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When the world was forced into social distancing and people could no longer visit professionals, we saw a new era of DIY at-home treatments and concoctions. One trend that’s been making news around is dyeing hair with Kool-Aid. Yes, the powdery, sugary, brightly-colored, childhood favorite drink can be used as a hair dye. For people who have decided to experiment with hair color, Kool-Aid is an inexpensive solution. If you’ve caught the vibrant colored-hair bug and wish to know how to dye your hair with Kool-Aid, we’ve got you covered. Let’s jump right in dying your hair with Kool-Aid, it’s easier than you may think.

How to Prepare Kool-Aid Hair Dye

The first step would be to choose the color you’d like for your hair. Thankfully, Kool-Aid comes in more than a dozen unnatural colors, giving you a variety of options. Some colors include Grape to create a lovely purple, mixed berry to get light blue, and tropical punch to create a brighter red. One thing to note is that if you have darker hair, you’ll need to use more Kool-Aid to get a vibrant color.

Alternatively, you can create your own custom color by mixing two Kool-Aid colors. For instance, Strawberry and Grape will give you red-violet, while Blue Raspberry and Lemon-lime will result in turquoise.

After picking the color you want, here’s a list of the items you’ll need for Dying your hair with Kool-Aid:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Hot water
  • Hair dye brush
  • Old T-shirt or towel
  • Mixing bowl or container
  • Plastic bag or shower cap
  • Hair ties

How to Dye Your Hair with Kool-Aid

  1. Put on your disposable gloves to prevent the dye from soaking into your skin. Otherwise, you’ll be left with hands that match your hair color!
  2. Empty one or more Kool-Aid packets into your mixing bowl (make sure it’s heat-safe) and stir in the hot water. If you have darker hair or want a more vibrant color, use less water. Mix well until the powder dissolves. A good measurement to use is one tbsp (15ml) of water per pack of Kool-Aid.
  3. Next, add hair conditioner to the mixture. It’s easier to apply the dye in cream form. However, you can skip this step if you prefer to use just plain water.
  4. Kool-Aid works best in hair that’s been recently washed but dried. Brush through any tangles and section your hair if you want to dye particular areas. Remember to cover your shoulders with an old towel or T-shirt. Likewise, protect your work area using either an old cloth or garbage bag, in case any dye drips on your furniture.
  5. Using your fingers or dye brush, begin applying the Kool-Aid paste to the desired areas, ensuring that your hair is completely coated and saturated.
  6. Wrap it up and wait at least an hour before rinsing your hair with cold running water (don’t use shampoo or conditioner). You can wash after 15 or 30 minutes. But, the longer you leave it on, the deeper the color. For the best result, let it sit for around eight hours.

If you want dip-dyed ends, tie your hair into a ponytail, and dip it in the mixture. Leave it for 15-30 minutes depending on how vibrant you want the colors to be, and then rinse. 

Does Dyeing Your Hair with Kool-Aid Really Work?

Turns out, Kool-Aid hair color is not a new trend. People have been using it since the 1980s, maybe even earlier, and it really works. It’s a fun, inexpensive, and super easy application that lets you get some fun colors in your hair.

Kool-Aid hair dye isn’t a long-term commitment, and depending on how long you leave the mixture in your hair, it can last anywhere from two to four weeks. As noted above, the longer you leave it on, the longer it will last.

Your natural hair color will also determine the duration of Kool-Aid. For example, dark purples will last longer than pastel pinks. It’s also worth pointing out that longevity depends on your lifestyle. So, if you shampoo your hair daily, swim in chlorinated or salt water, use hot irons regularly, or spend a lot of time in the sun, you can expect the Kool-Aid color to fade faster.

How Does Kool-Aid Work?

Kool-Aid acts like a stain on the hair fiber, meaning it merely stains the outside of your hair shaft. Think coloring Easter eggs. You should know that the efficiency of Kool-Aid on your hair has everything to do with your hair’s porosity.

What’s more, your base color will determine what the end result will look like. For example, blonde hair will take the color more vibrantly, whereas, for a brunette, the cast of color will be visible in reflective light when dying your hair with Kool-Aid.

Pros of Using Kool-Aid Hair Dye

  • It’s cheap and comes in a variety of cool, vibrant colors
  • Leaves your hair smelling fruity and sweet
  • Doesn’t contain harsh chemicals

Cons of Using Kool-Aid Hair Dye

  • Can potentially dry out your hair
  • Messy when applying
  • The stain can be difficult to remove
  • Doesn’t look so pleasant when it starts to fade

How to Remove Kool-Aid Hair Dye

Generally, shampooing should do the trick if you’re not in a rush to remove the color. As we stated, Kool-Aid is a temporary color and will fade each time you wash your hair with shampoo. If you want a quicker fix, you’ll need a clarifying shampoo. A paste of baking soda and shampoo will get the job done with ease. However, be sure to follow up with a deep conditioner since baking soda can leave your hair extremely dry.

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