Color Your Child’s Hair With Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid – is that you can still find in stores today. And of course you can drink it if you want to experience all the nostalgia for your 1980s childhood. Or you can use it to give your kids a funky springtime look.

I got this idea from my friend Lisa Van Loo, who dyed her daughter’s hair rainbow colors a few weeks ago (and who loves to leave a streak of cherry in her own hair). All it takes is a few packs of Kool-Aid, some hot water, and 10 minutes of patience to achieve THIS:

Here is Van Loo’s method:

1. Mix desired color / Kool-Aid flavor with hot water. Start with one packet and a couple tablespoons of water. You may need to add more bags and water depending on hair length or color saturation you want. This is art, not science.

2. If you are doing multiple colors, tie strands of hair so that the colors do not match.

3. Place a towel on the floor, have the child sit back in the chair, and dip the desired amount of hair into the Kool-Aid bowls for 10 minutes. (Depending on their height, you can also ask them to sit in a chair with their backs to the table and place the bowls on the table. Just remember to put a towel over your shoulders to protect your clothes from the dye.)

4. Rinse your hair with cool water only (no shampoo) in the shower or sink and air dry or blow dry to harden it.

5. That’s it! The color should fade gradually over the next few weeks. (This will be different for everyone, depending on your hair color, the amount of dye you use, how long you let it set, and how often you wash your hair.)

Another method I like, suggested by The Cut , is to mix Kool-Aid powder with conditioner and apply it with your fingers. This works especially well if you want to dye all your hair, or if you want colored stripes and not just the tips of the color:

Squeeze a few spoons of your favorite conditioner into a mug and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Add desired Kool-Aid powder until completely dissolved and you are left with a dark, ominous paste. Add more conditioner to the mixture until it reaches the volume needed to cover the amount of hair you want to dye.

Then you apply conditioner to your hair with your fingers or a dye comb and cover with a shower curtain or plastic wrap to preserve it. Cut recommends leaving the paste for eight hours, depending on how dark and long-lasting you want the color to be. Eight hours is a long time , however, and is not an option for most children. WikiHow recommends using this method for 15 minutes to five hours, noting that light, thin hair will take on color more easily, while dark or thick hair will take longer to achieve deep color saturation.

WikiHow also suggests using an unsweetened version of Kool-Aid rather than artificially sweetened because it will be less sticky. And while you are doing this, and especially if you are using the conditioning method, be sure to wear disposable gloves – unless you want colored hands to match your child’s hair.

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