Hair Color without the Commitment

I love non-permanent hair color.  I don’t want to worry about maintaining color (roots), but sometimes I get bored with my hair, so it’s a great solution.  There are lots of methods you can use if you’re craving color, but just don’t want to commit…

Semi-Permanent Color:  I like Clairol’s “Natural Instincts”.  They seem to be transitioning to a “cream” hair color, which is thicker than the older formula.  This isn’t ideal for my long (very thick) hair, but it’s still a good option.  Garnier makes “HerbaShine” which is even more pasty and doesn’t leave hair as healthy-looking as the Natural Instincts.  If you want to go the home-coloring route and have thick hair, be prepared to put in a lot of work to get the dye all the way into (all of) your hair.  Or use 2 boxes.  Whatever works.

Temporary:  OK, keep in mind “temporary” means different things to different companies.  Sometimes it means it will wash out the first time, sometimes it means it lasts for 6-12 washings.  Hot Topic also sells some of these products.I found this out the hard way when I put blue streaks in my hair for Halloween.  No, I didn’t read the bottle – except the part that said “temporary”.  And then I had to substitute teach the next day.  I tucked the blue parts under the rest of my hair and put on my professional attire, but at recess a girl asked “Is your hair BLUE?!?!”  Yes, (some of) my hair was blue.  For about another week.

Really Temporary:  If you want truly temporary hair color, look for colored styling gel.  Joico makes one called “Spiker Colorz”. Manic Panic makes “Dyehard”.  Just don’t confuse it with their other won’t-wash-out hair color products.

Chalking: Yes, it’s what it sounds like. Use sidewalk chalk or soft pastel art chalk to color your hair. You can get specialty stuff, too, at You can do as many colors as you like. Even if you want to do permanent color, it can be a good way to make sure you like it first. OK, it’s not ideal for rainy climates and it’s going to wash out, but if you just want something for a night out, it might be the perfect way to add some flare to your hair. Watch a how-to video here:

Hair Mascara:  Coming soon to a Sephora store near you – Sultra Hair Mascara. See it here: It lasts 2 days (I’m gathering they mean “2 days or until you wash your hair”) and comes in 4 shades. Unfortunately, it’s $24. It may last longer and be less messy than the chalk, but it’s also WAY more expensive.

Clip-In Color:   Lots of brands make these.  Some can be found at Ulta and Sephora.  Sultra makes them in some of the prettiest colors.   You can find much more affordable (although not as realistic-looking) ones at Hot Topic.  Just make sure they’re under your other hair and you don’t use too many.  Clip-in color is designed to augment your hair, not replace it.

In Summary:  Hair color is one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to express your personality.  However, if your personality is commitment-phobic (or cheap, or both), try one or more of these options to show off your personal style.

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  1. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
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    • Sorry it took me so long to respond. I got a new job that has been taking a lot of time/energy. Yes, share with whoever might benefit from the info.


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