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The Best Temporary Hair Colors for Commitment-Phobes

Highlights, pastel washes, and all-over color made simple.

Street Style : Day Four- Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018
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Changing your hair color can be an overwhelming prospect. Sure, your hair might look fabulous, but what if, after hours at the salon and significant amounts of money, it looks...awful? Before you give up on your bold hair plans, might we suggest going another route—perhaps a temporary one. For those uncertain to take the plunge, there are (blessedly) tons of semi-permanent pigments out there for you to try. Unlike their long-lasting sibling, semi-permanent dyes infuse your hair with soft, natural-looking color that washes out after five to 28 shampoos, making them the ultimate choice for commitment-phobes. They also won't make a huge dent in your bank account. Get ready to take some IG-worthy selfies.

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1
For a Natural Tint
Unicorn Hair Tint Semi-Permanent Hair Color
Courtesy
LIME CRIME
$16.00

By "natural tint," I mean both natural-looking and naturally formulated. This 100 percent vegan formula (which comes in eight additional hues) leaves lighter hair shades with a soft, copper-colored tint and darker hair shades with a subtle auburn wash that fades after a few weeks.

2
For a Pastel Wash
Pastel Purple Shampoo
Courtesy
Brite
$12.00

Calling all blondes: This purple formula was specifically made with you in mind. Developed with just the tiniest bit of pigment, this temporary wash give hair a pastel haze of color that seamlessly fades after a week. Use the purple shampoo and conditioner for a lilac hue. 

3
For a Barely-There Tint
Sheer Illuminator Shiny Tinted Moisture Treatment
Courtesy
Biotera
$29.99

Usually, darker hair colors are relegated to, well, even darker temporary tints in shades of brown and black, since there's not much you can do to lighten hair without bleach. Boring. But this bleach-free, conditioner-and-dye hybrid manages to leave brunette hair with a soft, subtle tint, in either copper or red. Just slather it throughout your damp hair, leave it on for three minutes, then rinse out. Color will fade in about a week.

4 Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye
Arctic Fox walmart.com
$34.99

This one isn't for the timid, but if you're eager to dye your hair a vivid, eye-catching shade that'll disappear in just a month or two, Arctic Fox is for you. Bonus: It's vegan and cruelty-free, and promises to nourish your hair while it colors it.

5
For Bright Highlights
ColorMe by Giuliano Temporary Hair Color
Courtesy of Brands
ColorMe
$8.50

Okay, technically, these dyes are super temporary—as in, they’ll wash out with your shampoo. But with shades ranging from copper, to red, to yellow, to violet, they’re the perfect little tool to give you subtle highlights on face-framing layers. Just paint them over a small section of hair (they even show up on inky black and brunette locks), let dry for 15 minutes, and then live your life.

6
For Classic, Semi-Permanent Color
Natural Instincts Hair Color
Courtesy
Clairol
$7.99

Sure, purple and pink hair is fun, but maybe you want a new color you could've been born with. These ammonia-free dyes (which come in 36 shades) are pretty much universally lauded for being the best of the drugstore bunch. Not only does the color last through 28 shampoos and won’t show signs of fading for at least four weeks, but the dye is also infused with aloe and coconut oil to moisturize hair resulting in very minimal damage.

7
For an All-Over Wash of Color
Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream
Courtesy
MANIC PANIC
$9.58

I mean, you can’t write about hair dyes and not include the most famous of famous brands: Manic Panic. This cult-favorite vegan formula is thick and creamy, making it super easy to spread throughout your hair. The insanely bright colors will leave darker hair colors with a subtle, colorful hue, while on white or blonde hair the dye will result in a rainbow-worthy shade.

8
For Wash-and-Go Color
Purple for Brown Hair
oVertone overtone.co
$446.00

Of all of your options, oVertone might be the easiest. It's not technically a temporary hair dye, but a coloring conditioner that injects a bold new shade into your hair with every wash. You just wash your hair as usual, leave the conditioner in for 10-15 minutes, and bingo! If you don't like your new color, just stop using the conditioner; if you love it, keep using it.

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