How do I Dye Hair With Food Coloring & Peroxide?

Use food coloring to dye your hair.

Photo: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Stand out and step out with a hairstyle no one will be able to copy. While some women strive for natural-colored tresses, a daring 'do in electric blue can be just as hot. Whether you're looking to shock and amaze, or enhance your personal style, funky DIY hair colors may do the trick. Plus, you can achieve your fresh, original look with regular household items. Break out of your hair rut and take a chance.


Wash your hair with just shampoo--skip the conditioner and blow dryer. Comb your wet hair out as straight as you can. Pat your hair dry so it's not dripping everywhere, but still plenty wet.


Wrap an old towel around your shoulders to protect your clothes from dye spatter. Bleach spots on your favorite tee won't do anything for your image. Even with the towel, don't do this while wearing anything expensive--better to be wearing some "laundry day" clothes, just in case some bleach or dye goes astray.


Pour 3% hydrogen solution into a spray bottle. You can buy this special blend at the local drugstore. Spritz your hair with peroxide from the roots to the ends. Lift the top layer of hair and repeat until you get to the last layer of hair. Saturate your hair; the lighter it is, the better your color will take. If you're not willing to turn your whole head cherry-red, separate the section you want to bleach, pin or tie back the rest of your hair, and cover it with a bandana or cloth.


Bundle your hair up into a shower cap. Return some texts and make yourself a fro yo sundae while the peroxide sets for about an hour. Remove the shower cap and gently comb out your hair. It'll feel rough and dry; peroxide strips the outer cuticle. This is precisely why there are so many special products for color-treated hair.


Squeeze about ½ cup of leave-in conditioner into a bowl. If you want to do more than one color, use two bowls with ¼ cup of conditioner in each. Add food coloring in the color of your choice to the conditioner until the color is dark and intense.


Working from your hairline to the nape of your neck, smear the colored conditioner through your hair. For two-tone hair, start with the lightest color and apply the darker color on top. Don't be dainty--go ahead and glob it on there. The thicker the application, the bolder your color will be.


Let the food coloring sink into your hair for about two hours. Rinse the conditioner out of your hair. If the color isn't dark enough, add more food coloring to your conditioner and reapply. If it's looking good, make some dinner plans to show off your style.

Things You'll Need


1.Old towels

3.Spray bottle

5.Leave-in conditioner


2.3% hydrogen peroxide

4.Shower cap

6.Food coloring


Tips & Tricks


Peroxide will leave your hair very dry and brittle. The conditioner in the dye should help, but regular applications of thick, rich conditioner should help heal your hair.

Dark-haired women may need two or three peroxide applications to lighten their hair enough for the dye to show up.


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