Hair Chalk, Hair Shadow or Hair Mascara?

Hair Chalk, Hair Shadow or Hair Mascara?

I used to have hot pink hair. (See semi-permanent hair dye from Hot Topic.) It’s the happiest I’ve ever been with my hair. But this was something I could only pull off when I worked freelance. Now that I write full-time, pink hair isn’t exactly work appropriate.

So I gave up the pink hair about four years ago and haven’t thought much about it. But recently I itched for pink hair again and googled temporary color. Maybe I could just go pink on weekends?

The first article I found was very helpful and encouraged me to try all three types of trendy temporary hair color: shadow, chalk and mascara.

This is what I found out, ranked:

  1. Hair shadow. This is the fastest/easiest to apply and it looks the best. You basically just open it, put the color flat against you hair and drag it with your fingers pressing on the other side. You must wash color off your hands afterwards, but the results are worth it. Takes 5 minutes. 
  2. Hair chalkThis one you comb through your hair and it streaks nicely. You just have to press hard. Also be aware that the combs are sometimes advertised to look as big as a flat iron, yet are usually very small. Takes 10 minutes. 
  3. Hair mascara. I had actually tried this one years ago and wasn’t impressed. It’s better than I remember, but it produces tiny, thin streaks and it’s slow going to cover the majority of your hair. I would actually try hair shadow or chalk instead and skip this one. Takes 15 to 20 minutes. 


  • Just color the hair you can see when you face a mirror and leave the back alone.
  • Don’t use temporary hair color at an event where you spend the majority of your time outside (like a barbecue) or in a pool. You will sweat color all over your face and neck.
  • If you go to sleep without washing your hair, put a towel over your pillow.
  • If you ride in a car, drape something, like a jacket, over the headrest; If you sit on a couch, wear a hoodie (probably unnecessary if you just color the front of your hair).
  • It usually washes out with one shampoo, but sometimes takes two. If you’re worried about having inappropriate hair come Monday morning, don’t color it past Saturday night.
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