With my daughter finally (finally!) deciding on going trick-or-treating as Iris, the Goddess of the Rainbow, we’ve been trying out different temporary hair color options to figure out what makes sense for her. Especially on her dark brown hair. So far we’ve narrowed it down to a few contenders. They’re not perfect, as no temporary hair color ever is, but for a night of fun that we won’t still be scrubbing out weeks later, here’s where I’m panning out. Plus, some tips.

In other words, please allow my mishaps to be helpful for you.



We gave Streekers temporary hair color a try and in some ways it’s awesome — it stays on fabulously, it looks really natural (people asked if my daughter actually dyed her hair pink) and the pink, red, and purple in particular will stand out in dark brown hair, if not as boldly as in my older daughter’s more golden brown hair. You apply it with a wand from root to tip and it dries very quickly.

Streekers temporary hair color review | Cool Mom Picks

One huge caveat though–it will indeed end up on your forehead and neck if you sweat. Even a little. (It’s not like my seven-year-old is running marathons.) My daughter who sleeps with her head in her hands woke up with completely blue palms just from a couple of streaks. As in, it looked like she was wearing turning into a Smurf. As good as Streekers look on your hair for a few days after applying, just know it can and probably will get messy.

Tip: Since it looks so great for Halloween night, just wash out the color before going to bed–or cover the pillow case with an old t-shirt if the kids are in a post-candy coma. Also maybe don’t use it to go dancing somewhere outside the Arctic zone.


Hair Chalk

It’s funny, hair chalks get wildly mixed reviews online. My kid have tried a few of these over the years and I find them all fairly comparable to one another, with decent short-term results. In other words, great for one night of trick-or-treating. I’d say go with whatever’s cheapest and easily available at your local drugstore or beauty supply store.

Donna Bella Hair Color Chalk | temporary hair color review

In New York, Ricky’s carries Donna Bella Hair Color Chalk for about $10 a pop which is kind of pricy if you need more than a couple. (It’s half that on the Donna Bella site, thank you!) But it does come in 8 great, strong neon colors including a fabulous fuchsia. You just rub it straight down a chunk of hair. No applicator necessary which makes it so easy–though I do recommend a towel over the shoulders in case it flakes off. Although it’s definitely not as messy or powdery as I expected. It also rinses out easily, but will fades faster than the liquid color. And yeah, your kids may get some on their skin because it is a powder, but just wash it off.

Truly this may be my favorite of all the ones I’ve tried. Low mess, low maintenance. Mama likes that.


Splat Hair Chalk in violet | temporary hair color review

If you’re looking for pastels colors, check out another brand called Splat Hair Chalk which is a bit more affordable – I’ve seen it at my CVS as low as $5 and as much as $8. The Violet is so pretty, while Mint Candy hair chalk would be perfect for your little Elsa. I hear there will be a few of those running around this Halloween.

Tip: I get the best results with hair chalk when I apply it on very dry hair, and then make my kids keep their hands out of their hair for a bit so it settles. And I’ve also heard a little hair spray (again…no touching!) right afterwards helps set it. You might also try and use some dry shampoo first to get any extra oil out of the hair.