Valentine’s Day is just around the bend — and by “around the bend,” I mean literally next week. No matter what you have in store for the holiday, whether it’s spending quality time with yourself, your squad, or your partner, it’s the perfect excuse to spice up your look with a new hair color or style you wouldn’t normally try just because. Neon-pink bayalage, rose-gold all over, and a heart-emblazoned buzz cut are just three Valentine’s Day-themed looks we spotted on — where else? — Instagram. (And subsequently want to copy, stat.)
If major transformations aren’t your jam, there’s always subtler (and less permanent) routes, too. For instance, adding just a hint of semi-permanent pastel pink color to your strands is an ideal way to shake things up without fully committing. If you’re not ready for a dye job, don’t worry: There’s also a highly impressive half-up heart style that’s surprisingly easy to recreate at home.
Enough chit-chat, though. I’ll let the ‘grams speak for themselves. Below, find eight high-voltage hair ideas inspired by the holiday of love and Hallmark cards.
1. Touch of Bubblegum
“I’m inspired by lived-in hair and anything pastel because they’re fashionable, trendy and just about anyone can pull them off,” says Sara Hinckley, a colorist at Sari Paints Creative Space in New Haven, Connecticut. She explains, “Pastels are low commitment because they fade fast but still look great.” If you’re not ready to fully commit, consider a more subtle approach with this baby-pink hue.
Here we have your classic (and ultra-trendy) rose-gold — courtesy of color genius Guy Tang, who says he loves creating blonde tones that are unique. “Sometimes, seeing the same blonde colors can become boring,” he says. “Rose gold looks great with any skin type and hair texture.” Tang’s Instagram feed is littered with V-Day-appropriate color options (like dusty lavender, silver smoke, and soft peach, to name just a few), so be sure to scroll through his feed after reading for even more inspiration.
3. Heart Accent
Not ready to wear your heart on your sleeve? Try wearing it in your hair à la the lovely Zoë Kravitz, who turned to colorist Daniel Moon to create this iconic look. Those with buzz cuts, take note, because I promise you can look as good as Kravtiz does here.
4. Sunset Pink
Nothing screams “romance” like a golden sunset. The blend of warm, rosy pink and orange tones is a fun way to interpret the holiday without going full-on red or pink.
5. Bold Fuschia
This electric-pink look maybe isn’t for the faint of heart (or you know, someone that’s totally new to dyeing their hair), but it’s a daring and beautiful one, nonetheless. If you want all eyes on you this Valentine’s Day, file this one under “look to try.”
6. Icy Pink
Colorist Rachel Bodt is the mastermind behind this head-turning, piece-y pink look, which she says is fun and playful for Valentine’s Day. “I wanted it to be sexy and to complement her makeup,” says Bodt. Pro tip: If you love this look but aren’t ready to take the plunge, try experimenting with IGK’s brand-new Foamo Holographic Hair Foam in the shade Moon Rock, which offers a similar vibe without the commitment. In fact, we already tried it, and we’re obsessed.
7. Cupid’s Blush
This mesmerizing creation is the work of colorist Savannah Rae, who tells Allure she used Pulp Riot’s Semi-Permanent Hair Color for Unisex in the shades Cupid and Blush (how appropriate) to achieve this bold multidimensional look for her client. Needless to say, if this doesn’t scream “Valentine’s Day hair,” I don’t know what does.
8. Half-Up Heart
If you’re not ready to dye (hey, no judgment here), consider a half-up look that incorporates a heart (a.k.a. the symbol of love). California-based braider Nereyda Gonzalez created this look in mere minutes, she tells Allure. “Start by picking up strands of hair right above your temple on both sides,” she says. “Then put the left side over the right and tie them together and secure with bobby pins. With the left strand split it in half, twist the strands in opposite directions. The heart comes last. “Shape into a heart and secure it with bobby pins, and for the second heart, pick up strands of hair above your ears on both sides and repeat the last two steps.” See? Not nearly as intricate as it looks.
More Valentine’s Day inspo:
Learn how to create the cutest Valentine’s Day-themed mani: