Daydreaming about colorful mermaid hair isn't nearly as satisfying as having it. Fortunately, we're here to tell you how to shove your commitment issues aside and feel like a glorious unicorn (I'm talking about your hair not your love life, that's what wine and therapy are for).
I have one word for you: Kool-Aid. This sugary, sticky drink mixture will be your savior when it comes to cheap, temporary and customizable hair dye.
The internet is full of articles about how to use Kool-Aid as hair dye. However, the internet lied to me. I'm here to get real with you and tell you about my time dabbling in the art of dip-dyeing.
I was told the dye would stay in my hair for about 2-6 weeks, depending on how much I washed it or exposed it to the sun. Well, I dyed my hair on a Thursday afternoon and washed it the next morning. The dye faded to pastel, which I actually preferred. I thought it would stay like that, but when I washed my hair two days later you could barely tell I used to be a pink-and-blue-haired dip-dyed goddess. Next time, I'll try using more Kool-Aid packets and wait longer to wash my hair after the initial dye.
Keep an eye out for more pro tips and disclaimers in the in-depth guide below. Good luck, and Godspeed.
-First thing's first you have to pick your colors. We used 2 packets of Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid to make the pink color, and 2 packets of Mixed Berry Kool-Aid to create the blue. Here's a link to a lovely color guide, bless you Pinterest.
**PRO TIP #1: If your hair is on the thicker and/or darker side you'll want to use more Kool-Aid packets to make the color brighter and more potent. I used two of each but I should've used more.
-To make the the dye, pour water into a pot and add the Kool-Aid packets. Put the pot on medium to high heat and let the mixture boil for 1-2 minutes. Pour the mixture into a mug, bowl or any other container you want to dip your hair into. Repeat this step for each color of Kool-Aid you use.
Use a comb or brush to detangle your hair. Divide your hair into sections with rubber bands. I divided my hair into a lot of small sections and placed the rubber bands at slightly different lengths so the dye wasn't in a straight line.
**PRO TIP #2: Clean yourself. Wash and dry your hair completely before you dye. You'll want to wait as long as possible to wash your hair after you dye it so it stays bright. Also don't use any styling products because they could interfere with the dye.
**PRO TIP #3: If you want, you can section your hair before you make the dye. Similarly, if you're like me and a minute feels like the ice age while waiting for water to boil, you can do it while you heat your Kool-Aid mixture(s).
-Gather each section of hair and dip the desired length into the container. We did about 4ish inches of hair and held the sections in the mixtures for about 4 minutes. The thicker and darker your hair, the longer you'll want to keep your hair in the Kool-Aid. Regardless, the longer you keep your hair in, the brighter the color will be. We dipped every other section of hair in pink, and then went back and did the remaining sections in blue.
**PRO TIP #4: Wear an old t-shirt or use a trash bag as a smock. Kool-Aid will stain everything, so you may also want to wear disposable gloves.
**PRO TIP #5: Dip a smaller section of hair in the container than you actually want to dye. The Kool-Aid mixture traveled up my hair past the rubber bands. This left me with unattractive hair "tan line" and I had to go back and re-do each section to get rid of it.
-After you've finished dyeing, pat each section of hair dry with either an old towel or paper towels. Pat all of the pink sections first, then all of the blue to avoid messing up your color. Allow your hair to dry completely then comb through your hair and style like normal.