Costume hair dyes: Least toxic, messy

It’s for my towheaded (sp?) 8-year-old who’s joining the legion of Harry Potters this Halloween.
Last year we tried some awful spray-on blue dye that looked terrible and smelled worse. Any dopers done the dye thing and can make a recommendation?

Kool-aid is safe, non-toxic, easy to wash out, and it tastes good, too. The only problem is making a blonde kid have blue-hair; I’m not sure what color you’d use. Blue Kool-Aid would just make him green.

Why are you dyeing his hair blue, anyway? Harry Potter is a brunette.

Any of those spray-on Halloween hair paints will work fine. My kids use them every year, even the ones you’d think were “too big” to be walking around town with green hair. They’re not as messy as you might think, and they wash right out in the shower with shampoo. The important thing is to have someone else do the spraying–don’t give an 8-year-old the can and let him do it himself, because he doesn’t have the hand/eye coordination for it, and he’ll end up spraying the bathroom wall purple (I speak from experience).

Check the label for the words “non-toxic”. If Wal-Mart doesn’t have them (and remember, they get rid of all their Halloween stuff the week before Halloween, so if you want costume stuff, you’d better look sharp), then you can get it at places like Spencer Gifts at the mall, or at beauty supply places, or sometimes at toy stores (Toys R Us, Kaybees, etc.), or drug stores like Osco and Walgreens, especially during Halloween season. Look over by the Halloween costume display.

Do I need to explain about Spencer Gifts? Gags, gifts, lava lamps, soft-core and blacklight posters in the back of the store…

And, usually, hair paint.

I always had good luck with the spray-on colors, though I used them more for streaks of say, hot pink, rather than a full temporary dye job.

Oh, and non-toxic or not, if you hit yourself in the eye with a stream of glitter spray, it’s gonna sting.

My, um, friend told me that.

I’ve found that the pump-type sprays are easier to control than the aerosol kind (I’ve had trouble with spraying the bathroom wall myself). Also, they are less likely to fill a room with noxous-smelling fumes. Put an old towel around the kid’s shoulders so that you don’t get spray all over the costume.

The spray is much easier to wash out than any dye you’ll find, especially if your kid is blond.

Around here, those big card and party supply stores are a good place to find costumes and costume accessories.