Using Hair Chalk to Add Color to Hair

Hair chalk

Coloring your hair with chalk is simple, inexpensive, and fun. Whether you want to add zip for a fun night out or your teenager wants to experiment with hair color, using chalk for temporary hair color might be the way to go.

How to Color Hair With Chalk

When you color your hair with chalk, you can try out a rainbow of colors without having to make a long term commitment. This kind of hair coloring tends to look best if you only color one or several sections of hair. For example, just add striped highlights, or try ombre coloring where you just color the ends of your hair. All you need are a few supplies and about an hour or less of your time to create a neat look.


Brunette chalk hair; © Paulprescott |
  • Water spray bottle
  • Hair brush or comb
  • Plastic gloves
  • Hair clips
  • Hair chalk of your choice
  • Curling iron or flat iron


  1. Brush or comb your hair to make sure it is free of snarls.
  2. Arrange your hair in your natural part.
  3. Clip small sections of hair that you intend to color.
  4. Spray the sections of clipped hair with a little water so they're very damp, but not completely wet.
  5. Rub the clipped sections of hair with chalk until they are completely saturated with color.
  6. Take out the clips and allow the hair to air dry.
  7. Use a curling iron or flat iron for additional styling; otherwise, skip this step and style as usual.

Types of Chalk

There are different types of chalk you can use to color your hair. Commercial hair chalk is designed with cosmetic use in mind, but you can use other kinds of chalk with varying results.

Sidewalk Chalk

Blue chalk hair

This is the same basic chalk that is used for blackboards and sidewalks. You can use it on your hair, but be aware that it is very dusty, and the color won't show up very well. Sidewalk chalk can be found in the craft or toy department at nearly any local store

Oil-Based Pastel Chalk

Oil-based pastel chalk can also be used to add temporary hair color, and it's available at any art supply store. Keep in mind that this type of chalk will stain hair because of its oily base, so it won't wash out as quickly as dry chalk and will stay in your hair for about a week versus two to three days. Also note that using an oil-based chalk can be very messy, so wear gloves and an old shirt. This kind of chalk isn't the best one to use for ombre coloring if your hair is long enough to touch your clothing.

Soft-Based Pastel Chalk

Soft-based pastel chalk is a popular choice for temporary hair color, and it generally comes sets that cost around $5 to $8 at most craft stores. Each set typically includes several bright and vibrant colors, as well as some natural, earthy tones. That's a nice variety for the money.

GypsyStix chalk hair color at
GypsyStix chalk hair color set

Hair Color Chalk

If you need a special color or you'd like chalk specifically geared for hair, you can find a variety of hair color chalk available at most beauty supply stores, including Sally Beauty Supply. carries hair chalk, as well. The product will wash out as the package directions state, generally in two to three days.

This type of chalk costs around $10 per box and can be found in different size sets ranging from about four colors to over 30, depending on the brand you select.

Chalk Tips

There are several points to consider when coloring your hair with chalk that can help the experience go smoothly and produce better results.

Short chalked hair; © Gandolfos |
  • When you experiment with chalk, consider wearing an old shirt since the chalk will occasionally get on your clothes.
  • To keep the chalk in your hair longer, use a flat iron or curling iron on your hair after it's dry and avoid washing your hair for one to two days.
  • Depending on how dark your hair is, you'll need to use brighter colors of chalk. If your natural hair color is brunette or black, you may even want to use neon chalk colors.
  • Most chalk colors show up well when applied to blonde hair.

Totally Temporary Color

Coloring your hair with chalk is temporary and totally easy, and it can be a fun experience. Chalk color only lasts for a few hair washes at best, and even then, it really depends on the type of chalk you use. So if you're not crazy about your color, no worries. Chalk it up to experience and start over!

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Using Hair Chalk to Add Color to Hair