Playing with your hair color is a lot of fun—but no one likes the damage that comes from constantly switching shades. Enter temporary dyes. These 8 temporary hair dye colors let you try out a new trend without the damage–ranging in color choices from pretty pastels for spring and summer to saturated shades for the perfect night out. Just paint or spray on new colors for a fresh look in minutes. We’ve rounded up the best of the best. Get creative with your color with these 8 awesome temporary dyes.
#1: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair
If you’ve ever wondered: “what color should I dye my hair this summer?”. The slightly psychedelic millennial focused beauty brand, Lime Crime has the answer: all the colors. Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair is a semi-permanent hair color that won’t damage your locks and will fade out gracefully in a few weeks. It comes in thirteen vibrant shades that fade to pretty pastels. For bright saturated color, leave the dye in for 1-2 hours. For pastels, leave it in for just 30 minutes. We love that this gentle dye is 100 percent cruelty free and vegan too, but it does work best on blondes or pre-bleached hair. Those with darker locks may end up with a muddled color.
#2: Redken Color Rebel Hair Makeup
If you’re looking for a temporary hair color to help you create the vibrant multi-color streaks that are trending on Instagram, look no further than Redken Color Rebel. A sponge applicator makes targeted coloring easy, making this the perfect temporary dye for peekaboo hair color or single streaks. It also washes out in 2-6 shampoos and comes in 10 cool shades so you can change your hair to match your mood. This temporary dye can also be applied to darker locks. Who says blondes have more fun?
#3: Joico InstaTint Temporary Color Shimmer Spray
Joico’s InstaTint Spray is the perfect way to get in the summer music festival spirit. The temporary dye comes in four fun shades: Orchid, Sapphire Blue, Mermaid Blue and Pink. The spray application ensures even vibrant color—whether you have blonde or black hair. You can mix the shades for endless combinations and mistakes couldn’t be easier to fix. This color washes out with just one shampoo, which means you can wear it out on Saturday night and have work ready hair by Monday morning.
#4: Splat Washables Hair Color
So many temporary dyes work best on blonde hair, but Splat Washables has the perfect consistency for darker hair colors. It goes on as a liquid, then turns chalk-like when it dries, which means vibrant color stays on even dark brown and black hair. Apply it with a mascara-like brush, let it dry, then finger brush it out. The color will wash out with shampoo, because of the chalky texture once it dries, this temporary hair dye can be left on overnight. Just be sure to cover your pillowcase!
#5: L’Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color
Home hair artists should be excited about this semi-permanent color from L’Oreal. Colorista not only has seven shades formulated for blonde hair and four for brown hair—they also have a clear mixer that enables you to mix your own custom pastels. The only limit to your hair color ideas is your creativity. We love this product because it contains no ammonia and works for brunettes who don’t want to bleach their hair. The color fades in just 4-10 shampoos, so you can try out every shade in just a few months. Unicorn hair summer—here you come.
#6: Rita Hazan True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss
Not all temporary dyes are for trying out your hair color ideas. Sometimes you just want to maintain a natural shade between hair salon visits. Enter Rita Hazan’s True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss. This easy to apply foam can be used in the shower, keeping the rest of your bathroom mess-free. It adds some tint to your fading hair color without the damage and reduces brassiness. There’s a reason Rita Hazan’s root concealer is a cult favorite but True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss deserves the same following. You’ll save yourself salon visits and keep your hair perfectly healthy in between.
#7: Bumble and Bumble Color Stick
Bumble and Bumble’s Color Sticks in natural shades have been a favorite of those fighting root growth for a long time, but the hair brand recently added four statement shades: Flamingo, Ballet, Pacific,and Lilac. It couldn’t be easier to apply; just stroke it on like a lipstick, then blend it in with your fingers after you’ve dried and styled your hair. The velvety texture makes it mess-free and you can mix shades for endless color options. We like the idea of creating ombre locks with the hot pink and light pink or with the bright blue and lilac.
#8: Hot Huez Hair Chalk
Don’t be put off by the preteen packaging for Hot Huez Hair Chalk—or the fact that hues is spelled with a “z”. This hair chalk provides bright shades (not pastels) and is easy to apply. Just clamp the compact over a section of hair and run it from the roots to the ends. The product comes out after a wash, although it may stay for two or three washes on recently bleached hair since it’s more porous. It also works well over darker hair colors. So yes, the packaging might look like the kind of temporary hair dye kit you bought in junior high before your mom would let you use real dye but the results are totally worth the buy.
If you’re commitment-phobic but want to try new colors, temporary hair dye is the way to go. Whether you’re looking for mermaid blue and green locks, unicorn pinks and purples or just want to maintain your current color between salon visits, temporary dye provides a damage-free way to play with color. What color will you try next?