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7 Best Hair Dyes for Kids 2024

A few strands or a head full of colors? It's up to you (and them!) with these hair dyes for kids.

7 Best Hair Dyes for Kids 2024

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One day you're holding your newborn baby and the next, they're asking to color their hair. Maybe they want to look like their friends or express themselves in new and exciting ways. But searching for the best hair dye for kids can be a challenge if you don't know what to look for.

You want something safe that won't damage the hair but is also vibrant enough they're satisfied. Top it off with one of the best hair detanglers and (hopefully) you'll have one happy, colorful kid.

What's the difference between hair dye for kids and the kind for adults?

"Adult hair dyes are usually more potent and last longer compared to kids' hair dyes," says Book of Barbering Founder, Khamis Maiouf.

"They contain ingredients such as ammonia, peroxide, and PPDs, which provide a more permanent coloring effect but can also cause allergic reactions or damage hair if not used properly."

"On the other hand, kids' hair dyes are often temporary, made with gentler, non-toxic ingredients. They wash out easily and are less likely to cause harm or allergic reactions. These dyes use natural or direct dyes, which are safer but less durable."

Generally, kids should use different products because their hair and skin are much more sensitive than adults. The best hair dyes for kids are gentle and non-damaging.

"The main reason we recommend different products for kids is because their skin and hair are more delicate," Maiouf says.

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"Strong chemicals in adult hair dyes can damage their hair and cause skin irritation. However, once kids reach their teenage years, their hair and skin become more resilient, similar to adults. Then they can begin using more permanent types of hair dye, with caution and proper testing for any allergic reaction."

That said, some of the best hair dyes for kids who want a pop of color are affordable, easy to use, and non-toxic.

Best hair dyes for kids 2024

Best overall

CMWGKBC Temporary Hair Color Four-Pack

best hair dye for kids, city hair color wax Merchant

If your child is looking to experiment with hair dye, this four-pack is for you. Exciting colors including green, pink, blue and orange are included in the set, each weighing in at 4.2 ounces each.

If you're worried about how long the color stays, it washes out with one shampoo. Plus, the formula boasts hairy-healthy plant extracts like beeswax, tea extract and castor oil. This kid-friendly dye won't damage hair, so it's perfect for little ones. We love that it works on several shades of dark hair, too.

Pros

  • Bright, vivid colors delivered in a hair wax format
  • Washes out in one shampoo
  • Great for trying out a new color for the day
  • Gentle on the hair
  • Fun for everyday use, cheerleading and dance competitions as well as Halloween

Cons

  • Some say the wax hardens if you're not quick to brush it through

Best single-wash

MANIC PANIC Wildfire Red Hair Color Spray

best hair dye for kids, manic panic kids hair color and dye Merchant
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For parents whose kids want to experiment with a quick and easy color for the day, this Manic Panic color spray hits the mark. It applies quickly and dries in minutes, giving the illusion of a bright new do. With many colors to choose from, the spray is great for even the darkest hair with no bleach or peroxide needed.

Mix and match shades to create the coolest colors while also protecting hair from the damage of permanent dye chemicals. Wear this cruelty-free, temporary color, then wash it out. It's that easy, and a classic temporary hair color for kids option that parents have relied on for years.

Pros

  • Easy spray-on color that washes out in one shampoo
  • Ammonia and paraben-free temporary hair color spray
  • Many colors to choose from
  • Works on dark hair
  • No peroxide or bleaching needed

Cons

  • Shouldn't be used on wet or chemically damaged hair

Best semi-permanent

Good Dye Young Streaks and Strands Semi Permanent Hair Dye

best hair dye for kids, good dye young semi permanent hair color Merchant

Calling all Paramore fans, because Good Dye Young's line of semi-permanent dye was created by frontwoman Hayley Williams and her stylist. Choose this hair dye option for a longer-lasting experience.

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The non-toxic, conditioning treatment works by depositing color on top of the hair shaft, which is more like a stain that fades over time. Expect it to last around 15 to 24 washes.

It's made with natural oils like bergamot and sunflower extract to protect the hair from damage. While best on level blonde and light hair, dark-haired kids can use it as is for a muted, darker color or by using the included lightning kit. Plus, it's super affordable.

