Thu. Jan 21st, 2021

Lock in a rainbow in lockdown with Kool-Aid as a fun hair dye

Want to know more about the Kool-Aid hair dye trend? Here’s how to splash out on a bucketful of colour without even leaving home.

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The idea of using Kool-Aid, or other wild coloured soft-drink powders, to dye your hair has been around for some time, but it has really started to trend during lockdown. 

The restrictions and possible dangers attached to going out, seem to have brought out the creative side of many. It has led to finding home alternatives for almost every little thing — and hair dye is one of these.

Kool-Aid hair dye is an alternative to regular box dye, with a colourful twist. You could use this guide below as a fun lockdown experiment.

Be warned though that this colour is semi-permanent and can last between two and four weeks. 

Go full colour with Kool-Aid hair

If you’re going for your usual colour or looking to touch up your roots then full colour makes sense. If you’re not committed to a colour or want to try something new, you could really have some fun with it by dip-dyeing the ends of your hair instead. 

Kool-Aid is available in South Africa as you can buy it online, retailing for roughly R125 a box of 10 pouches. However, Kool-Aid is not always readily available in retail outlets so you may want to try something local in the form of a powdered soft drink.

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Light hair takes on hair colours easier than dark hair.
Image: Adobe Stock

Kool-Aid colour guide 

According to online hair and beauty website Bellatory here are the colours you can get and what flavours you can use to get them:

  • Blue: Use Blue Raspberry
  • Electric blue: Blue Raspberry and Grape
  • Red: Tropical Punch 
  • Bright red: Double Double Cherry
  • Light green: Lime 
  • Purple: Grape 
  • Turquoise: Berry Blue and Lemon Lime 

The dye process 

Hair prep

Shampoo and condition your hair before attempting to dye it because clean hair provides the best outcome. Dry your hair as you will apply the dye onto dry hair. 

Getting the mixture right

The key is to get the consistency of your mixture right. Not too thick and not too weak is ideal, you should be looking at the same consistency as a conditioner.

In a mixing bowl, combine water and Kool Aid. You add Kool Aid according to your desired hair colour and then you adjust the water appropriately. 

For darker hair, add less water so the colour catches better. 

  • Adding conditioner to your mixture will make the application process easier.


Apply petroleum jelly to the areas that you do not want the dye to touch such as your hairline, parts of your face, neck and so on. You only need to apply enough create a thin layer so that the dye will not stain. 

Section your hair into workable portions.

Using gloves and a hair dye brush, apply your Kool-Aid mixture to each section. Once applied you can either put a plastic cap on or just grip your hair together steadily. 

Leave the mixture on for 30 minutes. If you’d prefer the dye last longer you can leave it on up to 45 minutes. 

Wash off with cold water rather than hot for temporary results. Remove any excess petroleum jelly with a wet towel. 

Other Kool-Aid hair tips

Darker hair is significantly harder to dye with Kool-Aid but not impossible. You have to be conscious that dark hair takes colour differently to light hair so the colour you choose will not be as suggested above.

For the best result you would need to bleach existing colour out of your hair first but if you’re just experimenting, here are two tips:

  • Use a teaspoon or two more conditioner than you would on lighter coloured hair
  • Use warm or hot water rather than cold when making the dye mixture. This  generally makes the colour last longer on light hair so it should help “catch” the colour better on dark hair.

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