Mother-of-pearl or just pearl hair color is the gorgeous new trend in the hair color world. This is a complex new take on metallic and pastel hair shades that pushes hair colorists to their peak, since it requires a lot of work, bleaching, careful mixing, and incredible attention to detail when painting the hair.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

The effect is astounding multi-dimensional pearl hair that reflects shine in every direction, and makes every woman appear like a goddess of the sea. It’s no surprise that this hair trend follows in the footsteps of other fantastical hair trends like unicorn hair and mermaid hair.

It’s important to know what you’re getting into before asking your hair color technician for pearl hair, because let me tell you, it’s a real commitment. So that’s why we’re covering all the bases: what is pearl hair, how to achieve it at the salon (because you really don’t want to try and do it at home), how to maintain mother-of-pearl hair, and how to adapt your style to this gorgeous new hair color.

To get you inspired, we’ve also collected the best pearl hair color photos, so you can show your stylist your favorite take on the look.

Pearl Hair Color Trend: Contents

What Is Pearl Hair Color?
How to Achieve Mother-of-Pearl Hair?
How to Maintain Pearl Hair Color?
Fit Your Fashion to Your Pearl Hair Color
Pairing Pearl Hair with Makeup
53 Iridescent Pearl Hair Color Ideas

What Is Pearl Hair Color?

When people talk about pearl hair colors, they’re talking about hair colored in metallic pastel shades that create the effect of the shiny surface of a pearl, or the inside of its shell (in which case mother-of-pearl hair is probably more appropriate). These are usually shades like platinum, silver, pink, lavender, and blue.

High-shine gunmetal shades do a great job of channeling black pearl hair colors, especially when a hint of green is mixed in. Cream gives a more pearly effect, while dark silver and purple are perfect for the edgier mother-of-pearl hair.

Pearl hair colors can be done in styles like balayage, ombre, highlights, and color melt, although sometimes just dyeing the hair in one solid color can also work, as long as the shade is just right.


How to Achieve Mother-of-Pearl Hair?

If you’re not a professional hairdresser or colorist, you should probably avoid trying to dye your hair a pearl hair color by yourself. Pearl and mother-of-pearl hair colors require the work of not just any stylist, but a truly skilled color technician, because they require a lot of time and work.

In order to get flawless pearl hair without causing too much damage, allow your colorist to take their time. This doesn’t mean a long day at the salon – it means long days at the salon!

The hair must first be bleached until it is as light and colorless as possible, otherwise the metallic pastels simply won’t show. For many people this will require bleaching the hair multiple times – you might want to break it up into a few bleaching sessions, waiting a few days in between and doing lots of hair strengthening keratin treatments.

Once your hair has been sufficiently bleached, your stylist should tone it to get rid of that warm brassiness that often accompanies bleaching. Once that’s done you can now start thinking about your favorite pearl hair color.

You can choose the perfectly pearly shades and the specific style that’ll suit you with the help of the examples we’ve collected below. Once your hair has been dyed, that’s when the real work starts, though.

How to Dye Hair Mother-of-Pearl Hair Color

@rossmichaelssalon


How to Maintain Pearl Hair Color?

Once your hair has been bleached and dyed so radically, it needs a lot of that tender love and care. You’re best off avoiding heat styling as much as possible, and using heat protecting sprays and lower temperatures if you must.

Shampooing with overly hot water also becomes a no-no. You also want to avoid hair-stripping shampoos with harsh sulfates, and in general you’ll want to shampoo as little as possible.

When you do have to use shampoo, a purple-toned shampoo will be much more gentle on your hair and it’ll also help prevent your pearl hair color from fading by keeping it cool toned.

Regular hair masks will help keep your hair conditioned. Alternate moisturizing masks with healthy hair oils and keratin-based treatments that’ll truly help fortify your hair.

A few weeks after dyeing your hair it’ll seem like your roots have already grown out – you might want to plan ahead and book a root touch-up with your stylist for 4-6 weeks after the initial dyeing session. If you don’t want to have to pop in to the salon that often, then opt for a balayage or sombre hair style that leaves the roots undyed, and is much more forgiving when the hair starts growing out.


Fit Your Fashion to Your Pearl Hair Color

Pearl hair colors come in many different ways, so there are many different ways to ensure that your style fits them.

When it comes to clothes, pearl hair looks just as good with more severe, high-fashion looks as it does with a flowy boho-chic style or a casual look. The key is to avoid colors that’ll clash severely.

Greens, yellows, blues, purples, and pinks all go beautifully with pearl hair, but red and orange can clash severely. Black, of course, goes with anything!

