Editors handpick every product that we feature. We may earn money from the links on this page.

The 6 Best Temporary Hair Colors for Commitment-Phobes

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


Changing your hair color can be an overwhelming (and at times terrifying) prospect. It could look fabulous, but, what if, after hours at the salon and significant amounts of money, it looks...awful?

For those unwilling to take the plunge, there are (blessedly) semi-permanent pigments. Unlike their long-lasting sister, semi-permanent dyes infuse your hair with a soft, natural-looking color that washes out after five to 28 shampoos, making them the ultimate choice for commitment-phobes. So that you can try a new hair look sans stress, here are the six best and easiest-to-use brands, below. Get ready to take some selfies.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
1 For a Natural Tint
Courtesy of Brand

Lime Crime Unicorn Hair in Caramel, $16


And by natural, I mean both natural-looking and naturally formulated. This 100-percent vegan formula (which comes in 23 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
Courtesy of Brands

Brite Make Me Pastel Shampoo and Conditioner, $16 each


Calling all blondes: These purple and pink formulas were specifically made with you in mind. Filled with just the tiniest bit of pigment, these temporary washes give hair a pastel haze of color that seamlessly fades after a week. Use the purple shampoo and conditioner for a lilac hue, and the pink shampoo and conditioner for a soft pink shade.

3 For a Barely-There Tint
Courtesy of Brands

Biotera Sheer Illuminator Shiny Tinted Moisture Treatment, $14


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 For Classic, Semi-Permanent Color
Courtesy of Brands

Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color, $7


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.

5 For Bright Highlights
Courtesy of Brands

ColorMe by Giuliano Temporary Hair Color, $7 each


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 an All-Over Wash of Color
Courtesy of Brands

Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream, $10


We 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.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below