Courtesy of heavy.com
Playful hair colors are everywhere, on all ages and all genders and hair chalk lets you join in the fun without the commitment. Before I went for permanent dye, I bought myself a set of hair chalk because it’s temporary and washes out with normal shampoo so it’s a great way to try out fun colors.
There are two main kinds of hair chalk: powder chalk sticks and cream chalk. Powder chalk is closer to what you’d think of using on a blackboard and cream chalk is more like an eyeliner pencil. They both have pluses and minuses and I’ll help you figure out which sounds best for you.
Getting the most out of hair chalk depends on your hair color and how you apply it.
Blondes: Colors are going to show up easily so you can basically use anything. If you use it on wet hair, the colors will be brighter but they also might stain. If you need Friday’s green gone by Monday morning, apply it to your hair dry.
Brunettes: You can get vibrant hues by either spritzing your hair with water, dipping the chalk in water, or both. It’s going to take more rubbing than with blondes.
Black Hair: The colors are stacked against you but all is not lost. If your colors aren’t as bright as you want, you can chalk your hair with white first and then layer colored chalk over it. Not conditioning your hair beforehand will also give the chalk a better grip.
Color-Treated: For those of us who have danced with dye before, your hair is more absorbent and likely to hold onto the colors longer, so just be aware of that.
Once the chalk is in, you’ll want to set it with either a curling iron or flat iron and then seal with hairspray to keep it from shaking off onto your clothes.
Cream chalks are a little less messy and don’t always need to be set or sealed, but the hairspray is a huge help in keeping the color where you want it.
When it’s time to wash it out, go for a clarifying shampoo. Some hair types might need a couple of washes. If your hair feels dry afterwards, follow up with a deep conditioning treatment. Check out my guide to the best deep conditioners.
Some say you can use chalk pastels from the craft store, but there’s a reason professional pastel artists wear masks. The pigments in those things are stuff you don’t want to breathe in like chrome and nickel. They aren’t meant to be on your body. Spring for cosmetic-grade hair chalk. Your lungs will thank you.
Give hair chalk a try. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when your hair is pastel.
1. Nevayah Hair Chalk Pens
Nevayah’s Hair Chalk Pens are a cream chalk that comes in applicators that look a lot like markers. The coloring tip is much larger than a marker and you can get more by twisting the bottom, just like a tube of lipstick.
The pens are great because it makes the chalk easy to put on and keeps it off your hands. It comes with six bright colors, one for every color of the rainbow. Since it’s a cream, it’s easier to blend together with other colors so you can get a really neat ombre effect.
It does tend to make your hair feel a little like you have wax or gel in it, so it’s probably best to style your hair first and then add your color. I love that it’s safe for skin so you can go really wild with you designs. You might want to go for updo’s as this can leave some traces on your clothes, although it should wash out.
The box says it lasts for three days, but it’s really more like two. As far as color goes, this one is pretty vibrant, especially on lighter hair and also comes in a metallic set.
2. 24 Hair Chalk Set
This is a huge set of powder type chalk. It’s more solid and doesn’t have the same greasy feel as cream chalks. The set comes with 24 colors, which is pretty much all the colors you could possibly ask for.
This is the full rainbow plus some. These are safe on skin which is good because unless you wear gloves it’s going to get all over your hands when you’re applying it. Luckily, this set includes a couple sets of disposable gloves and plastic shawls to protect clothing.
It looks great on light hair, but darker colors will need to add water to get the brightness you’re looking for. It leaves your hair feeling chalky, but, I mean, it’s chalk. This definitely needs to be set with a curling or flat iron and hairspray to keep from brushing off.
What I like about powder chalks like this is that they wash out so easy. It doesn’t feel like a fight to get your normal hair back. Make sure you condition the daylights out of your hair afterwards since chalk can absorb your hair’s natural moisture and dry it out.
3. Edge Blendable Hair Chalk
This is a cream chalk that comes in handy applicator pens. These go on bright and stay much longer than powder chalks. The color seals itself pretty well once it has dried, but you’d still be safest keeping your hair off of clothes you care about and it will likely rub off on your pillowcase.
This set comes with 6 chalk pens for a full gradient of the rainbow. It’s a cream so you’ll have that tacky, hair product feeling but it won’t dry out your hair like powder chalk.
