As the ombre hair trend perseveres, an increasing amount of “fashionistas” have turned their attention to temporary hair dyes like Manic Panic in order to differentiate themselves in a sea of generic half-blondes. Paying $15 a bottle for temporary dye that lasts no more than 5 washes may seem a bit outlandish… so here are some unconventional ways to add some ~variety~ to your hair colour on the cheap.
image via Jean Greige
Ready to skip deadly hair processing techniques and use ~natural~ (or not so natural) things to spice up your hair instead? Cool! From the edible to artsy, give yourself some ridiculously fun hair with these temporary solutions. After all, nothing lasts forever.
Cherry? Orange? Grape? Blueberry? A mixture of all of them together? At once? The options are literally endless. At no more than $1 a package (or like…2 for $1 if there’s a sale), feel free to take creative liberties with this.
You can either mix the powder with water and immerse your hair in the liquid, or mix it with the conditioner and apply to your hair as a paste. Although they are are equally effective, both of these options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, diluting the powders with different amounts of water/conditioner will change the saturation of the colour. The best thing to do is to just experiment and keep applying the liquid/paste to your hair until you’re satisfied with the results. Because the cost of both Kool-Aid and Jell-o is wallet friendly to begin with, making mistakes has very little consequence.
Note: Because both Kool-Aid and Jell-o aren’t real hair dyes (duh), the processing time is going to be longer than it would be for a regular hair dye. For both substances, leave on your hair for at least 7 or 8 hours and go about your daily activities. Have breakfast. Play soccer. Watch a couple of movies. Wear a hat. Do whatever you need to do, just make sure your hair colour isn’t compromised because you are self conscious about having Jello on your head.
Sounds a bit weird, but this is a real thing that people do, I promise. Steal your little sister’s Crayola markers and break them open like a piñata/pry the cap off with a knife. Once you’ve done that, surgically remove the fabric tube of colour from the marker and rub it on your hair until you’re satisfied. Because you’re essentially making an art project out of your hair, I encourage you to draw fun designs on your head/get your hair to match the pattern of your shirt. I’m only partially joking because I honestly think that would be kind of cool.
Lemon Juice/Sun In
Not feeling Katy Perry levels of adventurous? That’s okay. If you have brown or blonde hair, try using lemon juice or “Sun In” (available at your local drug store) to add some strategic highlights to your hair. This will make you look like a beach goddess, I guarantee it.
If my above suggestions make you uncomfortable, stick with what you know and pick up another bottle of Charlotte-Free-endorsed Manic Panic. To make the colour stay in longer than the typical 5 washes, add about a tablespoon of vinegar to the paste and mix well before applying.
La Riché Directions
Based in the UK (but available on eBay!!!), La Riché Directions is a cheaper alternative to Manic Panic. With quite a large variety of colours and about the same amount of staying power as Manic Panic, LRD may be something you should consider if you’re looking for more /unique/ colours.