DIY: Dip Dye Hair using Kool-Aid

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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


Angella · August 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

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

Sheri · August 30, 2012 at 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.

Jonathan · September 5, 2012 at 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 at 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 at 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 at 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!

      Cmg · April 3, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      You Answered my question perfectly! I have a pool and am scared I’d turn the pool into Easter egg water! Lol thanks!

Beautiful Nicole · March 25, 2013 at 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 at 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!

    Jillian · November 10, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Im doing the same thing to my hair! I also have dark blonde bair. This makes me very excited

Ariana · June 18, 2014 at 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 at 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.

    Emily · December 28, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Yeah. A few of my friends with almost jet black hair did it. It’s more a red tint for them, but it’s noticiable but all the more gorgeous.

    Kmoore · April 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    No, sorry. Put lemon water in a bottle and spray all over dry hair every day for a few weeks and it will lighten your hair a little. Enough to dye bright colors over it with seeable results. Hair dye = boiled vinegar koolade

    Klara Lybeck · August 16, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Most likely! I just boil 2 cups of water then I add however many packets of Kool-Aid i want (or in your case 8) and stir it up a bit and dip my hair into it and let it sit there for like 15 minutes because my hair is a very dark brown also considered as black. Hope this helps! :)

Shannon · October 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Nice idea!

tammi · March 11, 2015 at 11:29 pm

I wouldn’t put vinegar in the hair while dying it will have the opposite effect tbh when you do the hair you don’t have to bleach and dye etc… Just hot boiling water and kool aid that’s it! To take it out of the hair baking soda and vinegar that’s it! Simple! It might take 15 mins max to be absorbed in her hair. It wasn’t overly dark in the first place my daughter has the same color and we did red then weeks later did purple over top and the color it made was gorgeous!! She was 5 when we did it. Now I’m thinking of some multi colored streaks this March break :) just trying to figure out how high up in going to be able to go :) the trick is the water has to be kept as hot as possible at all times and if you do that then no more then 5 mins is needed. Have fun!

MS · May 22, 2015 at 12:36 am

Will it come out if you go into a chlorine pool?

Ashley · July 3, 2015 at 2:45 am

I did this too my hair I have dirty blonde hair and I did blue I had mine in for 4 months, but after I let the kool aid sit in the cup instead of rinsing it I rapped it in tin foil and went to bed. SO EASY!

Summer · September 1, 2015 at 8:43 pm

I tried the conditioner/dye/water method with three packets of grape, and it didn’t work. I am now going to try the boiling method, any tips for me? What will make it stay longer? What will make it more vibrant? I am using blue raspberry lemonade and have blonde hair with a few brown streak-ish things.

Adriana · September 15, 2015 at 9:12 pm

I am a swimmer I swim 6 hours a week will it come out in the pool?

Abby · October 26, 2015 at 5:09 am

Thanks. I will definetly try it this way. I have done this 4 times, in a week it would be my 5th. I have never tried doing it this way. My hair is a light brown/dark blonde so I don’t think I will have to bleach my hair(haven’t done it in the past) but I think using the Baggie will work really well. Thanks! Great method

Vanessa · December 1, 2015 at 3:31 am

Does it come of

Melinda · January 30, 2016 at 5:10 am

If you boil the kool aid will it come out?

Lanée · February 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm

I love it!!!:D

Savannah · March 2, 2016 at 4:18 am

I don’t think I want to bleach it, because it will damage my hair, but since I have dark brown hair, how many packets do you think I need?

Kmoore · April 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm

If you summer the koolade on low in vinegar for 5 minutes and apply, you’ll have an intense semi permanent hair dye

grace · June 14, 2016 at 7:00 am

okay so I want to try this but do you have to add vinegar to it ?

Danielle · January 26, 2018 at 5:13 am

This is so cool, Im going to do this for my birthday next week- I will be 60!!

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