Edge Hair Color is harder to get out of blonde hair, but it’s also a chalk that works pretty well with black hair with a few layers. These pens are also available in metallic.
4. Blingirls Chalk-It
Here’s a unique take on powder hair chalk. Chalk-It comes with four bright colors in a clam-shell case that resembles a makeup compact with the chalk on the bottom and a sponge where the mirror would be.
The way this works is you place the strand of hair you want to color in the compact and then close it. The sponge holds the hair against the chalk and you can glide the compact down your hair to coat the strand. This way you’re avoiding the messy hands and the sticky residue of cream chalks.
It’s a really neat design but you’ve got to be careful not to squeeze too hard because the compacts are not as sturdy as I’d like them to be. It is a powder so it’s still probably going to drop some colorful dust, but it makes the process go a lot quicker.
5. Best Hair Chalk for Kids: Alex Spa Hair Chalk Party 2 Go
If you’re looking for something for a birthday or slumber party for kids this is a great option. It’s recommended for ages eight and up and comes with 12 hair chalk markers as well as a comb, beading tool with 30 beads, and 30 hair elastics.
It’s a cream chalk which is much easier than powder for kids to use and makes less mess. It will leave hair feeling a little bit stiff but easily washes out. Seven of the markers are rainbow colors and five are metallic.
Like most hair chalk, it works better on light hair than dark, but if what you’re looking for is something that will keep a small group of children occupied for a while, this fits the bill.
6. Teayason Hair Mascara Chalk
This is edging a little out of the hair chalk category, but is still a helpful addition. Hair Mascara Chalk is even less of a solid than the cream markers we’ve looked at.
It’s basically neon-colored mascara that you apply with small, included brushes. You get blue, purple, silver, red, pink, and coral–a unique palette.
They work best on damp hair and setting them with heat helps them last much longer. The liquid consistency means that you can use these almost like a hair gel to do some light styling.
The applicator has three options: a comb, a brush, and a mascara wand because you can use this on your eyebrows and eyelashes as well for a really stunning look. The problem with all hair mascaras is that they can be clumpy, like mascara, so the comb attachment really helps with this.
7. Qivange Hair Chalk Set
This set of 12 creamy hair chalk markers includes six rainbow shades and six glitter shades. That sparkly shimmer adds a little something extra to make your fun hair stand out.
The markers twist up, like lipstick, though the set still recommends gloves because applying it can be bit of a rainbow mess. They work best on lighter hair, like all hair chalk.
You’ll want to apply these to damp, clean hair and then then use a hairdryer to set the color. These work best for creating fun streaks and not for all over color. They’ve got good staying power and wash out with shampoo.
8. Pinky Petals Hair Chalk Combs
I think this one is genius. It’s a hairbrush with hair chalk in it. That’s about as simple as it gets. You brush your hair with the color of your choice and there’s your color.
They’re about the size of a small travel brush you might put in your purse and the set comes with six different colors. It is a block of chalk so if you’re too rough on it, small bits of chalk can break off as you brush so be sure to be gentle.
The applicator on this makes it really nice for roots too. I have blue hair and this would be a great thing to touch up my roots between colorings. It’s a cream chalk so it will leave your hair feeling a little waxy, but that also means it’s easily blendable with other colors.
This one really needs a hairspray seal because it does tend to run if you get sweaty or step out into the rain.
9. Tri-Arch Hair Chalk
The Tri-Arch looks strange, but it also makes sense. You use it almost like a comb to create streaks of color in your hair.
The cream chalk is set into a container that is rounded so it’s comfortable to hold and keeps the chalk off your hands. It has these little comb teeth set around the side that separate the hair while you comb so there’s more even color.
It leaves your hair feeling a little greasy, but you can get some really great coverage fast with this design. Unlike other cream chalks, this one really needs hairspray to keep it in place. Because the chalk area is so wide, this one is perfect if you’re looking to cover your whole head. It also comes in blue and purple.
10. London Metallic Glitter Temporary Hair Chalk
This is a set of cream chalk that comes in marker-like applicators for way less mess than powder chalks. They have kind of a lipstick texture which makes them really blendable with each other.
There are six colors in the box including silver and gold. They aren’t as metallic as I would have liked but they are definitely shimmery, especially in the sun. They’re safe on skin so you can dye your hair and cover yourself in designs if you want.