How to Dye Hair with Kool Aid

If you'd like to experiment with a different hair color but don't want to make a long-term commitment or use harsh chemicals, there are some "home remedies" that do the trick. This article will show you to dye your hair with one such remedy, Kool-Aid drink mix powder. The color will last a couple of days and your hair won't get damaged by harsh chemicals even used in temporary dyes!

Part Two of Six:
Preparing the Kool Aid Dyes

  1. 1
    Add the Kool-Aid packages to a small bowl. Be sure to use the unsweetened version, to avoid creating sticky hair. Moreover, don't use the artificially sweetened kind, as the chemicals might irritate your eyes. You may need to use more packages than recommended here, depending on the length of your hair, and how deep you want the color. Suggestions for suitable Kool-Aid matched to a hair shade change are:
    • Tropical punch is great for a brighter red
    • Cherry works for a deeper red
    • Black-cherry mixed with strawberry works for a bright red
    • Mixing strawberry and grape can make a purplish red
    • Experiment with variations of your favorite Kool-Aid colors to get more unique colors
  2. 2
    Add a few drops of conditioner and some hot water to help the color from the Kool-Aid permeate the hair more evenly. Adding conditioner helps to make a paste, which is easier to handle.
  3. 3
    Mix the 3-6 packages of Kool-Aid, the water, and the conditioner together, until the ingredients form a smooth paste. Keep mixing out all the lumps and liquidy areas.

Part Three of Six:
Dyeing All of your Hair

  1. 1
    Work the Kool-Aid paste into the hair, starting near the roots. This is the fun part but you definitely need help for this if you're dyeing your own hair.
  2. 2
    Continue adding the Kool-Aid paste down the middle of the hair.
  3. 3
    Work the Kool-Aid paste into the tips. All of your hair must be very damp and sticky, otherwise the powder will just wash out, without coloring your hair.
  4. 4
    Put up sections of hair to ensure that you color the lower layers of hair too.
  5. 5
    Wrap the hair in several long strips of sandwich wrap or, put on a shower cap. You'll have to sleep in it, so do a good job! This step is important not just to protect your pillows and sheets, but because it will trap the moisture in, allowing for a deeper color change. It would be a good idea to wrap your pillow in an old towel in case the sandwich wrap moves around while sleeping.
    • You can secure the plastic wrap carefully with tape.
  6. 6
    After a good night's sleep, remove the plastic wrap. Don't be dismayed by the gruesome colours on your skin––everything washes off! See How to remove Kool-Aid from skin if you have skin stains.
  7. 7
    Thoroughly rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Do not shampoo! If you use shampoo, the color will wash straight out. Apply conditioner if wished, then rinse again. Then comb your hair out and wait for it to dry. The final tint will be less obvious with wet hair.
  8. 8
    Rock your new Kool-Aid colored hair! Darker hair will change the tints of the hair color, but lighter hair can be dramatically changed! You may need to experiment with this a few times to get the balance right for your hair color –– just remember that the darker your natural hair, the less obvious the effects will be.

Part Five of Six:
Tips and Ends Only

  1. 1
    Add packets of Kool-Aid the color of your choice to water (depending on the shade you want).
  2. 2
    Bring the water to boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. 3
    Let it cool. Then pull up a chair, sit back, and dip your hair ends in, let them sit in for different timings depending on how dramatic you want the color, how dark your hair is, and how long you want it to stay in.
  4. 4
    When you are finished dip dyeing your hair, rinse out with cold water. DO NOT wash with shampoo. If the color does not show up with your wet hair, do not worry. The color is not as visible with wet hair than dry hair. After rinsing your hair, blow dry it until dry.

Part Six of Six:
Alternative Method

  1. 1
    In a pot, boil some water (around 2-5 cups).
  2. 2
    After the water has reached boiling point, pour it into a heat-proof bowl. Wait 3-5 minutes for it to cool off. Add the unsweetened Kool Aid packets (two packets for blondes, three for brunettes). Stir it in.
  3. 3
    Part your hair in two sections. Put one section on each shoulder.
  4. 4
    Dip the ends of your hair into the bowl. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes, depending on how strong you want the color and how long you want it to last. Have a magazine or book to read while you're incapacitated over the bowl! (Or listen to music, a podcast or an audio book.)
  5. 5
    After letting your hair sit in the bowl, take a towel and dry it a little. Then wash your hair with cold water and conditioner (conditioner is optional) You will see some Kool Aid start to drip off while washing but this is normal.
  6. 6
    Dry your hair. You're now ready to rock the new dye!

