If you want to experiment with hair color but don't want the results to last, Kool-Aid can be the answer. You just need to mix hot water, conditioner, and unsweetened Kool-Aid to make a hair dye paste. You can use this paste to color your entire hair, or just make a few streaks of color on the strands. Keep in mind that different colors and sizes of Kool-Aid will create different results. Don't forget to wear gloves so you don't get your hands dirty when you dye your hair!
Method 1 of 4: Preparing the Kool-Aid Cat Paint
Step 1. Put on disposable gloves to keep your hands from getting dirty
If you're not careful, the color of the Kool-Aid in your hair can transfer to your hands! To prevent this, wear disposable rubber or latex gloves to prevent the paint from contacting the skin.
If your skin is already dirty, there are several ways to clean Kool-Aid stains
Step 2. Select the desired color
Choose your favorite color, or mix 2 colors to create a new color. Kool-Aid grapes can produce a beautiful violet-violet color. The Tropical Punch flavor produces a red color, while the cherry flavor creates a deeper red. For cooler colors, raspberry makes blue and lime makes bright green. Mixed Berry flavor will produce a light blue color.
- Be aware that the resulting color can look very different, depending on your hair type and base color. For example, grape-flavored Kool-Aid will produce a bright pink violet hue on bright blonde hair if left for 30 minutes. However, Kool-Aid grapes will appear dark reddish-purple on dark hair if they have been left on for an hour.
- Bright red color is usually best suited for owners of brown hair. You can also try dark purple and dark blue! However, you can't get a lighter color than your original hair color without bleaching your hair first.
Step 3. Put the contents of a pack of Kool-Aid or more into a small bowl
If your hair is quite long, or the color is very saturated/intense, use two or more packs. Unsweetened Kool-Aid is less sticky so you can apply it to your hair more smoothly and evenly.
- If you're not sure what Kool-Aid will look like on your hair, start with just one pack. You can always add more painting sessions and use more Kool-Aid packs to highlight the colors.
- If you want to mix colors, stir the contents of both packs of Kool-Aid until evenly distributed. For example, try mixing Black Cherry with strawberries for a bright red, or strawberries and grapes for a purple-red. You can also try blue raspberry and lime-lemon for a turquoise color.
Step 4. Add hot water to dissolve the powder
Start by pouring 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of hot water into a bowl. Stir the powder and water with a spoon until completely dissolved.
- Generally, the ideal standard is 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of water for each pack of Kool-Aid.
- Try not to add too much water, so that the mixture is not too runny and seeps in your hair.
Step 5. Add conditioner to the mixture to make a creamy paste
When the Kool-Aid is completely dissolved, pour the conditioner into the bowl and stir until combined. Start with cup (60 ml) of conditioner and adjust the amount until the mixture forms a creamy paste.
The creamy consistency of the paste will make the paint easier to apply and work on your hair. Plus, the conditioner will also help the dye spread evenly across your hair
Step 6. Cover your shoulders and work area with an old towel
The paint will stain clothes so it's best to protect them with an old towel or just wear old clothes that can be soiled. You can also wrap a large garbage bag around your shoulder and clip it so that the wet paint doesn't get on your clothes.
Also, protect your workspace with another towel or trash bag in case it drips onto a chair, table, or floor
Method 2 of 4: Dyeing Whole Hair
Step 1. Divide the hair into 3-6 sections
Start with clean, dry hair, and use a hair tie to pull some hair back. To make it even, divide your hair into small sections where you will apply the paint.
- Try dividing your hair vertically into left and right sections, then dividing each section into 3 horizontal sections (top, middle, and bottom).
- Otherwise, divide the hair into 3 sections: left, right, and center, then work sideways.
- You can also open the hair at the nape of your neck and pile the rest on top of your head. Pull the sections when dyeing hair from the nape of the neck to the crown.
Step 2. Apply the Kool-Aid paste to each section of hair, from the roots to the tips
You can use gloves or a hair dye brush to work the dye all the way to the ends of the strands. Continue until all of the hair in the first section is covered in paint.
