Opal Hair Is The Pearlescent Trend Perfect For Mermaidcore Summer

With the release of the long-awaited live action version of "The Little Mermaid" occurring just before the beginning of summer 2023, it should be no surprise that mermaidcore is quickly becoming the aesthetic of the season. From shipwreck chic fashion to siren skin, mystical sea goddess is the name of the game this summer. Naturally, the next phase of the trend is a way to make your hair stand out from the on-land crowd.


Enter opal hair. Opal hair describes hair that has been bleached to platinum blond and then strategically colored with two or more tinted toners or metallic pastel dyes. The result is a shimmery rainbow of pastels dancing on a backdrop of blond that is reminiscent of mother of pearl. If you've been considering embracing a bold (yet delicate) hair color, this just might be the trend that was made for you. Let this be your guide to mastering mermaidesque opal hair. 

How to get opal hair

The first step to achieving pearlescent opal hair is bleaching and toning your hair to platinum blond. That is, unless you happen to already be rocking platinum, either naturally or via the gift of previous bleaching. If your hair is very dark, this can be a long, tedious process that results in unavoidable bleach damage. Make sure you consult a professional hair stylist about how many procedures this would entail for your hair, how much time will be required between each bleaching, and how much of a financial investment will be necessary.


If you decide to proceed with opal hair, the next step is adding back color. Describe exactly what you envision to your stylist, including how many colors and which colors you'd like included or — better yet — bring in a photo of what you'd like your opal hair to look like. Before your stylist gets to work, be sure to specify whether you're looking for a finished product that is loosely inspired by your inspiration photo or an exact replica. 

How to choose the best colors for you

Any time you're choosing a hair, makeup, or clothing color, it's important to consider your skin undertone. If your skin is warm-toned and you choose primarily cool colors like blues and purples for your opal hair, your skin could end up appearing sallow in comparison. If you have cool-toned skin and you opt for primarily warm colors like yellows and corals, they could bring out your skin's blue, purple, or red undertones.


If you're unsure of your skin's undertone, try holding a sheet of white paper up to your face in natural lighting. If your face appears yellow, gold, or orange, your skin is warm-toned. If it appears blue, purple, or red, it is cool-toned. If you don't see either a warm or cool cast when you hold a white paper next to your skin, then you likely have a neutral skin tone. In this case, you are free to rock any combination of colors without the fear of clashing with your skin.