Pros

  • The non-toxic, nourishing formula protects hair from damage
  • Lasts 15 to 24 washes
  • Includes a lightening kit for a bold pop of color
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Comes in 13 colors

Cons

  • Because it's semi-permanent, this one is likely better for tweens, teens and young adults

Best hair chalk for kids

PURPLE LADYBUG Hair Chalk

best hair dye for kids, hair chalk and glitter set for kids Merchant

With more than 1,400 ratings on Amazon, this hair chalk kit is a great way to introduce your kids to color. And it requires little commitment. Not only are these safe enough to be used as face paint, but they wash out with one shampoo. Each color works on dark hair too.

The set includes 12 hair chalk pens, an applicator wand and comb one pot of body glitter. It also has a sheet of temporary glitter tattoos, one pot of fine glitter and a brush to apply them. We love this alternative to clip-in hair extensions for little kids and an absolute blast to use.

Pros

  • Low-commitment chalk-style formula
  • Extremely easy to use and won't damage your child's hair or skin
  • Doubles as face paint
  • Works on light or dark hair
  • Washes out in one shampoo
  • Includes bonus temporary tattoos and body glitter

Cons

  • There's a slight learning curve for the correct application

Best for dark hair

ARCTIC FOX Semi-Permanent Hair Color

best hair dye for kids, arctic fox hair color semi permanent Merchant
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As one of the bestselling products on Amazon, Arctic Fox knows how to give a great pop of color. With more than 83,000 ratings and an impressive 4.4-star average, this semi-permanent color offers highly-pigmented vibrancy.

Pre-lightened hair gets the best results, but if your kid has darker hair, this product gives a deep teal tint with a color like aquamarine. These long-lasting dyes are gentle enough for regular use, created with only vegan ingredients and come in a plethora of colors.

Pros

  • Works on most shades of hair, even dark browns
  • Cruelty-free
  • Highly-pigmented
  • Conditioning to keep hair healthy
  • Doesn't require bleach

Cons

  • Reviewers said dark-haired kids should choose a color with more pigments to avoid color washing out
  • Kids with light hair may have a more permanent result that fades instead of washing out

Best for blondes

HALLY Shade Stix

best hair dye for kids, hally shade stix Merchant

For all the blonde-haired babes afraid of choosing a color that stains forevermore, Hally Shade Stix has your back. This temporary, one-day-wear hair makeup comes in eight shades and applies easily with a mess-free wand and built-in comb.

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The best thing about this $10 product is the transfer-proof color that won't stain hands, clothes or furniture. Plus, a single lasts for 15 to 20 hair streaks depending on thickness and length.

Pros

  • A great option for blonde hair without leaving an everlasting tint
  • Washes out with one shampoo
  • Combs with comb applicator
  • Doesn't stain

Cons

  • The color might flake a bit after it dries

Best for ombre effect

Splat Ombre Dream

splat ombre hair dye kit, best hair dye for kids Merchant

Available in two rich, exciting shades, this semi-permanent hair dye for kids and their grown-ups lasts for up to 30 washes. The conditioning formula features quinoa extracts to strengthen and protect your tween's delicate tresses.

Each kit comes with everything you need to get your ombre on. Make the most of color, bleach, developer, shampoo, deep conditioner, gloves and detailed instructions. We love that it's affordable, cruelty-free and totally vegan.

Pros

  • Everything you need for a true ombre hair effect
  • Lasts up to 30 washes or more
  • Ultra conditioning formula
  • Affordable
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Uses bleach to strip pigments from the hair if necessary

FAQs

Does temporary hair color damage kids' hair?

There's good news—temporary hair color doesn't create the same chemical reaction with hair (or follicles) the way permanent hair color does. That means it doesn't cause damage and mostly, sits on the top of the hair's cuticle. If you bleach or lift color before using a kids' hair dye though, damage may be caused.

How long does temporary hair color last?

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Well, that depends on the kids' hair dye choice you make. Hair chalk washes out in a single shampoo with minimal effort, whereas semi-permanent hair dyes can take up to 30 washes to be fully erased.

Sources: Book of Barbering Founder, Khamis Maiouf

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

This article was originally published on May 25, 2023

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