Last fall, hair went candy colored. (See: Azealia Banks, who's featured in the graphic above because of her purple "mermaid hair," model Charlotte Free, and multiple fashion and beauty spreads in NYLON.) We tested the dip-dye waters with two trips to Bleach London salon
and Kevin Murphy's new temporary neon hair powder.
We loved that product's commitment-free and very easy application. But Murphy's Color.Bug rings in at about $26, which is doable but maybe a little pricy for Kool Aid hair. So we were really excited to find the much cheaper Color Rub from Hair Flairs. With 10 bright colors to choose from and only $13 per jar, it seemed too good to be true. But after testing, I found the eyeshadow-looking tub lives up to its name. The pressed powder rubs easily onto strands and lasts just long enough for whatever event requires candy-colored tresses (and to convince you a permanent dye might be worth a shot).
See also: Dakota Fanning and other pink-haired celebs.
There was minimal residue (mostly on skin, so wear gloves!) and after it settles--about the time it takes to put on make-up and select an outfit--you're safe to expose your hair to normal clothes. And the recommended hair spray afterwards is unnecessary; between two applications, the only difference was stiffer hair. You can even use it overnight: I braided my hair before bed and woke up with color intact and no pillow residue.
Like a powdered eyeshadow, Color Rub will gradually fade as the hours wear on. But for only $13, it's worth it, even if you exhaust your supply all at once (which is unlikely, unless you're doing a very high pigment job on your whole head).
5-minute application for 10+ hours of neon hair = possible, and not that expensive.
Color Rub Hair Flairs, $13 online.