow Brite tresses may not be everyone's cup of tea. A gentler way to rock rainbow hair is by asking your stylist for multicolored dip-dye. Dip your ends in every shade, from red to purple, while keeping the rest of your mane a neutral blonde, brown, or black.

To prevent your rainbow from fading, John Frieda suggests handling your hair carefully between touch-ups. Keep heat away from your ends (including hot water!) and wash with a shampoo formulated to maintain vibrant colors.

Flip the trend on its head

If you crave high-impact color but still want to try the dip-dye look, reverse the style by dyeing the top portion of your head a vivid color (or two, using a split-dye technique). Then, dip the tips in a neutral shade, like brown or black.

This version will likely require more upkeep, given that your natural roots will show easily against the bright shades up top. According to Beautylish, you may need touch-ups as frequently as every couple of weeks.

Dip-dye your locs

Give your locs some love with a bit of color. Dye the tips the same color or alternate using different shades. You can even keep some locs all-natural, dyeing only some strands for less intensity.

When coloring locs, be sure to visit a trusted pro. "Locs coloring requires a level of expertise that is gained through years of experience," Jennifer Lord, a hair artist and loc expert, revealed to InStyle. When possible, visit a salon specializing in your hair type to minimize damage when dip-dyeing.

Highlight your hair

Electrify your tresses with shocking yellow tips. Highlighter yellow makes a statement while blending well with blonde tones. Hairstylist Jake Gallagher explained to Refinery29, "Yellow is an easy way to transform blonde hair minus the staining you get from richer colors."

Keep the look subtle by adding yellow to the tips, including bangs if you have them, with a slight gradient. When the pigment loses its vibrancy, let it fade into a pastel shade, or head to your salon to freshen up the color.

Combine with an equally on-trend cut

Dip-dyed hair can work with practically any cut or style — case in point: the super trendy jellyfish haircut. Dazed Digital explains that the cut is an interpretation of the traditional Japanese hime haircut and involves chopping locks into multiple layers. The top layer is similar to a blunt bob, while longer layers splay out, almost like the tentacles of a jellyfish.

A daring, multi-layered style like this is the perfect way to experiment with dip-dyeing this season. To avoid going overboard with design elements, stick to only two colors.

Try faded shades

File this look somewhere between dip-dyed and ombré. Unlike conventional ombré hair, which usually features a gradient blend of colors similar in shade, this version gradually fades the hair from black roots to icy blonde tips — sort of like dip-dye's more mature sister.

Colorist Cara Craig agrees that natural tones are a user-friendly way to adopt the trend. "We're seeing a lot more of those root-y-er looks," she told Byrdie. "It feels safer to some people who don't necessarily want to come into the salon every two months."

Tie-dye your dip-dye

The late '90s/Y2K revival has been underway for a while, bringing nostalgic throwbacks like tie-dye prints. And the tie-dye comeback doesn't have to be limited to tees and sweatshirts — the groovy trend can inspire your next dip-dye style too.

To achieve the look, choose two or more vivid colors. Lighten the ends, then apply one color to the top half and another to the bottom half, keeping the edges slightly rough and uneven (no harsh lines here!). The final result: a fun, updated take on an old trend.

Set your hair ablaze

Black and red is an edgy color combo that's long been embraced by everyone from the goth crowd to pop-punk bands, and it just so happens to be one of the best combos for dip-dyed hair. Start with black tresses, lightening the ends thoroughly. Then, work a fire engine red pigment into the tips, placing a few longer tendrils throughout for a fiery effect.

You can even add touches of orange and yellow to give the appearance of flames, a style that Hair.com says is heating up in 2023.

Do a two-toned look on curls

Curls just wanna have fun, and they can with the dip-dye trend. While the technique is often seen on smooth and straight manes, it works for just about any hair type. "According to popular belief, dip dye is only meant for straight hair. This is completely untrue! This half-tone coloring technique, which creates a shading effect between the roots and the tips, works just as well in curly hair," Jean Louis David Salon states on its website.

For curly hair that's on the fragile side, additional treatments may be required to keep locks healthy.

Try a tri-color style

Get inspired by this fairy-ish hairstyle, combining three different dip-dyes into one dreamy look. Unlike the fairy hair that went viral on TikTok (using hair tinsel to add pops of glittery color), dip-dyed fairy hair is equal parts punchy and pixie. In other words, you won't need to squint to see it.

Go for pastel or muted neon shades mixed together at the ends. Avoid harshness by keeping some strands untouched, so the brighter pigments mix and mingle in the hair.

Up in smoke

If you want to try a black-and-white hairstyle without looking too Cruella de Vil, swap black for a softer gray. Start by lightening your full mane, as celebrity hairstylist Brittan White shared with Allure. "To get your hair that smoky gray color, you need your strands to be platinum blonde," she advised. Then, treat the bottoms to a light dip in charcoal-colored dye. Add a smoky dimension to the overall look with some subtle dirty blonde lowlights throughout.

Go halfsies

Struggling to choose between two colors for your tips? Do one on each side for the best of both worlds. Instagrammer @leechoooo shows off how to do it, along with the caption, "Sometimes our days are either Cherry Red or Midnight Blue. So I got them both & that's just how it works."

Though clashing red and blue may be out of some people's comfort zones, the effect isn't overwhelming when done in dip-dye. Other flattering options, according to Salon Success Academy, include blue and orange, red and green, or any two pastel tones.

Warm things up with auburn-brown dye

Copper shades are among the hair colors you'll be asking for in 2023, so why not give the trend a test run with a little dip-dye fun? This allows you to maintain your natural black or dark brown roots while warming up the lower half in a neutral, lighter tint.

Besides penny-colored locks, those with medium skin tones can also add warmth around the face with honey blonde, chocolate, and auburn shades, says Hair.com.

Experiment with green

Remember Billie Eilish's green hair? The perfectly placed touches of acid green at her roots were cool, slightly punk, and 0% Kermit the Frog. Though the singer has ditched her iconic dye job, it can live on in your next dip-dye coloring, though in reverse. Apply fluorescent green to the ends, all the way around your mane. Then to channel your inner Billie, apply the same color to the roots in the front to subtly frame the face. Voilà! You're ready for St. Patrick's Day, a punk show, or anything in between.