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Hair Color Wax Is the Trendy Way to Get Bold Color Without Actual Dye — How to Use It

Get the fun of a vibrant hair color without the commitment

If you’re like us, you’ve toyed with the idea of testing out a bright new hair color like pink, blue, red or even silver. But the commitment that comes with dyeing hair might be what’s keeping you from taking the plunge. Well, there’s a new solution that lets you give a wild shade a test run, and it’s called hair color wax. This innovative product allows you to unleash your inner colorist without having to actually dye your hair. And the rainbow of shades it comes in means there’s a hue for everyone to express themselves with. Curious to find out more? We thought so! Keep scrolling to learn all you need to know about this temporary hair color product and the affordable hair color waxes that leave hair looking gorgeous and vibrant.

What is hair color wax?

Hair color wax is a colored wax that makes your hair appear to be dyed a different color. It offers a fun and convenient way to add a splash of color to your hair temporarily. You can use it to add a mix of color to the hair without all the chemical side effects, says celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble. “It’s generally safe to use at home and can be easily rinsed out.”

“You would use it only to make your hair a color for a certain reason [as] it’s not a styling product,” says colorist Dana Ionato. She also notes that the wax will go on your hair and be the exact color it is in the packaging — so what you see, is what you’ll get. And “what’s great about it is that it doesn’t stay on for a long time because hair wax does not go into your cuticle.” This means it won’t absorb into strands and alter your actual hair color.

The benefits of hair color wax

1. It’s temporary

Jenny McCarthy with blue hair
Jenny McCarthyJean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty

“Hair color wax is a great alternative to playing around with color without dealing with bleach or the commitment to one color,” says Kimble. “Depending on the formula, it can be washed out after a day or even last for a few more.” Tip: If you’re going to sleep overnight with the wax in your hair, Ionato recommends wearing a shower cap or silk bonnet because the color can stain your pillowcase.

2. It works on all hair colors

Ionato says that the wax allows all hair colors to have vibrant fun looks until your next shampoo.

3. It can make hair look thicker

Adding a wash of vibrant yet temporary color to hair can create the illusion of a thicker mane. Plus, you can use the wax to create an ombre effect or faux highlights that further volumize hair.

4. It allows you to have fun with your hair

Helen Mirren with pink hair
Helen MirrenGeorge Pimentel/Getty

If you’re tired of having the same old hair color, the wax lets you experiment with a new shade. And because different colors can evoke different emotions, you can use the wax as a form of self expression.

Related: Why Are Women Over 60 Having So Much Fun With Mermaid Hair? Psychologists Weigh in

Are there any downsides of hair color wax?

Depending on the color of your hair, some formulas don’t always show up on the darkest hues, notes Kimble. “For that, I recommend looking for brighter colors so it’ll show up better,” she says. “Second, the wear time isn’t as long, so if you’re looking to achieve a long-term color, wax solutions might not be for you.”

The most important thing to factor in when picking a color wax is your hair texture and health, says Ionato. “If you dye your hair regularly with hair chemicals and just want to have a fun night of a different shade, make sure not to put too much on and not to rub it in,” she warns. Why? It’s possible the color wax will stain lighter hair (and hands, so make sure to wear gloves).

What makes hair color wax different from regular hair dye?

Vivica A. Fox with silver hair
Vivica A. FoxGregg DeGuire/Getty

Hair color wax differs from regular hair dye because it doesn’t damage hair or cause any potential breakage. Regular hair dye can often dry out hair and make it prone to damage over time. Plus, the wax offers short-term results that allow you to playing around with color without actually dyeing hair.

The best hair color wax products

Kim Kimble After Party Hair Coloring Conditioning Wax
Kim Kimble/Walmart

Kim Kimble After Party Hair Coloring Conditioning Wax (Buy from Walmart, $7.18)

Kimble says her formula is made with beeswax, olive oil and herbal extracts to nourish the hair. “It can be seen in the deepest hair colors and washes out with each wash, and it comes in purple, blue, red and silver.”

Magic Master Keratin Temporary Hair Color Wax
Magic Master Keratin

Magic Master Keratin Hair Color Wax (Buy from Amazon, $9.99)

This one is Ionato’s favorite tinted waxes. “The shades of this product are not as vibrant as other brands, she notes. “But what I like about it is it’s so gentle and easy to get out, and it goes on very easily.”

Hally Shade Stix Temporary Wash Out Hair Color

Hally Shade Stix Temporary Wash Out Hair Color (Buy from Ulta, $10)

Ionato likes that this product comes in convenient, easy-to-use packaging, so you don’t have to get it on your hands. “You can squeeze it out onto your hair, which will make it easier not to spill.” But to prevent hands from being stained, she does advise wearing gloves when applying.

Mofajang Temporary Hair Color Wax

Mofajang Temporary Hair Color Wax (Buy from Amazon, $3.99)

For super vibrant colors, Kimble suggests this option. It’s a softer wax that makes the application process super easy. 

How to apply hair color wax

“Because it has a creamier consistency, it goes on the hair dry as a last step,” says Ionato. “Some say to put on damp, but I don’t recommend that because your hair will dry after and maybe not style the way you want.” Kimble agrees, saying it’s best to start with freshly washed, dry hair and apply the wax sparingly to sections of hair. She recommends wearing an old shirt when you do this in case the product gets on clothes.

And when applying the wax, Ionato advises using a small amount, like a quarter-size dollop of wax, and work in sections. “I think it’s best to divide your hair in four sections, and start applying toward the root and then work your way down using a mirror,” she says. “And maybe a mirror behind you as well so you can see how it’s coming along.”

You can also use the wax all over or apply it to certain sections to create “highlights” or a gorgeous ombre effect. To see the results of using the wax, watch the video below from @LanaSummer on YouTube.

How to remove hair color wax

When you’re ready to remove the color, you can simply go about your normal hair routine, says Kimble. “Use shampoo, maybe shampoo twice, conditioner, and if you’d like, incorporate a deep-conditioning treatment in case the product had any effects on your hair.”

For more hair coloring tips and tricks, click through these stories:

TikTok Loves This Cherry Cola Hair Trend — Celeb Stylists Reveal Why You’ll Want to Try It

For Quick Coverage of Grays + Fast Highlights, Stylists Are Turning To Hair Makeup

How to Curl Short Hair: 5 Easy Techniques That Make Strands Look Thick and Bouncy

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