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How to Use Temporary Hair Dye - Apply Temporary Hair Color

Updated on February 29, 2020

Whether you’re attending a party and want a solution to your normal color that will wash out in a few washes, or want to change your hair color without committing to one color in particular, temporary hair dye may be the solution you’re looking for. Temporary hair dye comes in many different forms, from combs to bottles, tubs or squeeze packets, and in a wide range of colors from mild to wild. With a temporary hair dye, you are only limited by your budget and your imagination.

Halloween '08 - that was my real hair color!
Halloween '08 - that was my real hair color!

Types of Temporary Hair Color

There are a few different types of temporary hair color, andwhen choosing between them, you should consider the reason for using this styleof hair color. Always read the packageto find out how long the dye is supposed to last!

  • Comb: A comb applicator generally comes in two forms. The first is a wax laid thick on the comb itself, which lays on your hair like mascara, generally washing clean in one shampoo. The second type of comb has an open tube at the base of the comb’s teeth through which a liquid dye is delivered when the tube attached to the bottom of the comb is squeezed.
  • Bottle: Some bottles come with a brush attached instead of a nozzle, but the concept is the same –squeeze the bottle, dye comes out and you apply it to your hair. Dye times may vary, so always read the box or instructions paper inside the box. The benefit of temporary hair dye in a bottle is that any unused dye can be saved for long periods of time if you wish.
  • Canister: Brands like Manic Panic sell their temporary dye in a short canister with a screw top lid. This makes application clean and easy, requiring only a brush to dip into the dye and apply the color you choose.
  • Squeeze Packets: Using these applies the same principle as spreading ketchup on your food. A corner is ripped open and you squeeze out dye and apply as desired. These packets can also be stored if you are careful with securing the opened portion so that the contents do not dry out.
  • Foam: L'Oreal has a temporary dye product which comes in a small canister, applied kind of like a mousse. You can use as little or as much of this as you'd like, and it has a long shelf life.

How to remove temporary hair color

Removing temporary dye is fairly simple in most cases: wash your hair! Repeated shampooing of colored hair will draw the temporary dye out of it. Do not be alarmed if your hair turns weird colors in the interim, as the fading color will depend on the tone and base pigments in the dye itself.

For instance - if you have used Manic Panic's electric blue, as it fades your hair will turn a sickly green color, which is a perfectly normal result from the base in the dye. Likewise, orange may turn a yellowy color, purple will trend toward slightly red/brown.

If all else fails, use of a hair color remover/stripper is safe.

How to use temporary hair color

First, make sure your hair is clean and dry. Then, simply apply the dye to the portions of your hair you desire to be colored. Wait the recommended time as listed in the instructions of your hair color, then rinse and dry your hair. It’s that simple!

If you're looking to create a streak effect, isolate the hair you'd like colored, and wrap the treated hair in foil to keep it separate. Touching up your roots is simple as well, since the temporary dye will not burn or damage your scalp, take your time and cover your roots well, brushing the excess through to the tips of your colored hair. Brushing the excess through can give your funky color a little pick-me-up as well, revitalizing your new color!

Have you ever dyed your hair using a temporary hair color?

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