Are you bored of your hair? Jazz it up with some colour! You’ll be surprised at what a little bit of colour can do for your mood, and give you a bit of a confidence boost. And if the only thing that’s holding you back is what your boss would say, then you’ve come to the right place. From peek-a-boo colours to natural-looking highlights, here are more than 37 work-friendly hair colours to rock at the office if you’ve been dying to dye.
We love this platinum grey balayage look that gives a beautiful contrast with black hair. You can easily adjust the amount of colour to your adventure quotient or risk appetite (or maybe your HR’s). You can opt to go with a fuller balayage look (pictured left) with more colour or a more muted look with lesser colour lower down the ends of your hair tips – which can also be easily concealed in a braid.
If you have a pretty conservative HR or office culture, you might just want to hop on the hidden colours bandwagon. When your hair is let down and brushed straight, no one in the office should see your dye job. However, once you step out of the office, bring your hair up in a half up-do to show your true colours.
If you prefer a darker colour but are bored of the usual browns, give dark blues and dark purples a try. Blue hair has been touted to be universally-flattering for most skin tones. However, it’s also known to be difficult to maintain (some online users have said that their blue hair turned black after two weeks). To go for this look, you may want to ask your hairstylist or hair colourist of choice for maintenance tips and recommended coloured shampoo or toners.
Fancy a lighter hair colour that comes with a tinge of colour but not too outlandish (a platinum Kim Kardashian blonde might just be too much)? Try lavender grey balayage or ashy grey blonde for a softer, muted version to the blonde hair category. If this is your first time going blonde or you’re simply not too sure, try confining the colour to dipped ends (pictured right).
Pro tip: Cheap bleaching agents may melt or fry your hair, damaging it for good for years until you get professional help for healthy hair regrowth. When it comes to bleaching your hair colour, you always want to spend the few hundreds on a reputable salon for proper bleaching care and processes (it may easily take up to four or seven hours). Remember, fast and cheap bleach is more damaging than you can bear.
Looking for a hair colour change that’s more dramatic (but not too eye-catching or jarring so it’s office-friendly)? If none of the above hair colour ideas rocked your boat, you might just be looking for an all-out blonde look, although in a softer, quieter, and subtler ashy grey lavender or strawberry blonde. Again, since this is a blonde look, you should visit a reputable salon in Singapore with specialised hair colourists to bleach your hair. Do not scrimp on the toner shampoos and conditioner, only that will help you with the longevity of your hair colour!
Mauve, mushroom brown hair has been trending since 2018, no surprise since it’s a low-maintenance style that looks incredibly natural.
Rock grey hair with a gorgeous ombre or colourmelt like this one, but keep your roots dark or closer to your natural colour so regrowth looks less noticeable.
Liven up dark hair by weaving in some coloured highlights, but on a dark base so it’s not too obvious.
Pronounced bah-lee-AHZGE, this style of concentrating colour near the ends and sweeping the colour towards the crown of the head creates a soft, natural look that doesn’t look half bad when it grows out.
(Here are “26 Low-Maintenance Balayage Hair Colours To Try“)
This is probably the hair version of “business in the front, party at the back”. When hair is let down the purple is virtually invisible, but once you have it up in a ponytail or bun, it reveals a gorgeous colour that’s been hidden.
Black and blue complement each other so well, and in this case, the dark royal blue makes for discreet highlights on a head of black hair. Step into the sun, and the brilliance of the colour will come into light (pun intended).
Grey hair is easy to get away with, after all, it’s considered natural right? Shown here as highlights, the grey streaks give boring black hair a new dimension.
Like royal blue, darker purples like aubergine and plum are generally quite inconspicuous when paired with black.
By lightening hair by a few shades and colouring it to a grey, you can give it texture and shine. Pro tip: If you’re boss is super strict, flip hair to the side that’s not facing him/her. They might catch on eventually, so you might want to consider peekaboo colours instead.
Babylights will be the next big thing this year. Less obvious than highlighting, babylights are micro-fine highlights that gives shine and dimension to hair – kinda like the highlights you get when you’re exposed to the sun.
A go-to colour for most people when they first start colouring their hair, red signifies everyone’s first foray into unnaturally coloured hair. This version is stylish and flattering for all ages.
This fiery hairdo is not for the faint of heart and requires plenty of maintenance to keep it looking fresh and beautiful. But if you like pushing the boundaries, this Black Widow-esque red will have you in the overlapping territories of “office-appropriate” and “not suitable for the office”. Attempt at your own risk.
Resembling the colours of peacock feathers, the colours blend in with natural black hair, showing themselves only if you tie it up, or when you do a spectacular hair flip.
Denim hair is the next big thing after granny hair. The best thing about denim hair is its resemblance to denim jeans — the more they fade, the better they look. It usually starts out as a dark ashy blue, and transitions into a pale blue-grey.
Like the colours you see on an oil slick, this hair colour uses deep purples, blues and burgundy for a gorgeous hair colour that is barely there. Step into strong sunlight during lunch, and you’ll be treated to envious stares when the colours truly come alive.
Layered hair would look great with the hidden peacock, with just vivid purples and fuchsia peeking through at the ends.
Short hair can also have their fair share of coloured fun with this hidden galaxy ‘do, with bright blues and purples showing when you tie up your hair in a half updo.
(Read also “Have Short Hair? Here Are 20 Easy Styling Ideas To Try“)
Not just reserved for those with shorter hair, medium-length hair would look great with this style as well. For a more inconspicuous look, a one-length style would do good in hiding all the coloured parts as opposed to a layered hair cut.
Blue is an extremely flattering colour on Asian skin, and this colour is one of the easiest to maintain. If you are attempting a light ashy-blue, bleaching may be required but you only need blue shampoo to maintain the colour and to keep brassiness away.
Even if you have short hair, it’s likely you can get away with coloured hair in the office if done properly. This black and purple combination is understated but shines with vivid brilliance once you are out in the sun.
This look is great for those who hate obvious roots. Balayage technique with red and darker roots are extremely forgiving and easy to maintain when hair is growing out.
The emerald green ends of this hair colour combination makes a unique combination that’s often not attempted.
Denim hair was popular in 2016 but it doesn’t mean you can no longer rock this look. When paired with black, looks great on both medium-length or long hair.
Unbeknownst to your colleagues, you’ve actually got some unicorn strands of hair underneath!
Get on board the ash train with cool brown hair tone! If you’re afraid of experimenting with too much colour, this shade is perfect for you.
Despite its purple tones, this platinum shade is actually quite tame for work.
It’s safe for work and it’s so pretty!
Hidden in between chic curls, this sea green colour gives a nice touch of surprise to light brown hair.
One of the most flattering colours for Asian skin tone, bright purple complements black hair really well.
A style for longer hair, the cascading tones of copper, red and purple look amazing whether you have loose curls or straight hair.
A subtle take on the oil slick hair colour trend, the blend of blue, purple and turquoise is a subtle medley of colours that look great with a darker base.
Instead of going all out on the rose gold hair colour trend, applying the colour on just the tips makes the style more refined and classy.
This article was first published in Singapore Women’s Weekly.