Everything To Know About Kool-Aid Hair Dye (And Why Dip-Dyeing Is Where It's At)

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Kool-Aid Hair Dye
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Kool-Aid hair dye — the quarantine hair trend making waves across the interwebz! The cool (#PunTotallyIntended) thing about Kool-Aid hair dye is that it is non-toxic and safe to do with your kids. It’s not permanent, but if done right, you’ll get a fun pop of color in your hair for up to a month. Now, if you do a quick Google search, you’ll see about a thousand different ways to dye your hair with this tasty kitchen staple. People have been doing this fun DIY dying technique since the ’80s, after all. And in recent months, it’s made an impressive comeback since families are spending more time at home due to social distancing guidelines. So, naturally, everyone is looking for ways to keep busy (and moms are definitely looking for ways to spice up their ho-hum beauty routine). One solution? An easy-peasy way to dye your hair with Kool-Aid: dip-dyeing.

We know you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. So, we went ahead and compiled an ingredient list, tutorial, and troubleshooting tips for dyeing your hair with your childhood favorite drink mix. This DIY dye job makes a fun weekend activity with the kids (or at-home spa treatment once they go to bed… we get it!). The best part is you can do it over and over. It’s gentle enough on hair to give a go any time you or your kiddos want to change things up a bit. Whenever you choose to try a temporary hair makeover, give this how-to guide a quick read. Let’s get to it!

Kool-Aid Hair Dye Ingredients

What ingredients do you need to attempt Kool-Aid dip-dyeing at home? Only a few, as luck would have it — and they can all be found at home or in your local grocery store. The process is actually very simple, albeit a bit messy. Here’s a quick list to get you started.

  • Kool-Aid in your color of choice (unsweetened works best)
  • Warm water
  • Gloves
  • Old t-shirt
  • Towels
  • Hair tie
  • Brush
  • Bowl

Kool-Aid Hair Dye How-To

Now that you have your ingredients, let’s get to the nuts and bolts. How to dip-dye your hair with Kool-Aid — here we go.

  • Mix up the Kool-Aid according to the instructions on the packet, skipping the sugar.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into a bowl.
  • Brush hair well to remove any tangles.
  • Tie it up into a low ponytail.
  • Put on an old t-shirt and gloves and put down towels to protect any surfaces that the Kool-Aid might stain.
  • Dip the end of the ponytail into the bowl of Kool-Aid and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse Kool-Aid out with water (no shampoo) and condition afterward.

You may be wondering, how long does Kool-Aid hair dye last? It depends on many variables, from the color of the hair being dip-dyed to how long you leave the dye in the hair. However, as a general rule of thumb, Kool-Aid hair dye usually lasts between two to four weeks.

How Long Does Kool-Aid Hair Dye Last

And don’t worry. If you don’t love your Kool-Aid hair dye, it doesn’t last that long anyway. Your coloring job will be noticeable for about two to four weeks, but it really depends on how long the mix sits in your hair. So, if you’re looking for a four-week color, leave it in for at least 30 minutes. But if you want a little tint for a few days, rinse it out after 10 to 15 minutes.


While it’s a pretty straightforward process, there are a few issues you might need to address. So, let’s troubleshoot with a few quick tips.

  • Want to remove the hair dye? Shampooing is the best way to do this. It will naturally fade with time, but the more you shampoo, the quicker it will rinse out. Try a clarifying shampoo if you’re really in a hurry.
  • Can’t find the color you want? Become a mixologist. Yep — try combining two or three colors till you find the right shade.
  • What if your wiggly kid won’t sit still for the 15 to 30 minutes required? Say hello to a little screen-time. While you don’t want to give your little one carte blanche to use electronics anytime, this is a time when it’s OK to hand over a tablet or turn on the TV. An episode of their favorite show is just long enough to get the job done.
  • Color not bold enough? With darker hair, it might be harder to get that super-bright pop. Try leaving your hair in the Kool-Aid a little longer (think up to an hour or so). That should do the trick.

Voila — a vibrant pop of color! Just the pick-me-up you and your little ones need while stuck at home. Even better? You’ll smell delicious!

Does Kool-Aid ruin your hair?

We’re all aware Kool-Aid was originally created to quench hot summer days instead of dying hair. And although Kool-Aid probably won’t ruin your locks, if you’re considering trying it, here are a few things to consider first.

  • Kool-Aid won’t enter your actual hair. The coloring will sit more on top of it like a stain.
  • This sugary mixture may dry out your tresses. So, remember to keep it moisturized to avoid breakage.
  • Kool-Aid stains your locks for a certain amount of time but sometimes can leave a permanent tint even after a wash. Then products used to get color out (like rubbing alcohol or color stripping shampoo) could damage your hair.

How to Dye Your Hair Without Hair Dye

Kool-Aid isn’t the only way to dye your hair without using harsh chemicals. There are tons of foods you can use to tint, darken or lighten your locks. Try using the items in your kitchen!

  • Carrot juice: This will give your hair a reddish-orange tint. Mix the juice with oil and let it sit in your hair for about an hour. Then rinse it out with apple cider vinegar.
  • Beet juice: Are you looking for a deep red or burgundy look? Mix your beet juice with oil and leave it in your hair for an hour. Then rinse it out with warm water.
  • Lemon Juice: Due to its acidity, lemon juice is perfect for lightening your hair and giving you the perfect sun-kissed look. Spray and comb it into your hair. Then sit out in the sun for about an hour and rinse it out.
  • Henna: Mix your henna leaves with either vinegar or lemon juice. Once you’ve created a paste, work it into the hair and let it dry for about five hours. Then wash it out with warm water.
  • Honey: Honey is for more than just your tea. It can lighten your hair because it has hints of hydrogen peroxide in it. You can mix it with your shampoo or conditioner. Leave it in your hair for about two to three hours. Then rinse it out with warm water.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon can also be a lightning agent. Blend it with your shampoo or conditioner and let it sit for four hours before washing it out.

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