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Last Updated on April 22, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
I was forced to learn how to dip dye your hair using Kool aid. Why? Because I am the mother of an 11-year-old girl who thinks I am the meanest mom in the entire world. I will not let her go to the salon and get her hair dyed! Many of her friends are dying their hair...which honestly floors me completely because they are only 11! Usually, they just get a strip of hair done or just the tips but I am too paranoid about the health risks associated with hair dye to let her get it done. In an effort to find a 'happy medium' so she does not hate me forever I told her "Learn how to dip dye your hair using Kool Aid and you can try it". Well, off she went to her friend Google and started doing some research and it seemed pretty easy. Have you ever tried dyeing hair with Kool aid? Our experience was pretty positive!
How to Dip Dye Your Hair Using Kool-Aid
Here is a brief summary of how to dip dye your hair with Kool Aid if your daughter (or YOU) want to give it a try! The color may not be as dramatic or long-lasting as traditional hair dyes but personally, I think there is a lot less risk involved! Kool aid hair dye will stay in a LONG time so I wouldn't try doing the whole head. Tips only is a better idea! Here is a run down on dying your hair with Kool aid:
Wash and condition your hair as you normally would.
Air dry or blow dry until all of the moisture is out. To ensure the color lasts as long as possible you want to avoid washing it for 48 hours after you dip dye your hair with Kool Aid so start with clean hair!
Divide your hair into smaller sections using elastic bands.
Do not try to gather it into one ponytail to dye or it will come out uneven. My daughter divided her hair into 6 smaller sections and placed the elastic bands about 3 inches up from the bottom.
Choose your Kool-Aid hair color...the darker the better for best results.
My daughter chose grape, hoping for purple tips but with her light brown/dirty blond hair it came out more of a maroon color. Check out this Kool- Aid assortment for a variety of color options.
Make the Kool Aid hair dye
In a large glass measuring cup, add 2 cups of water and microwave for about 4 minutes or until almost boiling. Add in 2 packets of Kool Aid and stir until dissolved.
Now comes the fun part of actually dip dying your hair using Kool Aid:
Put the Kool-Aid in plastic cups so it is several inches deep. We went with 2 cups at a time with 2 sections of hair in each cup. We repeated until all of the sections were finished. After you place your hair tips into the Kool-Aid, settle in for a bit to wait. Times for dying range anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes depending on hair color and how patient you are. My daughter was not particularly patient and barely made it the 15-minute minimum. As a result, the color in her hair isn't quite as dramatic as she would have liked.
Rinse Out the Koolaid Hair Dye
After you have finished with your 'incubation' in the Kool-Aid dye, rinse the tips thoroughly with cold water and apply a small amount of conditioner to the hair that was dip dyed with Kool-Aid. Leave the conditioner in for 2 minutes and then rinse and pat dry. Let your hair dry naturally and avoid washing it for the next 48 hours to help 'set' the color.
Learning how to dip dye your hair using kool aid is a great alternative to expensive and fairly harsh chemical hair dyes but you won't get quite the same brilliant colors as you would in a salon. Kool aid hair dye is fun but it definitely isn't a professional dye job! After dying your hair, try a homemade hair mask if your hair seems a bit dry. Now that you know how to dip dye your hair using Kool aid, will you try it? Check out The Every Girl for some easy summer hairstyles to show off your new colorful tips!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.
I have never heard of dyeing your own hair with Kool Aid. It looks pretty good, and probably a lot easier to change than traditional dye
I dyed my tips red and it's great it looks amazing! 🙂
Im glad you had good luck with it!
I am curious to see how long it stays in. It's been about a week and it is still there!
It usually stays in 4-8 weeks but if you use a lot, up to 3-7 months!
definitely a LONG time!
To get a more vibrant color, after you are done dipping the ends into the watery mixture and it has dried, put on a kool-aid paste (Kool-aid and a smal amount of warm water). Apply to the tips and tightly fold with foil, leave this in over night or if you are doing this in the morning all day ( I recommend useing a shower cap to prevent messes). Then rinse lightly with cold water, after one day clean your hair as you normally do. I've done this with my light brown/blonde hair and blue kool-aid, the results have stayed in for about 3-4 months. Good luck!
thanks for the tips! My daughter will be thrilled to try it again!
Me and my friend done this! The blue fades to green. It stayed for about two months and then I took it out and dyed my hair red. To remove it just boil some water and add baking soda (it fizzes up) dip your hair in and it extracts the color. If you do that then I highly recommend conditioner because it does tangle your hair. Thebestash did the vibrant part a little different then I did. I mixed conditioner, 2 packs of kool aid and a just enough vinegar to make the kool aid wet and the rest I did the same. I brushed it in with a tooth brush (because I didn't have a dye brush and I had tons of unused toothbrushes) it works great! My friends color is still in a little bit and we did it I'm January.
thanks for the tip about how to remove it! Her hair is still red so it is time to come out!
