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Do it Yourself, Kool-Aid Hair color!

Updated on November 8, 2009
so many colors to choose from!
so many colors to choose from!
Yarn that has been dyed with kool-aid! photo from www.
Yarn that has been dyed with kool-aid! photo from www.
You can even dye your best friend, as long as they say it's okay first!
You can even dye your best friend, as long as they say it's okay first!

Do it Yourself, Kool-Aid Hair Color!

Hello Fellow crafty and creative people! If you're like me you've always wanted to express yourself in the most memorable and exciting ways possible. Allowing the world to see you as you see yourself. To really be who you are despite the modern media's concept of who you should be, or what you should look like.Maybe you want to spice up your look a bit and be a little daring at the same time? Maybe you are allergic to over the counter hair dyes? Maybe you want something over the counter hair dyes can only provide at great expense?
Well dear reader You can have you hair any beautiful color you want with Kool-aid!
Yes that's right you can have streaks of beautiful PURPLE for that family reunion, or a full head of luscious fire-truck RED for that Holiday get together.

However since not everyone works from home and is self sufficient there are a few things you may want to consider before hand.

~ If you're under a parental "roof" you may want to ask yourself if your parents will have a problem? If they will, can you explain that it's not going to hurt your hair? That it will eventually wash away? That you feel you need some color in your life? If the answer is "YES" then try explain that so they can give you the go ahead!

~ Do you have an employer that think people with bright hair colors are less wonderful workers than people with natural hair colors? Try explaining that your hair color will never hinder anything about your performance, that it may make you work better as you'll feel more free! Maybe you should point out that "some" of the other workers have "lightened hair" and they seem to be able to do their jobs just fine!

~ Is there a special event in the next few Weeks coming up and you have already decided what you'll be wearing based on your hair color? Will it go well with your new do? will it look even better when you have BLUE locks? Maybe you are looking for an excuse to go shopping for a new light blue top to go with your new light blue hair?
Well dear reader are you still with me? Are you still "down" to make your hair "trip the light fandango?" Well I can help you to be on your way down the path of great hair colors!
It's simple affordable, easy and if you play your cards eight, you and no other animals have to get hurt in the process!

PLEASE remember to read ALL instructions BEFORE doing this process to yourself or anyone else!!!

So firstly a word on hair types.
Brunettes, dark blonds and redheads will want to bleach their hair. You can get a bleach kit from any hair care store. Or you can buy the bleach, peroxide developer (I use volume 40 for the quickest and lightest results on my friends hair). Make SURE you have at least 2 sets of gloves as well!

Follow the instruction on the package or ask the beauty supply personal how to bleach your hair. I am teaching you how to work with Kool-aid not harsh chemicals!
If you're a natural light blond (like me) you don't need to do a thing to your hair first. The color will take, though it will take better if you bleach it for just a little while so that you can open up the cuticle and get more color into it!

Now that you've got your hair bleached some off color of yellow or light orange or for me Stark White, we can proceed!


You can find all of these products online or through your local beauty supply/grocery stores!

~ 10-20 packets of UNSWEETENED Kool-aid (the sweetened kind will leave you with an ugly messy head of problems!)

~ 1 cup hair color developer for long 1/2 cup for short hair or streaks (or you can use1 or 1 half cup of conditioner for a less bright and less lasting color, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar if you go the conditioner route!)

~ 1 glass mixing bowl (plastic will get dyed and metal will ruin the color!)

~ 2 pairs of latex/non-latex substitute /plastic gloves.

~ 1 old ratty towel, or a towel you don't mind staining with color

~ 1 box baking soda

~ 1 jar petroleum jelly

~ 1 disposable plastic spoon

~ plastic wrap (enough to cover your head) or an old plastic grocery bag.

~ 1 old button up shirt that can be destroyed if you need to burn the evidence. I KID! Just something you can get color on but can get out of without pulling it over your head!

Okay so you should have DRY hair that has been recently washed or bleached but not conditioned.and all of your materials and we can begin!

Step 1: Put on your designated gloves and Button up shirt in no particular order. Part your hair down the middle if it's long enough.

Step 2: In your glass mixing bowl mix 10 packets of KA (Kool-aid) for streaks (or short hair) or 20 packets for a full dome, and 1 cup hair color developer or 1 half , or 1 cup conditioner (or 1 half) and 2 table spoons of vinegar. Stir well with the plastic spoon

Step 3: While the color is "developing" use the petroleum jelly and apply it around your hairline, front and back, and all over your ears. Where ever you DON'T want color from your KA process!

Step 4: Starting at your front hairline and moving down your part and all over and under all of your hair (or just on the streaky parts) apply all of your KA mixture.

