Hair Science

Pigment Intensities–What’s the Difference?

Are you Soft, Vibrant, or Bold?

For many of us, hair color is a form of self-expression—that’s why we offer optional, temporary pigments for every Ritual. With color-enhancing Classic shades, brass-reducing Neutralizers, and wanderlust-inducing Fantasy shades, there is plenty of room to play with your hair color from wash to wash. 


While all of our temporary pigments give your color an added touch of brilliance (but will not cover grays), our Fantasy pigments are unique in more ways than one. Many of them come in three different intensities: Soft, Vibrant, and Bold. Each intensity has a different concentration of pigments, Soft being the lowest and Bold having the highest count of pigments—so what does that mean for you and your hair? In the simplest terms, our range of intensities helps you determine how each pigment may look in your hair.  

Let’s take a closer look at these intensities and their differences, so you can decide which is right for you. 

Understanding Pigment Intensity Differences

To reflect the diversity in every hair color, type, and style, our Fantasy pigments come in Soft, Vibrant, or Bold. Each strength has a unique purpose and will yield a different result.

Intensity: Soft

Ideal for pre-lightened or naturally light hair colors, our Soft intensity has the lowest amount of pigment out of the three options. If your starting hair color is a darker blonde or light brunette, a Soft intensity will likely create just a whisper of color—like a gorgeous pastel painting. 

However, if your starting hair color is lighter like a pre-lightened blonde, a Soft intensity is the best option for whichever color you choose. While this may be a great option for lighter hair colors, we do not recommend Soft intensity shades for brunette or black hair.

Soft Jaipur Rose
Soft French Lavender

Intensity: Vibrant

For a bit more pigment than our Soft intensity, Vibrant may be the right match for you. As the happy middle between Soft and Bold, Vibrant is a great place to start if you’re feeling unsure about which direction to go. 

With a medium-bright finish, this intensity is well-suited for pre-lightened and light to medium hair colors, including light brunette hair. If you have dark brunette or black hair, you may not see the change you are looking for with a Vibrant intensity, but ultimately it depends on how much your unique strands absorb color, referred to as porosity. 

Vibrant Jaipur Rose
Vibrant French Lavender

Intensity: Bold

This intensity offers the richest color results and has the highest pigment percentage out of our three intensities. Try a Bold Fantasy shade on everything from pre-lightened to dark brunette hair. 

Despite the pigment strength of Bold, the results may still be subtle on darker hair colors depending on your hair’s porosity. Often, clients with very dark hair will notice their pigment is most visible when it is shining in direct sunlight. 

In our Top 4 Fantasy Shades for Brunettes, we take a more in-depth look at which fantasy shades might be a good fit for anyone with darker hair.

Bold Jaipur Rose
Bold French Lavender

Transformation Insights

Once you decide which intensity is right for your hair, you can choose to add your Fantasy shade to either your Conditioner, Masque, or both. This decision depends on the type of transformation you are looking for: 

  • Masque Only: For a true color change with even coverage, try pigment in just your Masque. Simply leave your Masque on for about 10-15 minutes to reveal an alluring new look. If you choose to explore one of our pigments in just your Masque, this will also allow the color to fade out over time. 
  • Conditioner Only: If you selected a Fantasy shade in your Masque that you want to maintain over time, you will get the best results by opting to add the same pigment to your Conditioner. With only a reduced pigment load compared to our Masques, it will be difficult to achieve a noticeable transformation or even coverage with the Conditioner alone.
  • Conditioner and Masque Bundle: For the most visible change in hair color that lasts, we suggest that you bundle our Conditioner and Masque. With the power of your Conditioner and Masque combined, you will get an instant color burst from the Masque and the Conditioner will maintain your new look with every wash. 

Now for the fun part: choosing your desired pigment! Take a look at all of our pigment shade options here.

We hope this simple guide helps you decide which Fantasy pigment intensity will get you the enchanting color results you’re looking for. That being said, the best way to find what works for you, is to get out there and just try it! Check out our temporary pigments today and take the Quiz to get your personalized Ritual started.