There's also this new product out that comes out vibrant and is safe called hair chalk... It comes in a tin with different colors and you just dip the chalk in a little water and rub it on a piece of your hair. We used to use kool aid in the 90s when we were kids and it was always dull. This new stuff is awesome! And easier and she can change it every day if she wanted to...
she has been mentioning something like this that you just wipe on a strand of hair and it is really easy. I will keep my eye out for it!
Just fyi, I did this to a strand of hair in like, July of 2012 and its June now 😛 bleach does NOT work, the most effective way is to just dye over it. It's still kinda red but you can't really tell;)
hers is still red and it has been a couple of months....we are going to chop it off!
I dyed some of my hair with red kool aid and it's stayed bright red for over a year now. I've had it dyed at the hair salon and nothing covers it up. I really regret doing this and I hate my red hair
I highly recommend doing only the tips. That way you can cut off an inch or two and your hair is back to normal!
My 9 yr old daughter and I will be trying this (on her hair) after camp today. Very excited to see how it turns out!
good luck! The color lasts for quite a while so keep that in mind!
Hi - if you want get brighter colours that are still temporary, try googling using artists chalk for she same effect. Bright colours wide colour palette to choose from, and still temporary....
My daughter has mentioned something called hair chalk? I will have to check it out. I would like something a bit more temporary than the Koolaid is turning out to be!
I think people call it Hot Huez. It's where a chalk slides into your hair and it washes out with shampoo.
my daughter has mentioned this. She really wants to try this one next!
Hair chalk /artist's soft chalk pastels can cause a bit of a mess on your clothes so make sure to do some research and pick out dark colored clothing. But don't worry, it washes right out. After adding chalk on, your hair will feel really dry so when you take a shower make sure to add lots of conditioner. Oh, and it only lasts a day since you're going to wash it right out.
my daughter tried the chalk and it really does dry your hair out!
Koolaid can be used to permanently dye fabrics and yarn so I'd say it would absolutely permanently dye human hair. I've used it to dye wool yarn for knitting.
I never would have thought of it for yarn dying! Very creative!
To get it out instead of cutting it off you just boil water and add baking soda and dip the hair in it and then it's out .... To get it brighter. Boil 1 cup of water and when that comes to a boil put 1 pack of koolaid in and take it of the heat then put it in a coffee cup and put hair in and leave it in for 10 minutes.. Hope it helps:):)
thanks for the tip!
Hi. I have strawberry blonde hair and I really want to dye my hair with kool-aid, but I don't know what color to do! Any suggestions?
I think the darker colors would show the most dramatic results (red and purple rather than yellow or orange)
I have the same hair as you Isabelle. I have dyed my hair with Kool-aid twice and I did blue and it turned green, just recently I dyed it purple but it turned out a reddish-purplish. It was weird! I recommend that if you want it to last a while longer add abut of vinegar make sure it's clear because if its yellow it will mess up your color! I put blue in my hair in the last week of June and it is to where you can barely see it. That's why I covered it with "purple." My mom now wants to chop of my hair because school is starting soon. I hope this helped!
We just got my daughters 4 inches of red/purple cut off the bottom of her hair. I am not sure that it would have ever come out on its own!
Hi again. I have been searching the internet on more information on kool-aid hair dye, and I am worried from what I am hearing. Some people have said that my hair will fall out in a matter of time. I know this is probably not true, but I am still a little worried. Do you have anything you can tell me about this topic? Thanks for the tutorial!!
I have not heard that but do not recommend dying your entire head of hair since it is very long lasting. I would just to the tips or a small strand of hair. My daughter had no issues but everyone reacts differently to these things.
I IP dyed my dark brown hair with red kool aid. It turned out really nice and was noticeable. I added a random amount of water and kool aid. It didn't turn out that dark at first but.I added more kool aid packs. The more kool aid packs the more vibrant the colour
I loved it I did it and I used purple but I have dark hair so it looks like I have reddish highlights! I'm going to use this again but maybe a different color
glad it worked for you!
I've been dip dying my hair with kool aid for about 2 years, and it is a really vibrant red for about 4-6 months. Its simple to make it brighter use less water and more kool aid. Also some don't turn out as well as other, the tropical flavour is the best one!
I used cherry and it made a beautiful red color. I have the same hair color as your daughter. Add more packets to get a vibrant color. No matter what color.
thanks for the tip!
