10 Temporary At-Home Hair Dyes To Try When You're So Freaking Bored

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If you’re bored beyond understanding, you may be looking to do something drastic. A great way to achieve a new look without taking scissors to your head or permanently changing (a potentially damaging) your hair is to try temporarily dyeing it at home. All you need for the process is a pair of gloves, a towel over your shoulders, a very well-ventilated room, and a cool new color. Here are some of the best temporary, at-home hair dyes you can use to fill some hours and end up with a new look the safer way.

I’ve been bleaching and dyeing my hair in the confines of my bathroom for almost six years now, so I consider myself an educated amateur on the topic. First and foremost, I recommend always buying a second box of whatever temporary dye you’re using. Usually, you have more hair than you think you do, and you really want to get every strand with the new color if you’re planning on doing your whole head. If you’re mixing colors, only use plastic or glass bowls, because metal can oxidize the dye and potentially change its color.

If your hair color is dark, some products likely won’t show up in it, so always read the product description to see if it’s suitable for darker hair. And lastly, try to be organized whilst dyeing; section out your hair to ensure you don’t miss any parts. Also, before applying dye to your whole head, do a test strip on the under portion of your hair to make sure you like the color.

Although dyeing your own hair sounds like a very daunting task, it only takes an hour or two in time tops. Having a second person on deck, even if they don’t touch your hair, is a great way to ensure you don’t miss any chunks on the back of your head. Even if you don’t love your new color, a temporary dye will usually only last about a month’s time — although, in my experience, blue sticks around for a long time, so be forewarned. Revamping your hair is a fun way to add some color and change to your day to day with as much or as little commitment as you want. Check out these temporary at-home dyes, find your favorite color, and get started.

If you want to play with colors that only last between hair washes, try Poser Paste ($18, Good Dye Young) from Good Dye Young. Created by Hayley Williams of Paramore, Good Dye Young promises vibrant color. Essentially, Poser Paste is hair makeup that goes on as easily as lipstick and won’t get on any of your clothes. Available in eight colors, this paste lets you play with fun colors without any commitment.

For longer-lasting color, Sephora Collection’s Semi-Permanent Hair Color ($12, Sephora) brings pigment-packed color that fades in about 10 washes. It comes in vibrant pink, purple, and turquoise colors. If your job doesn’t allow colored hair and you’re looking for something to try during a longer vacation, this is a great option.

Often, dyeing your hair means damaging it, but not with Moroccanoil’s Color Depositing Mask ($28, Moroccanoil). While the product deposits a bright color or something more natural into your hair as you use it, the argan and apricot kernel oil formula deeply conditions. Whether you’re refreshing your dyed hair as you wait to get a salon appointment or trying something new out, this mask will leave your hair looking silky and healthy.

L’Oréal’s Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color ($11, L’Oréal) dyes hair without peroxide or ammonia and gradually fades with every shampoo. By mixing the dye with conditioner, you can achieve a lighter, more pastel look (and hydrate your hair in the process). Be aware, though, that this dye tends to work best on light hair.

For something even less permanent, L’Oréal’s Colorista 1 Day Hair Color Spray ($10, L’Oréal) works on all textures and shades of hair. To use, just spray 4 to 6 inches away from the head, and then, wait as the color dries and brightens. If you’re looking to dye your hair for just a day or two, this is a great option.

Another fun hair color spray is Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair Rainbow Mist ($14, Lime Crime). These sprays don’t bleach or damage the hair, but rather, it just coats strands in powerful color. There are eight shades ranging from silver to purple to rose pink that work on any starting shade of hair. Just remember to wash it out before going to bed to avoid staining any of your pillowcases.

Hair chalk is one of the easiest ways to dye select sections of your hair. A simple, one-wash-out way to get as many colorful streaks in your hair as you could ever dream of is to use Hot Huez Temporary Hair Chalk ($10, Sally Beauty). The four colors are pigment-packed, and all you have to do is slide the chalk over your hair for a pop of color.

If you’re looking for just a temporary root fix, Garnier’s Express Retouch ($10, Garnier) is a quick solution. The water-resistant formula is safe from rain or sweat but still washes out easily. And rather than coating your whole head, you can just apply this powder to your part and around your face for the best coverage.

If you’re nervous about dyeing your hair, Overtone offers an easy solution and a simple application process. Its Coloring Conditioner ($29, Overtone) gently deposits color into hair and is easy to apply without staining your hands. This product uses coconut oil, shea butter, and avocado oil to strengthen and smooth hair, so you can achieve bright colors while keeping your hair strong. This deep treatment mask also makes it easy to refresh your color whenever it starts to fade, sans the very careful process of dyeing hair.

Manic Panic’s Dye Hard Temporary Hair Color Styling Gel ($10, Ulta) features neon shades that glow under blacklight, metallics, and regular vibrant colors that come out in one wash. Comb it out for a softer effect like hair chalk or leave the gel in thick for strong color.