I Asked a Stylist to Weigh In on Hair Tinting—His Thoughts Might Surprise You

Experimenting with temporary hair color (also known as hair tinting) can honestly go one of two ways. If you don’t use a quality dye or cover your skin properly, let’s just say it can end up being a real yikes moment. On the other hand, the results can be vibrant, fun, or the perfect way to cover a few greys without using permanent hair color (if you want to cover them, that is). Either way, if you’re thinking of giving temporary hair color a try, even stylists are on board with it. “Temporary hair color is a great way to try something new without a big commitment,” says celebrity hairstylist Guy Tang. “It’s also fun for an event or even Halloween!” 

To be honest, I was a little surprised temporary dye got the stylist stamp of approval. I know most stylists don’t condone coloring your hair at home DIY style, but I think the keyword that makes the difference here is temporary. As long as you’re using a semi- or demi-permanent hue at home, you’re good to go. If you’re curious what temporary dye Tang recommends and a few of our own favorites, keep scrolling below.

As far as temporary hair colors go, celebrity stylists absolutely swear by Redken glosses. Stylists use them in the salon, too, so you know it’s quality. It’s a demi-permanent gloss that comes in a variety of shades and includes no lifting agents like ammonia. Use it as a color-corrector, shine booster, or an allover color. 

This semi-permanent hair color is locked within a deep-conditioning base that leaves hair soft, shiny, and healthy. It works for all hair types and even provides protection for existing permanent color.

Hayley Williams’s ultra-cool hair color brand, Good Dye Young, offers warm, vibrant hues in a creamy, semi-permanent formula. I’m a fan of this fiery orange color on its own, but it should also be noted that the colors are designed to mix well with each other so you can truly create a custom look. It also lasts around four to six weeks.

“I recommend my #Mydentity #MyRefresh Color Depositing Conditioners. These are great for when my clients want to have fun with their hair but don’t want it to last for too long. We have seven different shades in a variety of vibrant and pastel tones.” —Tang

This temporary color gel is formulated with natural ingredients to help cover greys by blending them into the base hair color without irritating the scalp. It washes out evenly in five to seven washes and is a great option for those who don’t want to commit to long-term coloring.

Kristin Ess offers this watercolor treatment for pre-lightened or highlighted blonde hair. It adds an instant, rosy blush of color that can be used in-shower on wet hair or on dry hair for more intense color.

This semi-permanent, color-depositing shampoo-and-conditioner set is great to use between color appointments or as a fun temporary color job on holidays since it comes in brighter hues, too. Both contain BondHeal proprietary technology that helps rebuild bond in the hair from the inside out. It also helps strengthen strands and reduces breakage, healing the harsh effects of bleach and other hair color.

Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair Tint is great for all the DIYers out there. It’s a damage-free, vegan formula that contains fatty acids and vitamins that help boost moisture and shine within the hair. It works by depositing pastel, muted, and lighter shades onto the hair shaft for a soft wash of color. It should also be noted that this formula works best on pre-lightened platinum or pale blonde hair.

Ion’s Demi Permanent Crème colors are classic. I even used them myself when I was a teenager to experiment with color. (I was going through my *punk* phase.) It’s pretty long-lasting for a deposit-only color formula and is also fade-resistant.

Another fun option from Curlsmith. This temporary color styling gel is a wash-off color, so it’s great for one-night events and costumes. It coats the hair with a vibrant pop of pigment and comes in a range of colors, from turquoise to fiery red.

Manic Panic has amassed a cult following over the years because the brand continually offers some of the best temporary hair dyes on the market. The classic high-voltage formula is vegan, requires no developer, and is moisturizing enough to be curl friendly.

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