Wednesday, December 19, 2012

special effects vs manic panic

after my first-ever dye job, using manic panic in pillarbox red 
special effects in nuclear red 
special effects in devilish. i really wish my hair was still this long! 

ive been dyeing my hair red (with small intervals of other colours) for more than two years now, and i've learned some things about the process. i get a lot of questions--more frequently in real life than on here--about what i do to it/what kind of dye i use and why so i thought i'd just make a big post rather than pack for winter break.
i've used three colours consistently throughout my hair dyeing career: special effects in nuclear red and devilish, and manic panic in pillarbox red. 
pillarbox red was the first colour i ever used in my hair (besides that time in 8th grade when i dyed some purple over my natural brown but you couldn't really tell anything was different) and i started off with it because manic panic is sort of the most well-known brand of fantasy colour hair dye out there. i really liked the result, obviously, because here i am years later still dyeing my hair bright red! there are pros and cons to each of the brands and colours:
manic panic-pillarbox red
  • a very true, bright, orange-based red
  • comes in that tub thing which is really easy to use 
  • fades to an orangey colour that i actually quite like
  • doesn't leave much of a mess; comes off of most surfaces quite easily (including skin)
  • fades quite quickly, after only a few washes
  • although it is bright, it's not all that...vibrant, if that makes sense

special effects-devilish
  • looks amazing directly after dyeing, probably my favourite immediate colour payoff
  • lasts quite a long time 
  • comes in those awful squeeze bottles that are a pain in the ass to use especially when you've got dye all over your hands
  • after the first wash, looks really more pink than red
  • stains skin pretty badly, and most surfaces as well
  • the water will run pink/red when showering for a few weeks which can stain (i've learned not to take a bath with special effects in my hair within at least a few weeks of dyeing it, because it will stain the tub--usually with a shower it's not much of a problem because the water goes down the drain too quickly for it to stain, but in the bath it can be a problem both with the water and if i lean my head against the side of the tub and it's really hard to get off)

special effects-nuclear red
  • a very bright red that doesn't look pink at all
  • lasts much longer than manic panic

  • most of the same cons as devilish, except the problem with fading (the squeeze bottle and the staining are problematic as is the shower thing)
  • a little bit darker than i'd really like--it's not quite bloodred but it leans a little more in that direction than do the other colours

basically, i still have no idea what i actually like the most. it's on my mind because i dyed my hair today--i used a combination of nuclear red and pillarbox red, which isn't something i've tried before. 
so far it looks like this, which i actually quite like, but as you can tell my hair is still wet and i can never really gauge how nice a colour looks until it's dry. i used an entire tub of pillarbox red first and then combed in some of the nuclear red over it--i hope it turns out well, because then maybe i can stick to it!

do any of you dye your hair--fun colours or natural ones? what's your favourite brand?



Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing!I just started to re-dye my hair in red, it was a lifelong love story, but then I abandoned it for natural colours and I'd love to gradually bleach my hair (it's long and years ago I had to cut it short after a wrong experiment)to have a true red effect!Manic Panic is a famous brand, but I can't find it here, maybe I could order it, devilish sounds great!

Meghan Edge said...

When I was dying my hair with MP I mixed a few squirts of Suave $1 conditioner in the dye before applying it to my head and I found that it made it last longer and it didn't leak as long. Like, without the conditioner the MP would leak on my clothes for a few weeks, but with conditioner it was only a few washes and then it was fine. Just in case that helps. :-)

I love this post, though. I personally like MP but it's because I've never worked with Special Effects and they are hard to find around here.

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