What is Raw Hair Color?

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  • Written By: Erica Stratton
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2019
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RAW Hair Color is the brand name of a semi-permanent hair dye that can be applied at home. Though the name is properly written in all caps, it is also written as "Raw" by its fans and reviewers. It is sold under the Hot Topic company name and does not have a specific manufacturer's website.

Raw hair color is prized by those who desire a semi-permanent way to color their hair. People wishing to try out a new color, or those who are coloring their hair for a special occasion, benefit from hair dyes that fade within four weeks or less. Some users also take advantage of its impermanence to color their hair a different shade every month. The tag line of Raw hair color is, "Change your hair, change your mood."

While other hair dyes specialize in natural colors, Raw hair dyes are known for their wide selection of unusual shades. "White-Out", "Purple Punch", and "Kryptonite Green" are a typical selection of color names. Because it's a home hair color kit, multiple colors can be used on different swaths of hair to create a tricolor or rainbow effect.

Raw hair coloring products are also playfully scented. For example, the Candy Pink hair dye smells like cotton candy. Users find this a great alternative to the usual chemical smell many hair dyes have. The hair will also be scented for several days after the dye has been used.


Like all hair-coloring products, Raw hair dye may require that the hair undergo preparation before use. The coloring can be applied directly to light hair for good results. If the hair is black or dark brown, the color may not show up as well. To avoid this, darker hair will need to be bleached before application.

Home hair coloring can also be messy. The dye can permanently stain countertops and tubs in addition to hair. Even after it is applied and set, some of the hair color may wash out whenever the hair gets wet. This can be problematic, since getting accidentally caught in the rain can result in stained hands or clothing. This problem can be lessened by using a clarifying shampoo.

Raw hair color has also been criticized for some of its products resulting in colors that are patchy or not as vibrant as advertised, even when the application instructions have been properly followed. Though anyone can use Raw hair color, it is usually marketed towards punks, goths, and other youth subcultures. Because of its brilliant colors and ease of home application, many "cosplayers," short for "costume player," use Raw hair color to dye their hair when they dress as their favorite anime characters.


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Post 2

I have never had a single problem with RAW, and after experience with over 10 of their colors I am amazed. I'd pick them over Manic Panic any day.

Post 1

This hair dye absolutely stinks. It all washed out after two washes with color safe shampoo. It says it will last for three or four weeks, but that's complete crap. It will last maybe four days. Unless you don't plan on washing it, don't waste your money on this crap.

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