How to Maintain Mother-of-Pearl Hair Color

@rossmichaelssalon


Pairing Pearl Hair with Makeup

When it comes to your makeup, the same principle applies – reds and oranges as lipstick, blushes, or eyeshadow are best avoided, unless you’re rocking a warmer, creamy take on pearl hair. Neutral and cool tones are a much safer choice, with lavender, rose, and pink being the perfect choices for the lip and cheek. Definitely do not forego the blush, as pearl hair can seriously wash out the skin.

You can get creative with the eye makeup and use the same colors I recommended for the clothes, along with a variety of metallics, or you can keep them looking simple and natural looking.

The eyebrows are probably the trickiest part when it comes to fitting your makeup to pearl hair. You can choose to get creative by using one of the crazier shades that you’ve got in your hair (lavender eyebrows, anyone?), but if that’s too out there for you, then the safest choice is a cool taupe that leans towards a little bit gray. It’ll still look natural, without clashing at all with your hair.


53 Iridescent Pearl Hair Color Ideas

Now that you know everything about how to achieve pearl and mother-of-pearl hair, it’s time to get inspired! Which is your favorite look?

1. Sleek Femme Pearl Hair

You can opt for a soft and feminine pearl hair effect by spicing up silver hair color with streaks of pastel pink and purple – of course that a 1940s style curl is a must!

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@rossmichaelssalon

2. Pearl Hair Hurricane

A veritable cascade of pearls! These exceptionally long and curly locks in shades of silver, blue, and pink also show how well pearl hair colors can be integrated with darker roots.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@leysahairandmakeup

3. Cool & Sleek Mother-of-Pearl Balayage

This purple-dominant balayage has that perfect mother-of-pearl hair color thanks to the cooler tones used and the darker roots. It shows that sleek styling also fits this gleaming color choice.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@elissawolfe

4. Pearly Gates Hair

This soft pearl hair looks dainty and gorgeous thanks to lush curls and shimmering pastels. It’s that cotton candy type of pearl hair that will make you look like a princess.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@rossmichaelssalon

5. Pearl Fatale Hair

This darker take on mother-of-pearl hair colors shows that the ocean can be a sultry, dangerous place, and styling it in such sleek waves screams femme fatale of the sea.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@theconfidentcolorist

6. Scene Girl Pearl Hair Color

If you’ve already got a bit of that scene style, you’ll drool over this bright and high-impact take on curly mother-of-pearl hair with lots of purple and blue. It’s one of the slightly darker versions of magical pearl hair colors you’d definitely love to try.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@leysahairandmakeup

7. Creamy Pearl Curls

Thanks to the warmer shades of platinum used in this gorgeous ‘do, the effect is pearly and especially expensive. Streaks of soft lavender add a lot of dimension to the pearl hair color.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@rossmichaelssalon

8. Peek-A-Boo Pearl Hair

Cool lavender curls are dominant in this sleek pearl hair color look, but the shades of cream and magenta peeking at the ends keep everything playful. Pair it with casual summer looks or a little black dress for a show-stopping appearance at a party.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@leysahairandmakeup

9. Dark Pearl Coils

The tight curls in this mother-of-pearl hair look, paired with darker shades of gray, purple, and blue lend this hairstyle a witchy feel that’s perfect for anyone who wants pearl hair without an overly feminine effect.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@cambria_loves_color

10. No-Nonsense Platinum Pearl Hair

This is a simple cream pearl hair look, with a dominant platinum hair color that is quite cold. Accents of a warmer cream shade lend a more organic feel to to the style.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@supvalerie

11. Purple Pearl Magic

When mermaid hair meets mother-of-pearl hair, the result is positively magical! These brighter shades of purple, pink, and blue are impossible not to admire with these long, healthy curls.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@leysahairandmakeup

12. Blue Pearl Ice

This simple one-shade pearl hair color has lots of dimension thanks to lush curling and a lot of shine. Otherwise, it’s all about that light, ice blue shade.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@rossmichaelssalon

13. Pearly Pink Hair Cascade

These ultra soft waves are the perfect styling complement to pearl hair that is predominantly a pastel blue with hints of cool lavender peeking through. Wear it with a nude pink lipstick for a sweetheart look.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@leysahairandmakeup

14. Marbled Pearl Hair

This cool marble hair painting technique works perfectly with shades of silvery-platinum, peach and purple. This subtle pearl hair color absolutely must be shown off with the help of a half-bun right atop the head.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@badwolfstudio

15. Frosted Pearl Hair

Pearl hair in cooler shades, like this silver, purple and blue take on the style, has an undeniably futuristic effect, while the clean retro styling brings it to a retro-futurist place we cannot get enough of.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@shelleygregoryhair