- Tie the dyed section of hair back, and continue until all sections of hair are dyed evenly.
- The entire hair should be moistened with dye so that the powder doesn't run off without having time to color the hair.
- If you dye your hair yourself, it's best to ask a friend for help. It will be difficult to dye the hair on the back of the head evenly.
Step 3. Wrap the hair with plastic food wrap
Hold hair at the crown with bobby pins. Wrap the plastic wrap several times around your hair to keep it from hitting your face and shoulders. You can also try using a plastic bag or food storage bag. This plastic will help hold moisture in your hair and prevent the dye from spreading and seeping.
- Wrap the plastic wrap with tape to make it tighter.
- This step is especially useful if you plan to leave the dye on your hair for a few hours.
Step 4. Wait for 15 minutes to 5 hours to get the desired color
If you have very light, fine hair and want a subtle Kool-Aid color, let the dye sit for 15-30 minutes. However, if your hair is darker and thicker, or you want a very saturated color, wait a few hours before rinsing off the paint.
If you use more packs of Kool-Aid, the paint can be left on for a shorter time
Step 5. Rinse the Kool-Aid paste from your hair with cold water
Remove the plastic wrap and turn on your cold tap or shower. Rinse all Kool-Aid in hair from roots to ends. Continue rinsing your hair until the rinse water is clear (or only the pale color remains).
- You may need to rinse for 10 to 20 minutes before the rinse water appears clear.
- Warm or hot water will remove the pigment from freshly dyed hair more quickly.
- Do not use shampoo when rinsing paint. The shampoo will erode and partially fade the color of the Kool-Aid.
Step 6. Use a hairdryer or blow out freshly dyed hair for best results
Dry your hair completely, either using a hairdryer or aerating it naturally. When you do, you'll be able to see the result of the Kool-Aid colored hair! Have fun styling and showing off your new hairstyle.
- To make the color last as long as possible, wash it with cold water instead of hot water.
- You can use warm water and a styling tool that uses heat, but be aware that heat will make the color fade faster.
- You may need to experiment a few times to get the hair color you want. Keep in mind that if you have dark hair, the effect will appear more subtle.
Method 3 of 4: Creating Hair Color Lines
Step 1. Spread plastic food wrap or foil behind a section of hair
Make sure your hair is clean and dry before dyeing. When you're done, lift a small section of hair and spread the plastic wrap or aluminum foil behind it. Place the plastic or foil right at the roots of your hair, and support it from behind with your hands.
- Decide how many lines of color you want to create in your hair, and cut a sheet of plastic wrap or foil for each line before you begin.
- If you're going to make light highlights, try taking and painting a few thin strands of hair on the same sheet of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Step 2. Use a highlighting brush to color the 2.5 cm section of hair with Kool-Aid paint
Take a dab of Kool-Aid paste with a brush and apply it directly to your hair. Wipe and work from root to tip, until all parts are coated with paste.
Support strands of hair from behind with your hands under a sheet of plastic wrap or aluminum foil
Step 3. Fold a sheet of plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the Kool-Aid paste-coated sheet
To prevent the dye from hitting other parts of your hair, fold the plastic wrap or foil so that it tightly wraps the dyed hair strands.
If the hair is longer than the sheet of plastic or paper, fold the ends of the hair near the roots before starting to wrap the foil
Step 4. Hold the part of the hair that is wrapped with a bobby pin or hair tie
After you've dyed the strands and wrapped them in food grade plastic or foil, flip them over so they're resting under the hair layer. Insert a bobby pin into the base or center of a small hair bun and hold it at the crown.
If you're using plastic food wrap, it's a good idea to make small bundles of each section of hair using a hair tie
Step 5. Continue painting small sections of hair until you get the desired amount of hairline
The easiest way to add a hairline is to start at the crown, and pin each piece of foil back as you work. Once you've painted the desired amount of hairline, double-check to make sure all the bandages are firmly in place.
