So thanks to real-life and to Pinterest, Tic Tok and the entire social media influences, my nearly 10 year old decided she wanted to dip the ends of her hair a color and for her 10th birthday. She wasn’t sure which color – pink, blue, purple…. but decided on pinkish. I thought it would a fun thing for her to express herself – why not? SO I agreed! Plus it’s not permanent!!
I asked my hairdresser here if they dyed kids hair, but she didn’t. So we did some searches and decided to try the Kool-Aid method. It is simple, cheap, not permanent, and won’t damage her hair like typical hair dyes might! All it takes is 15 minutes, a little water, and some Kool-Aid packets!
Sounds simple right… well, as we live in the Netherlands, Kool-Aid is not a thing here – thankfully as it’s disgusting to drink – just my opinion. Perhaps we could have tried to find it at Kelly’s Expat Shop but we didn’t go looking. Worst case we’d have to find some sort of child-friendly chalk but my sister volunteered to send me an assortment of colors from which she could choose. Very nice of her considering the package costs €15 – outrageous for postage!
- Kool-Aid packages (use 2-3 packages to get a more vibrant color)
- 1 cup boiling water
- Heat-proof bowl/glass which hair will be put into
- Old t-shirt & dark old towel [which will get ruined] Note: I used a few sheets of paper towels to wrap up the hair at the end as I don’t own any old dark towels only nice white ones.)
- Plastic gloves – optional but I highly recommend
THE PROCESS WE FOLLOWED
This process is best done on newly washed hair that has been completely dried and combed through. If you only want to have the underneath part of the hair colored, separate it and put the rest of the hair up in a clip. We chose to do the entire bottom part so we did a low ponytail.
As mentioned above, be sure you have your child dress in an old t-shirt that you don’t care about getting colored. The hair will most likely drip and could possibly dye the shirt they are wearing. Or you could also put a towel over the shoulders. I don’t have an old dark towel, so I used paper towels instead in the end to wrap up the pony. Also, I would recommend gloves if you don’t want your fingers to also be the color of the hair!
MIXING THE KOOL AID DYE
Combine your Kool-Aid packages (we used only one = Tropical Punch) and a cup of water in a pot and heat on medium-high heat until boiling. Boil for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour your mixture into a heat resistant cup or bowl – I used a pyrex measuring cup. Be very careful – as your child will need to sit with this boiling hot liquid behind him/her. Depending on how much hair you want colored will determine how much liquid you want. I read later that adding a few drop of condition to this process helps the color go on more evenly – ???
CAREFULLY DIP HAIR IN HEAT RESISTANT BOWL
Dip hair or (ponytail) into Kool-Aid mixture. I used a plastic spoon/fork to move the hair around every few minutes to ensure we got it all and as she has really thick hair. As you’ll see in the final photo, the color didn’t evenly cover all the hair the first time we tried this. Second time, I might skip the pony and just put the hair in freely. [will update post with photos if we do it a second time]
HOW LONG DO I LEAVE IN THE HAIR?
Well, I did her hair in one section and let it soak for about 10 minutes total. If you have darker hair may need 20-25. Once the hair is done, ring it out with an old towel to avoid drips (again I used thick paper towels and it was fine). You can do strands if you want the same way vs just one big pony if you want to do different colors. Repeat and move on to the next section until all is complete.
Once it was colored as you want, it’s time to blow-dry the hair using a comb to brush out any tangles. It could be stuff and a bit sticky – hers was. Then style as you wish.
Here is was evident that it was a bit more orange. She doesn’t mind it at all but I think one of these days soon, we’ll give it another try with “Cherry” so that it will be more pink color as originally hoped. Will update with new photos – if & when we do it.
HOW TO REMOVE KOOL AID HAIR DYE
Depending on how often you wash your hair the Kool-Aid will naturally fade in about two to three weeks time. But if you really want to remove the dye for your hair sooner you can try this. Boil a pot of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into a heat safe container. To the water add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and stir to dissolve. Dip your hair into the water for about 30 seconds. You should instantly see the dye coming off. Hair may be dipped a few times if needed. This is extremely drying for the hair so be sure make to deep conditioner.
Update: April 11th