I want to make it clear right up front that I am NOT a professional hair stylist/colorist. This is the process my daughter and I used to dip dye her brown hair. It worked quite well, you may NOT get the same results. Experiment at your own risk.
I know from using Kool-Aid in other experiments and dying projects that the lighter in color the material you are dying, the better the results. My daughters hair is a medium brown color and she wanted her dip dyed ends to be quite vibrant, so we decided to bleach the ends first.
There were some negotiations on the length of the dyed ends I started with an offer of an one and a half inches, she wanted six. We agreed on two and half to three.
We chose this bleaching kit from the drug store. It was $9.00.
If you already have blonde hair … SKIP the bleaching step!
As the kid has some long layers and we wanted just the very ends of the longest parts of her hair dyed, we pinned the top layers up and out of the way.
I then combed out her hair and divided it into manageable sections and secured each section with an elastic. I’m not sure I’d use the elastics a second time, in some cases the dye bled up the hair and we ended up with a tie-dye effect where the elastics were. The elastics were helpful in making sure that the same length of hair was being dyed in each section.
We applied the bleaching kit from the drug-store following the provided instructions for mixing and timing. We wrapped the ends in foil and used the blow dryer to add a little heat.
We rinsed and conditioned her hair as recommended, then dried it using a blow dryer.
Coloring with the Kool-Aid came next. Elizabeth couldn’t decide on a color, so she narrowed it down to two –> red and purple/blue.
For the Kool-Aid dye we mixed 3 packages of Kool-Aid with one cup of boiling water (from kettle) and 2TB of white vinegar.
We then used various methods to dip her hair into the Kool-Aid dye. The two front pieces, which were to be dyed red, were just dunked into two small containers of dye solution.
For the back pieces, I attached them all into one ponytail and then attached a baggy full of dye to the end of the ponytail using an elastic. We used the blow dryer to add a little heat.
Funnily enough, the baggy of purple/blue dye which looked purple when it was first attached turned to blue after about 3 minutes of being on the hair. It seems her hair absorbed only the purple dye and the blue was left in the bag. What we hope to be a vibrant purple turned out to be a very dark (nearly black) purple that isn’t all that noticeable in her hair.
I would suggest making sure your hair is in the Kool-Aid dye solution at least 30 minutes for good results.
Rinse the Kool-Aid out using just water. Don’t shampoo the hair, the Kool-Aid needs some time to set. Blow dry and style as usual. If you can, give your hair a day or two before shampooing.
My girl is thrilled with the results, although you wouldn’t know it from the ‘fake’ smile on her face. Let’s just say that this process takes several hours (really), and we were getting a little sick of each other by the time we were finished.
Dip dye with caution!