Hair Style Tips

This $10 Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Is the Easiest Way to Test Drive a Rainbow Hue

Rachel Lapidos

Photo: Getty Images/Mailn Lagorio EyeEm

Color can be the ultimate mood booster. So when someone rocking bright green, pastel pink, or electric blue hair strolls by (er, appears in your social media feed), it can perk you right up. If you’ve ever fantasized about trying a bold hair color before but have shied away—because, ya know, your office job—meet the L’Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color ($10).

This hair dye is only semi-permanent, so over the course of several washes, it will fade away into oblivion. That means you’re free to finally try a rainbow hue without the long-term commitment, and without the cost of a salon visit. With the Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color line, you can choose between bright red, blue, pink (regular or hot pink), indigo, lime green, peach, or turquoise. All are made with pure dye within a conditioning hair mask, and there’s no ammonia or peroxide involved, so you won’t be damaging your hair or messing with your original color in the process. Think of it as a hair stain… that costs the same as a Sweetgreen salad.

Photo: L’Oreal Paris

Shop now: L’Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color ($10)

For your best rainbow dye results, be realistic about what shades work best for your hair color. Hair colorist Juliana Ohlmeyer recommends pinks, lavenders, silvers, and pale blues for those in the blonde family. “If you have brunette hair with highlights, it’s possible that a dark blue, purple, and reds can stain and tint your highlights,” she says. Just make sure to be careful with blues and greens: “These can pick up on the yellow in blonde hair, and can sometimes turn out to be a color correction.” Her tip? Consult with your colorist to make sure your hair color will play well with the color of the temporary dye you’re looking at.

It’s also pretty foolproof to use, especially if you’re a regular DIY hair dye champ. All you do is section off the pieces of hair that you want to dye, paint those strands with the formula, wait 15 to 30 minutes (depending on how bold you want it), and rinse. Because the Colorista color is a fling rather than a long-term relationship, how long it lasts depends on how well you treat it. “The more you wet your hair, the faster the dye molecules coms out,” says Ohlmeyer. “It also depends on how dry your hair is. If your hair has been bleached a lot, it may hold longer.” Typically, this type of semi-permanent hair dye will last about four weeks, give or take. To make it last as long as possible, Ohlmeyer recommends shampooing two to three times a week and using a shower cap on non-wash days.

Eventually, your rainbow-hue-of-choice will fade. Until then, the L’Oreal Paris Colorista product is the easiest, most accessible way to experiment with hair color on your own.

Once you’re comfortable dyeing your own hair, maybe consider cutting it on your own, too—watch below for tips on how to do it like a pro: 


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