Dip Dye Tutorial - How To Dye Your Child's Hair

There seems to be a resurgence of brightly colored hair in LA right now. Everywhere I look, there are pink, purple and turquoise locks walking down the street. And unlike the late 90s, this trend is no longer set aside for the rebellious youth - I've seen colored tresses on everyone from teens walking down Melrose to moms at school drop off. So when my 7 year old daughter said she wanted blue hair, I thought, "Well... why not?" I didn't want her to be shocked or upset with the outcome of a fully colored head of hair (since as we know, children often lack a sense of time and permanency), so for our first attempt, we agreed on dying just the ends, or using the "Dip Dye" method. Conveniently Santa left some Manic Panic in her stocking. I think Santa made her.. ahem, his.. first trip into Hot Topic since high school to obtain it. And lo and behold, here we are, blue tips and all.

Here is a quick and easy, step by step tutorial for the dip dye method - for you OR your adventurous child.



*Manic Panic semi-permanent hair dye. The cream formula lasts 4-6 weeks. The Amplified formula lasts 30% longer. We used the Amplified in Rockabilly Blue.

Manic Panic High Voltage Classic - Semi-Permanent Vegan Hair formula

Manic Panic High Voltage Classic - Semi-Permanent Vegan Hair formula

Manic Panic Amplified - Semi-Permanent Vegan Formula

Manic Panic Amplified - Semi-Permanent Vegan Formula


*2 pairs of latex gloves (I used rubber gloves but latex would have been better)

*Old T-shirt that WILL get stained

*Tin foil

*2 hair ties

*Blow dryer

hair dye supplies



Tinting Brush or Applicator Comb

Manic Panic Flashlightning Bleach Kit - if you have dark hair, this will be necessary first in order to achieve a bright, intense color

NOTE:  Always perform a test strand and perform a patch test before dyeing

Step 1

Cover the dyeing area with newspaper or an old towel.

Set aside a few large pieces of tin foil 

Step 2

While the child wears the old t-shirt, separate his/her hair into two pigtails and braid, starting the braids right below her ear.  Stop the braid higher than normal, allowing as much hair to extend below the pony tail holder as you want to be dyed.

Step 3

Wearing the gloves, use your fingers to work the dye into the loose hair at the end of the tied-off braid.  Be sure to separate the hair and work the dye in to the inner pieces of hair, also.

Step 4

Wrap the dyed part of the braid in tin foil.  You can extend the tin foil up a few inches along the braid to make sure it is secure.  Fold the ends of the tin foil in and squeeze it tight.  I even covered each braid with an additional piece of tin foil because I wanted to be sure the dye wasn't going to end up all over my house!

shelby pigtails


Step 5

Wait 30 minutes without getting into a wrestling match with your brother.

Step 6

Hit the tin foil with some heat from the blow dryer - a few minutes on each side should suffice.

Step 7

Remove tin foil in the sink and thoroughly rinse the ends with cool water - allowing the hair to rinse clear before removing the hair ties.

And Voila! Here we have dip-dyed hair ends and one 7 year old girl who is SUPER excited to go to school tomorow!

Honestly, this was way less mess than I expected.  I would definitely let her do it again!

blue hair
blue hair2


If you have more questions, Tish & Snooky at Manic Panic have many more great tips, tricks and how-to information on their website!