Help me keep my cool hair color!
November 26, 2005 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Help with hair color angst!

Earlier this year I decided to get purple and blue highlights in my dark brown, starting-to-gray, slightly wavy hair. I originally had it professionally done and it looked great. The problem is the maintenance. If I don't refresh the color every two weeks it looks like I have a dead smurf on my head.

Right now, I'm using 'Color Jam 2.' If I decide to keep coloring at home, can anybody suggest other fun colors or brands that won't fade so quickly?

If I decide to go the salon route again, does anyone have personal recommendations for a good (non-traditional) color stylist in the Los Angeles area? Thanks!
posted by Space Kitty to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Manic Panic was my brand of choice when my whole head was bright blue. Punky Colors would do in a pinch.

The hassle is that as the roots grow in you have to bleach those out too, unless you can get the highlights you want from the gray alone. That I always went to a salon for.
posted by mendel at 3:15 PM on November 26, 2005

When my sister was into this sort of thing, she claimed that Special Effects was better than Manic Panic. I've tried it on my hair, and it wasn't permanent, but I liked the colors (purple actually showed up in my brown hair without bleaching.)
posted by transona5 at 3:23 PM on November 26, 2005

Best answer: Special Effects is, in my experience, better than Manic Panic. Lasts 2-3 weeks with barely any fading. Usually 4 weeks or so before I redye, 6 weeks before it looks really terrible. The colors I use are deep colors - Blue Mayhem and Candy Apple Red, for what it's worth. I don't bleach my hair before dying, though. You may experience more pronounced fading on bleached hair [or the dreaded blue-fades-into-mossy-green effect.] Manic Panic and Punky Colors get to that nasty-looking phase in two weeks or so for me, and they don't seem to go well over unbleached hair.

Pretty much all of the home dyes you'll find in interesting colors are semipermanent, and will wash out eventually. However, there are things you can do to make it last longer. It helps not to shampoo too much - I generally shampoo once every two showers. Some shampoos seem to be harsher than others, as well. I generally leave the dye in for a bunch of hours before washing it, instead of the shorter time that the bottle suggests. Leaving it in longer seems to give me a longer-lasting dye job. I'll also often cover the dyed hair in tin foil or a shower cap or something. [Keeps the dye from drying out, and it's less messy.] Lastly, make sure that the dye is applied evenly, hopefully with a brush or something similar. Uneven dye jobs look much worse as they fade.
posted by ubersturm at 4:33 PM on November 26, 2005

Actually, I should redye my hair soon. Thanks for reminding me!
posted by ubersturm at 4:35 PM on November 26, 2005

Best answer: Space kitty, if you decide to try a salon again, my sister Spring is a whizz with oddball (as well as more traditional) color schemes, and has been known to sport a hot pink 'do herself. She works at the very funky Lucas on Echo Park Blvd, just north of Sunset.
posted by Scram at 4:38 PM on November 26, 2005

Try manic panic dyes with the silver "amplified" label - they last longer I believe. Aqua lasted for a month on me, and purple lasted a couple of weeks on top of the aqua...But then again, I'm liking the vaguely gray fade I'm currently experiencing (about five months after dying with amplified purple.). Anyway, from all I've heard manic panic is the standard for brightly colored dye, and they claim their amplified dyes last twice as long.
posted by lorrer at 8:29 PM on November 26, 2005

(five weeks after the purple, argh.)
posted by lorrer at 8:30 PM on November 26, 2005

I had fuschia highlights put in my black hair a few years ago (don't remember the brand, but the colour was "raspberry beret"), but since my hair grows so fast, I've since given them up--too high maintenance.

To maintain the brilliant colour between visits, my colourist gave me the leftover dye to take home and add to my conditioner. I'd use the colour/conditioner every other day (don't forget the gloves!!) and it kept the colour from fading fast.
posted by phoenixc at 9:38 PM on November 26, 2005

Best answer: Check out Goldwell's Elumen
It is salon only and lasts quite a while, depending on the shade , red being most durable. flash.
posted by hortense at 10:18 PM on November 26, 2005

I have very, very blue hair, and I've had it for a number of years.

Manic Panic's blues fade very quickly, and fade to an ugly green. Punky Colours by Jerome Russel has some very nice blues, and they last quite a while.

I've recently switched from Punky Colours to Special FX, and I think it's a higher-quality dye -- but be sure to wear gloves while applying it, and be sure to not go outside when it's raining for a day or two.
posted by Jairus at 11:13 PM on November 26, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! It's down to spare cash or spare time. If it's spare time, I'll go the Special Effects route, if it's spare cash I'm visiting Scram's sister.

I used to live within walking distance from that salon! Man, the neighborhood has changed.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:22 PM on November 30, 2005

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