The perfect hair color can transform a basic costume into a Halloween masterpiece. However, most people want to be able to rinse the color out of their hair as quickly as they take their costume off. From tinted hairsprays, to color depositing conditioners, there’s a temporary hair dye out there for every hair type. In general, wash out times vary based on a number of factors, including hair type/texture, and results will be different for every individual (the lighter and dryer the hair is, the more pigmented and long-lasting the result). With so many options out there to temporarily dye your hair for Halloween, we reached out to the experts to find out their picks for and advice on using temporary hair dye.
Best Tinted Spray: KMS StyleColor
Hair color sprays are the safest and easiest way to color your hair for Halloween, Cleveland shares. These temporary hair color sprays can be applied liberally to dry hair, with darker hair colors requiring more product to achieve their desired pigmentation. Allow the spray to dry before attempting to touch hair. The KMS StyleColor sprays are a great waterproof option—making them pillow-friendly if your Halloween party runs late and washing doesn’t happen until the morning. Cleveland expects these types of sprays to wash out with one shampoo.
Best For Textured Hair: Mofajang Color Hair Wax
Mofajang Color Hair Wax is great for hair with lots of texture, or hair that is coarse, curly, or dreadlocked, Phillips explains. The coloring wax acts as a pomade, providing color and style without stripping hair of moisture or shine. You can use this product as you would a gel or styling cream to add color and definition to dry hair. Phillips also notes that the putty-like texture of the product “clings to hair so you can use multiple colors without worrying about them bleeding onto each other.” This product typically washes out with one shampoo.
For Highlighted Hair and Platinum Blondes: Kristin Ess Rose Gold Temporary Tint
Unlike most other temporary hair dyes, the Kristin Ess Rose Gold Temporary Tint is applied to wet or damp hair. It is best for lighter hair, like platinum blondes and those with highlights. Phillips explains that the intensity of the tone is up to you, “apply on wet hair for a softer tone or damp hair for a deeper color.” This product should wash out in 1-3 shampoos.
For Dark Hair: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Rainbow Mist
The pearlescent nature of these sprays make them a great option for those with dark hair. The added shine brings luster and intense pigmentation to these color sprays. Nicole shares that Lime Crime is also proudly Vegan and cruelty free, which makes them accessible to a large audience of users. In addition to the color sprays, they also offer glitter sprays as well. It is recommended that you spray this product on to completely styled hair and that you allow it to fully dry before touching it to prevent color transfer. One wash should remove the color from hair, but lighter hair may take a few additional washes to fully remove it.
Best Semi-Permanent Option: Overtone Color Conditioners
If you are open to your Halloween hair color sticking around into November, Overtone Color Conditioners are a great solution. oVertone offers a vivid color assortment and provides shades of each color that range from pastel to extreme. They even offer a separate line for brunettes, allowing those with darker hair to add color without bleaching. Nicole shares that color conditioners provide a “taste” for a new hair color while preserving the health of the hair. To use, apply to wet or dry hair (dry for maximum color deposit) and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing out with warm water. The color will last anywhere from a week to months depending on factors like hair color and bleaching, but you can always top up your color with another treatment whenever you would like. Nicole explains that washing dyed hair with cool water is best if you are trying to preserve the color, adding “a quick extra cool rinse at the end of washing is key to sealing that color as best as possible.”
Best Stain-Free: Poser Paste from Good Dye Young
Poser Paste from Good Dye Young is great for all hair types and colors. Phillips is a fan because while a lot of temporary dyes can stain the hair, Poser Paste is formulated like a ‘chalk’ instead of a cream or a spray, which reduces the chance of staining. It gives great coverage and intense color even on dark brunettes. The product can be worked through dry hair like a styling cream and the depth of color is versatile—simply brush it out to reduce impact or layer it on for a brighter look. Poser Paste should be transfer proof once in your hair and should wash out with one shampoo.
For Coloring Specific Strands and Sections: Splat Hair Chalk
If you don’t need to color a significant portion of your hair, Splat Hair Chalk may be the right temporary hair dye for you. Designed to fit easily in your hand, Splat Hair Chalk allows you to easily glide color through individual strands of dry hair. The packaging keeps the colored chalk from transferring on to your hands and the chalk transfers color on to the hair as you glide it over specific sections. This product should wash out with one shampoo.
Best For Neon Shades: Manic Panic Dye Hard
If you’re looking for temporary dye that is a bit stronger than sprays, Cleveland recommends Dye Hard temporary color gels from Manic Panic. These two-in-one styling gels and temporary hair dyes provide structure and color that meet the needs of any Halloween costume. It can be applied in thick layers for vibrant depths of color, or combed out for a more subtle look. An added bonus—their neon colors glow under blacklight. These colored gels should wash out with one shampoo.