If you are a long-time Portland resident, brightly colored hair is nothing new. The OG Manic Panic hair color has dyed the hair of countless people in Portland for decades (and is a great product, FYI). However, something that once seemed reserved for rebellious teens, twenty-somethings, or people who were once labeled “alternative” is now commonplace in people of all ages to have brightly-hued hair. 

This author’s youngest child is 11 years old and has done EVERYTHING to her hair since preschool. We have tried temporary spray color, chalked hair, Kool-Aid coloring, semi-permanent hair color, fairy hair, colored extensions, and more. We have dyed all the hair, done streaks, tips, and everything in between. This wasn’t particularly a path we thought we would be on, but we as a family have decided it is her body, and it is just hair…it grows back. 

One of the primary reasons kids (and adults) are drawn to hair coloring is the desire for self-expression and individuality. Adolescence is a time of self-discovery and experimentation, and hair color provides a relatively easy and temporary way to convey one’s personality and stand out from the crowd. Bright and vibrant hair shades allow young individuals to showcase their creativity and unique sense of style.

Of course, pop culture plays a significant role in shaping the fashion choices of tweens and teens. Influencers, celebrities, and social media platforms constantly showcase unconventional hair colors, inspiring young people to try out various hues themselves. The possibilities are endless, from pastel pinks and blues to bold purples and greens. The influence of pop culture creates an environment where hair coloring is seen as trendy and fashionable. 

To address concerns raised by some parents, many hair color companies have developed safe and different levels of permanency hair coloring options specifically designed for young individuals. These products are generally free from harsh chemicals and can easily be washed out, minimizing any potential damage to the hair. This reassurance allows parents to feel more comfortable with their children experimenting with hair color.

The act of coloring one’s hair can also be an educational experience. It provides an opportunity for them to learn about hair care, the chemistry of hair dyes, and the importance of following instructions for safe application. Additionally, the process often involves researching and understanding different hair colors and styles, fostering creativity and critical thinking skills.

Here are some options for your kids to change up their hair.

Arctic Fox Hair Color

This is a long-lasting, vegan, and cruelty-free hair color. It is free of harsh chemicals. It actually kind of smells like candy. They have beautiful colors and are really a deep conditioner with temporary hair color. It has no harsh chemicals. Artic Fox works best with light-colored hair. 

Overtone Hair Color

Overtone is also vegan and cruelty-free, free of sulfates, parabens, and ammonia. It is suitable for all hair types and works with darker hair colors as well. 

Piggy Paint

This brand carries a great line of kid’s nail polishes. In addition, they have Rock the Locks hair color. It washes out in 5-15 washes and works best on light hair. They have pink and purple, and it is subtle and smells wonderful. 

Please note that even if the hair color says it is temporary, sometimes it can stain your kid’s hair. Do a strand test first if this concerns you. 

And if you aren’t feeling very adventurous and want someone else to do the work … there are options! Here are some local kid and family salons offering different ways to personalize kids’ hair. 

Sage Kids Salon

This salon offers tinseling (also known as Fairy Hair). That is when pieces of tinsel are tied to individual strands of hair. The tinsel comes in various colors, allowing children to choose their favorite shades or create a dazzling rainbow effect. Fairy Hair is a temporary enhancement that can last several weeks, ensuring children can enjoy their vibrant hair without any long-term commitment. Sage Kids Salon also offers private beauty parties where guests can go from station to station for makeup, nail polish, hairstyle, water-based tattoos, and temporary color/ glitter for hair. 

Kid Castle Cuts

Kid Castle Cuts offers Fairy Hair and Colored Extensions. Both offer color without any damage. Colored Extensions provide another exciting option for kids experimenting with different hair colors. These extensions are made of high-quality synthetic hair that closely resembles the texture and appearance of natural hair. The extensions come in various vibrant and trendy colors, enabling children to express their individuality and creativity. The application process is safe and non-damaging, ensuring the child’s natural hair remains healthy and unharmed.