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Is it good to dye your hair with Kool-Aid?


Dying your hair with Kool-Aid has become a popular DIY hair coloring technique, especially among teenagers and young adults. Kool-Aid is inexpensive, readily available, and comes in a variety of fun colors. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind before using Kool-Aid as hair dye. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons, provide instructions for dyeing with Kool-Aid, and offer some helpful tips.

Pros of Using Kool-Aid as Hair Dye

Here are some potential benefits of using Kool-Aid to color your hair:

– Inexpensive – A packet of Kool-Aid costs less than $1, while salon hair coloring services can cost over $100. If you want to experiment with fun hair colors without spending a lot, Kool-Aid is a budget-friendly option.

– Accessible – Since Kool-Aid is sold at most grocery stores, pharmacies and mass retailers, it’s easy to find and purchase. You don’t have to make a special trip to a beauty supply store.

– Variety of colors – Kool-Aid comes in many bright, vibrant shades like pink, purple, blue and green. It’s perfect for creating bold, eye-catching hair colors.

– Temporary – Kool-Aid hair dye lasts 1-2 weeks, so you can change your look frequently. This is great if you want temporary color for an event or costume.

– Conditions hair – Kool-Aid contains citric acid, which helps remove buildup and product residue from your hair and improves shine. So it can actually improve the condition of your hair as it colors it.

– Fun and creative – Dyeing your own hair at home with Kool-Aid allows you to get creative and express your individuality. It’s a fun DIY beauty project.

Cons of Using Kool-Aid as Hair Dye

However, there are some downsides to keep in mind as well:

– Unpredictable results – Since Kool-Aid isn’t designed as hair dye, the results can be inconsistent. The color may turn out darker or lighter than expected.

– Can damage hair – Kool-Aid has a high sugar content. When used frequently, it can dry out your hair and cause damage over time. Always deep condition after coloring with Kool-Aid.

– Fades quickly – The color starts fading after just 1-2 washes. To maintain vivid color, you’ll have to re-dye your hair every couple weeks. This can be drying and damaging with frequent use.

– Messy process – Mixing and applying the Kool-Aid can get messy! Be prepared to deal with splatters and spills. Old clothes and towels are a must.

– Limited colors – While Kool-Aid offers many fun colors, you won’t get natural-looking shades like platinum blonde or auburn red. The colors are highly pigmented and vibrant instead.

– Can stain skin – The dye can temporarily stain your skin while applying it, especially around your hairline, neck and ears. Petroleum jelly can help protect these areas.

Instructions for Dyeing Hair with Kool-Aid

Here is a step-by-step guide to coloring your hair safely with Kool-Aid:

Supplies Needed:

– Kool-Aid powder – use 1-2 packets per application
– Bowl and whisk
– Petroleum jelly
– Old clothes & towels
– Plastic gloves
– Applicator brush


1. Prep your hair by washing it with clarifying shampoo. This removes any product buildup. Towel dry hair until damp but not fully dry.

2. Put on old clothes you don’t mind getting stained. Cover surfaces around you with towels.

3. Apply petroleum jelly around your hairline, ears and neck to avoid staining skin.

4. Pour the Kool-Aid powder into a bowl and add just enough warm water to form a thick, spreadable paste, about 2 Tbsp water per packet.

5. Whisk thoroughly until the powder fully dissolves into the water.

6. Section your hair and use a tint brush or gloved hands to apply the Kool-Aid paste thoroughly from roots to ends.

7. Cover your hair with a plastic cap or plastic wrap and allow the Kool-Aid to set for 1-2 hours.

8. Rinse out the Kool-Aid under warm running water in the shower or sink. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear.

9. Follow up with a deep conditioning hair mask or treatment to restore moisture.

10. Allow your hair to air dry to reveal the finished colorful results!

Tips for Best Results with Kool-Aid Hair Dye

Follow these tips to get the most vivid, long-lasting color results from your DIY Kool-Aid hair dye:

– Use white or light blonde hair – The color won’t show up as well on darker or color-treated hair since Kool-Aid can’t lighten hair.

– Apply to damp hair – This helps the Kool-Aid adhere evenly for full saturation.