Wow when I dyed my sisters tips red it was awesome he results but how long till the dye comes out of her tips
we finally had to just cut the ends off....4 months later and it was still there!
how longed did the dye take to take it off
it never fully came out...we just cut the ends off a few months later!
Danielle @ We Have It All
My daughter did this - we used red. It ended up being permanent and we had to cut it out of her hair. We waited about 9 months and then gave up haha. You can see the pictures here: http://wedonthaveitall.com/2013/01/how-to-dip-dye-your-hair-with-kool-aid.html
yes, it was not as temporary as I thought it would be!
Why is it that the kids color from Kool Aid lasts forever and when I do mine with red(adult, brown hair), it looks great for a week and then turns ugly pink.
Kids hair is so different from ours...my daughter's is finally starting to hold a curl at age 12 and it never would before!
That always happens to me
I've always wanted to try it but my mom says "no" how long does it stay on? My hair is dirty blonde.
Oh and by the way how would it look with red or pink?
Red would probably be great. Unless you have very blond hair pink would probably not show up well!
it stays in for MONTHS. We had to get it cut out!
i want to try this, what colors would probably look good on darker hair colors? (i have really dark brown hair, almost black) and is there a better solution than to cut it off?
Dark hair is hard to do...definitely go with red or purple. And someone mentioned stripping it off with vinegar I think? But, seems sortof harsh!
I have dirty blonde hair and I was going to dye my tips blue. if I add more water do you think it won't stay in as long? because I really don't want to cut it if it doesn't come out
I think it would still stay in for a while. Not sure you should try it if you dont want it to stick around for a while!
How long does kool aid last in your hair? Also how do you get a more vibrant color?
It lasts a really long time! And It will only get so dark...leave it in a bit longer and make it very concentrated!
This is not a new method of dying hair in the AA community. I am 38 years old and young ladies were doing this when I was growing up. It is a unique, easy and inexpensive way to dye your hair.
I dip dyed my hair pinkish red about 4-5 days ago. I'm planned to go swimming later this week. Is it aright if I go swimming? I've heard it turns your hair green due to the chlorine and I don't want that. Do you know anything?
Sorry, there was no exposure to chlorine for months after we did it so not sure how it will react!
I have blonde hair and am considering dip dying it blue, but I've been hearing that it can mix with blonde hair and turn green! Anyone know if this is true?
Not really sure but the color you get in your hair doesnt seem to be exactly what the package looks like...hair color definitely changes it a little bit!
I am just curious if you changed your daughter's shampoo when she had the kool aid in. I want to do this for when I head off to college in the fall. I mean basically you are depositing the dye into the hair as opposed to it sitting on top of it. Ive read a lot of things like washing your hair with beer or vinegar and baking soda (personally I wouldn't do those) but dish detergent is one that seems logical. I was wondering if you ever changed her shampoo to a chelating shampoo. Basically it strips mineral deposits out of hair. Swimmers use them to strip chlorine deposits in their hair. I chemically straighten so I use it to strip any left of chemical in my hair. I heard clarifying shampoos can wash out kool aid as well. My mother was the same with the no hair colour. I am 19 and she still says no when I ask about it.
we didnt try a different shampoo...definitely something to keep in mind if we do it again!
I'm going to have a birthday party and I thought this would be a fun activity to do! I'm inviting 11 people. How much kool aid would you recommend using?
one packet did her hair without a problem. If you want everyone doing it at the same time might want to get one for everyone. Otherwise one packet would easily do a few people
Okay and also how long did it stay in her hair?
forever! Honestly, we had to cut the ends off eventually because it never washed out...
Wow! When did you have to cut it out? I want it to stay in as long as possible for me but I don't know if my friends want it in for so long...
we left it in months but finally she just really needed a trim!
I did red with my daughter and mine never washed out! I had it over a year even though it did fade. My hair is blonde and grey but I just had it all cut out not long ago after a year! My daughter is a dark blonde and hers seemed to disappear but we are doing it again today with Blue for our University of Kentucky Wildcats!
My Hubby is a UK fan too!
hi my child is dying her hair red and I was wondering how many packets does she need if she has long hair and it's dark brown?
I really wouldn't recommend doing her whole head...this stuff does not come out! If you are doing just the tips then 1 to 2 packets should be plenty.
i wouldnt do the hair chalk did it and it gets EVERYWHERE
my daughter tried that too and it is definitely messy!
Back in the 90s the cool kids were dying their hair with kool aid. My mom wouldn't buy us kool aid so I used food coloring. It worked, but got all over my clothes as soon as it rained. 😛
Does it get on clothes if your hair isn’t totally dry?
As long as it is well rinsed, we didnt have any issues with that.