Why Smoky Lilac is The Most Sexy Hair Color

Have you been wanting to try a pastel hair color, but afraid it would make you look washed out or too cartoonish? Here's why to give lilac a try.

By Susan V.
Why Smoky Lilac is The Most Sexy Hair Color

Pastel hair is everywhere; consider lilac

Pastel hair color is everywhere these days. It is fun, it is pretty, and it is so common nowadays that you can probably get away with it at work too. There are a variety of tones of lilac hair that you can play around with. Purple shades can vary from subtle tints to bright violet. It is also suited for different skin tones.

Smoky lilac is a mixture of silver and violet melted together to create a more sophisticated, subtle purple shade.

Guy Tang, the hair color genius behind Tori Spelling’s rose hair, has teamed up with Kenra Professional Hair Color and created a hair dye line for professionals, called the Metallics. They are perfect for creating pastel hair colors, and especially perfect to achieve the smoky lilac effect on your hair. If you are going for smoky violet, make sure to ask the professional dying your hair to go with the violet metallic shade for your hair.

The metallics were created with a combination of warm and cool shades of both purple as well as grey. This is why the color looks great on just about any skin tone!

After you discuss what you want with your colorist, they can mix more gray or purple into the formula they use on your hair to create the look you are going for.

Smoky lilac hair dyes can be in your face with the color


While smoky lilac hair color can be a softer, subtler take on the purple pastels that seem to be everywhere these days, adding some neon pink into the mix will be a big attention getter. If you ask your hairstylist, this works well as an ombre effect. A carefully crafted top knot that features the lower color can be an eye-catching style.

Lilac hair dye color can also be subtle

If you want to accentuate the purple in your hair, consider consulting the color wheel and choose colors that will really make the purple pop. Yellow is a contrasting color to lilac, so it will attract a lot of attention towards your new color. Orange or red may “clash” with lilac, so avoid these shades if that bothers you. Adding a third color like green or turquoise might help these colors work together.


You can wear lilac clothes, but make sure it matches the lilac in your hair. If you choose a color like indigo, blue, or magenta, make sure it will look nice with your hair.

Neutral colors will still show off your smoky lilac hair, but in a more subtle way. Consider sticking with greys, blacks, whites, and beiges to go with any shade of lilac. If you choose navy as a neutral, hold it up to your hair to see how it looks.

Makeup ideas for lilac hair

There’s no magic formula for makeup to use with lilac hair, but here are some flattering ideas. One good way to choose your makeup is to use the color wheel when choosing makeup colors. This is a great way to pick shades that will look great with your hair.


If you chose a paler, cooler shade of lilac for your hair, consider using a cooler toned lipstick and cheek color. Try not to pick a color that is too close to the color of your hair. Using a color that is a shade darker or lighter can be a fun look. For eyebrows, a grey or taupe color that is a shade or two darker than your hair color will look great. For warmer hues of lilac hair, a redder tone will look great on your brows. For lips and cheeks, just about any color will look fantastic.


On your eyes, consider using yellow or gold, if you want your eye makeup to stand out. If you match shades of lilac or rose to your hair it will create a sweeter, softer look. Green also goes well with lilac, so a green smoky eye will make a strong statement. If you are feeling less like making a statement with your makeup, neutrals like black and grey are a safe bet.

Smoky lilac color ideas

One fun, smoky, lilac look starts with a dark gray color on top; smoky lavender beneath that, with brighter lilac tips. If your skin is slightly pink, this will be a flattering color option.


Another color idea for smoky violet is to keep dark hair black on top; then smoky violet Ombre or Balayage, as you work down. This color looks stunning when you create a small side fishtail braid, which you then incorporate into a Dutch braid.

If your hair is wavy (or you like to make it wavy) consider asking your colorist to add some amethyst into your hair. It adds warmth to your curls and makes a nice contrast to metallic, smoky, lilac hair.

It can work on hair that's blonde or brunette

If your hair is naturally blond, it will be easy to create a lilac shade on your hair. If your hair is dark, you may need to bleach your hair to achieve a lighter shade of lilac on your hair. If you choose to do this, remember the choice to bleach your hair will be permanent until your natural color starts to grow back in. It’s best to choose a shade that blends with your natural hair color. If you choose to do this, remember the choice to bleach your hair will be permanent until your natural color starts to grow back in. This will make it less noticeable when the roots start to grow out.

Lilac hair is flattering on any skin tone

One thing to keep in mind is whether the undertones of your skin are warm or cool. To determine your skin’s undertone, look for either yellow and olive undertones or pink undertones. Yellow and olive undertones are associated with warm undertones. Shades of pink in your skin are associated with cool undertones. If your skin has a cool undertone, it will look better with a cooler shade of lilac, closer to a pastel shade of lavender or a deep shade of violet. Skin with a warm undertone looks great with any shade of lilac, but will be most attractive with warm shades.

This luscious metallic lilac hair color is considered to be a cool shade. If it doesn’t match your skin tone, don’t fret. You or your colorist can add a touch of lilac balayage formula closer to your face, and put the lilac dye formula more at the ends of your hair, where it won’t be reflected by the skin on your face. The different colors will add interest and texture to your hair color.

If your skin has cool undertones, the opposite technique can be used. A warmer color can be applied to hair further away from the face, while a flattering cool color will frame the face.

Worried about having to constantly color your hair?

Worried about damaging your roots or having to dye them permanently every other week? One way to avoid this is to get a lilac balayage or ombre treatment for your hair. Your roots will still be your own color, and but the lilac tint will be prominently closer to the ends of your hair.


Whether your hair is blonde or brunette, any shade of purple is going to require some serious TLC. They tend to fade faster than other, so you will need to dye your hair often. However, dying your hair too much can cause damage. To minimize the consequences, consider applying hair masks to your hair before treating them with any dye formula for nourishment. Coconut oil makes an incredible mask that will strengthen the roots of your hair. It’s best to do this before you dye your hair and continue to do it afterwards.


Once your hair has been dyed, find a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate free. This will prolong the color of your hair and let your scalp retain its natural oils.

Not all colorists know how to create an attractive smoky lilac hue in your hair. To get ideas for a colorist in your neighborhood who knows how to work with pastel hues like lilac, consider checking his or her website before making your appointment. You may be able to find someone who knows how to create a smoky lilac look on Pinterest or Instagram. If you see someone with an interesting hair color in the supermarket, don’t be shy about asking who did their hair. Stylists who are good at creating alternative hair shades can be hard to find.


One thing to look at while you read reviews of a stylist is what they say about how their color aged. You want to make sure your colorist knows how to make your new hair color permanent. You don’t want it to fade after a few shampoos!