Best Temporary Hair Color

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Hair coloring dates back to 1500 BC, where people also covered their grey hair with henna. That period stretched until people started using plant extracts to create different colors of hair dyes, both permanent and temporary ones. In the 1800s, the first chemical foundation for permanent hair dye was invented by William Henry Perkin, an English chemist who accidentally created the first Mauve hair dye.

In 1907, the first commercial hair dye was created by Eugene Schueller, who later founded L’Oreal. During the earlier days of commercial hair dye, changing one’s hair color involved a lot of harmful chemicals that damaged the hair so quickly. It was later on when hair-friendly coloring agents were slowly developed, with the expertise of different professionals from all over the world. Today, everyone has an option to color their hair for a day or have it permanently dyed using temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent hair dyes.

For those who are afraid to take their chances at permanent colors, temporary hair dyes have become a God-sent gift. This type of hair dye washes away after two or three shampoos, depending on the brand that you use. The best advantage that you can probably get from using temporary hair dyes instead of permanent ones is the fact that you can experiment with any color and not expect to live with it for a long time, even if it fails to satisfy your targeted look.

So How Does It Work?

It’s easy to understand how temporary hair dyes work. Basically, they are made up of coloring agents with larger molecules that are not able to penetrate the hair shaft. All they do is coat the hair with your chosen color. Unlike permanent hair dyes, which use harmful chemicals to be able to penetrate the hair cuticle, temporary hair coloring is not as harsh and damaging. Therefore, you can choose to change your hair color as often as you want.

Some individuals would prefer using semi-permanent hair dyes that last longer but slowly wash out after a few weeks. This is because they do not want to retouch their hair color too often, but neither do they want to stick with a certain color for so long. Then again, there are those who want to try out a certain color first using temporary dyes, to see if the color fits them or not.

Types of Temporary Hair Dyes

Types of Hair Dyes

There are a variety of temporary hair dye types that differ in terms of how they are used and how long they stay before they get washed out.

Spray Hair Coloring

The first type of temporary hair dyes is applied via spray. This is practically the easiest to use among all types, since all you have to do is spray it on whichever part of your hair you want to dye. Spray hair dyes are most often used by young people who want to experiment with different colors and shades every day, since this type of temporary hair dye is usually removed after a few washes. But with utmost care, it can actually last for weeks if you ever decide to keep it longer.

If you are dressing up for a particular occasion, say for example, Halloween, then spray hair dyes are the perfect option for you. This type of hair dye is also used to match the color of the hair with a particular chosen outfit.

Gel Hair Coloring

This type of temporary hair dye is actually a hair coloring agent and styling hair gel in one. This is a brilliant choice for anyone who wants to style their hair and color them at the same time. Although using gel hair coloring can be quite messy as compared to the spray, it easily washes off in case you get some on your hands and shirt. If you are going to join a fashion show, or dressing up with a certain hairstyle in mind, then you can go for some gel hair coloring and even combine different colors of your choice.

Hair Color Chalk

The name says it all. It’s like chalk that is run through the hair to put some color into it. This type requires you to slide the chalk a few times to make the color more vibrant and obvious. Using hairsprays can help hold the color in while you are out and about, but that will leave you with hard and matte looking hair.

Clay Hair Coloring

As the name states, this type of hair dye has a clay-like form that finishes in a way that your hair would look a bit matte. It lasts for about two to three washes. Some people complain about tangled hair when using this dye.

Mascara Type

If you want to temporarily cover your gray hair or roots and do not want to use permanent hair coloring each time they appear, then the mascara root concealer is the perfect hair dye for you. It is commonly used for touch-ups, whenever the occasion calls for it. If you’re attending some family gathering and would not want to show grey roots on your mustache, then the mascara hair coloring can be your friend for the night. However, this type of hair dye does require some practice to apply it correctly. Not that it is hard to do, but because overapplying it can create an unnatural coating that would look very awkward, if you should ask.

If you want temporary hair color that would last longer than a few days, then you can try out semi-permanent or demi-permanent hair dyes that would stay in your hair for weeks. Remember that whatever type of hair coloring you will use, it will stay in longer with previously dyed hair, or proper care that you can easily follow. But if you do not want to commit to a single color at a time, you can choose among the abovementioned temporary hair dye types, depending on how you want the results and the application process.

The 5 Best Temporary Hair Color

Basing on online public reviews, we have gathered the 5 best temporary hair colors for different hair coloring purposes. While not everyone may agree to our list, ours is purely based on real customers’ feedback and how their experiences went, their personal assessment based on what they actually did while applying the dye.

Edge Chalkers - Hair Chalk, Metallic Glitter Temporary Hair Color

Edge Chalkers has the most number of reviews on Amazon. Although not every single comment is positive, it does have a significant amount of positive feedback that makes it on top of the list.

Our Average Review:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

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The Pros:

The colors that this temporary hair dye gives out are amazingly vibrant. They are perfect for those who want to try out bright colors but aren’t in for the long term. The results for most people who use Edge Chalkers Metallic Glitter Hair Chalk were on point—just what they expected and hoped to get.

Another positive remark about this product is that it washes out easily with shampoo and conditioner, although it really varies upon the hair type, color, and texture, and how you take care of your hair while the color sits in. Nonetheless, this brand of temporary hair dye washes away with soap and water when it gets to your hands, and that means less of the messy stains on your hands and neck.

