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What is Hair Chalk? 5 Best Hair Chalks to Try

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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. It is a temporary hair coloring product that allows you to add vibrant colors to your hair without the long-term commitment of traditional hair dye. It’s essentially like a chalky pigment that can be applied directly to the strands of your hair.

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? There are different types of hair chalk, depending on the form of the chalk and application technique.

We have picked the best brands for 5 different types and color. 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.

Compact Powdered Hair Chalk

compact powdered hair chalk
Tatyana Abramovich/iStock

This is powdered hair chalk pressed into a compact, similar to a makeup palette. It’s less messy and more controlled in application, often applied with a brush or sponge.

Got2B and Splat both make compact powdered hair chalks. To use, you simply clip the compact onto a section of hair and drag it down, eliminating the need for gloves. However, Got2B Strand-Up hair chalks are less available in the U.S.

Compact powdered chalk hair dye is also available for kids. If your kids want to try some cool hair color, you can give them TALLSOCNE Hair Chalk as it is easy to apply on the hair and washes out easily from hair.

Liquid Hair Chalk

Liquid Hair Chalk
Salome Hoogendijk/Shutterstock

Liquid chalk can last longer than hair chalk, as much as 2-10 shampoos. This type comes in a liquid form, often in a bottle with a brush or sponge applicator. It’s easier to apply to darker hair and can offer more even coverage.

L’Oréal Paris Liquid Chalk Temporary Intense Hair Makeup is a well-known choice for liquid chalk. It’s designed to offer vibrant color that’s easy to apply and wash out.

Hair Chalk Pens

These are similar to markers and offer more precise application. They are great for creating detailed designs or highlighting specific strands of hair. Hair chalk pens can be easier to control than powdered chalk and are less messy.

According to our research, Edge Blendable Hair Color Chalk is the best hair chalk pen. It claims to self-seal and dry in 60 seconds. There are some unique color shades available for both light and dark hair and will last up to three days.

If you want to cover your gray hair easily, opt for Sonew Hair Color Dye Pencil. This hair chalk offers a portable, lipstick-tube design, ideal for on-the-go touch-ups, and fits easily in small bags. It’s simple to apply without clumping and washes out with shampoo. It is available in shades like black, dark brown, and coffee.

Spray-On Hair Chalk

This type comes in an aerosol spray can. It’s very easy to apply and works well for covering larger areas of hair quickly. Spray-on hair chalk is a good option for those who want a quick and easy application process.

Jerome Russell Temporary Hair Color Spray provides an easy and quick way to apply hair color. B Wild offers a range of colors that can be sprayed directly onto hair for an instant change. This type is excellent for covering larger areas quickly and evenly. It’s temporary and typically washes out after one or two shampoos.

Hair Chalk Sticks

This is the most traditional form. It looks similar to sidewalk chalk and is applied by rubbing it onto the hair. It’s generally best for lighter hair colors and can be a bit messy to use. These are similar to compact powdered hair chalk but come in a stick form.

Hair chalk sticks are ideal for precise and controlled application on specific hair strands. It is cheaper are you can get a Hair Color Stick Set within an affordable price range.


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?