Lazy Girl’s Guide To Temporary Hair Coloring

Plus Dip Dying with Koolaid

Haven’t found the best hair color yet? That’s alright, no need to be all twisted, frustrated and upset. With a wide selection of hair colors to choose from, you will surely find the perfect color blend for you eventually.

kool aid dip dye
Secret Pal DIY Dye Kit (Image: Flickr user Breibeest)

In the meantime you don’t have to deprive yourself of the fun of coloring your hair.

One excellent tip is to choose temporary coloring over the permanent ones. With temporary coloring, you can change from one color to another so easily. Temporary hair color will only last between 8 and 20 washes. This way you can test drive a number of colors before committing to one.

Also you may find an array of styling products that offer semi-permanent hair coloring. These include:

  • Color shampoo
  • Toners
  • Spray-in hair color
  • Shades
  • Setting lotions
  • Hair mascara
  • Colored mousse

Or you can even use

  • Kool aid or food coloring

More on that in a bit.

If you’re hair has a lighter shade naturally, a coloring shampoo might give the tone, shade, and color you want.

On the other hand, if you have dark hair, getting a lighter shade through semi permanent color may not produce the best outcome. Those are two things to keep in mind when trying to make up your mind.

For best results, use a tint bowl and a tint brush when applying temporary color. These tools will help you make to make sure no hair strand is left out.

Okay but let’s have some fun with temporary colors and use something you probably have in your kitchen right now. Kool-aid. Yes, the same thing you may have drunk as a kid. The process is known as dip dying. And it’s both fun and easy. You are gonna love it.

Here’s Exactly How to Use Koolaid to Dip Dye Your Hair

There are basically two ways to “dip dye” your hair with Koolaid. This one video demonstrates both of them – and I’ve even listed step by step instructions below. Yeah, what’s not to like with two ways to color you hair here?

You need:

  • two packets unsweetened Koolaid (the sweeten variety will leave your hair gummy – Yuck!)
  • gloves
  • an old top you don’t care about getting color on
  • clean tooth brush (or dye applicator brush if you have one)
  • aluminum foil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • leave in conditioner
  • an old towel

First Method:

  • Step 1: Section your hair and clip up the rest that you aren’t going to be coloring.
  • Step 2: Boil a cup of water, yes boiling, in a saucepan. (3 cups)
  • Step 3: Add a packet of koolaid and then take the pan off the hot burner onto a cool surface to give the solution time to cool down
  • Step 4: Pour into a plastic cup
  • Step 5: Apply Vaseline on the skin around where you are dying your hair.
  • Step 6: Dip the strand to be colored into the cup of Koolaid and let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes. Longer if your hair is darker. Less long if it’s not.

If you are doing more hair you might get a bigger bowl, set it on your bathroom counter, grab a chair, and sit back letting your hair fall into the bowl to soak. Somewhat uncomfortable, yes. But it’s only a half an hour.

Second Method:

This is the second way you can do this. Grab your toothbrush and don some gloves. (Did I really write “don”?)

Remove the hair that’s been soaking in the cup of Kool aid.

Put the towel over your shoulder so your colored strand can rest on it.

  • Step 1: Take the second packet of Koolaid, dump that into another plastic cup.
  • Step 2: Pour enough vinegar to just cover the koolaid powder in the bottom of the cup. Just be careful you don’t use too much. You want a creamy paste not something too runny – which is harder to apply. Too much vinegar makes that smooth consistency harder to get.
  • Step 3: Add enough conditioner to the vinegar/powder mix so you have a smooth paste without lumps. Why conditioner? You need a thicker base to mix the Koolaid into which is what the conditioner is. Plus you want something you can safely leave on your hair, preferably overnight, but for at least four hours. Conditioner works nicely for that purpose.
  • Step 4: Section your hair and clip up the rest that you aren’t going to be coloring.
  • Step 5: Next apply the paste to any strands of hair to cover using your tooth brush or dye applicator brush.
  • Step 6: Cover with the foil.
  • Step 7: Sleep on it. To be super safe you might want to wear a shower cap or tie one of those plastic shopping bags over your hair to insure you don’t dye your pillow case or other bedding.
  • Step 8: Remove the foil and prepare to be amazed.

3 Questions Often Asked About Dyeing Your Hair Using Koolaid

Q: Does this work with all hair colors?
A: Koolaid works best on light colored, dirty blonde or bleached hair. The darker your hair the more subtle, ie less noticeable it will be. Sorry, if you were hoping for dramatic with dark hair. If so maybe this isn’t the temporary approach you want to use. Although I understand red or blue does tend to look the best with darker locks.

Q: Is this kool aid dip dye permanent?
A: No. Koolaid color probably lasts a week to 10 days at most before it fades away. Longer if you shampoo less often obviously.

Q: What’s the most important thing about using Koolaid?
A: One word – patience. The longer you leave it on the brighter and bolder the resulting color will be.

Anyway, don’t be afraid to experiment with different temporary hair colors You can approach this seriously trying to find the perfect color, or with a bit of whimsy and go the pastel color route you get with Koolaid. Your call.


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