And since it is temporary, of course it does not use any harmful ingredient that can damage your hair with frequent use. It is fairly easy to apply, and does not require you to wet your hair before doing so. Unlike other brands, this hair chalk also does not need to be finished with hairspray. Within 30 seconds of applying the chalk on your hair strands, it dries up and you will get that oil slick look. However, it does dry up a bit stiff, as if you already used a little hairspray. Nevertheless, if you want soft hair, you can brush it to take away the clumps and still see the color on.

The best part about this temporary hair dye is that it is totally convenient to carry around, and do touch-ups whenever you need to.

The Cons:

A few negative comments about this brand is that it gets a little messy when applied, although that is common among all types of hair dyes. The part where it gets stiff after it dries up is also a turnoff for some people.


Our Average Review:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

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The Pros:

Manic Panic is one of the most trusted and most popular brands when it comes to hair dyes. This is also true with their Dye Hard Temporary Hair Color Styling Gel. This brand has good coverage, if you know how to apply it well. For some, painting it using a brush on the hair gives out the best results. It also delivers good coloring, even on dark colored hair.

And just like what people expect from temporary hair dyes, this coloring washes away easily with one or two shampoos. Despite that, it also serves its purpose and lasts all day even with strenuous activities. You can go running, or do a stage play with rain as effects, or party all night and expect the color to stay in. However, some people say that this hair dye disappears too quickly, not lasting even half a day on their hair. The culprit can be the texture of the hair that it was used on, or the process of applying the dye on it.

The Cons:

Most people criticize this brand for having so little in one bottle. Some, who have thick and long hair, would need to use two tubes of this hair color styling gel. Others also complain about this hair dye drying up hard, although they probably did not know that hair color styling gels are meant to be that way.

LOreal Technique Liquid Chalk Temporary Intense Hair Makeup

Our Average Review:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

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The Pros:

This liquid chalk gives out great and vibrant results that can last for up to three washes. A common feedback among its users is that it looks perfect on any hair shade. Even on dark colored hair, this hair chalk can deliver excellently, although you can’t expect to get the same outcome as when you use it on lighter colored hair. On the contrary, you can always add more coloring while the dye is still wet if you want to get brighter colors on your hair.

An amazing aspect of this hair dye is that it does not stain your clothes and even your pillowcase. It also does not leave your hair dry and brittle.

The Cons:

Since it’s in liquid form, it does take some time to apply, and can get messy while you’re at it. But that is something that you would expect from any hair coloring agent if you are not used to applying such on your hair. Remember, dying your hair involves plenty of hair strands to cover, and that makes messy processes a given.

This hair dye also leaves the hair stiff and makes it difficult to comb long and thick hair. So if you want to get soft and shiny locks after getting them dyed, then this is probably not the best option for you. It also takes a long time before it totally washes away, as compared to other temporary hair dye brands. At times, it can last for weeks before you see your hair clean, so this is not the best choice for anyone who want to try on blue hair for a day.

SPLAT Hair Chalk

Our Average Review:

4.0 Out Of 5 Stars

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The Pros:

Although this brand is not among the most popular in the market, this does have a good following due to the great results that it delivers even after a single pass on the hair. The secret to such successful coloring using the SPLAT Hair Chalk is doing it on a few strands at a time. With patience and perseverance, you can expect to get vibrant colors on your hair no matter your hair color. It is also very easy to wash out, so you can be red head today, and back to your normal blonde tomorrow. If you need to be in your corporate attire the next day, you would not need to worry about washing off this hair dye.

The Cons:

Despite the good feedback regarding the coverage that this hair dye gives, it also has its downside that may be a bit of a turnoff for many people. It stains your hands even after applying hair spray on your dyed hair. That being said, you will also see some color marks on your clothes, so make sure to keep your hair away from your shoulders and your back. If you want to let your hair down for a certain look, then this is definitely not the way to go, unless you can wear something dark to avoid messy stains.

And since it sticks to whatever it gets in contact with, it is needless to say that this temporary hair color fades very quickly as compared to other hair dyes. Even with hairspray that is supposed to keep the coloring in, you can expect it to fade after a couple of hours.

The Verdict:

While there are individual preferences that will define which brand is really the best, a good rule of thumb when choosing a temporary hair color is to make sure of the following:

  • First, to check how good the coverage and brightness of the color is delivered;
  • Second, to see if the results match your expectations;
  • Third, to know if the color stays for as long as you expect it to (whether this is for a whole day or a good three days);
  • Fourth is to know whether the brand carries safe ingredients;
  • Fifth, to find out if the brand is an established company in the cosmetic industry;
  • Sixth, to make sure to read and follow the instructions in applying the product;

And lastly, to buy from trusted stores and therefore avoid fake products that can damage your hair and ruin your day.

To conclude, as with any other product out there, deciding on which brand is the best always depends on what your personal preferences are. Some people expect their temporary hair color to get washed out in a single bath, while others want it to stay for at least a few days before fading away.

For a certain number of people, hair dye should not be messy when applied. However, those who have long been coloring their hair would understand that some mess while coloring your hair is normal. In the long run, once you get used to applying your choice of hair dye, you will realize that it all depends on what technique you are using to put it on. Our list of the best temporary hair dyes is an excellent guide for anyone who is still searching for their match.

(Last Updated On: January 8, 2020)

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