Temporary Hair Dye using Kool-Aid

*Updated to add – because of her hair type, the color ended up lasting all Summer long. We ended up giving her a fresh haircut before heading back to school and cutting out the excess pink that was left. So be warned that some hair will only hold for a period of time, but others can hold like a permanent color. So try at your own risk.

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

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This Summer we are trying to do some fun things that are unexpected, fun and things we can’t do during the school year. My son’s very first thing he wanted to do was buy flip flops and never take them off his feet (which he hasn’t, a week into Summer break!) and my daughter’s one request was to have color in her hair. She has clip in color strips that she got for Halloween last year, and asks for them to be clipped in daily after school. She’s definitely my girly girl with all the personality a little 4 year old can have. So I decided that we would let her have her crazy colored hair this Summer, since we don’t have any school policy’s holding us back. But our biggest dilemma was that she couldn’t decide on what color she wanted to have. First it was red, then blue, then pink, purple was thrown in there once too. The only one I told her we would’t do was green because I didn’t want her to look like a little blonde who spent too much time in the pool. We spent too many efforts last year preventing her hair from turning green from our daily swims!

I came up with the perfect solution to her color problem, we would do temporary colors all Summer long and she can pick whatever color she wants next once the color has faded.

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

Now because I figured we would be doing a bunch of different colors all Summer long, I didn’t want to be buying any pricey temporary colors, so we decided to do the Kool-Aid method. Did you do this when you were a kid? Who didn’t right?!

This was really simple and because of my daughter’s blonde hair didn’t take us long at all. Just something to remember, the darker the hair color, the longer it’s going to take for the color to take hold.


  • Old T-shirt
  • 2-3 packages Kool-Aid
  • 2 cups water
  • cup or bowl
  • comb
  • blow dryer
  • hot straightening iron

My daughter actually wanted purple hair this time around, so we used 2 Purplesaurus Rex packages and 1 cherry to give it a deeper color. It was a very purple liquid but came out more of a deep pink color in her hair. Next time we may try grape instead and see where that gets us!! This chart seems to give some good color combo ideas, but unfortunately didn’t have a purple option.

This process is best done on freshly washed hair that has been completely dried. To finish the prep, make sure to comb out your hair and if there’s any that you don’t want colors, pull them up in an elastic or clip. We only did the underneath of my daughter’s hair, so I pulled the top layers up into a top knot to keep them from reaching the color.

Also put your child in an old t-shirt that you don’t care about getting colored. The hair will drip and could possibly dye the shirt they are wearing. Also, I would recommend gloves if you don’t want your fingers to also be the color of the hair!

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

Combine your Kool-Aid packets and water in a pot and heat on medium-high heat until boiling. Boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat. Pour your mixture into a heat resistant cup or bowl. Depending on how much hair your want colored will determine how much liquid you want. I started with all of it in a bowl, but quickly took some out because I didn’t want to risk coloring the whole hair strand as we only wanted a few inches colored. Also keep in mind that the color will creep up the hair strands, so dip it about 1/2 inch less than you want colored.

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

I did her hair in 3 sections. Dip them in the color and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Darker hair may need 20-25. This is a perfect time to put a movie on and let them sit and watch while you hold their hair in the color. Because of how light my daughter’s hair is, we only kept the hair in for about 5 minutes and it still got a very vibrant color! Once the strand is done, ring it out with an old towel to avoid drips and move on to the next section until all is complete.

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

Once everything is colored where you want, it’s time to dry it. Blow it dry using a comb to brush out any tangles. Just know that for the first little bit the hair will be a little stiff or sticky feeling.

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

After you blow it dry, the best thing to do is to use a hot straightening iron to set the color. Just a quick run over the hair will do fine. As soon as I was done, I took a damp cloth and wiped down the heating pads to remove any residue that may have transferred.

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

Now style the hair as you normally would, and you are all done!!!

This color is not a permanent dye, but depending on the hair, could last a few days or maybe a few weeks. It’s a fun things to do with your little ones who want a little personality in their do!

Temporarily color your child's (or your own) hair using Kool-Aid

What colors would your child want in their hair? I would also love to know what fun and out of the norm activities you have planned with your little ones this Summer. Leave them in the comments below!

Before You Go

Dirty Dr Pepper float - coconut icecream, fresh lime and an ice cold Dr Pepper. The perfect summer night treat

Dirty Dr Pepper Floats

Summer Theme Water Bottle Labels from OurThriftyIdeas.com

Summer Water Bottle Labels

Watermelon Limeade pops - perfect healthy treat for your kids during the hot summer months from OurThriftyIdeas.com

Watermelon Limeade Pops

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