Step 5: cover your entire head/hair with the plastic wrap/bag and go do some house work/chores/homework/read a book. You wan to leave this stuff on your head until as long as you possibly can. I mean overnight if you can stand it! You can use the baking soda now to clean off the counters or the floor, anywhere you've dropped color!

Step 6: Unwrap your noggin and rinse in cool water. Hot water will make you loose color. Shampoo will make you loose color. Try not to wash your hair with shampoo for as long as possible after you dye with KA! When you do wash or rinse your hair remember to use that same ratty towel so you can show your friends later all the wonderful colors your hair has been! (just try not to get gross about it!)

Step 7: Run to your nearest mirror and "ooh and aah" over how totally awesome you look with your beautifully colored new do!

Thanks for making the world a more colorful place to live in dear reader! Hope you have many new and exciting colors in your life in the future!

Have fun Making!

Yours Truly,

Lady Make


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    • profile image

      Emily 3 years ago

      How long will it stay in? I read that when you use conditioner it will wash out after 1-2 weeks and I wanted mine to stay in longer.... Is it true that it will wash out quick or will it stay?? (Btw I have darkish lightish blonde hair- no not dirty blonde- if you know what I mean)

    • Libby Bentley profile image

      Libby Bentley 4 years ago

      I used ice tea on a whim ..gave my hair a very light i will experiment with developer ..who knew? thanks! maybe now my daughter will believe me kool aid works BTW any ideas on teas??

    • profile image

      Olivia 4 years ago

      Don't leave it in over night if you are blond! I am a dirty blond, but i get light streaks in the summer (from the sun), and a did this with red koolaid over Christmas break a few years ago, and it did not come out until the end of that summer. I go to a private school and we aren't allowed to have colored hair, so i had to wear my hair up most of the year to cover the streaks.

    • profile image

      chasity 5 years ago

      I have really red hair and this can be used on top of already brightly colored hair to refresh it when it starts to fade....

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      Short stuff 5 years ago

      Im going to try this with black cherry hope it turns purple

    • profile image

      Maples 5 years ago

      Just saw the comment about doing it with boiling water...DON'T!!!!!! I did this when I was 12, I was told it would wash out and it didn't. I wasn't able to have red hair like that in school back then and was forced to cut it out (I only did from the shoulders down) but having to do that was so sad! I had such long hair. I've been planning to attempt it this way since the boiling water I dipped my hair in so long ago caused issues, hoping this way works and makes it as bright as I want, but not wanting it to come right out either, but I will NEVER boil then dip my hair again, worst mistake I ever made with my hair.

    • profile image

      Sonocal 5 years ago

      My friends said I could just mix kool aid w/ boiling water dip the tips of my hair in it. Can that work?

    • profile image

      Andrea 5 years ago

      That hair die will look awesome on my 9 year old daughter.

    • profile image

      Jojo 5 years ago

      I did this with wwwwwwaaaaaayyyyyy less materials and didn't bleach my hair either and I have really dark brown hair and it turned out a beautiful bright red (it was only the front) but still I got so many compliments :)

    • profile image

      Roxanne 5 years ago

      I helped my 12 year old dye a section of her hair "red" last night. She is a medium brown. I suggest putting vinegar in to make the paste instead of water. We are going to try that tonight to see if it will turn out brighter. I also wrapped just the "dyed section" in aluminum foil, left it on for thirty minutes and intermittenly hit it with the hair dryer to warm it up and help it penetrate the hair shaft. It did defintely work, just not as bright red as she was hoping for, so we are going to try with vinegar tonight.

    • profile image

      Kennedy 5 years ago

      I have a dark dirty blonde, but I only want to KoolAid my tips, which are an EXTREMELY light dirty blonde. If not, they are in fact blonde; and they are not died like that. I have never died my hair. So, the question, 'Would I have to bleach my tips if they're dirty blonde, but (I can not tell you how light) are VERY blonde at the same time?'

    • profile image

      Rose 5 years ago

      Cutest instructions ever. So many exclamation marks! I'm excited just from reading this. Thanks! :)

    • profile image

      boss 5 years ago

      yeah.... is there any simpler way of doing this

    • profile image

      Sid123 5 years ago

      Will this come out into the water if I go swimming? I dyed mine re and I don't want it to bleed red.. It looks wrong

    • profile image

      breanna 5 years ago

      DO NOT DO THIS! i read about how to do this about 1 year ago when i was 11 ive been dyeing my hair since then! THIS IS PERMANT it wont come out im 12,bleached my hair 4 times now its pink an ingrediant in koolaid makes it stick

    • Kalux profile image

      Kalux 5 years ago from Canada

      I did this once years ago, I put a few pink streaks in my hair and had many compliments. It was easy and even as it faded it was still cute.

