Color Your Hair with Food Coloring & Ditch Commercial Dyes

When it comes to coloring hair, people opt for commercial hair colors and dyes, not knowing that food colors can also be used for the same purpose.

Granted food coloring does not last long compared to commercial dyes, but it is less expensive and not as harsh on your hair as the latter. If you are scared this process might damage your hair, just remember that hair dyes actually have more chemicals in comparison to food colors.

If you are wondering how a certain color would look on you, or you just want a temporary fix, food coloring might actually be a great option for you.

After all, if it doesn’t turn out the way you want, you can always wash it off and start again!


  • 1

    Mix food colors

    You need to start with mixing food colors of your choice to create the shade you desire. In order to do so, you will need a base, which can be a clear gel (Aloe Vera) or a shampoo.

    -Use a shallow bowl for this purpose and create enough of the paste to cover your head or a section of hair you want to streak.

    -The strength of the color will depend on the amount of food coloring you add and the original color of your own hair.

    -Thoroughly shake the mixture with a brush until the whole paste is uniform in color and the gel or shampoo is properly mixed.

    -If the paste turns out too thick you can always add a few drops of water to keep it fluid for easy application.

    Mixing Food Colors
  • 2

    Wet and partially dry hair

    Don’t wash your hair just wet them with a little water, making sure the insides and roots are moist. Now partially dry them with a towel to ensure that water doesn’t run out from them and they are left damp. This will help you apply the food coloring properly in the next step.

    Woman Drying Hair
  • 3

    Apply paste on your hair

    Once the food color paste is ready you will need to apply it on your hair using the same brush you mixed it with.

    -As a precaution, cover the area under your neck with a cloth so that the food coloring doesn’t drip on your clothes.

    -Now apply the paste onto your damp hair, lifting sections to properly coat the underlying layers of hair. Keep at it until your whole head is covered with the food coloring paste.

    Girl applying hair color
  • 4

    Let the color set in

    Now you need to give time for the color to set in. You can wear a shower cap if you want and keep the hair color on for at least 6 – 8 hours. If you have light or blond hair, you can let it stay on for about 4 hours.

    Woman with shower cap
  • 5

    Rinse your hair

    After the color has set in properly you will need to rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Be careful not to wash them with shampoo though, because it will wash away the color as well. Just lightly rinse your hair and get out of the shower.

    Girl Rinsing Hair
  • 6

    Let them air dry

    Don’t rub your hair much or use a towel to dry them. Let them air dry on their own for the best results. Rubbing and patting them while they are wet will weaken the color and possibly leave stains on the towel.

    Air Dry
  • 7

    Don’t wash for 3 days

    Once your hair dry out, you can style them however you want and enjoy your new hair color. However, you should avoid washing them again for at least 3 days. Generally the color comes off after a couple of washes and will weaken itself over a week’s time.

    Woman with colored hair

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