Hair Doom doom DOOm doom doom?
January 25, 2012 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone used Splat Washables Hair Dye? It says it washes out with shampoo. Does it?

I can't find any reviews online; I think the washable kind might be new. It's Splat Washables Purple Swag dye which says it washes out with shampoo.

My 14 year old is dressing up like Gaz from Invader Zim for New Orleans Comic Con this Saturday (and then for Mardi Gras) and needs purple hair. However, her hair needs to not be purple for school on Monday. She has dirty blonde hair in the perfect haircut to be Gaz so I'd rather do temporary dye rather than try to find a wig in two days. (I still have to finish the Gir and Zim costumes. And find Dib some glasses.)

I'd test it on my own hair first, but I've dyed it medium brownish so I don't think it'd show up enough to really judge. (I'd look stupid with a purple streak but I don't have to go to school.) I guess I could do a small streak in her hair to test, but hoped someone has some experience with this kind of dye. (Also, will it rub off on everything? Like my minivan seats?)
posted by artychoke to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And if the Spat is awful and I shouldn't use it, what should I use? I'm hoping for something a step up from the horrible Halloween colored hair spray.
posted by artychoke at 8:57 PM on January 25, 2012

From the directions listed, you're supposed to bleach (!) first, and "Non-bleached hair will have a very subtle hint of color and will fade very quickly". Sounds like you'd need a wig to achieve purple hair without permanent results.
posted by moxiedoll at 8:57 PM on January 25, 2012

Yeah, there is no way any liquid hair color is going to give you true purple like that over unbleached hair. Bleaching hair basically prepares the hair to receive further color (by, uh, kinda destroying it). Dirty blonde hair, even natural platinum hair, is not going to react as well. If you Manic Panic'd it (that being the brand I'm familiar with) and had her sit with a heat cap for like eight hours, you might approach something near a true purple - but it wouldn't wash out easily, and it still wouldn't be vivid. While I've never used Splat, I can't imagine a wash-out dye would give any better results.

The only way to get vivid color coverage of the type you want on unbleached hair will, I think, be the horrible Halloween spray. However, depending on how thick her hair is, you may find that brushing the hair after spraying it (carefully, for minimal breakage) tames the consistency to something a bit closer to normalcy than cardboard. Definitely test in advance to see how it works, and yeah, it'll rub off on everything.

Another option? Bleach her hair, dye it Manic Panic or similar purple - then throw on a coat of brown-black or similar dark dye before school on Monday to tame it to what I assume are dress-code standards. Yeeeeeah, it's kind of stupid (okay, really stupid) and definitely destructive for the hair, but it would do the trick. The other downside is that you will NOT be able to bleach the hair out again without causing the kind of hair damage that requires scalp-shaving (ask me how I know this. go on. ask. nevermind, you already know.) and also, you may not want her to end up with a cavalier attitude toward drastic hair color changes, because that sort of thing almost inevitably ends up in that scalp-shaving sooner or later.

Honestly, though, if she's doing the same costume at least two times and possibly more in the future? Just go out and get the wig. Whatever you have to do to get her hair in shape will become immensely aggravating with repetition, and it is so much easier to just pop on the wig and be done. Not to mention cheaper, and without potential for hair damage. Just my 2 cents.
posted by mie at 9:12 PM on January 25, 2012

Any hair color that isn't a spray-on (and even those, for bright colors) is going to stain. Think Kool-Aid, think red nail polish. The only way rinse-in colors work is by kind of damaging the hair so it sticks.

Get the wig. My dog GIR says that's the smart way to go, and also that he keeps a cupcake in his chest compartment.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:18 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nngh, just saw the bit about the Dib glasses - I have the kind of vision that sort of requires buying eyeglasses online if I want to be able to afford them, and I've found at least 3 places that offer round-style frames of that type (DIRT cheap, no less - last time I got glasses, the basic frames were $6) - but I do not think any of them could ship frames at any sort of affordable price within your timeframe, as they're mostly overseas. Uh, I use, if you want to have a look - and I don't use Zenni Optical anymore as they don't make prisms, but I think they're located in the U.S. - both are cheap, offer frames only, and I've had good experiences with both. (Not affiliated with either company, just a satisfied customer, your mileage may vary.)

On preview: I think Lyn Never means "stain" in terms of leaving a stain on the hair? 'Cause in terms of staining seats, spray color definitely will - whereas Manic Panic, at least, once you've FINISHED washing out the dye (which can take up to a week) will not leave marks on things, in my experience.

...Ehh, just assume any color you use is going to tiedye anything it touches - safer that way.
posted by mie at 9:26 PM on January 25, 2012

Response by poster: Oh, I knew it wasn't going to be awesome bright purple. I am more concerned about faint purple hair on Monday morning. Her school seems pretty strict with the dress codes. They can't even have those feather things in their hair.

