I’ve been dying my hair for several years now. I’m no professional but I do well on my own. