If you’re wondering how you can create your own rainbow hair on a budget, I have just the best idea for you.

How To Get Rainbow Hair On A Budget

There’s no denying how beautiful rainbow hair looks like especially if done right and we also know how expensive it will be having it done at the salon. Now, creative as we are, of course, there are many alternatives to creating our own rainbow hair and this idea costs less than a fraction of how much you’ll spend in the salon and if you’re worried about commitment, don’t worry because this won’t last very long either. So even if you end up with a botched experiment, it’ll rinse off in a few days.

In this method, it’s best to start out with bleached hair because I’m going to use common ordinary products to color the hair and turn it into a rainbow effect, so the hair needs to be lifted to a lighter shade that will allow pigments to stick to it.

What You’ll Need:

  • Koolaid/Crepe Paper/Food Color
  • Water

Step 1: Shampoo

Step 1: Shampoo | DIY Rainbow Hair Tutorial | Without Breaking the Bank

Shampoo hair thoroughly without conditioner, to make sure there are no oils on your hair. Oil can affect how the colors are absorbed by your hair strand, so for this color treatment, we want the best we can get since this is not a permanent color.

Step 2: Activate Colors

Step 2: Activate Colors | DIY Rainbow Hair Tutorial | Without Breaking the Bank
Image via Jeanette Potvin

You can use crepe paper, kool aid, or food color to stain your hair. Either way, put colors separately in different bowls with about 1 cup of water and to activate the dyes in them. Darker colors on the crepe paper tend to work better with better color payoff than light colored ones, all the Koolaid variants have good color pay off as well, however for light colors of pink and yellow or orange, I suggest using food color to stain your hair in conjunction with the Koolaid or the crepe paper.

Step 3: Section Hair

Step 3: Section Hair | DIY Rainbow Hair Tutorial | Without Breaking the Bank
Image via thecourtyardevesham

Starting from the bottom, section your hair into about two inches per section. Clip the rest of the hair to keep them away from the ones you’re currently working on.

Step 4: Time to Color

Color the different sections in different colors, alternating each color throughout. First, grab one section and soak it in the color you want. Because this isn’t your usual hair colorant, I wouldn’t suggest trying to achieve coloring the entire section, but just the ends it should look like a balayage rainbow hair after. Soak it for a few minutes each until you see the color stain your hair.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

Step 5: Rinse and Dry | DIY Rainbow Hair Tutorial | Without Breaking the Bank
Image via maidencolor

After you’ve colored all the sections of your hair, rinse it in cold water and dry. You can keep it down or create braids, whichever way you’d like to do it, step out into the sun and enjoy your new rainbow hair!


Check out how Jade Madden created her own rainbow hair color:

Of course, you can always choose to use actual hair dyes that aren’t as expensive as a salon treatment and there are plenty of those in the market now like: Manic Panic, Lunar Tides, Jerome Russel Punky Color, and Special Effects Hair Dye. But just in case you’re not sure about how to do it, you can always use temporary dyes to get a feel of how you would when you actually buy a proper hair color.