Kim Becker {aka MommyKnows}
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dip dye hair with kool-aid

DIY: Dip Dye Hair using Kool-Aid

in DIY / Tutorials, Family, General

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.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

We rinsed and conditioned her hair as recommended, then dried it using a blow dryer.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

I would suggest making sure your hair is in the Kool-Aid dye solution at least 30 minutes for good results.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

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.

DIY dip dye hair

Dip dye with caution!

MK xo

12 comments… add one

  • Angella August 26, 2012, 1:16 pm

    I love it! I’ll have to do this on Emily when she’s older. :)

  • MommyKnows September 10, 2012, 6:20 pm

    @Angella, Thanks Angella :)

  • Sheri August 30, 2012, 12:36 pm

    This is wonderful. I wonder if I can bookmark this for 8 years for when my oldest wants this. With my luck, I will either forget this post, or I will be totally uncool for suggesting such a ‘retro’ look.

  • MommyKnows September 10, 2012, 6:20 pm

    @Sheri, Thank you! Thanks for commenting too :)

  • Jonathan September 5, 2012, 4:57 pm

    I’m not gonna lie; when I first started reading, I didn’t expect much. I tried the Kool-Aid dye thing when I was much younger, and it ended up terribly. Now that I see your method, I must admit, it looks great as a result. Too bad my locks aren’t long enough for a procedure like that.

  • The Girl Who Cried Skinny September 10, 2012, 4:07 pm

    Wow, that turned out great! I’m also a fan of the way the blonde tips looked pre-dye, too :)

    I’m curious as to how long it lasts. I love the way you document everything, even if you are a little tired of each other by the time it’s done :)

  • MommyKnows September 10, 2012, 6:16 pm

    @The Girl Who Cried Skinny, Well it’s been about 3 weeks and the color is still quite vibrant. My daughter doesn’t shampoo everyday though.
    My guess is that it will be quite faded by 6 weeks, and then you’ll just left with the bleached ends to enjoy or cut off.
    Thanks for stopping by and of course for the comment!


  • Miranda October 18, 2013, 8:27 pm

    i did this to my hair with red dye. My hair is dark blackish brown. i used red and used 2 packets of kool aid in 1 1/2 cups of water. dipped it in for 50min and its stayed very good for 3 months now. i dont shampoo every day, but eve after swimming in a chlorine pool it stayed. but warning it does come out when you wash your hair for about a month so its all over my towels and shirts and sheets lol. and i didnt bleach my hair with it!

  • Beautiful Nicole March 25, 2013, 11:04 am

    I always wondered what was the best thing to get the dye off my face after I dyed my hair. I have tried baby oil,hydrogen peroxide,alcohol, and others. The stuff that got it off of my face BETTER than hydrogen peroxide was SHAVING CREAM!! Oh my gosh I just saw my husband’s shaving cream on the bathroom counter and said what the heck let my try this since it will take the paint off of a car lol. To my surprise it worked so well and the dye came right off. Anyhow you can get some for $1 at the dollar tree. Dab it on a paper towel and wet the towel. I roll the towel back because the shaving cream likes to expand all over the place. This way it gets rolled up in the paper towel. Then just dab the dyed spots until they come off. They usually come off with the first gentle swipe. Get the shaving gel that is for sensitive skin and see if there is some with aloe vera in it. This way you can be nice to your skin. Hope this helps people with getting hair dye on the skin!

  • heatherkite June 2, 2014, 1:47 pm

    Thank you! We did this with my daughter’s hair and it turned out so pretty! She has dark blonde hair, so we didn’t bleach it first. We used grape Kool Aid and only left it on for 10 minutes (I chickened out). It turned out a pretty shade of pink/purple. The baggie method was awesome and mess free!

  • Ariana June 18, 2014, 12:53 am

    Hi i have 8 packs of red kool aid and i have a color of dark brown almost black and my parents wont let me bleach it will it still work on my hair ?

  • natalia reds September 19, 2014, 1:21 am

    I think u might need around ten packet . They cheap 10 packets=1·50 .trust me I have black hair and the red came out really pretty but not hot red.

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