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5 Genius Ways to Temporarily Color Your Hair

Your Halloween costume just got even better.

Your Halloween costume just got even better.


By Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping

While some Halloween costumes look great with creative makeup, adding an awesome hairstyle is an easy way to amp up the overall effect. You can always go for a wig — the least-permanent solution — but if you don't want to splurge (or fiddle with it all night), there are some semi-permanent hair-coloring choices you might want to try instead.

We checked in with Meri Kate O'Connor of Eva Scrivo Salon for some of the best picks and how long you might expect them to last.



1.

Hair Mascara

What it is: Remember the hair mascara of the '90s that let you change your color with the flick of a wand? It's still around! Options like ColorMe hair mascara ($7, amazon.com) involve temporary color that you apply directly to your hair. You can layer on more as desired for a brighter, more vivid color, or keep it subtle by adding light, thin streaks.

How long it lasts: 1-2 shampoos

What it looks like:




2.

Hair Chalk

What it is: Still a major trend, hair chalk lets you easily add all sorts of colors without much commitment. Simply wet your hair to get it ready for the color, separate it into sections, t//hen run the chalk down your strands. You can use designated hair chalk or oil-based pastels from a craft store (we prefer and suggest the former). Chalking your hair gives you a lot of control over the end result.

How long it lasts: 2-4 shampoos, but here's a catch: If you have ultra-light hair, this might wind up being more permanent. "The darker the temporary color, and the lighter the hair, the longer it will take the color to wash out," warns O'Connor.

What it looks like:




3.

Colored Hairspray

What it is: This is exactly what it sounds like — hairspray with added color! While this is generally a temporary technique, but like with hair chalk, keep in mind how light your hair is now because you may end up with a permanent stain. One horror story O'Connor shared: "I once had a platinum blonde who used black hair spray for Halloween, and she had to wash her hair with dish soap every day for two weeks to remove the color." Yikes!

How long it lasts: 2-4 shampoos

What it looks like:




4.

Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

What it is: This is the next step up when it comes to coloring you hair. "Semi-permanent hair dye has no ammonia content, so it sits on the outside of the hair cuticle and acts as a stain," explains O'Connor. Manic Panic, Splat, Pravana, and other similar brands are semi-permanent dyes, so while they last longer than hair chalk and spray, they won't be vivid forever — unless, of course, you bleach your hair beforehand. Bleached, porous hair can take on a semi-permanent shade and maintain it for considerably longer. So if you're not ready for blue hair 'til Thanksgiving, don't plop a bunch of dye on your highlighted hair.

How long it lasts: 4-12 shampoos

What it looks like:




5.

Demi-Permanent

What it is: More powerful than a semi-permanent but (you guessed it) not as strong as a permanent, this is your best bet if you want a bold hair color that will last all October long (and then some). "Demi-permanent dyes contain ammonia, allowing them to last longer and penetrate a little deeper into the hair cuticle," explains O'Connor. Ion's Intensive Shine ($6, sallybeauty.com) demi-permanent hair color comes in 32 different shades.

How long it lasts: 12-28 shampoos

What it looks like:


See more at: Good Housekeeping

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Women's Magazine: 5 Genius Ways to Temporarily Color Your Hair
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