    • profile image

      Colourful 5 years ago

      Hi! i was wondering, i bought a big thing oh sweetened kool aid, what difference would it make? would it still work? thanks for the great tutorial :)

    • profile image

      It's me 5 years ago

      So i have light brown hair and want a blond strick at the bottom but I'm not sure what flavor to use. HELP! Also does this method really work because I don't want to spend money on something that is not going to work. So e people have been saying it works but other say it does not. Please Help and reasponded below!

    • profile image

      rosabelle 5 years ago

      Yes this finally made my dad say yes to letting me dye my hair! Thank you!!!!

    • profile image

      Gale 5 years ago

      I'm a competitive swimmer, and I'm thinking of Kool-Aid dying my hair blue, but not sure how it will work with being at the pool so much. I usually train about 7 hours a week, not including meets (which are once or twice a week and usually involve a full day of wet hair). Just wondering what effects this may have on the dye and how to possibly prevent that (I usually wear a swim cap, but am wondering if there's anything else I can do).

      Also, my hair is a very light blonde, I'm wondering if I could still do the blue dye and get a nice color without bleaching? I know bleaching it is ideal, but I would really prefer not to.

      And one last question: What color of Kool-aid would be best for blue dye?


    • profile image

      Emmy 5 years ago

      I did this, I kept it in for 18 hours... And I wrapped it in tinfoil, then put my hair in a shower cap.

      Then when I took it all out, I rinsed it in cold water for like 30 seconds and all my kool aid came out. What did I do wrong?? Emailme at

    • profile image

      Erin 5 years ago

      for Carmen, you could get a dark green or blue to cover it like directions midnight blue or alpine green, I dont think it would come out like clementines though, hers is bleached sorrry! but if you do this it will definitely get blue-er :)

    • profile image

      me 5 years ago

      if you have dark brown hair will it work ??

    • profile image

      Mikayla 5 years ago

      For Carmen, yes I leave it in overnight and u just mix enough conditioner to make a thick paste with two or more UNSWEETENED kool aid packs I have medium brown hair and this works for me

    • profile image

      Carmen 5 years ago

      Hey, i have mousy brown hair and i was wondering if i can dye my hair blue and green like Clementine from Eternal sunshin eof the spotless mind...

      i don't want to bleach it though. (i know you've heard this a million times)

      if i leave it in for more than 2 hours will that make it blue-er? Or is there really anything i can do for medium (i can also deal with dark but ehh)

      so, yeah medium blue and green without bleaching? Is it possible?

    • profile image

      Alumna 6 years ago

      This didn't work at all!!!!!

    • profile image

      lauren 6 years ago

      I have blonde hair and would like to try this. How long does the color last? I know bleached hair is bleach forever until it grows out and it cut off. How long does the KA color last though?

    • Lady make profile image

      Lady make 7 years ago from Seattle

      well MOO, if you follow the steps here you'll see that you have to start out with bleached hair. Even if your hair is dark blond it's still too dark for any of the "bright" colors that would be produced with this coloring method. After you bleach your hair to a very pale (think the inside of the bannana peel) yellow/white then you can proceed. As far as color combinations to get specific colors that is all up to you. Some people get different colors with different mixtures. Also since everyone has a different idea of what "pink" is you'll be better off trying it yourself. I suggest a test strip. You can cut a very small clipping of your own hair from the back somewhere and bleach it out. this will tell you how long you should leave the bleach in your hair. Then try small amounts of different color combos on (in vertical stripes) across small sections of the test strip until you find the color you love!

      Hope that helps!

      Have fun making sweet sticky hair!

    • profile image

      MOO 7 years ago


    • Lady make profile image

      Lady make 7 years ago from Seattle

      yes unfortunately you can't make a dark color lighter with applying more color to it. It's like paint. If you have dark brown paint and you add yellow to it it will stay dark brown with a yellow tint. However if you take white paint and put yellow in it it turns yellow. :)

    • profile image

      Rawwr 7 years ago

      Hey there , I'm cosplaying as Link ( from the Legend of Zelda ) for Halloween ,

      I've been told on another site that dark colored hair will still have the same effect , but less colorful I take it ...

      Do I really have to bleach my hair to go blonde like Link , or can I just dye with the Kool aid ?

      Link to site :

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      Great tips. Thanks

    • profile image

      nia 7 years ago


    • profile image

      lostinnewyork 8 years ago

      Oh my oh my, now I have no excuse! So muc cheaper than Manic Panic. I bet it smells nice too. I think my dog and I will be the same color pink for a change.

    • profile image

      sweetlips 8 years ago