Can I go dark for a night?
January 29, 2008 11:15 AM   Subscribe

What is a non-permanent product I can use at home to temporarily darken my blonde hair?

Piggybacking on this question, I'd like my costume to include the requisite slicked-back dark hair. Not dark per se, since my hair is pretty light to start with and this is, after all, a one-night event. But I don't think that my over-processed, several-shades-of-blond hair will really provide the right effect.

Is there an at-home product, a rinse or glaze of some kind, that will temporarily make my hair at least somewhat darker? I have quite long, fairly porous hair (picture in profile) that was once naturally light blond, and now has been lightened so many times over 15 years that I don't even know what color it's supposed to be. I'm planning on going to a nice salon once my event is done to have this mess upon my head rectified, so I can deal with the issue of hair color in the long term then, but I don't want to totally destroy my hair in the meantime. Suggestions are most appreciated!
posted by justonegirl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total)
honestly, if your hair is porous and has been bleached a lot, i would avoid darkening it altogether, even temporarily. that's a good way to end up with green or gray hair. leave that to the pros.

i would just slick it back with some gel--you'll look fine.
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:20 AM on January 29, 2008

Lots of options here.
posted by amro at 11:24 AM on January 29, 2008

We used to use the spray-on hair color for high school plays - it just shampooed out afterwards. (Don't go to bed without showering or you will leave color on the pillow). However, I don't know if your hair is so damaged that the color becomes absorbed more deeply than normal.
posted by metahawk at 11:27 AM on January 29, 2008

posted by unixrat at 11:37 AM on January 29, 2008

How about a wig?
posted by bryanjbusch at 11:45 AM on January 29, 2008

Spray on stuff, or brush in stuff. Even if you do a semipermanent color or a rinse, you are running a risk of coloring your hair permanently. (My hair is perfectly healthy, but it's also permanently pink at the moment . . .semipermanent is actually permanent on me.) I'd be afraid that Kool-Aid would be a little too permanent as well.

For theatre we use stuff like this, but I've never applied it to really long hair. For around the temples/roots/eyebrows, we use a toothbrush. Probably any theatre supply place near you has someone who can explain how to use it on longer hair. As for spray on stuff, what you get at Party City or similar is probably not going to cover very well - at least in my experience it does not. The same places that carry the Ben Nye stuff that I linked to will probably have spray on as well. Going with a combination of the two kinds might be the easiest thing to do. Good luck!
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:50 AM on January 29, 2008

Bad idea for blonde hair. Unless your hair is short and you don't mind having your temporary hair color last a good while, you'd be better off with a wig. If you insist on having it be your hair, spray it on with black hairspray. A friend did that with red for Halloween and the color came out within a day or three. There are lots of horror stories on the web from people who tried to temporarily dye their blonde hair a different color and ended up with dry, brittle, and other-colored hair. Ew.
posted by arnicae at 12:04 PM on January 29, 2008

I have used the Roux Fanci-Full before, and I don't know if it won't stain your hair if it's been bleached. I think it might. What I guarantee you it will do is turn so stiff and sticky and coarse before you're done that your hair becomes unworkable. Not worth it.

Use hardcore gel (like Dep, in the giant pump or the tub) on wet hair and call it close enough.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:22 PM on January 29, 2008

My hairdresser used a hair spray which had color once on me - I have blondish hair and it got all over the place (hands/pillow/shirt) but did make my hair look darker. You might check with your hairstylist to see if they have something like that (added bonus they can tell you if you're going to get green hair by putting something else in it).
posted by mulkey at 2:47 PM on January 29, 2008

All I can say is - blonde gets stained. Name it - get it on your hair... it will stain it.
Condition ect. really really well, that will help...
But if it's something fairly lame.. peroxide will rip that shit out of there in a flash :)
(Might take your hair too though. Mine can take it - but I've definitely heard it's not for everybody...)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 4:13 PM on January 29, 2008

Re: going to the salon to get blonde hair fixed after applying cheap dye. This might not work. Attempt this at your peril.

Here is my experience. At one time in my life, I frequently bleached my blonde hair and then dyed it various shades of Manic Panic colours (pink, green, purple, etc). One day I got a phone call saying that my aunt died and I had to go home to the funeral. Mom stipulated that I couldn't show in pink hair. I high-tailed it to a hair salon and the stylist there said there was no way he could get me back to blonde in one sitting. It took three hours and I had to go red to cover up the pink. Moral of this story: you might not get your blonde back if you make it go away.
posted by crazycanuck at 5:37 PM on January 29, 2008

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