7 of the Truest Blue Hair Color Ideas & Formulas
Good news for your color-brave clients: blue hair is trending once again, and there’s no limit on the shades they can work – from icy aquas to muted navies. Whether deep and dark or bright and bold, true blues are big news for this season, as seen on Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and Ciara.
But riding that blue wave takes plenty of prep and post-color maintenance. Not only have you got to achieve the right base for their shade, but you’ll want to help clients maintain their hue too. Here, we reveal everything you need to know about creating a true blue hair color, from choosing the perfect formula, to locking it down with the best color care routine.
Image Credit: @maryg.hair | @ans0403
How to Create Blue Hair Color
1. Pre-Lighten Locks to Make Color Pop
Blue shades appear at their brightest and boldest on a pre-lightened base, so make sure you lift your client’s hair before applying their chosen hue. It’s important to use a hair lightener that nixes overly warm tones, as remnants of yellow and orange can alter the final shade and make color look ‘muddy’. Try BlondorPlex, which allows you to lighten hair up to seven levels, and contains anti-yellow molecules to help reduce orange and yellow undertones during lightening.
2. Choose the Right Coloring Technique
Talk to your clients about what kind of blue hair look they hope to achieve. From balayage to ombre to dip-dyes, there are so many ways to wear the shade, each requiring a different technique. Some clients get confused about the difference between balayage and highlights or ombre and sombre, so have photos to hand to help them choose the right service. (You’ll find all the inspiration you need below.)
3. Pick the Perfect Blue Hair Product
There are so many ways for your clients to go blue when using the Wella portfolio. Select a shade that suits their condition and lifestyle, whether they need a gentle tint or a pure pigment color. Apply one of the colors below to pre-lightened locks, allow it to develop, then wash out with ColorMotion+ Color Protection Shampoo, followed by the Express Post-Color Treatment.
For a zero-damage, semi-permanent blue: try Color Fresh CREATE in New Blue. You can apply it solo for a cobalt shade or personalize it with our collection of Color Fresh CREATE additives. Use Tonight Dusk to deepen to a navy, Vintage Blush for a powdery finish, or Tomorrow Clear to pastelize to a fresh aqua hue.
For an ultra-glossy, demi-permanent blue: apply Color Touch Special Mix 0/88. It’s a dark blue hair hue you can sweep on alone, or blend with lighter tones to make it brighter or softer. Best of all, this punchy product packs plenty of shine that gradually fades between washes. It’s ideal for a low commitment blue with a subtler regrowth line.
For a shiny blue with permanent color: use Koleston Perfect Special Mix 0/88 by itself or mix it in with your permanent color range.
7 Blue Hair Ideas and Formulas to Try
Silver Blue Hair
Image Credit: @golgojanadelina
Name a more mesmerizing shade… We’ll wait. This silvery blue metallic is packed with shimmer and shine from root to tip, courtesy of Koleston Perfect. After lightening locks with BlondorPlex + 6%, Golgojan Adelina mixed up a cool-toned (and rather complex) blend of 10/8 + 10/1 + 10/0 + 9/03 + 0/88 +1.9%.
Short Blue Hair
Image Credit: @wellanordic
Color Fresh CREATE in New Blue is at its best through these close-cropped curls, colored by Sanya Minette. When bleaching afro hair, she recommends using low peroxide, and adding bond-strengthening WellaPlex to your Blondor formula. These simple tweaks will help you take care of the hair as much as possible, while the use of Color Fresh will ensure that statement sapphire shade is damage-free.
Image Credit: @im.eriq
Go multi-tonal with your client’s blue hue by adding fresh strokes of foilyage. These ultra-bright highlights lend the perfect base for brighter blues that pop through mid-lengths and achieve. To achieve this particular look, foilyaged highlights were pre-toned with Color Touch 9/86 + 10/81 + 0/11, then toned again with 8/81 + 9/86 + 0/11 + 0/88.
Icy Blue Ombre Hair
Image Credit: @mr.mishwu
There’s only one thing cooler than blue ombre hair and that’s icy blue ombre hair, as seen in this frosted look by Wella Hairstylist and Trainer Mihai Badin. Midnight blue roots melt into metallic tips for a mane so flawless, it deserves to go viral. Try it yourself by mixing New Blue with Tonight Dusk for deep roots, then blend New Blue with Tomorrow Clear for cool mid-lengths. Dilute the blue further (still using Tomorrow Clear) for a sheer finish on the ends.
Electric Blue Hair
Image Credit: @hairbylizzielane
Lizzie Lane took her client’s hair from blonde to bright blue in this electric look, which was prepped with babylights (AKA micro-fine highlights) to break up solid regrowth from a past bleach job. Then, Color Fresh CREATE in New Blue was melted into Super Petrol – a deeper teal – for this killer cobalt. Obsessed.
Navy Blue Hair
Image Credit: @hana_knowledge
Nothing says ‘chic’ like navy blue – whether it’s in your wardrobe or on your client's hair. This muted blue bob haircut is the definition of sophisticated, thanks to subtle lowlights and super-sleek styling. Navies look better when they’re boosted by shine, so complete the look with EIMI Thermal Image to style with heated tools, followed by a misting of EIMI Oil Spritz for a frizz-free finish.
Light Pastel Blue Hair
Image Credit: @jhair_stylist
Here’s proof that pastels aren’t just for spring. This icy-cool shade looks fresh every season – especially with a platinum money-piece, a blunt cut and piecey waves. Wella Digital Ambassador James Earnshaw used Color Touch 0/88 to create the look, mixed with level 10 blondes for a light and luminous glow. Work it year-round, from summer to winter.
How to Maintain Blue Hair
Keeping blue hues true isn’t easy. Like all bold brights, they’re prone to fading fast, which is why it’s crucial your clients adopt a color care routine. If they’re not sure where to start, recommend they add the following products to their kit:
1. A Shine-Boosting Shampoo and Conditioner
Not just any shampoo will do. To keep color locked down and to protect it from fading aggressors, INVIGO Color Brilliance Color Protection Shampoo is a must-try. The pH balanced formula helps to close the cuticle after washing, which enables better color retention. It also bumps up gloss, ensuring your client’s blue tones look extra-bright. Recommend they complete each hair wash with the INVIGO Color Brilliance Vibrant Color Conditioner.
2. A Color-Depositing Mask
If your client’s blue is bright, bold or navy – any shade except one that’s light or pastel – they can top up the tone at home with the Color Fresh Mask in Blue. All they have to do is shampoo their hair, apply the mask from root to tip, then allow it to develop for 10 minutes before rinsing. The vibrant treatment will keep color fresh between salon appointments.
3. A Heat Protection Spray
Last on the color-shielding list is the EIMI Thermal Image heat protection spray, which protects hair from heat up to 220 degrees celsius. Heat is one of the key culprits of shade fade, so suggest clients use it every time they style their locks – whether they’re blow-drying, curling or straightening their hair. Bonus: it injects hair with extra shine, too.
Products are only available to professionals.