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Cotton Candy Up Style

Jenny Strebe

Author Jenny Strebe | Jenny Strebe

Inspired by the current pastel color trend, I wanted something that was a high fashion tone but able to be seen as elegant at the same time. This technique showcases a diffusion at the root, riding the appearance of just a typical root touch up. With the color variations and contrast, it gives depth and movement to the hair with no hard lines, giving beautiful continuity throughout the look. These tones can work on the runway or toned down for a fun boho look.

The color also offers contrast and visual interest to up styles and braids, as shown by Jenny below. Taking an edgy look and combining it with a romantic up style, perfect for that edgy bride… who says you can’t rock pink hair on your wedding day! Lets get started and we hope you enjoy the beautiful Cotton Candy Up Style! 


Braids & Balayage

Photography By: Talk Studios | @talk.studios

Visit braidsandbalayage.com for a list of upcoming classes. Get your tickets quick before they sell out!

Create the perfect Cotton Candy colored Balayage

Create the perfect upstyle for the edgy bride




pastel color formula and application


  • Base Formula: Equal parts Pearlesence 6-89 + Pearlesence 9.5-29 mixed 1-to-1 with BLONDME Premium Care Developer 6%/20-volume
  • Mid lengths & Ends Formula: BLONDME Toning Cream equal parts Ice + Lilac mixed with a 1-to-1 ratio with BLONDME Premium Care Developer 2%/7-volume


First things first, having a proper set up is key when doing a Balayage technique. I recommend keeping a couple dry brushes around if needed.
The proper set up is key for a successful balayage

Begin by sectioning the head into four quadrants and framing all sections with a global diffusion retouch.
diffusion retouching

Working horizontally from top to bottom, you will start to create contrast with the point of the brush.
creating contrast between the color and the point of the brush

By pulling the color down and feathering out the hair with the point of the brush, you create diffusion in a typical root touch up.
feather out with point of brush

Using your fingers, smudge down the lines made by the brush in order to create a stronger diffusion.
using fingers to smudge down the lines when doing a Balayage

Repeat the same steps moving horizontally through the sides. Be visual with your color placement and lines of diffusion.
Be visual with your color placement

Here is a top view of the global retouch with diffusion.
top view of diffusion process when doing a Balayage coloring technique

Using a scissoring technique, fuse the diffusion points (Base Formula & Mids/Ends Formula).
fuse the diffusion points

Here is an example of formula one and formula two fusing together with the diffusion points.
diffusing formulas together

Using your fingers smudge the root color in order to create depth where desired.
creating depth where desired

Here is the finished look of all four sections after formula one is fused with formula two.
Bayalage process

side profile of Balayage process

A finished look of formula one creating depth underneath and a diffused contrast at the root.
Pink Balayage hair

The lines of diffusion create movement and dimension throughout the root area.
How to create a cotton candy Balayage

Achieving a bold yet diffused look.
Achieving a bold and diffused pink Balayage

Finishing with an elegant attention getting fashion tone, without being “too much”

If you have questions or comments about how to recreate this color, leave your comments in the box at the bottom of this page. I also encourage you to reach out to me at @jaywesleyolson on Instagram for any other questions that you have.

Next, let's turn this over to Jenny Strebe as she'll show you how to transition this gorgeous color into a soft romantic up style that you are going to absolutely FALL IN LOVE with!


How to create a soft and romantic up style

Begin by sectioning out your hair from above the occipital bone to the top of the ears on both sides and clip away the top sections for later.
Section the hair

Create a low pony inside of your section securing it into place using an elastic.
Create a low pony inside of your section

Pinch and pull the hair above the elastic band to create volume and fullness.
Pinch and pull the hair above the elastic

Twist sections of the hair inside the ponytail and finger tease each section for an erratic texture and fullness.
Finger tease the hair to create texure

Pin each twisted section in the updo individually, working in a circular motion.
twist and pin each section

Create a triangle section on top, and now we are going to work with the side sections of the hair.
create triangle sections on top

Tease lightly at the roots using your Sam Villa Tail Comb for extra volume.
tease light at the roots for volume

Take horizontal sections and curl each section using a lightweight hairspray.
curl each section and spray with a lightweight hairspray

Twist and finger tease each horizontal section back and pin to secure.
twist, tease and pin

Next we will continue to pin and place the hair into the low bun we previously created. The key here is to visually place each section, meaning there is no right or wrong place to secure the sections. Continue to incorporate hair with twisting the hair back into your low bun.
Twist the hair and pin around your low bun to create an upstyle

Drop the top section out and tease at the base.
Tease the hair for more volume

Curl the triangle section and do the same thing as earlier, twisting the hair back into the low curly bun.
Curl and twist the hair to create an updo

Now work into the front sections; you will want to curl the front sections going away from the face.
Take the hair and curl and pin away from the face

Visually pull your sections back and pin into place by using bobby pins.
Pull the hair back and secure with bobby pins
Cotton Candy Up Style
Cotton Candy Updo

If you love this Cotton Candy Up Style, I encourage you to replicate this look and feel free to tag me on Instagram @theconfessionsofahairstylist so I can see your work.

Feel free to check out my BlogYouTube or Instagram for more hair tutorials, daily hair inspiration and information about my upcoming up styling classes I have to offer.

Get tickets to Jenny Strebe's Up Style and Braiding Classes?

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