Ways & How

How to Dye Your Hair with Food Coloring

How to Dye Your Hair with Food Coloring

Here's how to dye your hair with food coloring, if this is something you want to try.  Being able to dye your own hair any color you like, without spending a lot of money (Food coloring! Can you imagine?), should be fun. It's easy. Before you start, prepare your work area well to be sure that nothing will be harmed by spills and wayward drops of dye. No matter how careful you are, there will be drops where you don't want them, so it’s better to be prepared for the mess. Put newspapers on the floor, wear ratty clothing that you don't mind getting dye on, apply petroleum jelly around your hairline so the dye won't stain your skin, and wear gloves. Have a dyeing comb and bowl, or a used toothbrush and disposable bowl to mix color in. Be sure to schedule uninterrupted time when dyeing your hair, because you can't afford to have to stop mid-process.

  1. Decide on your color. Choose the color you like or mix colors together to come up with your own color. Make more than you think you need, because mixing up another batch in the middle of dyeing your hair will be disastrous, especially if you can't get the same shade the second time around.

    ake the color darker than you want the final shade to be; the result will be lighter than the dye appears. Mix the dye in a gel medium or white conditioner to make spreading easier. Don't use shampoo. It will wash the color right off.

  2. Do a test. Some advise cutting off a chunk of hair and testing your dye with it. But that would be a waste and completely unnecessary. You could simply pin up all your hair, but leave a strand hanging down somewhere near your nape. Test the dye on this, let stand for about thirty minutes, and rinse. See if you like the color and estimate how much longer you will need to wait for the dye to work before washing it off. Or you may want to adjust the shade of the dye and add more color to make it more intense. This spot test will be covered when you let your hair down, so it should be okay.

  3. Dye your hair. Separate your hair into two sections in front, from ear to ear, and one at the back. Pin up one side in front and the entire back section separately. Separate a very thin layer from the unpinned section and apply dye. Comb this layer away from the rest of that section, separate another layer and dye that. Continue with the rest of the section. When finished, pin the dyed section and start on the other side. Do this until all your hair is dyed. According to your test, gauge how much time you need for the dye to work. You can let it stay for up to three hours or even overnight. Just remember to use old, dark-colored sheets to sleep on. Rinse off the dye with lukewarm water without shampoo and conditioner. If you can help it, avoid washing your hair for another two days.

There are a few things to remember when dyeing your hair with food coloring. Food coloring, even Kool Aid and coffee, have pretty strong color that can dye protein substances like hair, but the effect isn't always predictable and certain; plus, it won't last as long as hair dye. Also, your hair has to be bleached or very light in color. Food coloring dye won't show up at all on dark brunette or black hair. Some hair textures are also not quite predisposed to dyeing, especially damaged hair. Food coloring dye is, at best, temporary. If you are well aware of the particular ways in which food coloring dye is useful—such as for costume parties, playing a Cosplay character, or some such occasion – then you can work within its limitations and have fun in the process. You need only to follow the procedures above for how to dye your hair with food coloring.


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