16. Tousled Pink Pearl Lob

Pearl hairstyles start reminding us of cotton candy the second they’re tousled, which I guess means they’re versatile? Anyway, enjoy the playful effect on these pink and purple locks.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@rossmichaelssalon

17. Hot Pearl Curls

Neutral purple and warm blush pearl hair is hard to resist. The combination of shades is extremely eye-catching, especially in this horizontal hair painting ombre technique.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@glamiris

18. Rainbow Mother-of-Pearl Hair

This is a fun and flirty take on pearl hairstyles, and the secret to it is an ultra-warm and fun shade of yellow that contrasts against the purples, blues, and silvers. Darker roots keep everything dimension and more striking.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@sydneyannlopezhair

19. Through the Pearl Prism

These thick and lush curls can only be created with a massive curling iron, but they’re the best way to show off the prism effect one can achieve by carefully painting pearl hair with pastel hints of yellow, pink, green, and blue.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@chitabeseau

20. Tousled Ice Cold Pearl Hair

These messy waves are fun and tousled, taking away from the seriousness of cool silver, purple, and blue hair colors. When you want a silver hair color with a twist, consider this mother-of-pearl hair!

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@jeffreyrobert_

21. Frost Bitten Pearl Curls

Yet another dangerously cold pearl hair balayage, with darker shades of silver and just the barest hint of blue and purple streaking. Darker roots flawlessly melt into a beautiful mix of mother-of-pearl hair shades, like silver, subtle blue and a touch of forest green.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@ashleykcromer

22. Entering the Pearly Gates

This angelic take on pearl hair colors gives us divine vibes, thanks to lush curls and the softest hint of pink and purple running through ultra-pale silver color.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@shelleygregoryhair

23. Pearl Bombshell Hair

If you add extra shades of pastel yellow to your pearl hair color, it can be a great way of straddling blonde and platinum. This curly multi-dimensional look is graced with cool platinum and silver shades and darker roots to ensure a painless grow-out.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@ashleykcromer

24. Steel & Pearl Piecey Waves

This mother-of-pearl hair color seems edgier thanks to longer dark roots, and a brave blend of cool lavender and a warm cream. It’s also one of the most wearable options on this list.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@josh.does.hair

25. Pearly Pastel Dream

Sleek styling choices are great for bringing out this really unique hair painting technique. The pearl hair effect is achieved with a top layer of blue followed by cream, then a mix of pinks and purples.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@visions_hairartistry

26. Taste the Pearly Rainbow

These ultra soft pastels are painted on the hair in a rainbow effect, while copious silvery platinum and extremely sleek styling keep us firm in pearl hair color territory.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@shelleygregoryhair

27. Solid Pearl Curls

The perfect shade of platinum that is just cool enough can give an amazing pearl hair effect without too much effort. It is absolutely lovely here when the hair is styled into loose curls.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@rossmichaelssalon

28. Deep Underwater Pearl Hair

There is something dark and intriguing about this unique take on pearl hair colors. The balayage of metallic purple, blue, and magenta seems just a bit sinister, as it complements the shiny silver main part of the hair.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@hooliganhair

29. Pearl Blonde Balayage

If you’re wanting a super wearable take on pearl hair colors that is a bit more natural, this is a great example! Brunette roots give way to a shiny balayage of platinum and darker blonde. Keep in mind that the only way to keep the pearl effect is by maintaining high shine!

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@hairbymikaylaz

30. Cool Silver Underwater Pearl Hair

Simply gorgeous curls in a silver shade are already an excellent pearl hair color choice, but the blue and purple streaking add just a hint of underwater edge.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@elissawolfe

31. Pearly Hair with Turquoise Flare

This fun take on pearl hair colors breaks the mold by adding that hint of bright turquoise to the top, just below the roots. Without it you’d have a more classic mother-of-pearl hair look with platinum and lavender shades.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@katkolors

32. Two-Tone Purple Pearl Hair

This pearl hairstyle has a subtle effect with a darker shade of purple near the roots and blends seamlessly into the darker silver that is more dominant in this hairstyle.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@elissawolfe

33. Icy Lavender Pearl Curls

This is a take on the mother-of-pearl hair trend that is ice cold and perfect for winter, as long healthy curls gleam with a lavender-blue shine.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@makeupbyfrances

34. Pink Mother-of-Pearl Balayage

It’s hard to get pink hair to look sophisticated, but the secret is classy curls and a ton of dimension. This gorgeous look was achieved thanks to a blend of different peach and pink shades.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@obnoxioushair

