Coloring Outside The Lines: When Kids Want To Dye Their Hair

Look Ma, no dye? Hair chalk, available at Valley Girl, washes out without a fuss.
Look Ma, no dye! Hair chalk, available at Valley Girl, washes out without a fuss.
Way before talk of extra piercings or tattoos, you will find yourself hearing the hair dye question (if you haven’t already). Fast becoming almost as common as braces in middle school, you may already see kids at the bus stop or pick up with brightly colored locks, tips, highlights or full-on color, even if you have elementary school-aged kids.

Some parents embrace color, donning rubber gloves to help their daughters (and sons!) express their creative side. Others may be more than a bit reluctant to see the hair they love to tousle turn neon green. There’s also the possibility of an allergic reaction if you are using a permanent or semi-permanent dye, other health risks, not to mention an emotional reaction, if your child ends up hating the color and it takes weeks (sometimes months) to completely wash out. And of course, puberty does lovely things to hair texture, which can also affect color.

Fortunately, there are products that offer a middle ground. Hair chalk lets you add those vibrant hues and streaks without commitment. Locally, you can find hair chalk at Valley Girl Shoes and Urban Outfitters as well as CVS. One easy to use brand is Hot Huez (my middle schooler says it stands out well even on her friends with dark brunette hair).

If you want all over color (without painstakingly chalking), Garnier Color Styler Intense Wash-Out Color is applied like traditional hair dye, but offers bold color that washes out in 2-3 shampoos. No matter what type of hair color product you choose, always test on a small section of hair first.

So which camp are you in? Take our poll below and let us know in comments what you’ve done (or will not do) to your kid’s hair.

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  1. It hasn’t come up yet but she has seen pictures of me with blue hair so what the heck am I going to say?

  2. I dyed my hair blonde in the front a la John Taylor of Duran Duran. My mom hated it, and I eventually got bored of it. Now I even refuse to dye my many grey hairs despite some not so subtle hints by fellow Montclair residents. I do like the little splashes of color you can get attached to your hair at Parlor.

  3. Wow, suggesting someone dye their hair is a bold move. Plus then you get into the vicious cycle of keeping it dyed or getting the half-and-half look where when it grows out it looks like the top of your head was dipped in a different color.

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