Can You Dye Hair With Kool-Aid? 3 Ways That Work

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Mind a little throwback? The nightmare that was the global COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us to stay at home.

But despite the bleakness of 2020, the lockdowns did lead to hilarious online trends, such as beauty enthusiasts finding ways to color their hair at home with Kool-Aid.

A red juice being poured into a glass on a green background

Yes, you read that right. This vibrantly colored childhood drink can be used to dye your hair!

Today, tutorials on how to dye hair with Kool-Aid have taken the internet by storm — from blogs to YouTube and TikTok.

Curious if kool aid dyes work? Read on.

What Is Kool-Aid?

Kool-Aid is an American flavored drink mix owned by Kraft Heinz based in Chicago, Illinois. The drink was first invented in 1927 by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska, United States.

It was named Kool-Aid because Perkins thought the name was catchy, and it was also a play on the word “cool,” as in refreshing.

Kool-Aid today comes in a wide variety of flavors, including cherry, grape, raspberry, lemon-lime, strawberry, orange, and grape. 

It’s known for its vibrant colors and sweet taste and continues to be a popular drink among children and adults alike.

Using Kool-Aid as Hair Dye: An Overview

Someone actually thought Kool-Aid’s powder when mixed with water can create a temporary hair dye.

Who wouldn’t want the vibrant colors of Kool-Aid as temporary highlights or lowlights or as a temporary dye for a completely new look?

It’s inexpensive and easy, plus it comes without the commitment of permanent hair dye.

Still, using Kool-Aid for hair dyeing is not widely accepted and is mainly considered a DIY or experimental method.

Kool-Aid is obviously not meant to be used on hair; hence, there is a risk of your hair drying and staining your clothes, fingers, and pillows.

But if you want to hop on the trend and see what happens when you dye hair with Kool-Aid, do make sure you know how to do it properly. 

To help you choose the best flavors to use to achieve the perfect kool aid colors for hair, here’s a kool aid hair dyeing color chart.

Kool-Aid Hair Dye Chart

An infographic featuring kool-aid hair dye chart with the first column is the kool-aid flavors and the second column are the color results

Since Kool-Aid comes with many flavors and various colors, you can choose any Kool-Aid color you like to use as hair dye: red, violet, yellow, orange, you name it!

Yes, you can certainly use a single color as your hair dye. But did you know that you can also mix different Kool-Aid powders to make new hair dye colors?

If you want to know how to achieve different hair dye colors with Kool-Aid, here’s a Kool-Aid color chart for dyeing hair.

Kool-Aid FlavorsColor Result
3 Pink LemonadePink
2 Cherry + 2 JamaicaRed
2 Cherry + 1 Berry BlueMaroon
3 OrangeOrange
3 Orange + 1 CherryDark Orange
3 LemonadeYellow
3 Lemonade + 1 OrangeDark Yellow
4 Lemon Lime + 1 Berry BlueGreen
3 Lemon LimeLime Green
4 Berry Blue + 1 GrapeBlue
3 Berry BlueSky Blue
3 GrapePurple
2 Lemonade + 1 Grape + 1 OrangeBrown
1 Lemonade + 1 Grape + 1 OrangeDark Brown

NOTE: This chart only serves as a general guide for the possible color payoff of the Kool-Aid hair dye mixture on the hair, which may vary depending on your natural hair type and hue.

If you were naturally born with dark hair, it’s best to use darker tones.

Kool-Aid Hair Dye Pro Tips for Best Results

Before you start, here are some of the best tips to keep in mind when applying Kool-Aid hair dye:

  • Always start with a patch test before you start dyeing your entire hair.
  • Ask a friend to help you color your hair for the best results.
  • This DIY hair dye works best on freshly washed, dry hair.
  • Remember to wear your gloves to avoid staining.
  • If you want a vibrant shade, use less water for the mixture.
  • Leave it longer on your hair for a brighter and more colorful payoff.
  • If your hair is naturally dark, you can leave it for hours.
  • Use more Kool-Aid packs the longer your hair is.
  • For lighter hair, mix the Kool-Aid powder with conditioner instead of water to prevent over-drying your hair, and don’t use hot water as it may dry your strands out and strip the dye.
  • Limit the shampoo as you wash your hair, or don’t use it.
  • Use cold water to wash your hair instead of hot water to make your temporary hair color last as long as possible.
  • If your hair bleeds color as you wash it right after coloring, don’t be surprised since it is normal. 
  • Opt for unsweetened Kool-Aid products. This way, the mixture won’t feel sticky and won’t be hard to evenly apply. We also don’t want ants on your head! 

Different Ways to Make and Use Kool-Aid Hair Dye

If you’re planning to create a DIY Kool-Aid hair dye, you have three ways and options to choose from: 

  • Full-colored Kool-Aid hair dye
  • Kool-Aid hair dip dyeing
  • Vibrant Kool-Aid hair streaks

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do each of them.

Full-Colored Kool-Aid Hair Dye

WARNING: This method is NOT recommended for children as there is a risk for burns. Please use extreme caution!

What You Need:

  • Unsweetened Kool-Aid packs in the color of your choice.
  • A bowl or container
  • A hairbrush
  • Disposable plastic gloves
  • Hair ties
  • Shower cap
  • Hot water

Directions:

  1. Wash your hair and let it air-dry.
  2. Divide your hair into four to six parts, depending on the thickness of your hair.
  3. Use clips or hair ties to keep every section in place.
  4. Mix Kool-Aid with hot water in a container or bowl, and stir well until the powder is dissolved.
  5. Start applying your DIY Kool-Aid hair dye on each section of hair. Simply brush or run your fingers on your hair to evenly distribute the dye mixture from roots to tips.
  6. After your hair is completely covered with the mixture, secure all your hair and put on a shower cap or a plastic bag. This will keep the moisture in your hair and keep the colored mixture from staining your clothes.
  7. Leave it on your hair for about 30 minutes, or leave it overnight.
  8. Remove the hair cap and rinse your hair with cool water.
  9. Let it air-dry.
  10. Style your hair as you wish.

