What I Was Thinking When I Dyed My Hair With Beets

by Ko Im

I've spent a lot of time and money on my hair, and usually leave the handiwork to the professionals. But sometimes we opt out of chemicals and instead reach for... food. Don't you remember the days you used lemons for highlighted summers on the beach? Maybe now you still leave an avocado on your locks for brightness and moisture. Well, dyeing your hair with beet juice is now a thing, too. How's that for natural dye?!

Since I've been thinking about doing the pink hair again, here's me giving it a less expensive, more organic follow through. The project has given me some food for thought (pun on purpose) and luckily it wasn't a complete disaster. While the results weren't perfect, I learned a few things and would consider trying it again, maybe next time with coffee or tea.

A couple of days before the ta-da, I Googled what I was supposed to buy: beets or beet juice out of a can? The results of those who've done it before me made me feel less intimidated. The night before the big day, I was standing at Whole Foods (because if we're going to do this, let's get good, organic stuff for less than $10). Whilst there, I contemplated how most of us only want the best for our hair and this whole process is a lot cheaper than getting a salon toner and more comparable to store-bought hair dye. I asked a lady where the beet juice was — and it turned out all the way in the back because who would buy this stuff? What is beet juice used for anyways?

Now, follow along to see the progression of my rest of my thoughts and the final results!

The Morning Of


  • Open the fridge. I twist off into the smell of... lots of beets.
  • Look in the mirror. Why does hair always look so good right when you're about to do something to it?
  • Let's YouTube search since it's been a few days... I am so confused. I'm scared this will turn out terribly. I know it's temporary, but how long will this last?


Here we go. First step: Put an old pink shirt on. Let's put on some coconut oil on my base first. How long should I keep it on? I ask myself. Probably an hour as suggested by the internet experts.


Oh no, it's really pink. Just putting a drop of color on blonde can really change things... How am I going to make this even? Why didn't I download step by step instructions? Oh dear, I've made a mess. My shower stall looks like a scene out of Carrie. My hands are bloodied — why didn't I buy plastic gloves?!

I've barely used a third of the 16.9-ounce bottle but I think I've had enough. Should have used it all since I'm not going to drink beet juice. On the other hand, if this goes well I could repeat it *fingers crossed* Keep massaging it in, Ko.


Oh thank goodness — all the stains on my hand and shower stall are washing off. My hair might be bleached but being fearful of this juice is natural. Shower cap is on. I've taken photos, I'm watching the clock. I really like pink; I really don't like DIY.

The Afternoon


I wonder if I should be sitting under a heat lamp or something like at the salon. Oh, we're halfway there. Wonder how this hair is cooking...


Okay it's been an hour-ish! My brain is not working — of course I don't have a salon-style sink and I have to actually shower. I am splattering pink everywhere (again) as the dye runs down the shower drain. AND I've run out of color-safe conditioner, #fail. Oh, this tone might turn out nice. Not in love with the roots but it's not bad!


My towel is blushing. The real result waits for the blow dry. It's a little "reverse ombre," which could be a trend in and of itself. Reverse mirror check: Okay the back is a little splotchy but it's barely there anyways. All things considered — pretty proud of myself! What a pretty rose gold, my favorite. This is great for a short-term look.

A Few Days Later...

So no one noticed it was a self-applied job... Phew! The color has almost washed out completely by this point. Lessons of the drinkable dye: You can have it your own way (thanks Burger King) by tinkering with the formula. Self-experiment if you're up to some good. Mistakes are meant to be made.

Images: Author's Own