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Dyeing Hair With Kool-Aid

Jodie Michalak
Girl With Colorful Dyed Hair

Dyeing your hair with Kool-Aid is a great and cheap way to obtain a temporary vibrant hair color. Although it won't work for every type of hair, Kool-Aid can be a great alternative to expensive traditional dyes if you need bold color fast.

Tips for Dyeing Hair With Kool-Aid

If you're ready for a bold and bright hair color but don't want to shell out the cash for an expensive salon service or experiment with at home chemical processes, you may choose a simpler method such as dyeing hair with Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid has been used for years amongst the emo and punk crowd for a bright at-home hair coloring service. The following steps will help you obtain vivid and bold fashion colors, depending on the flavor of Kool-Aid you select.

Step by Step

Prior to coloring your hair, you'll want to shop for your desired color. Blondes and lighter hair tones generally have better luck than brunettes when dyeing hair with Kool-Aid. Bear in mind that Cherry flavored Kool-Aid is considered a permanent dye, so only opt for this red tone if you plan on keeping it until it grows out. Popular Kool-Aid colors include blue, pink, purple, and red. Shop your grocer's aisle and scour the Kool-Aid packets to find the color you desire.

  1. Kool-Aid is a messy hair colorant and can stain clothing and carpet. Make sure you are careful with the coloring process and that you protect clothing, furniture and fixtures prior to getting started.
  2. Empty Kool-Aid packets into a clean bowl. The amount of packets needed will vary based on your hair length, texture, and thickness.
  3. Slowly mix in a few drops of conditioner to form a thick paste. Make sure that the paste is thick and creamy rather than thin and runny.
  4. With the help of a comb, toothbrush, or thick paint brush, quickly apply the Kool-Aid to your hair avoiding the scalp. Massage into the hair liberally.
  5. Place a clear shower cap on your head or wrap with saran wrap. Leave dye on the hair overnight. When you awake, shampoo hair thoroughly. Any stains on the skin will wash off.
  6. Continue to rinse hair until the water runs clear.

Kool-Aid Dye Recipes

If you've decided to take the plunge and go bright and bold with Kool-Aid dye, here are some recipes to get you started. Of course, you can always mix your own to see what results you get! Your results for hair color and the specific hues will vary depending on your original color.

Hair Color Result
Red
Woman with red hair
Orange
Woman with headphones
Yellow
Woman With Yellow Hair
Green
Girl with green hair
Blue
Pet salon groomer portrait
Purple
woman with dyed pink hair

Red Kool-Aid Dye Recipes

  • Pinkish Red - Fruit Punch (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)
  • Bright Red or a Red Tint on Dark Hair - Tropical Punch (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)
  • Bright Red - Double Double Cherry and Strawberry or Black Cherry and Strawberry (1-2 packets of each at an equal ratio for light hair, or 3 of each for darker or long hair)
  • Dark Red - Cherry (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)

Orange Kool-Aid Dye Recipes

  • Orange - Orange (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)
  • Darker Orange - Orange and Cherry (2 packets of orange and 1 cherry, each at a 2:1 ratio for light hair, or double that for darker or long hair)

Yellow Kool-Aid Dye Recipes

  • Light Yellow - Lemon (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)
  • Dark Yellow - Lemon and Orange (2 packets of Lemon and 1 Orange, each at a 2:1 ratio for light hair, or double that for darker or long hair)

Green Kool-Aid Dye Recipes

  • Light Green - Lime (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)
  • Green - Blue Raspberry and Lime (1-2 packets of each at an equal ratio for light hair, or 3 of each for darker or long hair)
  • Turquoise - Blue Raspberry and Lemon Lime or Berry Blue and Lemon Lime (1-2 packets of each at an equal ratio for light hair, or 3 of each for darker or long hair)

Blue Kool-Aid Dye Recipes

  • Blue - Blue Raspberry (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)
  • Electric Blue - Triple Awesome Grape and Blue Raspberry (1-2 packets of each at an equal ratio for light hair, or 3 of each for darker or long hair)
  • Light Blue - Mixed Berry (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)

Purple Kool-Aid Dye Recipes

  • Reddish Purple - Triple Awesome Grape and Strawberry (1-2 packets of each at an equal ratio for light hair, or 3 of each for darker or long hair)
  • Purple - Triple Awesome Grape (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair) or Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch (1-2 packets of each at an equal ratio for light hair, or 3 of each for darker or long hair)
  • Light Pink - Pink Lemonade (3 packets for light hair, 4 or 5 for darker or longer hair)

Tips and Warnings

Although temporary, any type of hair colorant can damage and stain the hair. There's definitely some important information to consider before you start.

  • If you're serious about coloring your hair an extreme shade, it's best to seek the services of a professional hair colorist.
  • Temporary dyes and coloring processes will adhere differently to different hair types.
    • If your hair is damaged or previously colored, it's best that you avoid all types of at-home color processes, including Kool-Aid.
    • Porous and damaged hair tends to grab and hold on to color, meaning you may have uneven and blotchy results from your Kool-Aid application if the hair is not in suitable condition.
  • Depending on your hair color, the results may be minimal. The darker your hair, the more it will have a slight color tint to it. On the flip side, the lighter your hair, the more intense and brighter the color will be. Women with red hair may get mixed results, ranging from a mild color tint to more noticeable shades.
  • Kool-Aid also has plenty of unpleasant side effects, including a moderate a smell and gritty texture. If you opt for a Kool-Aid color service, select the sugar-free packets to avoid a sticky mess.
  • Kool-Aid hair coloring generally lasts about a week or so depending on how many times you shampoo your hair and its current condition and porosity level.
  • Bear in mind the color will fade unevenly, so expect results to look their best the first day only. Once hair is faded, you can reapply as needed or change your color for a new exciting look.

Having Fun Dyeing Your Hair With Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid is an exciting way to change your hair color on a whim, so if you're feeling experimental, why not try it? With temporary results, you can easily find a fun funky hair color you enjoy without a long term color commitment.

Dyeing Hair With Kool-Aid