35. Mother-of-Pearl Vertical Color Melt

Mother-of-pearl hair color is like a more sophisticated take on rainbow hair, since the colors are oh-so-delicate and dreamy, and the color mix is unique and subtle. It positively shines in these sleek waves.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@elissawolfe

36. Soft Pearl Gray

A simple cool gray look reminds us of those gorgeous gray pearls that are unfortunately not quite as popular as creamy pearls. The sleek curls and hint of cool tone keep this mother-of-pearl hair color super sophisticated and sexy.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@lorietherrien

37. Cool Blue to Silver Pearl Melt

Here you have another cool take on pearl hair colors that’d work well for winter, with dark blue at the roots gorgeously melting into a shimmering silver in the subtlest way possible.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@elissawolfe

38. Creamy Pink Pearl Curls

This warm, creamy pink shade is the perfect feminine take on pearl hair colors, but it’s undeniable that all that shine comes from effectively nourished hair and multi-dimensional curling.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@lorietherrien

39. Pearly Iceberg Hair

The long and sleek styling of this cool mother-of-pearl hair brings to mind a dangerous iceberg, about to sink every ship in sight. Note how well the cool undertones of the hair dye work with the darker roots.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@makeupbyfrances

40. Moon Pearl Lob

This curly long bob is a fun and modern take on cool pearl hair colors, with curls of silver and blue working perfectly together for an ethereal effect.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@lorietherrien

41. Pearl Barbie Waves

The mix of creamy blonde shades for that important pearl hair touch, along with streaks of bubblegum pink make for a girlish look perfect for any adult barbie doll.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@msnataliejean

42. Icy Mother-of-Pearl Locks

The ashy roots and blend of blues and lavenders in this silvery platinum hair reflect a mother-of-pearl shell beautifully, although the lighter shade does still bring pearl effects.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@makeupbyfrances

43. Pearly Blonde Waves

This light, creamy blonde shade is another natural take on pearl hair colors that are great for those who can’t commit to blues and pinks. It’s wearable, it’s cool and definitely trendy!

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@yasinkutluu_

44. Mother-of-Pearl Mystic

Darker purples, magentas, and violets lend a definitive mother-of-pearl hair effect to this look. The darker roots ensure a painless grow-out, but they also lend a ton of dimension to this gorgeous balayage.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@blunt.salon

45. Pearly Pink Balayage

Now this is how you combine natural brown with pearl hair colors! A warmer pink shade keeps things firmly in the pearl range, but also blends beautifully with the warm brown roots.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@lorietherrien

46. Moonlight Pearl Hair

For some reason this pastel rainbow colormelt gives me instant Sailor Moon and girly anime vibes. It’s a perfect summer style for those girly girls who don’t let that stop them from breaking rules and being eccentric.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@studio_wolf

47. Black Pearl Balayage

In this darker take on pearl hair colors, a gunmetal gray is the dominant shade, with hints of green really bringing to mind the look of black pearls. The sleek curls keep the ocean inspiration front and center.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@studio_wolf

48. Silver Pearl Lob

Combining pearl hair colors with retro styling always leads to a super eye-catching look, including in this high-shine silvery hairdo. Pair it with a red lipstick and black eyeliner for that Marilyn Monroe effect.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@studio_wolf

49. Neon Mother-of-Pearl Hair

This is a bright, futuristic take on mother-of-pearl hair colors, with a contrasting mixture of neon turquoise and pink shades keeping things fun and exciting. The layering of horizontal lines of shades really stands out as unique and volumizing.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@garrettkenroach

50. Sleek Mother-of-Pearl Hair Colormelt

This is a subtler colormelt with horizontal layers of shades, with dark roots melting into a light ash blonde, giving way to unique pearl hair shades of blue, purple, and pink in sleek styling.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@garrettkenroach

51. Northern Pearl Fantasy

These pastel blue curls are straight out of the North Pole, shining bright in a multi-dimensional effect. This is also a great winter hair color to embrace.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@rossmichaelssalon

52. Candied Pearl Melt

This pastel mix of pink, mint blue, and warm ash is simply delicious and fun, and it works so well with this long curly styling. This mother-of-pearl hair look displays what it’s like to make cotton candy shades meet pearly accents.

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@garrettkenroach

53. Anime Mother-of-Pearl Hair

The intense volume in this wavy long bob, paired with the bright pearl hair color shades of purple and pink means that the anime girl vibes are undeniable. Fun and bright, you cannot go wrong with this kind of look!

Mother-of-Pearl Hair Trend: Pearl Hair Color Ideas

@guy_tang

Photos via Instagram