By Laura Reilly
Sep 19, 2018 @ 9:00 am
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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The fact that Halloween 2018 lands on a Wednesday is a foreboding hint that some of us are going to look a little goofy when we’re back at the office come November 1st, and at least mostly out of our culturally relevant costumes.

Even the most die-hard Halloween fans (we see you Heidi Klum!) can be excused for opting for wash out hair color over permanent dyes to complete their looks — the holiday only lasts one day, after all. Instead of troubling yourself with messy, stain-happy liquids this season, opt instead for a temporary hair color, and pack on the pigment confidently, knowing the real you is just a shampoo or two away.

VIDEO: The Most Unforgettable Jenner Halloween Costumes

We spoke to an expert hair colorist, Steph Perry of Pompadour salon, who teaches a class on alternative hair tints, to find the the best temporary hair dye products for every purpose. Read on below to see what products Perry picked.

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Best Overall Temporary Hair Color: Manic Panic Dye Hard Temporary Hair Dye

“Manic Panic has been around for decades, and rightfully so. What started out as one of the first unnatural color lines available to rebellious punks and experimental kids, now finds itself in more temporary, washable, easier-to-apply forms all over the internet and in every mall in America. New shades range from soft pastels to radical neons. (Warning: the lighter the hair naturally, the longer the temporary color will last!)”

$11; amazon.com

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Best Temporary Hair Color for Dark Hair: Splat Temporary Hair Dye

“No one out there makes a more pigmented temporary hair color, which is why this is perfect for those with naturally dark hair. Unfortunately bright color doesn’t show up as well on dark hair without bleaching, but Splat on its own definitely delivers a solid punch of color. Warning: this stuff doesn’t lie. It truly is vivid! Meaning when put on light hair, Splat stays put!”

$9; amazon.com

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Best Temporary Hair Color for Light Hair: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair

“Vegan, cruelty-free hair glazing brought to you by one of the top selling cosmetic companies. The formula goes on like conditioner and leaves hair feeling soft and silky. Also, how can you NOT have fun while picking out shades with titles like “Sext”, “Juicy”, “Anime”, and “Gargoyle”?!”

$16; dermstore.com

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Best Temporary Hair Color Spray: Joico Instatint Temporary Color Shimmer Spray

“One of the most reputable brands on the professional hair color forefront, Joico’s well known for their hair color options. Instatint comes in mixable shades ready to spray directly onto hair. Spray less for a more subtle look or hit your strands harder for something more extreme. Regardless, Instatint can last up to three full days and washes out after one to two shampoos.”

$9; walmart.com

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Best Temporary Hair Color for Kids: Jerome Russell Bwild Hair Color Spray

“We all know kids hate sitting still for longer than three seconds. That’s why it’s a no-brainer to use an inexpensive washable spray when wanting to get unnatural color on top of their noggins. Pro tip: Grouping hair onto a foil and spraying hair close to strands will give a more concentrated look.”

$6; walmart.com

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Best Colored Hair Wax: Mofajang Hair Coloring Material

“This puddy comes in a myriad of colors and glides on easily, perfect for any type of texture of hair. Its biggest perk includes its thick consistency, making it foolproof when wanting different strands different colors.”

$11; amazon.com

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Best Black Hair Dye That Washes Out: Beyond The Zone Color Bombz Explosive Black Temporary Hair Color Spray

“Truthfully, most all-black hair sprays on the market can stain light hair on a permanent to semi-permanent level. However, if just trying to darken hair for a night or two, a handful of retailers carry this inexpensive washable spray. My professional opinion? Grab a wig! It will look more realistic anyways!”

$6; amazon.com

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Best Hair Chalk: Dippity-Do ColorPop Hair Chalk

“This super applicable egg-shaped pod of hair chalk comes in varying bold colors like Pixie Green and Posh Pink. My favorite thing about these little cuties is definitely the ability to take them with you! While these might stain your hands, they wash out pretty quickly.”

$11; amazon.com

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Best Semi-Permanent Hair Color: Joico Color Intensities

“As a professional I’ve used almost every bright hair color line out there. Joico’s vivid semi-permanent line is absolutely my favorite for vibrant, healthy, intensely pigmented color. Each color comes out identical to what it’s advertised to be, and stays true to shade for 4-6 weeks, depending on how light previous hair was and washing routine. I use these in my salon daily and have yet to ever be disappointed.”

$12; amazon.com