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Two Ways to Do Safe, Wash-Out Hair Color

• Oct 26, 2013

Now that we’re in the second half of October, the Halloween parties and events are in full swing. Costumes and wigs are fun, but why cover up your gorgeous mane when you can add fun pops of color to your own tresses?

I know, I know. Generally speaking, wild out pinks, purples, blues, and greens only work on lightly colored or bleached hair. But, what if I told you there was an affordable, non-damaging, way to add some spunk to your coils and actually get you the color you desire — even for the darkest hair? No, it’s not too good to be true. Keep reading for 2 easy, affordable ways to get some dynamic color into your do.

1. Hair Chalk

When I initially envisioned this piece, hair chalk was the #1 idea that came to mind. It is easy to apply and comes in tons of fun colors. In the picture below, I used Remington Chalk It Up to Color that I purchased at Target for around $5.

Top Row: Hair before chalk color, and the Remington Chalk It Up to Color I used.

Bottom Row: Hair after purple chalk was applied, and after chalk was rinsed out with water.

How-To: The instructions say to dip the chalk in water, blot off excess water, and apply to hair. There is also the option to flat iron the hair to make the color last longer. I was not interested in flat-ironing anything, but I did find that the chalk was easier to apply when my hair was damp versus dry. I dipped the chalk as outlined on the instructions, but I did not blot the excess water, and I sprayed my hair with water before applying the chalk lengthwise through to the ends of my hair.

Drawbacks: After the chalk dried, some purple debris landed on my shirt. However, I imagine this can be resolved by throwing a little bit of a butter-style product on top to help retain some sort of moisture over the color. Speaking of moisture, my hair did feel a little dry after I rinsed off the color. Truth be told, it was nothing a little moisturizing product couldn’t fix.

Bonuses: The ease of application and removal of hair chalk was really the star of the show. It went on easy, and rinsed right off without a hitch. I didn’t even need to shampoo or cowash it out. Regular ol’ water did the trick. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, easy-in, easy-out temporary color, hair chalk is definitely the way to go!

2. Cream Eyeshadow

As I researched temporary hair color online (and boy did I come across some rather eh…umm…interesting ideas), I stumbled on a few articles and posts mentioning cream eyeshadow as a way to get powerful pops of color onto dark hair. I was so intrigued, I had to give it a try. In the picture below, I used Maybelline Color Tattoo by Eye Studio in #40 Tenacious Teal that I purchased at CVS for $7.

Top Row: Hair before cream eyeshadow color, and the Maybelline eyeshadow I used.

Bottom Row: Hair after cream eyeshadow was applied, and after it was washed out with shampoo.

How-To: Application of the eyeshadow to hair is really, really simple. Just throw on some gloves, dig your fingers in the pot, and smooth it throughout the hair. I found that the eyeshadow goes on easier with dry hair that has been previously moisturized.

Drawbacks: Given that this particular brand of eyeshadow is designed to stay on for 24 hours, there was no way this stuff was coming off with water only. In fact, I ran it under the faucet and nothing happened. Theoretically, this is a bonus if you’re looking for something to last longer than a day. However, when you’re ready to get rid of it, a little shampoo or apple cider vinegar gets it right out.

Bonuses: If you need something a little longer lasting than the chalk, the cream eyeshadow definitely has the upper hand. On top of that, I found that the color was richer, and stood out more. Lastly, even though I used shampoo (Qhemet Biologics Egyptian Wheatgrass Cleansing Tea to be exact), my hair was nowhere near as dry as it was with the chalk.

All in all, both options are affordable and deliver on packing the color in with dark hair. There was no damage to my hair, no change in color, texture, or anything else of that nature. Most of all, it was fun to experiment without the permanent commitment.

Will you be adding some color to your hair this Halloween? How are you doing it?

About Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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26 Comments on "Two Ways to Do Safe, Wash-Out Hair Color"

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cute ideas…thanks

Black Beauty

Did the colour rub off on your clothes?


I would think the eyeshadow would be more capable of actually rubbing off on clothes, chalk is like dust, you’re more likely to get dust on clothes, but it’s chalk, should come out with some dabs or rubs of water with a cloth. I would think the eye shadow would be a little harder to get off an outfit you plan to continue to wear the same day. I could see you smearing it if you tried to rub it out with water. Just my 2cents 🙂


Makeup actually comes out of clothes really easily. many women wear makeup all the time and you better believe it gets on their clothes, lol.


I would probably use this outside of Halloween, too. I have been wanting some change for a while, but I know that I would get bored with a colour fairly fast, so I couldn’t use permanent colours. It is great that they are not damaging, too.


they both sound like great inexpensive options, I’d buy a color or two of each. Very nice review.


What about the ingredients in the eyeshadow, is it safe for hair?


I can’t find an ingredients list on their website, but they are saying it is safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. I would hope that if it is safe enough to put next to our eyes, it is safe enough for our hair.


Good point!

TMC (toronto hair meetup nov 16)

I like the eyeshadow one better. I mighttry it one of these days

Traci Lee

I love this… I’d most likely use the cream eye shadow though. Lasting longer, and richer color. love it.

Jennifer Kennedy

So glad I read this post!! I’ve been wanting to color my hair turquoise for a long time!! And, just like trigonometry, I have NO clue to anything related to coloring hair.

I know I wanted something easy and non permanent! I like the brightness of the eyeshadow so may give this a shot. This will be very helpful for work!! Although, we can be casual in our office, I have to look professional when I go out for trainings. So, being able to wash it out is definitely a plus!

Thanks for sharing.


This is liiiive omg I’m so excited to try this! Going to buy this tomorrow. thanks

Bridget J.

I am seriously considering getting the cream eyeshadow in black to cover my few gray hairs in the front. Hmm …


Can you use these products on locs, or would it just cause build up?


Thanks for the great, easy ideas!!


This was great, I’m definitely going to try using cream eyeshadow. I want some sort of bronze color.


I did this and I loved it!!!!


WOW thanks!
I will try this as soon as my curls too

Geneva Joy

I’m mad now, I was just offered a ton of cream eye shadow at an event and I passed cause I don’t wear makeup often! Dangnabbit!


[…] read a post from: BGLH: Two Ways to Do Safe, Wash-Out Hair Color ; and decided to try it for […]


I find that it’s less messy to apply the hair chalk to the hair when you dampen your hair with a homemade leave in and twist it while wet then apply the chalk. Keeps it moisturized and soft. A little oil sheen keeps it soft, just let it dry and untwist the twists, and you have beautiful colorful curls

You guys stock up on Halloween clearance while you have the chance. They have hair chalk on sale. You can also use regular chalk too.



I like the results pretty cool

UK natural

For an even more natural look, use human hair tight curly clip ons. I bought some virgin kinky curly weft hair, added wig clips and dyed them honey blonde with a box dye and it looks soooo natural. My friends and family thought I had bleached my hair with highlights.


could I possibly do this on blow dried hair or in a set like a twist out?


Can you do this on a low cut hairstyle? I’m a dude

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