For a more detailed tutorial, here’s a video for you:

Kool-Aid Dip-Dyeing Method

What You Need:

  • 2 packs of any flavor of Kool-Aid unsweetened powder of your choice
  • 2 cups of water
  • Saucepan
  • Hair tie

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix Kool-Aid powder and water.
  2. Bring the liquid to a boil, and allow it to simmer for two minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and let it cool.
  4. Tie your hair into a ponytail.
  5. Dip the ends of your hair into the mixture and soak it for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Squeeze out the extra Kool-Aid liquid from your hair, and rinse with water.
  7. Dry your hair with a towel. You can let it air-dry or use a hair dryer.
  8. Style it as you want.
  9. Do not shampoo for the next 24 hours.

Vibrant Kool-Aid Hair Streaks

What You Need:

  • 2 to 3 packs of any flavor of Kool-Aid unsweetened powder of your choice
  • Conditioner
  • Bowl
  • Hair dye brush
  • Aluminum foil

Directions:

  1. Warm up your conditioner in the microwave and leave it for 20 to 25 seconds.
  2. Mix the conditioner and the Kool-Aid powders in a bowl until it becomes a smooth paste.
  3. Get a hair dye brush and dip it into the paste.
  4. Apply it to your hair and make as many hair streaks as possible.
  5. Cover every streak you make with aluminum foil to keep the color from spreading.
  6. Leave it on for at least eight hours or overnight.
  7. Remove the aluminum foils and thoroughly rinse your hair with water.
  8. You can either let your hair naturally dry or use a hair dryer.
  9. Once your hair is dry, you can style it as desired.

How Long Does Kool-Aid Hair Dye Last on Hair?

Generally, DIY Kool-Aid hair dye can last from two to six weeks. It also depends on how long you let it sit on your hair during the dyeing process. The longer you kept it on your hair, the longer it will fade.

A smiling woman with red hair wearing a yellow sweater and a beanie on a plain pink background

Since Kool-Aid stains your hair, your washing frequency affects its longevity on the hair.

Aside from that, the Kool-Aid hair dye disappears sooner if you use heat-styling tools and swim in chlorinated water.

Compared to dark hair, Kool-Aid hair dyes are likely to stay longer on light-colored or blonde hair.

Moreover, dark Kool-Aid shades, such as purple and red, tend to last longer than light blue and pastel pinks. Dark blue may last longer as it can fade into greener shades.

Pros and Cons of Using DIY Kool-Aid Hair Dye

Using Kool-Aid as hair dye can be a fun experiment on hair.

Still, it’s important to note that Kool-Aid products are not meant to be applied on the hair. Hence, it contains different ingredients than the traditional hair dyes that professional hairstylists use.

If you want to change your hair color semi-permanently, this DIY method isn’t for you.

Instead, it’s best to visit a hair professional who can recommend a hair dye that is safe and appropriate for your hair type.

But if you’re itching to dye hair with kool-aid and have some fun, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind:

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comes in various bright colors
  • Contains no harsh chemicals, unlike hair dyes
  • Simple method of coloring your hair

Cons

  • Can be drying to the hair
  • Creates patchy colors on hair
  • Messy application
  • Temporary hair dye
  • Risk of staining
  • Can look unappealing once the color starts to fade, which can be hard to hide or fix
  • May be extremely difficult to remove from the hair; in some cases, the only solution is to cut the parts of the hair stained with Kool-Aid

How to Remove Kool-Aid Dye From the Hair

As mentioned before, Kool-Aid hair dye can last on your hair for a few weeks. With every wash, the color becomes lighter and eventually fades.

But if you want to remove the color on your hair quickly, get a clarifying shampoo. You can also remove the stain quickly with the help of baking soda and shampoo mixture.

After the process, don’t forget to deep-condition as baking soda can overly dry your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best Kool-Aid hair dye colors for dark hair?

Beauty enthusiasts who tried this hack swear by the color payoff of pink, purple, and blue Kool-Aid shades for black hair. 

Check our kool aid hair dye chart for dark hair above.

Can Kool-Aid hair dye damage your hair?

No. Kool-Aid doesn’t have the potential to irreversibly damage your hair structure. Instead, it can only temporarily stain your hair.

Still, take note that DIY Kool-Aid hair dye may be drying to the hair. If you don’t want to risk drying your hair, this DIY method is not for you.

Should You Dye Hair With Kool-Aid?

If you’re up for a fun hair experiment, you should dye hair with Kool-Aid!

Aside from being a tasty drink, Kool-Aid can also be used as a temporary hair dye. It’s one of the easiest ways to get brighter hair without splurging at the hair salon.

A woman is holding a her hair on a gray background while dyeing it with red hair color

Anyone can try Kool-Aid dyeing. However, the results from our kool aid dye chart for hair may vary depending on different factors, including hair type, porosity, hue, etc.

Have fun dyeing your hair with different Kool-Aid flavors!

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Authors

  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

  • Jessica Hoelscher

    With thirteen years in cosmetology, Jessica Hoelscher is a seasoned stylist recognized for her modern techniques. A graduate of Paul Mitchell the School in St. Louis, her expertise has been showcased on Fox Two News and in People Magazine. Self-employed at Salon Lofts, her work has graced TV screens, styling for renowned events and Ole Miss cheerleaders.

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