I started dying my hair with Kool-Aid when I was about 13 and my parents wouldn’t buy me actual pink hair dye. I’m not sure exactly how I came up with the idea that this would work, or even the formula used for that matter.
So, first things first, this is actually more of a stain than a dye, but it works – especially if you start with super light bleached blond hair. It also washes out after awhile. Emphasis on awhile depending on how badly damaged your hair is. I’ve had it last anywhere from a day with blue/green Kool-Aid on my natural hair color to a few months on overly bleached hair with black cherry Kool-Aid. And now, on to the instructions.
* 2 – 3 packs of Kool-Aid in whatever color you want. I’ve found that black cherry works the best.
* A large bowl (big enough to fit your head in).
* A glass measuring cup or a medium sized sauce pan.
* Towels that you don’t mind ruining. This is messy!
First thing you need to do is mix the packets of Kool-Aid in either the measuring cup or saucepan with 2 cups of water – adjust this depending on how much hair you have. I use 1 pack of Kool-Aid for every cup of water – and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes.
DO NOT ADD SUGAR!! I know people that have done this. It’s not a pretty sight.
Next, let it cool enough that you don’t burn yourself and pour it in the bowl. From here, it’s basically just dunking your hair and letting it sit in the Kool-Aid for a little bit so it will pick up the color. It’s probably a good idea to have someone help you do the back of your head and near the roots.
Once your head (or the parts you want colored) is completely covered, blowdry your hair until it’s completely dry and then (using a very small amount) shampoo as normal. The color should last at least a few days depending on hair type/shampoo/how often you wash your hair.
Now, a few side notes. The boiling of the water, putting it on your hair when it’s still hot, and blow drying are all for a reason – heat sets the color, making it last longer. It’s the same as if you use Manic Panic or something, if you set the dye with heat before you rinse it out, it will stay longer. This is an incredibly messy project if you do it alone. Make sure to lay down towels on anything you don’t want stained. I suggest doing it over a sink or bathtub that can be easily washed out when you’re finished. Also, make sure to clean the sink/bathtub as soon as you’re finished so it doesn’t stain. There are still (10+ years later) hair dye stains all over the sink at my dad’s house because I didn’t clean up when I was finished.
What color will show up best on my black/brown/red hair? Probably some shade of red or purple. If your hair is really dark, more than likely you will only get a reddish/purplish tint.
How long does it take to wash out? That totally depends on your hair. If you have bleached your hair or have very light colored hair, it will take much longer to come out than if you have dark hair that has never been dyed. If you are looking to keep it as long as possible, reds and purples tend to stain better than blues and greens. You can also mix some of the powder into your conditioner when you wash your hair to brighten the color up a bit.
What can I use to thicken the Kool-Aid? There are a couple different things you could do. First, you could mix the Kool-Aid with conditioner instead of water. Second you could mix the Kool-Aid with only enough water to make a paste. With this method, you would probably need to use several packets of Kool-Aid.