Choosing your hair color is a serious business when it's a permanent shade that requires a trip to the salon (and a small portion of your savings). But a change in hair color doesn't have to mean a major commitment when you go the temporary route. In fact, trying the best temporary hair dyes lets you experiment with as many shades as you can dream up (or mix up) right at home, and without the risk of damaged, straw-like hair.
The hardest part of going temporary is choosing the color, but selecting the right formula is also important. Hair chalks are the easiest and most temporary of the group (seriously, you can practically brush the color out). But if you have long hair or you're trying to achieve a full head of color, they can be too time-consuming since you literally draw them onto your hair.
Spray-on temporary color and gel formulas make dyeing your hair a whole lot easier since they cover more territory and still wash out after one shampoo. Just be sure to apply these products as the last step in your hair routine, after heat styling, for the most color pay-off.
Then, there's the more traditional method of using semi-permanent hair color. These temporary dyes last several weeks before they fade (depending on how light your hair color was to start with and how often you shampoo it), and they work much in the same way as an in-salon dye job. Brands like Manic Panic and Lime Crime are vegan and cruelty-free, and they don't contain bleach, so there's no risk of damaging your hair's health or original color. In addition to following the directions on the jar (and always doing a patch test first), you can make the application a little less messy by using rubber gloves, and a thick conditioner or Vaseline along your hairline to avoid staining your skin.