8 Simple Steps for Using Kool-Aid as Hair Dye for your Kid’s Hair

It’s summertime your daughter wants to have some fun … she is begging you to dye her hair bright pink … do you let her? How do you even go about dyeing hair in a safe way? 

I have to confess I was torn when I had to answer this question. My oldest child, 11-years-old, with long straight hair down her back, was “dying” to highlight her hair. It wasn’t a question of if, only what color. Blue or hot pink? She couldn’t decide. I was pretty against it. Dyeing your hair is somewhat of a commitment, but then I had an idea! What if we just did the ends? This way if it didn’t look as good as we had hoped, we could trim her ends and no one would ever know … perfect! My daughter agreed and the dip-dye idea was set into motion!

It turned out fantastic! She looked adorable and all her friends started to beg their moms to allow them to do it too. Suddenly, my daughter’s classmates had pink, blue and purple hair strands. Fast-forward six months. It is now summertime and my 6-year-old little Curlee Girlee is wanting to be just like her big sister … but she’s only six! I was really conflicted. Plus, her hair is curly, so it is a totally different texture and I need to be much more gentle with her hair. After quite a bit of begging and pleading, and a fair amount of research on the subject on my part, I finally relented.

This time, however, we were going to do things a bit differently. We were not going to the salon, we were going to use Kool-Aid, and instead of doing the ends as I did with my older daughter, I took one curly strand in the front and dyed that pink.

So here are my eight steps for dip-dyeing your child’s hair in your own home:

1) You will need two packets of Kool-Aid; sugar-free is better since the sugar will make the hair sticky.

2) Poke a hole through a large garbage bag and place it over your child so she doesn’t ruin her clothes — better to do this outside if at all possible.

3) Choose a strand (or strands) of hair that you want to color and clip up the rest of the hair.

4) Boil two cups of water. When the water is hot, put Kool-Aid in the pot and stir until it dissolves.

5) Place the colored Kool-Aid in mug or bowl that will withstand heat.

6) Place strand(s) in the Kool-Aid cup and let it sit for 20 minutes. I set the alarm on my phone to make sure the time was accurate. (We initially did 10 minutes, but the dye seemed to fade rather quickly, so 20 minutes will ensure that the color sets.) Do less time initially if you are hesitant in any way.

7) Once the 20 minutes are up, remove hair from the Kool-Aid mixture. Take paper towels and pat the strands until they are no longer wet.

8) Blow-dry the hair so it dries and the color sets.

Now you are all done and you should have a colored strand! Initially, the color will look pretty bright, but within one washing it will fade to a much softer shade. It is fun and adorable—my Curlee Girlee loves her pop of color! She is only going to be a little girl once—let her enjoy it and have fun!!

Atara Twersky, Author of Curlee Girlee is a TODAY Show Style Icon. Her mission is to teach girls to embrace the beautiful curls they have with power and confidence. Join us as together we change the “coarse” of curly hair. Don’t forget to read our recent article featuring charities that Curlee Girlee loves!

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