– Don’t rinse right away – Let the Kool-Aid set in hair for 1-2 hours before rinsing for maximum color deposit.

– Use more packets for longer hair – For shoulder-length or longer hair, use 2 packets. For short hair, 1 packet is enough.

– Dye every 2 weeks – To maintain the color, be prepared to re-dye your hair every 1-2 weeks as the color fades out.

– Deep condition after – Always use a hydrating hair mask or treatment after to prevent dryness and damage.

– Avoid getting on skin – Use petroleum jelly as a barrier to keep the dye from staining your skin.

– Test first – Try a strand test first to ensure you like the color result before doing your whole head.

Can Kool-Aid Really Damage Your Hair?

Using Kool-Aid occasionally as a temporary dye likely won’t cause significant damage. But with repeated use, it can negatively affect hair health over time. Here’s why:

– High sugar content – Kool-Aid contains sugars like dextrose and fructose that can dry out hair when used excessively.

– No nourishing ingredients – Hair dye is formulated with conditioning agents. Kool-Aid contains no ingredients to nourish and protect hair.

– Opens cuticles – The citric acid in Kool-Aid opens up the cuticles to allow deeper dye penetration. But this makes hair more vulnerable to damage.

– Heat from boiling water – Some Kool-Aid hair dye instructions require boiling the Kool-Aid with water. Heat styling is known to damage hair.

– Chemical interaction – The ingredients in Kool-Aid may interact with chemicals in chlorinated pool water causing more dryness.

Safer Alternatives to Dyeing Hair with Kool-Aid

If you want to color your hair a fun shade without using Kool-Aid, consider these safer options:

– Semi-permanent hair dye – This imparts vibrant color that lasts 4-8 weeks. Brands like Manic Panic, Arctic Fox and Punky Colour are popular options.

– Temporary hair chalk – Color hair spray chalk creates buildable color that washes out with one shampooing. It’s great for short term looks.

– Demi-permanent gloss treatments – These deposit a sheer layer of color that fades out over 24-28 shampoos. Less damaging than permanent dye.

– Temporary hair spray – COLOR WOW Color Spray goes on as a mist and shampoos out easily. No bleach or ammonia needed.

– Natural hair dyes – Dye hair at home using natural ingredients like beets, berries and herbs. But keep in mind, natural dyes don’t last as long.

– Professional coloring services – Leave it to the experts! Hair salons can create any trendy hair color safely with professional products.

The Dos and Don’ts of Dyeing Hair with Kool-Aid

If you do decide to use Kool-Aid to color your hair, follow these dos and don’ts:


– Strand test a small section first
– Apply petroleum jelly to skin to avoid stains
– Use white or light blonde hair for best results
– Follow up with a deep conditioning treatment
– Use caution around clothing and surfaces


– Overuse Kool-Aid dye – no more than every 2 weeks
– Apply to extremely damaged or fragile hair
– Mix with developer or bleach
– Leave on hair longer than 2 hours
– Use boiling water when mixing the Kool-Aid

The Bottom Line on Kool-Aid Hair Dye: Fun but High-Maintenance

While Kool-Aid hair coloring has its appeal because it’s inexpensive and readily available, it does require some caution. Used excessively without proper hair care, it risks causing dryness and damage. The vibrant colors fade out quickly, so it’s high-maintenance. Overall, dyeing your hair with Kool-Aid can be a fun DIY project for a temporary look. But for frequent coloring or long-lasting dyes, it’s wise to opt for professional hair coloring services or higher quality semi-permanent dyes formulated just for hair.

Hopefully this article provided an informative overview of the pros, cons, tips and precautions for dyeing your hair with Kool-Aid packets! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Pros Cons
Inexpensive Unpredictable results
Accessible Can damage hair
Variety of colors Fades quickly
Temporary Messy process
Conditions hair Limited colors
Fun and creative Can stain skin
Dos Don’ts
Strand test first Overuse Kool-Aid dye
Apply petroleum jelly to skin Apply to damaged hair
Use on light blonde hair Mix with developer or bleach
Deep condition after Leave on more than 2 hours
Use caution around surfaces Use boiling water