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Dyeing Hair with Jello®


Are you looking for a fun way to add some color to your hairstyle? If so, dying your hair with Jell-O® is a fun and safe alternative to the traditional hair dyes. In fact, it may be better for your health also. In a 2005 study published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control, the authors found an association between permanent hair dye use and glioblastoma multiform that increased with the duration of hair dye use. Separate occupational studies performed among hairdressers also reported increased risks of bladder cancer and multiple myeloma.

Precautions: Anything that can dye hair has to potential to stain other things such as skin, towels and clothing. Take the same precautions you would with any dye.  

Supplies Needed To Jell-O Dye Your Hair

  • Bleach kit. If you have dark hair, you will need to bleach your hair prior to applying Jell-O® dye.
  • 1 to 2 boxes of JELL-O® in your color of choice
  • Plastic wrap, aluminum foil or a shower cap. Use aluminum foil if you want color streaked hair
  • Hair conditioner
  • Old towel or cape
  • Petroleum jelly
  • One bowl for each color of Jell-O® used
  • Latex or Vinyl Gloves

Preparations Needed Before Coloring Hair

Step 1: If you have a dark hair color, you have to bleach it prior to applying the Jell-O® dye. Follow the directions on the hair bleaching kit exactly and make sure that the bleach is completely rinsed out before proceeding.

Step 2: Apply the petroleum jelly around your ears, neck and hairline. This will help to prevent the Jell-O® from staining your skin.

Step 3: Pour the Jell-O® powder into the bowl or bowls needed. Add conditioner and mix well.

Dyeing Hair with Jell-O®

Step 1: Securely place the towel across your shoulders and put on gloves.

Step 2: If you plan to dye all of your hair in one color, work your dye mixture through all of your hair. Cover your hair with plastic wrap, aluminum foil or a shower cap. If you are doing streaks or working with multiple color design, separate out chunks of hair, paint them with dye mixture and wrap individually with aluminum foil.

Step 3: Leave the dye mixture in your hair for at least one hour. If you want a stronger color that will last longer, you will want to leave the mixture on even longer. You can also wrap your hair in a towel and heat it with a blow dryer to lock in the color.

Step 4: Rinse your hair thoroughly. Your color will last for about 7 to 10 washes. If you have white or platinum blonde hair, it may take longer for you to wash out the color than it does for others. If you want to rinse out the color sooner, you can use a deep cleaning shampoo.



Personal Hair Dye Use and Risks of Glioma, Meningioma, and Acoustic Neuroma among Adults — Bluhm et al. 165 (1): 63 — American Journal of Epidemiology.” Oxford Journals | Medicine | American Journal of Epidemiology. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2010.

Heineman EF, Ward MH, McComb RD, et al. (2005) Hair dyes and risk of glioma among Nebraska women. Cancer Causes Control 16:857–64

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