Beauty DIY: How To Dye Hair With Kool-Aid

As a teen in the 90s, in small-town South Georgia, my knowledge of fashion was pretty limited. I LIVED for Style With Elsa Klensch and MTV's House of Style (do you remember those?). And on House of Style, I learned the oh-so important skill of how to dye your hair with Kool-Aid (thanks Todd Oldham). While I was never allowed to dye my own hair, I had plenty of fun dying my friends' hair.

Since the dip-dye trend is still hot, I'm sharing my method. This is great for those who don't want to spend money on all the paraphernalia that you'll never use again (like chalks). It gives a wash of color that only lasts a few shampoos, so no crazy commitment. And in typical ElleSees fashion, it's easy and cheap! Before we begin, know the darker the hair, the harder it will be for color to absorb. 

T O O L S:
  • 5 packets of kool-aid for ends of hair. I needed 5 packs for a small section of dark hair.
  • bowl
  • disposable gloves or paint brush
  • conditioner
  • tin foil
  • spoon
  • old shirt (optional)
  • comb (optional)
  • hair dryer (optional)
M E T H O D:
  • Mix a small dollop of conditioner with the kool-aid in the bowl. The kool-aid needs to be sugar-free. If you're using a thicker conditioner, add a few drops of water to further mix the kool-aid.
  • Cut out enough pieces of tinfoil needed for each section of hair you're dyeing. Make sure the pieces are long enough as well.
  • Place tinfoil underneath the first section. Make sure you have the section long enough to catch drips.
  • I used disposable gloves to apply the mixture to my hair. I've used paint brushes (hey, it was the 90s and we made it work!), basting brushes, sponge brushes, or applicator brushes. The applicator brushes, liked used when you're getting highlights, can be bought at beauty supply stores for 50 cents and up.
  • Apply the kool-aid evenly and use every bit of mixture. If going for an ombre effect, apply the most mixture where you'd like the most color.
this looks totally gross, but it smells like cherry kool-aid, yay!
  • Once distributed, comb through if desired.  
  • Wrap the hair in the tin foil until completely sealed. Use additional pieces if needed.
  • Repeat these steps on remaining sections of hair. This whole process takes about 5 minutes and up.
  • Leave on at least an hour if you have blonde hair. Using the hairdryer will help speed the process. Overnight is best if your hair is super dark, like mine.
  • Rinse hair but don't use shampoo. Dry as usual. The dye should last a couple of shampoos or more, depending on the darkness of your hair.
sorry about the quality--this was the only one that the color worked best!
and yes, i finally got to dye my hair!


  1. That's pretty kewl. I never would have thought that was possible.

  2. I can't stand drinking Kool-Aid so I'll keep this in mind the next time I have some lying around. :) Though my hair might be a little dark.

  3. so so so cool! i didn't know we can do this! ;D

    <3, Mimi
    Twisted Orchid Giveaway -- Win any bag of your choice! :)

  4. Nice that is very creative,


  5. I remember trying this once! My friend and I definitely didn't go through all the steps, though.


  6. wow, thanks for sharing this... i should try this, too!

    also, i wanna say thank you for your comment on my blog about what happen to my dad! I really appreciate your words, thank you so much!

    It’s a GIRL Thing

  7. I only did it once and the girls took advantage of the fact that the guys were drunk.

  8. I also grew up watching House of Style, though I think Cindy Crawford was on back then.

    Thank you for bringing back the Kool-Aid. The college set will be all over this.

  9. You never cease to amaze me! This looks like heaps of fun!!! I think I'd try it just because it looks fun!

  10. This brings back so many memories! We used to do this at camp, so awesome

    Mal @ The Chic Geek

  11. Wow, I'd never heard of this before, but it definitely makes sense and sounds like fun!

  12. That's so cool! I never knew you could do that.

  13. Yeah I keep hearing that House of Style was coming back to TV. And wow, I had no idea you could dye your hair with kool-aid...that's crazy!

  14. so fun!! i just might have to try this!! love the red!! ;)

  15. wish we could see a clearer photo! good idea though, I was always scared that my mom would kill me if I tried this when I was younger!

  16. Never imagined Kool Aid can do this. I'll try it. It seems really fun :)

  17. Oh memories. I totally used to do that when I was younger. though I think we just soaked our hair in a glass... gross.

    How did the color turn out? Was it super pigmented and fire engine red? or did it look somewhat natural. I would totally try this if I could find a color that looked kind of natural... but my super blonde hair is probably going to make it look crazy bold. Not so office approp.

  18. Oh Kool Aid dye. That was almost as much fun as spraying Sun In onto my hair. The 90s were the best.

  19. great idea... i don't think it'll work on my hair though since i have black hair... looks great, elle. :)

  20. Oh how cool! It's kind of scary that we drink this stuff, isn't it?!

  21. We did this in college! Its the best! Memories....

  22. OMG I LIVED for Style with Elsa Klensch! Lived! Watched every single week from the mid 80s until the day it ended.

    I saw a segment on there one week about a fashion stylist and totally wanted that to be my career. I had never heard of one before and there was little known about them back then. We're talking pre Rachel Zoe days. Even when I went to college at FIT {the Fashion Institute} it was hard to get any info about the job. But it sounded like a dream job from what I saw on the segment.

    Anyway, enough of my rambling. I never became a stylist obvs but will always think of that show as revolutionary back in the day.

    Ah and Todd Oldham. He was such a hoot. Loved him and his brilliant Kool Aid hair dye idea. Don't really remember that segment but it sounds so him. It's amazing :)

    Do you think you may have struck a chord with this one for me? I'm practically floating in blissful memories! xoxo


  23. What fun! Thanks for stopping by the blog too ! X

  24. What fun! Thanks for stopping by the blog too ! X

  25. I've always heard about this, but never knew how to do it. You are so much fun!

  26. Awesome! I never did this growing up because my grandmother wouldn't let me lighten my hair, but I'm going to try it pretty soon!

  27. Awesome! I never did this growing up because my grandmother wouldn't let me lighten my hair, but I'm going to try it pretty soon!


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