How to chalk your hair

Hair chalking is an easy, quick and inexpensive way to add temporary colour to your hair. Plus, you can do it yourself without making a big commitment.

Woman with pink chalked hair | Sheknows.ca

Photo credit: Paper Boat Creative / Digital Vision / Getty Images

David John, master stylist and colourist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles, offers these hair chalking tips.

Step 1: Buy your chalk

John says you can buy inexpensive non-oil-based pastels for $5 or spend $60 if you really want to splurge. All you need other than the chalk is a water bottle, protective gloves, towels and a flat iron.

Step 2: Prep your hair | Sheknows.ca

Photo credit: David John of the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon

Step 2: Prep your hair

Make sure to wet the hair first so the colour will attach to it. However, if you’re blonde, do not wet the hair before chalking unless you want the colour to stay in longer.

Step 3: Add the color | Sheknows.ca

Photo credit: David John of the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon

Step 3: Add the colour

Apply the chalk to the lock of hair in a downward motion, twisting the hair as you chalk. You can either try for a fun ombre look or just do a couple of sections of hair.

Step 4: Let it dry | Sheknows.ca

Photo credit: David John of the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon

Step 4: Let it dry

While John says you can blow-dry your hair, others recommend letting it air-dry so you don’t blow off the chalk.

Step 5: Set the color | Sheknows.ca

Photo credit: David John of the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon

Step 5: Set the colour

Seal in the colour with a flat iron or a curling iron to add waves. Apply hairspray as a final step.

Step 6: Wash it out when you’re ready

The colour generally will last only one shampoo. However, if your hair is more porous, such as colour-treated blond hair, it can last a couple of shampoos. You can use a clarifying shampoo or dish soap to remove the colour more quickly — both contain more detergent. Don’t use dish soap on your whole head, just on the strands that have been coloured.

Tip: If you want a brighter hue, then apply white chalk first, and then go over it with the colour you want to make pop.

Hair chalking don’ts

John offers these cautions when hair chalking:

  • Don’t apply the chalk while any wax or product is in your hair.
  • Don’t use water on blond hair if you don’t want the colour to last.
  • Wear protective clothing when applying, and sleep on an old pillowcase, as the colour will transfer.
  • Don’t try this near water, the beach or on a rainy day.

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