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9 Best Temporary Hair Color: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

Temporary hair dye is perfect for when you don’t want to take the plunge and commit to a hair color. It’s just right for Halloween, school spirit week, theme parties, performances, festivals, and even to try out a hair color before going for a permanent dye job. But it can also be disappointing if you’re not using the best temporary hair color.

If you’re looking for inspiration, see Buzzfeed’s 22 Cool Examples Of Hair Chalking to check out some of the awesome things you can do with temporary hair color.

An important thing to note, is that folks who make temporary hair dye and the people who use temporary hair dye have somewhat different definitions of what “temporary” means. And that can get you into a tight spot. Sure you want that bright pink hair for your Halloween costume, but you didn’t want it two weeks later at work.

Temporary hair dye. Technically “temporary hair dye” refers to any dye that doesn’t penetrate the cortex of your hair which means that they will eventually wash off.

But “eventually” can mean a lot of things. I’ve narrowed it down to dyes that can last anywhere from one wash to a month. Depending on your hair color (I’m looking at you, blondes), hair condition (previously bleached), and choice of dye color (blacks and reds especially) it’s possible for even temporary hair colors to stain.

Temporary hair dye comes in many different forms and staying powers.

Hair chalk. This refers to powdery or slightly creamy sticks of color that you rub on your hair, with or without the use of water. They tend to last from one to three washes. For more information on hair chalks, read my guide to the best Hair Chalk Kits.

Colored hair sprays. These are spray on colors that coat your hair in pigment and wash out in one or two shampoos.

Hair mascara. Welcome back to my childhood in the 90’s! Hair mascara coats your hair with a cream-like dye. Just like sprays and chalks, these wash out in a couple of shampoos.

Colored pomades. Fairly new on the scene, these hair gels are thick and highly pigmented. They’ll leave your hair feeling gelled but deliver good color that washes out in one to two shampoos.

Okay, let’s get to the best temporary hair dye kits on the market today.

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