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How to Color Your Hair with Food Dye

Hi Friends!

My girls have been bugging me to let them try those temporary hair dyes that are so popular now, and since it’s summer, I thought it would be the perfect time to experiment. If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while, you know I’m all about DIY projects and keeping things frugal, so I definitely did not want to spend a lot of money on hair dye. One of the teens tried some of that chalky blue hair color for spirit day at school once, and not only was it super messy, but you could hardly see it. She also tried a spray-on color, and that was disapointing too.

I know Kool Aid color is popular now, but we didn’t have any on hand. But, we did have food coloring, so I decided to try this method. A quick Google search showed me that others have tried this method, so I knew I wasn’t an oddball! So, we made our own hair dye with food coloring, and the kids were pleased with the results. 

brown hair dyed blue and pink with food coloring


The great thing about this method is that you may already have all the ingredients on hand. Plus, it’s non toxic, washes out well and smells good too! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own hair dye:

  • Food coloring in your choice of colors
  • Hair gel or conditioner
  • Small paint brush or plastic fork
  • Plastic gloves or plastic bag to protect your hands

I don’t have any pictures of the actual process because it is messy! All you do is add enough food coloring to a small amount of clear hair gel or conditioner until you get the shade you want. Then, you can paint strands of hair with a small paint brush, or you can use a plastic fork for a streaked effect.


apply food coloring and conditioner to hair with a plastic fork


You’ll have to work the color into the hair, so it’s a good idea to use gloves or a plastic bag to protect your hands from turning red, purple or any other color. We only dyed the ends of the hair, so it was pretty easy. Then, I used a hair dryer to dry the hair and set the color. One of the girls only wanted a hint of color in her hair.


blonde girls with ends of hair dyed with pink food coloring

This is how the hair looks with dark pink food coloring on blonde hair. You can see that it’s almost red. She only wanted the ends dyed too.
blonde girl with pink hair color made with food coloring
The little Diva wanted something a little bolder, so we used red and blue coloring on her entire ponytail. Of course, the color isn’t as bold on dark hair, but it’s still there.
red and blue hair dye made from food coloring on brown hair
The hair dye washed out with no problem, which I was happy to see, especially since I didn’t want a bunch of pink pillowcases! This temporary coloring method would be great to use for school spirit days or sporting events — no more messing with hair chalk or spray-on color! And, it’s super cheap!
Have you ever tried temporary hair color? I think it’s fun to try, but I think I’ll stick to brown!
Have an awesome day!
Dee šŸ™‚
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23 Comments

  1. kaitlin says:

    How many washes does it last before coming completely out?

    1. Dee says:

      Usually it washes out in one wash. If you have very light hair, it might take a couple of washes to be completely gone, though.