How to dye your hair with tissue paper step-by-step (with pics).

When it comes to finding new ways to color your hair, we’ve tried them all. The latest craze to hit TikTok and Insta is tissue paper hair dye. What?! It’s true. It seems crazy but it really works and is a great way to try some colors and have a bit of fun! Here’s everything you need to know about how to dye your hair with tissue paper!

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Can I dye my hair with tissue paper?

Yes you can! But the truth is, this hack is more about staining your hair than really dyeing it.

Unlike hair dyes and box dyes, it doesn’t contain any chemicals or alter your hair structure in any way.

It works by soaking the colored paper in water which draws out the color pigments from the paper, and then soaking the ends of your hair in the mixture until it’s absorbed all the color. Simple!

Because of this, it’s perfect for using on kids! And totally safe, much like dying your hair with Kool-Aid.

It works best on light blonde hair where you can dip-dye the ends of create colored highlights.

With a bit experimenting, you can create a whole new look with fantastical temporary colours, mermaid hair, unicorn hair or even a rainbow effect without causing any damage to your child’s hair. Yippee!

Tissue paper hair dye is good for:

  • Experimenting with wacky colour
  • Unicorn and Mermaid looks
  • Temporary styles
  • Special occasions (Halloween and Christmas)
  • A fun activity for kids!

What do I need to dye my hair with tissue paper?

  • A large bowl
  • Hot water
  • Strips of colored tissue or crepe paper
  • Scissors
  • Disposable gloves
  • Teaspoon of salt

Now you have the essentials, you’re ready! Here’s how to get it right step-by-step!

How to dye your hair with tissue paper.

Step 1 : Cut up tissue paper

cut up coloured paper

First, cut up your tissue paper strips and place it in your bowl.

It’s not essential to cut up the paper but we found it makes it easier to mix it around in the bowl to release the color.

If you want to dye your hair with lots of different tissue paper colours, stick to separate bowls per colour.

Step 2: Add hot water

add hot water to paper in bowl

Now you need to add hot water to the bowl. It needs to be a generous amount, enough to cover the tissue paper and a bit more.

A lot of the water will get absorbed. Cold water will not work!

Step 3: Add salt and let soak

add salt

Next, add a teaspoon of salt to the bowl and stir it well.

The salt helps to draw out the color from the paper.

Leave the paper in the bowl of warm salty water all to soak for around 5-10 mins to let the color run out from the paper.

Step 4: Remove tissue paper

remove paper from dyed water

Now remove all the wet strips of paper from the bowl.

We squished the paper a little as we removed it to wring it out and release some more dye mixture.

You should be left with a strong colored liquid.

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If it looks too watery, try adding more, fresh paper and leaving it to soak again.

Step 5: Dip your hair

dip hair ends in bowl of color to dye

Now you’re ready to dip-dye your hair! It’s best to do this with clean, dry hair and not wet hair to let the color really absorb.

If you’re doing the ends of your own hair, the best way to apply the dye is to sit with the ends dipped into the mixture in the bowl.

If you have shorter hair, you can get a friend to help you add the dye to the ends or the parts of your hair that you want colored.

The trick is to stain your hair by soaking it so leave it for 10 mins or as long as your hair needs to take the color.

If you dye your hair regularly (like us!) your hair will probably take to it quickly as it will be more porous.

Step 6: Dry and style!

Once you’re happy with the level of color, you can throw the mixture away and dry and style your hair.

DON’T SHAMPOO IT! It will wash the color away.

Now admire your new style!

how to dye your hair with tissue paper instagram 1
pink tissue paper color dye instagram 2
unicorn mermaid tissue hair color instagram 3

Watch and learn: How to color hair using paper!

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Is it safe to dye your hair with tissue paper?

Tissue paper is a safe and effective way of dyeing your hair at home. As long as you are aware that the results may not be that great, then it’s okay!

It will give your hair a tint of color. This method does not involve bleaching or putting harsh chemicals on your hair, which is usually the case when using boxed dye kits.

It is suggested that you do one small section at a time and don’t try to color all of your hair in one sitting.

This way you can make sure that the color has “taken” and that the tissue paper hair dye is not just sitting on top of your hair.

Since the results will only last for 1-2 washes, you’ll need to get used to doing this every week!

If this sounds like too much maintenance for you, then maybe dying your hair with tissue paper isn’t a good idea for you.

How long will tissue paper hair dye last?

Because coloring your hair with this method is just staining the outside of your hair, it won’t last more than two washes.

But this makes you free to try lots of different colours as often as you want! Tissue paper hair dye method is great for experimenting with radical colour.

We’ve found warm colors work and stay the best- so colors like pinks, purples and reds.

Blue and green are really hard colors to get our of your hair, especially if your hair is a lighter shade like blonde. So be warned!

Does tissue paper hair dye wash out?

The tissue paper ink should not be too difficult to get out of your hair and it should fade away after one wash.

Because you’re staining your hair with ink with this method, it doesn’t penetrate your hair shaft like regular box hair dyes. So a good wash will get it all off for sure.

Just make sure that you use shampoo and conditioner of a higher quality so that they can get the job done right!


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If you’re looking for a new way to experiment with your hair color, but don’t want to commit or spend too much money on permanent dye, tissue paper hair dyeing is the newest craze that’s perfect.

You can get all of the benefits and fun without having to worry about it damaging your locks!

Go ahead and give tissue paper dyeing a try.

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