Ever heard of using Kool Aid Hair Dye? Like seriously dye your hair using the drink mix Kool Aid? Sounds crazy, right?
But it actually works, and works really well on dark hair to get amazing colors without bleaching it!
We actually tried two different methods of using Kool Aid as hair dye, but one worked way better than the other.
In this post, I’ll tell you all about what Kool Aid Hair Dye method worked, which one didn’t, and how to do it yourself for awesome results!!
Dying dark hair is harder than you think!
My 13 year old daughter has been begging to dye her hair a bright color for months. Several of her friends had amazing colors in their hair and she just wanted to do something fun too.
She has pretty dark brown hair, and I was doubtful that color would even show up in it.
Since she’s barely a teenager, and frequently changes her mind, I wasn’t a huge fan of using a permanent color that she may not like in a month or so.
For that same reason, I didn’t want to bleach her hair to get it to show up either.
So we started on our journey to find a hair color that would actually show up in her dark brown.We started at our local beauty supply store and bought a semi-permanent color. We went through the entire, painstakingly smelly process of putting it on her hair, only to have it not even be really visible at all.
Then we tried hair paste, purchased from the same beauty supply store. It sort of showed up, but it made it stiff and hard to style and it was gone after one wash.
After all the frustration and disappointment, we’d kind of given up. I was tired of making a huge mess in our house only to have zero results from it and I was also REALLY tired of the high price tag of these experiments!
But one day my daughter stumbled upon a chart, listing which flavor combos of Kool Aid make which colors in your hair.
“Can you really make Kool Aid hair dye?,” she asked me.
I didn’t know how to answer her. I’d never really thought about it. So we started doing some research together.
Pretty quickly, we were able to find lots of different methods for using Kool Aid hair dye.
Some used mixtures of conditioner and Kool Aid. Some just made a paste out of Kool Aid powder. Some used a dip dye method.
Every method we investigated was extremely inexpensive and involved easy to find ingredients.
Kool Aid Hair Dye: Method #1
Since I was pretty doubtful it would work, we decided to use a Kool Aid Hair Dye method that involved leaving a conditioner/Kool Aid concoction on her hair for an entire day.
It involved an extremely messy mixture that was difficult to apply and even harder to clean up after the inevitable mess we made putting it on.
She also had to wear baggies on her hair covered by a shower cap ALL. DAY. LONG. Talk about uncomfortable!
After all that work, it still didn’t show up.
I was baffled. Why had this failed us? What did we do wrong?
I started analyzing the steps we took and figured out that the mixture we made of the conditioner and the Kool Aid probably didn’t have enough pigment in it to really make a difference.
I’d simply just diluted it too much.
I still had two packets of Kool Aid left, so we decided to try a different, simpler method the next day. Spoiler Alert: this one worked!
Kool Aid Hair Dye: Method #2
This Kool Aid Hair Dye method, called dip dying, involved mixing the Kool Aid with hot water and letting the ends of the hair sit in the mixture until colored.
We followed the instructions to the letter, and to our surprise, it worked AMAZINGLY well! In under an hour, we had gorgeous bright color on her brown hair!
It was super easy to do, and clean up was SO much easier.
It also blended really nicely. We ended up with a really nice ombre effect, with the color gently transitioning at the bottom.
The final product turned out really pretty, and my daughter was so excited she could barely stand it.
The color is supposed to last 4 to 6 weeks, but I’ve heard varying reports from friends about how long it actually stayed in their hair.
For my daughter’s non-chemically altered hair, the Kool Aid hair dye seemed pretty permanent.
She kept it in for about 4 months with very little fading before she decided to chop her hair off short.
If you want it to fade, I recommend using a non-color safe hair dye.
My hairstylist recommended using dandruff shampoo to make color fade.
I’ve also heard that using a paste made of crushed Vitamin C tablets can help remove hair color.
I’ve actually tried this myself with a permanent box dye from the drugstore and it did lighten it up a shade or two. It definitely didn’t remove it completely, but it did help.
I haven’t tried it on Kool Aid hair dye, but I can only imagine that it would do the same thing.
Bottom line, this method seems pretty permanent, so I’d keep that in mind when using these steps.
This method is actually featured in a video on the Kool Aid website, but it lacks specific instructions.
But you’re in luck today because I’m happy to share our printable “how to make Kool Aid hair dye” instructions!
*WARNING*: Please use extreme caution when using this method, as you are dealing with water temperatures that can burn you. I DO NOT recommend using this method on children, due to the risk for burns.
WARNING: This method is NOT recommended for use with children, as there is a risk for burns. Please use extreme caution! You are making dye, and it will stain surfaces, hands, clothes, and other items. Use with care. The mixture will be very hot after boiling and can cause injury. Please use extreme caution. This method is VERY difficult to do on yourself. Find a friend to help you apply the dye. The permanence of the dye seems to vary on different types of hair. The color stayed bright and vibrant for us well over a month, and only really was gone once her hair grew out and we trimmed it. Be aware that this method might be permanent!
WARNING: This method is NOT recommended for use with children, as there is a risk for burns. Please use extreme caution!
You are making dye, and it will stain surfaces, hands, clothes, and other items. Use with care.
The mixture will be very hot after boiling and can cause injury. Please use extreme caution.
This method is VERY difficult to do on yourself. Find a friend to help you apply the dye.
The permanence of the dye seems to vary on different types of hair. The color stayed bright and vibrant for us well over a month, and only really was gone once her hair grew out and we trimmed it. Be aware that this method might be permanent!
Want more fun things to do with your teens and preteens? Check out How to Make a Hexaflexagon!