(For Dib's glasses, I found some obnoxiously large round sunglasses this morning, but wanted to look around first. I'll go back and buy them and pop the lenses out. I've been staring at Zenni glasses for a while and can't commit, for some reason. They also want Dave from Home Stuck aviator style glasses. I am not good at matching cartoon glasses to real life ones.)
posted by artychoke at 9:42 PM on January 25, 2012

That is true: it'll stain her hair and every single thing she crosses paths with. Including her face and hands. That stuff never pays off like you think it will.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:44 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

waaaay back in high school there weren't crazy coloured hair dyes that I could find in the 'burbs, so I just used food colouring! it totally washes out of unbleached hair - before I started dying my hair really blonde, I would change my hair colour to match my outfits (hey it was the 80's, ok?)

it's messy - and really, don't get caught in the rain, but it's doable. I used to put a few drops of food colouring on a q-tip and then add streaks to my hair - since you want to do the whole thing, I would suggest using a paintbrush that just has a little food colouring on it, paint it on her hair, and let it dry. it will be messy to wash out - but fun! it helps spread it around if your hair is just a little bit damp.

it would also be a good idea to do a test streak on the underside of her hair by the neck where if it doesn't wash out it won't show
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:49 PM on January 25, 2012

My 80s trick when I lived in a small town was to rub coloured pencils onto sandpaper to generate a little pile of coloured dust, and rub that into my (blond) hair. It produced very vibrant results that brushed out. Once I tried to rinse it out instead of brushing it, and ended up with an even more vibrant look that WOULDN'T brush out. But it did wash out after about four washes with shampoo.

Results might depend on the brand of coloured pencil, and I used to do streaks rather than the whole head, so it might be time consuming. But I think it's worth a try.
posted by lollusc at 9:56 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Okay, I gave in and tried it. It really really shows up. Even on my brown hair, it's surprisingly bright. It rubs off a bit, but not too much after I'd blow dried it a bit. Here's a picture. In real life (away from a hot pink bathroom) my hair and the purple are both darker than in my iPhone picture. It all washed out with a bit of shampoo in the sink. So, thanks everyone! I'll mark this resolved.
posted by artychoke at 10:18 PM on January 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Whoa. That is IMPRESSIVE. Now I want to check that stuff out myself! Thanks for the update. :)
posted by mie at 10:30 PM on January 25, 2012

I'm too late to offer any sort of advice, but I just wanted to say that it's awesome that you just risked dying your own hair for your kid!
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:11 PM on January 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oh, I have a tip for food coloring on hair: mix it with hair gel. Worked fabulously when I went green for Halloween one year (She-Hulk!) I also put some food coloring in regular skin lotion to get the green skin. Washed off of everything very easily, but of course smeared everything I came in contact with (and wear gloves during application so your cuticles don't end up even more ridiculously green than the rest of you.)
posted by asperity at 7:29 AM on January 26, 2012

Best answer: For next time / next color: you can get a good idea of what will happen to a particular person's hair by testing the dye on the shed hair collected on their hairbrush.
posted by hyperfascinated at 7:43 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Update! Here's a picture of my kids plus their friend (the friend is Invader Zim.) Gaz's hair was very purple for Comic Con. It didn't rub off too much and was easy to get out. However, I totally should have just bought a wig since the parade we were in took place during a torrential rain storm. We didn't bother with the dye for that one. One more day of costumes and purple hair fun tomorrow!
posted by artychoke at 4:42 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm too late to help before Mardi Gras, but I wanted to add my 2 cents... I use Splat dyes regularly and they do NOT wash out easily. However, they DO lighten significantly after every wash. If your hair is damp, it will transfer the dye color to fabric where it will become permanently stained (don't use good towels or pillow cases - and WEAR GLOVES!!). I got caught in the rain once and ruined my shirt with dye drips. I was also stupid and took off my gloves to rinse my hair - bad idea! I had purple fingers for 3 days.

I love the intense color of these dyes but they don't hold very well. That's pretty typical of any of these bright colors - they just don't last. But I've found Manic Panic dyes hold better than Splat. Splat dyes wash out pretty fast (so your bathtub will look like Kool Aid!) to a certain point and then they are persistent. The purple REALLY holds on as a light pink - I had to bleach it back out.

I have to wash my hair every-other day (less frequent washing means your color will last longer) so the color goes out pretty quickly. I was able to get about a week's worth of "purple" (in increasingly lighter stages) until it faded to hot pink, then a lighter pink. The pink never left. This is what my hair looked like after the first wash.

The red Splat color holds a little better, but fades out to an orange color, which I didn't like. It also stains worse than the purple, so be careful of your counters and skin!
posted by giddygirlie at 11:50 AM on March 6, 2012

« Older Help me be okay with non-commitment.   |   New high-end amplifier produces decidedly low-end... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.