5 Ways to Temporarily Color Your Hair

Photo: Emma Kim/Getty

Photo: Emma Kim/Getty

Sometimes, you just need a one-time-only temporary hair color pick-me-up — maybe it’s for a costume, maybe it’s just for a night out — and now, trying a fun, new color is easier than ever.

There are tons of ways to give your mane a temporary new hue, from neon to metallic to pastel. Check out these five options for adding a pop of color to your locks, plus some of the pros and cons for each method.

Spray
Every Halloween store you visit will have a display of color choices (including glitter) to change your locks with the touch of a button. If variety is more important to you than being able to run your fingers through your hair, then this is the product for you: These sprays will give you a case of helmet head, but every colorful strand will stay in place. Rita Hazan also makes a temporary color spray that’s a bit more hair-friendly —it’s paraben and sulfate-free—however, it only comes in pink, blue, and purple.

Gel
Another styling-product-with-color option is to use gel. Manic Panic’s Dyehard is a thick opaque temporary hair color that comes in a squeeze tube, allowing you to style and dye at the same time. The gel, which comes in neon, metallic, and matte shades, dries hard so it’s best for updos and mohawks/fauxhawks. (It also washes out easily with shampoo, which is a plus.)

Semi-Permanent Dye
If you’ve got multiple parties on your social calendar and want your hair color to last a bit longer, try a semi-permanent hair color (like the ones by N Rage, sold at Sally Beauty Supply stores.) You’ll have your crazy color for three to six weeks, but you won’t need to worry about it flaking off or making your mane unmanageable.

Chalk
For those wanting pastel-colored hair, chalking is your best bet. It’s easy to use (just slide the product on dry hair) and you don’t have to worry about stickiness or buildup — you can still brush your hair or wear it down without it getting stiff. While the product is easy to rinse out with shampoo, it also has a tendency to rub off on your clothes if you don’t put hairspray over it. Check out Splat Hair Chalk for a variety of colors. It comes in a package that’s easy to carry with you if you need touch-ups.

Clip-In
For a completely risk-free experience, try clip-on hair extensions that you can simply take out when the night is over (no shampooing needed). We like the ones by Snazzy Lites because they’re made of real hair, come in a variety of colors, and can be curled, braided, crimped, what have you, into any style.

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