Temporary Hair Color for Quick Fixes and Fun Looks

Bold color can be yours...temporarily.

Testing new looks has never been easier, thanks to innovative forms of temporary hair color. Now you can rock that pink streak you've been fantasizing about or go blonde to see if they really do have more fun.

How Temporary Hair Color Works

Unless you've done it before, coloring your hair can be nerve-wracking. Will it stain the skin? Is it easy to do? Most importantly, will it look good? If this question runs through your mind every few minutes, you might want to take advantage of temporary hair color.

Temporary products are formulated to be rinsed out with a shampoo. There are several types of temporary products available, including sprays, mousses, gels, rinses, and sticks. Unlike permanent hair color, temporary versions do not contain ammonia. As a result, the color doesn't penetrate the hair shaft; it is deposited only on the outside of the shaft, and the color lasts only from one shampoo to the next.

These products are ideal for individuals who aren't interested in changing their look for long. Parties, holidays, and concerts are just a few occasions that might call for a temporary makeover. Then there are people who've often toyed with the idea of coloring their hair, but haven't actually risen to the challenge yet. Whether the reason is fear, a lack of time, or uncertainty about the color, it's easily remedied with the help of temporary products.

Covering Gray

Anyone who's discovered unexpected gray can attest to that sudden desire to cover it. If there are just a few strands of gray, you might take advantage of a touchup product formulated to target just those minute areas for a quick fix, such as:

  • Irene Gari Cover Your Gray Color Comb: Long-lasting and effective, this unique comb deposits temporary color onto the hair. It's ideal for fading roots that don't require much attention yet definitely could do with some touching up. Simply dip the comb in water and run it through the area that needs color. Allow the hair to dry, then style as normal. The product remains in the hair until it's shampooed out. Purchase it at GMBShair.com.
  • Roux Tween Time Instant Hair Color Touchup Stick: If you don't have time to wait for the comb's color deposit to dry, consider a color stick. The lipstick-like tube serves as a portable little stick of color. Just moisten the stick's tip and apply directly to the area that requires color. As with the comb, this product remains until shampooed out. Purchase it at Sally Beauty.
  • Irene Gari Cover Your Gray Brush-In Hair Color: Run this mascara-like wand through your hair to cover grays easily. This applicator is much more convenient than a stick for individuals with long hair. Product remains until shampooed out. Also available at GMBShair.com.

Halloween Costumes

Whether you're dressing up as a bold, yellow- and orange-haired punk, the most evil witch in town, or just want to turn heads with a hot new look, chances are your hair could do with a dose of funky color this Halloween.

  • Moon Glow Neon UV Hair Gel: What better place than a dark room or neighborhood to show off a head full of glow-in-the-dark hair? Moon Glow Neon UV Hair Gel contains a luminescent color blend that relies on tiny microscopic particles to give hair an intense glow. Available in six wild and wacky shades, the gel is applied with your fingers. Just dab the product into select strands or go the whole nine yards and color your entire head for maximum impact. Purchase it at Moon Creations.
  • Manic Panic Dye Hard Styling Gel: As one of the leaders in temporary color, Manic Panic's selection is practically incomparable. Each squeeze tube contains a neon, matte, or metallic shade that easily blends into and washes out of the hair with a quick shampoo. This is no ordinary gel hair color, though - it's also a functional styling product that dries hard to hold even the most stubborn strands in place. It's great for creating spikes and other bold looks that normally require plenty of work. Purchase it at Manic Panic.


Forget about making an appointment at the salon. Temporary highlighting sprays not only give you the hair of your dreams in an instant, they also allow you to test as many colors as you want for a fraction of the salon price.

  • Jerome Russell BBlonde Spray-In Natural Color Highlights: It sounds too good to be true, but the end result of Jerome Russell's clever spray should put any doubts to rest. Available in an array of natural colors, the spray is a no-fuss tool that washes out easily. Just shake the can and apply to dry hair. Product is available at Walmart.com.

Hair Dyes

Of course, temporary doesn't have to mean one night only. Give yourself a few days to grow accustomed to a new look. Try out one of these products, which wash out in 8-10 shampoos and require very little commitment.

  • pHUE Gloss+: Not only is temporary hair color fun to use, it makes life so much easier if you're indecisive or commitment-phobic. You'll know it if you are: You love the idea of being a redhead and a brunette with equal passion, yet you aren't sure either one is really right for you. Massage dpHUE into your hair and let it set. Then rinse your hair with warm water until it runs clear and enjoy a temporary new look. Available in 11 shades ranging from practical blondes and browns to vibrant reds, it can be purchased at Dermstore.com.

Have Fun With Your Temporary Look

Temporary hair color can let you try the shade of your dreams without risking a color nightmare, so what have you got to lose? Experiment with a new hue today and update your look any time you want.

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Temporary Hair Color for Quick Fixes and Fun Looks