How to Get Kool Aid out of Hair

Kool-Aid can be a safe, cheap option for experimenting with hair color, creating bright highlights, or dip-dyeing your tips. It can also be a pain to fade or rinse out of your hair. Depending on how often you wash your hair, the color should fade on its own within 2-3 weeks, but if you want to remove it before then, there are 2 techniques that can speed up the process. Baking soda is the main ingredient that will help strip the color more quickly, whether dissolved into hot water for a soaking solution, or mixed with shampoo to form a paste.[1]


Soaking with Hot Water and Baking Soda

  1. Boil a pot of water and pour it into a container or small tub. Fill the pot with enough water to dunk your hair into. Heat it on the stove until it’s boiling, then remove it from the heat. Pour the hot water into a glass bowl, plastic tub, or container large enough to hold it.[2]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • Dyed tips will probably only need around 4 cups of water, while larger sections of hair may require more.
    • This technique works best with dip-dyed or grown-out hair, rather than hair with color close to the roots.
    • Be extra cautious when working with hot water. Avoid sloshing or splashing the water to prevent burns.
  2. Stir in of baking powder until it’s dissolved. Use a measuring spoon to measure out the baking powder and stir it into the hot water until the 2 ingredients combine completely. The mixture may fizz when you do this, which is completely normal, so don’t be alarmed![3]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 2 Version 2.jpg
  3. Soak your Kool-Aid-dyed hair in the water for 30 seconds. Place the dyed sections of your hair into the water. In seconds, you should start to see the color coming off of the hair. By the end of the 30 seconds, the water should be the color of the Kool-Aid, and your hair should be faded back to its natural color.[4]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • This method is extremely drying for your hair, so make sure you only soak for 30 seconds or less.
  4. Dump the water and wash your hair in the shower. Pour the baking soda water into the sink and immediately rinse the sink out. Wash your hair in the shower with shampoo and warm water. After the shower, you should be able to tell that the Kool-Aid has significantly faded.
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Use a moisturizing shampoo because baking soda is drying.
  5. Use a deep conditioning treatment to restore your hair’s moisture. This method is very drying and strips your hair of its natural moisture. Always work a conditioning product into your hair afterwards, such as a deep conditioner or a conditioning mask. Let the product soak in for 15-30 minutes, then rinse it out completely with cool water to seal the cuticle.[5]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 5 Version 2.jpg
  6. Repeat the next day if the first round didn’t remove all of the color. Lighter hair colors tend to hold onto dye, especially vivid colors like Kool-Aid. Your hair may need a second round to completely remove all of the Kool-Aid dye, so repeat the same process the next day and make sure to moisturize well after each soak.
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 6 Version 2.jpg

Making a Paste with Shampoo and Baking Soda

  1. Mix equal parts baking soda and shampoo together to form a paste. In a plastic or glass bowl, stir together baking soda and shampoo in a 1:1 ratio. To ensure you make enough to cover your dyed hair, measure out the amount of shampoo you would normally use in the shower and then add the same amount of baking soda.[6]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Anti-dandruff shampoo is said to work best because of its high pH, which fades hair dye. However, you can also use a clarifying shampoo instead.[7]
  2. Take the paste into the shower and wet your hair. Using the paste in the shower will make it easier to apply without worrying about making a mess. Set the paste aside while you soak your hair with warm water.
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 8 Version 2.jpg
  3. Work the paste into your wet hair until it lathers. Scoop some paste into your hand and start working into the hair where the dye starts. Use your fingers to work the paste down toward the tips, adding in more paste as needed, until you’ve covered the entire dyed section of hair.[8] You don’t need to apply the paste to your natural hair, just the Kool-Aid sections.
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • If your color starts at the roots, make sure to start working the paste in at the roots and work all the way down to the tips of your hair.
    • If only your tips are dyed, start applying the paste an inch or two above the dyed section to make sure you don’t miss any of the color.
    • Unlike the hot water and baking soda method above, this method is safer to use on the scalp.
  4. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes. Set a timer or have someone else set a timer for you so you don’t accidentally leave the paste into for too long. Stay in the shower while you wait, and either turn off the water or keep your hair away from the water.
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 10 Version 2.jpg
  5. Rinse the paste out with hot water. Once the time is up, rinse the paste out in the shower. Use the hottest water you can tolerate to help draw out the color and keep rinsing until all of the paste has been washed out.[9]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 11 Version 2.jpg
  6. Apply a deep-conditioning treatment to rehydrate your hair. This method is also drying, so remember to always deep-condition after rinsing out the paste. Work a deep conditioner through your strands, focusing on the tips.[10] Let it soak in for 15-30 minutes, then rinse it out with warm water.[11]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • Be sure to rinse your hair with cool water to seal the cuticles.
  7. Repeat the process once a day for up to 2-3 days. After 1 round of this treatment, the Kool-Aid color should be significantly faded. However, it may take several repeat washes to completely remove the dye. Use the paste once a day for several days, deep-conditioning after each wash to replenish and re-hydrate your hair.[12]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 13 Version 2.jpg

Replenishing Your Hair’s Moisture

  1. Use a deep conditioning treatment after using any color-fading methods. Because any technique that strips color from your hair is drying, you’ll likely notice dryness, brittleness, or split ends in your hair afterwards. Deep-conditioning will give your hair an instant infusion of nutrients and restore some of the moisture stripped by the treatments.[13]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • You can either buy a conditioning product or make your own with castor oil.
    • Focus the deep conditioner on the ends of your hair, which will likely be the most brittle.[14]
  2. Use a moisturizing mask once a week to keep your hair hydrated. Your hair will still need extra care and moisture in the weeks following color removal. Once a week, apply a moisturizing hair mask to your whole head and leave it on for the directed amount of time, then gently rinse it out with warm water.
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 15 Version 2.jpg
    • You can either purchase hair masks or make your own with ingredients like yogurt, honey, and olive oil.[15]
  3. Avoid hot styling tools until your hair is healthy again. To keep from damaging your hair further, try not to use hot tools like curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers. Wait until you’ve been using moisturizing treatments for a few weeks and your hair feels strong and healthy enough to handle heat.
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 16 Version 2.jpg
  4. Shampoo every 2-3 days to let your hair restore its natural oils. Since your hair will be dry and brittle after these color-removing treatments, you’ll need to give it a break from shampoo as well. Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to clean your hair once every 2-3 days. In between, your hair will have time to regain its natural sebum, which makes it healthy and shiny.[16]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 17 Version 2.jpg
    • If your hair feels extremely brittle, just give it a quick rinse and apply conditioner to the ends.
  5. Wait 4 weeks before dyeing your hair again. Since Kool-Aid isn’t a permanent, chemical-heavy hair dye, you won’t need to wait too long before dyeing your hair again. Waiting 4 weeks should give your hair time to strengthen and replenish its moisture, but you may need to wait an extra 1-2 weeks if your hair still feels dry.[17]
    Get Kool Aid out of Hair Step 18.jpg

Things You’ll Need

Soaking with Hot Water and Baking Soda

  • Pot
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Container or plastic tub
  • Deep conditioning treatment

Making a Paste with Shampoo and Baking Soda

  • Anti-dandruff shampoo (or clarifying shampoo)
  • Small bowl
  • Deep conditioning treatment

Replenishing Your Hair’s Moisture

  • Deep conditioning treatments
  • Moisturizing hair masks
  • Sulfate-free shampoo


  • Any technique used to strip dye will likely be very drying, so use them with caution! Don’t try these techniques if your hair is already dry and fragile or if you have a sensitive scalp.
  • Be extra careful not to scald yourself when rinsing with hot water.


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