If you make a lot of lines, it's a good idea to wrap your hair in a plastic bag or with several long sheets of food plastic to hold it in place while you wait
Step 6. Leave the dye on your hair for 15 minutes to 5 hours
Depending on the natural color and thickness of your hair, as well as the depth of hair color you want, leave the Kool-Aid dye on your hair for as long as you want.
- If you want a very intense color, leave the dye in your hair for 5 hours.
- If you have light hair and just want a bright color, don't leave the dye on for more than an hour.
Step 7. Rinse the dye off your hair with cold tap water
When you're rinsing your hair, put on gloves and remove any plastic food or foil wrapping the hair. Then, use cold water to rinse the dye from your hair until the rinse water is clear.
Method 4 of 4: Dyeing Hair Ends with Paint
Step 1. Mix 3-4 packs of unsweetened Kool-Aid with 2 cups (470 ml) hot water
Instead of making a creamy paste that you'll dye your hair, you'll be making a “paint gravy” where the ends of your hair will be dipped. Pour the contents of the Kool-Aid pack into a bowl of hot water and stir until the powder dissolves. Wait for about 2-5 minutes until the water cools down.
- Choose the desired Kool-Aid color, or mix the two packs to create your own color.
- Use more packs to thicken the color, especially if you have dark hair.
Step 2. Separate the hair in the middle of the head to make 2 ponytails
Make sure your hair is clean and dry before dyeing. While you are waiting for the water to cool, divide your hair into 2 sections, the right and left sides. Place one section in front of each shoulder, and use a hair tie to make 2 ponytails.
Step 3. Dip the end of the ponytail into the paint
Soak the strands in a bowl of Kool-Aid paint for 15-30 minutes. If your natural hair color is dark and you want a darker color, soak your hair in the dye for a bit longer. However, if you have lighter or finer hair, 15 minutes is enough to lighten the ends of your hair.
Try dipping your hair in the dye a few times for a deeper color. This method is also great if you want the areas where the paint color and hair color meet to blend more subtly
Step 4. Squeeze the wet strands using a kitchen paper towel to absorb the excess paint
When the time comes, remove the ponytail from the paint and squeeze the excess paint back into the bowl. Squeeze a paper towel into your hair to absorb any remaining water in your hair.
Make sure you are still wearing gloves during this process as Kool-Aid can stain your hands
Step 5. Wrap the strands in a plastic bag if you want to soak them a bit longer
For a richer color or if you have a dark natural hair color, leave your hair soaked in the dye for a longer time. Use a hair tie to secure a plastic bag or long sheet of plastic wrap to the ends of the dyed hair. This will retain some of the moisture while the dye is coloring your hair. Leave it on for 2 hours, or until the strands start to dry.
- If you want to soak your hair for up to 5 hours, the Kool-Aid paste method is much more ideal.
- Conditioner prevents the paint from drying out while the gravy will evaporate briefly.
Step 6. Rinse hair with cold water until the rinse water is clear
Wash without shampoo and rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove paint. Continue rinsing for 10-20 minutes until the rinse water is clear, or almost clear.
Once the paint has been rinsed off, blow it dry or use a hairdryer to see the final result
- Before dyeing your hair, protect the sides of your face from getting dirty by applying Vaseline along your hairline.
- If you have light-colored hair, don't dye it light blue or dark blue because it will turn green.
- Kool-Aid paint will chemically color your hair. Be aware that Kool-Aid will stay on your hair like semi-permanent paint, especially if your hair is very porous and damaged.
- Kool-Aid paint tends to temporarily stain bathtubs.
- Some red dye agents are much more permanent, so try not to spill Kool-Aid on fabrics or carpets as the stain will be difficult to remove.
- Kool-Aid paint can leave a characteristic odor on your hair, especially if you use a sweetened version.
- If you have a sensitive scalp, this method is less than ideal. Test the Kool-Aid on a small area of your head first to see if your body reacts badly.
- Try not to get wet after dyeing your hair with Kool-Aid. If you get caught in the rain, the color will definitely seep into your clothes!