Community Q&A

  • I have shoulder-length, dark brown hair. What color should I use?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • If your hair is super dark, think about using red. No matter what color hair you have, red will almost always show up.
    Thanks! 89 7
  • Does washing your hair before affect the outcome of the color or time it will last?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Washing your hair and drying it before makes sure that all of the oils that may prevent absorption into the hair are gone and will help get the dye to sink in deeper.
    Thanks! 373 59
  • Why would you boil the water if you're just going to let the water cool?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • If the water is boiled, the color will last longer. You will have to let it cool for a short amount of time to add the Kool Aid, or it doesn't work.
    Thanks! 269 42
  • What colors do I use to get turquoise?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Try using the lime green mixed with the blue Kool-Aid. Be sure that when you are mixing it into the paste, or when you add it to the boiling water, that it is the color you want it to be, because that is the color that your hair will be after processing.
    Thanks! 251 40
  • Is there anything I need to make it last longer?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Use a UV protecting shampoo and conditioner. This can prolong the life of any color, no mater what brand. Also, avoid swimming in chlorinated pools, as the chlorine can strip the color out, especially if you didn't leave it in long enough.
    Thanks! 302 54
  • Can I ever wash my hair or only not directly after?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Just don't wash your hair directly after coloring it. Washing it later will let some color run off, and the more times you wash it, the less prominent the color will be.
    Thanks! 123 20
  • When will it come out?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • It usually comes out in 3-4 weeks. The exact timing depends on your hair color. The dye can be visible for just a few weeks with dark hair, or over two months with light hair. The more often you wash, the sooner it will come out.
    Thanks! 146 26
  • After the first shower with only conditioner, can I shower with shampoo the next day?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, you can shampoo normally after the first day.
    Thanks! 95 16
  • How long does the color last for dark hair?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The color lasts for 2-4 weeks, depending on the thickness and how often you shower.
    Thanks! 56 8
  • If I go in the pool, will it wash off and then rub on my clothes?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • At least for the first couple of days, there is a good chance that the Kool Aid will run onto your clothes if you get your hair wet. Wear darker clothes and put a towel over your pillow. Blow dry your hair after you shower or swim just for extra caution. It should stop dripping color everywhere after a while though.
    Thanks! 154 30
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  • Don't wet your hair before dyeing. It will make your hair look greasy and wet until the dye washes out.
    15 Helpful?  4
  • If you have dark hair, use Tropical punch for a bright red or blueberry lemonade for a blue tint.
    16 Helpful?  2
  • The red dye mixture tends to stain some bathtubs when you take a shower (the best way to clean it is by using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a similar product).
    11 Helpful?  1
  • If you have a sensitive scalp, this may not be a suitable activity; test a small area first to see if you have a reaction.
    12 Helpful?  1
  • You may want to work over a sink so that you can rinse out splatters.
    8 Helpful?  3
  • Cherry Kool-Aid's coloring agent is permanent, so do not spill the product on the carpet or the stain will never come out. Any red coloring agent can be quickly faded with ultraviolet light, but this will damage and fade most fabrics too.
    10 Helpful?  1
  • The Kool-Aid will take very well to chemically treated hair, that is, hair that has been permed, bleached, or chemically straightened. Use caution when dyeing, and be aware that your dye job could last just as long as a semi-permanent dye if your hair is especially porous and damaged.
    9 Helpful?  2
  • Obviously, commercial dye, whether temporary, semi-permanent or demi-permanent, is available. You may be happier with the result produced by a commercial product. However, many people dislike the chemical make-up of such products, which is why this may be a suitable alternative.
    7 Helpful?  0
  • The color will be completely gone after a few years.
    10 Helpful?  15
  • Kool-Aid used as a dye will make your hair smell; often, the odor is noticeable and strong if you don't use the unsweetened kind.
    11 Helpful?  1
  • Before you dye your hair, protect the sides of your face from being stained by applying some petroleum jelly or Vaseline on the desired areas.
    13 Helpful?  0

Things You'll NeedEdit

  • 3-6 unsweetened Kool-Aid packets, depending on the hair's size and whether you want it strong
  • Conditioner (so that your hair doesn't stay sticky)
  • A comb (a wide toothed comb would be good)
  • Color brush (or toothbrush) or anything useful for doing streaks or highlights. A paintbrush works best.
  • Tin foil (for streaks or highlights)
  • plastic wrap or shower cap
  • Tape
  • Gloves (the Kool-Aid will stain your hands like a permanent marker)
  • Rags (to wipe your hands on and use to keep your workspace clean)
  • A plastic Container

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Co-authors: 266
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Categories: Coloring Hair

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