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What is Hair Chalk? 5 Best Hair Chalks to Try

By now you’ve probably seen one of the most popular trends for coloring hair: hair chalk! From runways and music festivals to Halloween and fun nights out with friends, hair chalk is a go-to for adding a quick dab of color to hair both easily and affordably.

If celebs like Paris Hilton, Gwen Stefani, and Pink are using it, then this is one trend you need to get in on!

What Is A Hair Chalk?

Hair Chalk

Hair chalk is a stick of color, similar to regular chalk, but is given its color by mixing a variety of ingredients together.

While hairstylists and suppliers have their own process of making it, the typical ingredients are mixed with “dry pigment, some chalk, and a binder,” according to Thaneeya McArdle, a pastel artist at Art Is Fun.

While you theoretically could use regular chalk on your hair, it wouldn’t have the same colorful effect or work the same way chalk made specifically for hair works.

How to Use Hair Chalk

How to Use Hair Chalk

Depending on what kind of hair chalk you use, there are several ways to apply it. There are some chalks you apply using gloved hands and there are others that come already on a stick or a comb that you simply smooth on down the hair shaft.

  • Start with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any build-up on the hair. You can apply chalk on wet or dry hair, but just make sure it’s clean. You’ll need to read the directions for the type of hair chalk you buy to see specifics. For some chalks, you’ll apply color when the hair is damp.
  • Avoid the scalp or roots, concentrating the color halfway down the hair for an ombre effect or on the tips for a small addition of color.
  • For both powder and hair sticks, rub the color straight down – not back and forth – on your section of hair until the color shows up to your desired level.
  • After applying, let the hair air dry, then straighten locks to seal the color in. Misting the colored parts with a hair spray will help the color last as well.

Hot tools are another thing to keep in mind when styling your hair after coloring it. Some hair chalks work well with heat styling and the color will look even better in tight spiral curls or pin-straight locks. Others may fade from the hair or transfer onto your tool. However, you want to style your hair, be sure to read the hair chalk’s directions first!

Can You Use Hair Chalk on Dark Hair?

While hair chalk stands out best on light hair colors, such as blonde or light brown, there are some colors that will work for dark hair. Stick with vibrant colors like green, orange, red, or blue for the best effect.

When applied to hair, the result is vibrant and a fun way to express your personality.

How Long Does Hair Chalk Last?

Hair chalk will last 1-2 days. While it is safe to use in small doses, try not to use it regularly. According to hair colorists, hair chalk can suck moisture out of the hair.

You can help keep your locks healthy and happy by conditioning after you wash the color out. Skip using it before applying color, though, as you want the hair to be void of any product for the color to attach easily.

Does Hair Chalk Damage Hair?

Any hair product can be damaging to hair, truthfully. They all have some kind of combination of ingredients that isn’t natural.

And while hair chalk does have a tendency to soak up any moisture in the hair, the conditioner will help protect your locks. Also, avoiding coloring the hair regularly with hair chalk (or even hair dye) will give your hair the time it needs to recover in between treatments.

Best Hair Chalks

Feeling curious? Try one of these five hair chalks to see which one you like best! All of them are easy to use and will give you gorgeous colorful results.

Temporary Hair Chalk

Temporary Hair Chalk

Got2B and Splat both make hair chalks frequently chosen by consumers. Both of these are compacts of powder you clip onto a section of hair and drag down, no gloves required.

Liquid Hair Chalk

Liquid Hair Chalk

Liquid chalk can last longer than hair chalk, as much as 2-10 shampoos. You may want to wear gloves for this one as liquid is a bit messier.

White Hair Chalk

White Hair Chalk

Edge Blendable White Hair Chalk claims to self-seal and dry in 60 seconds. It can be used on both light and dark hair and will last up to three days. White color will clearly show up the best on dark hair colors like black or dark brown.

Black Hair Chalk

Black Hair Chalk

For pretty much any color other than black, try using black hair chalk for an edgy update. Black will show up amazingly on light blonde or brown hair.

Hair Chalk Pens

Hair Chalk Pens

For dark hair, beauty stylists everywhere recommend hair chalk pens. Nevayah is one brand that comes highly recommended for its quick set and no need for hair spray to seal it.


In this section, we’ll run through all the commonly asked questions about hair chalk.

Is hair chalk the same as pastels?

Essentially, they are the same thing. Hair chalk is not only incredibly similar to pastel hair colors, but it is a chalk dye that is made from soft pastels.

Pastels are also made of chalk. Pastels are most often made by combining dry pigment, a binder, and chalk.

Does hair chalk wash out?

Yes, hair chalk will wash out of your hair. It is not a permanent dye for your hair and will fade out after a few washes. The time it takes to clean out your hair will depend on your hair color and the pigment of the chalk dye.

Typically, the chalk dye will last for one to four washes. If you want it to fade quicker, use hot water and double-shampoo your hair. Blonde hair may be harder to remove the dye from, while dark hair will hold the color longer.

How much will hair chalk cost me?

The cost of hair chalk depends on the quality and the brand. It’s hard to nail down the exact price, but hair chalk usually ranges from $10-$50.

Are hair chalks temporary?

Yes, hair chalk is a temporary dye. It does not penetrate the hair cuticle as permanent hair dye does. Hair chalk is a temporary dye that deposits color on top of the hair. This is why chalk dye will wash out eventually when applied correctly.

Is hair chalk safe for toddlers?

Yes, hair chalk is safe for children. It is essentially the same product as street chalk that children use often. However, it can be messy when given to children.

Is hair chalk safe for your dog?

You can use a chalk dye that is specially created for pets. There are some popular hair chalk brands that are made for pets and are non-toxic and safe to use on dogs or other animals.

Can I dye my hair with sidewalk chalk?

Yes, you can use sidewalk chalk to dye your hair if you are willing to get creative with it. You won’t be able to dye your hair as quickly as hair chalk that is specially made to dye your hair.

Is there any difference between hair chalk and regular chalk?

You can use regular chalk as hair chalk, however, it will not be as vibrant as hair chalk. Hair chalk is specially made for hair and is more pigmented and able to dye hair.

However, if you don’t have hair chalk hanging around, you can use sidewalk chalk instead.

Hair chalk or spray—which one is better?

Both hair chalk and hair dye spray are great to add a highlight of short-lasting color. Chalk will wash out slightly quicker and maybe more matte than a hair spray, which will have a glossy appearance.

Does hair chalk stain bleached hair?

Yes, there is a chance that hair chalk may stain your light hair, but it should wash out eventually. Try using warm water to get dye out of your blond hair.

Will hair chalk stain your pillow?

Yes, there is a chance that your chalk hair dye will stain your pillow, especially if it is white or a light color.

Since these chalks are meant to be temporary, it will rub off easily. Lay a towel or blanket that you don’t care about under your head while you sleep to keep the hair dye from rubbing off on your pillow.

How can I keep hair chalk from rubbing off?

You can attempt to keep your hair chalk from rubbing off on surfaces by heating it after applying. You can use a curling iron or hair dryer to keep the dye in place.

For your hair coloring experience with hair chalks, remember to use a shirt you don’t mind staining or a towel to drape over your shoulders before chalking.

As usual, share your photos with us so we can see how great your new temporary hair color looks! Which color will you use – pink, blue, green?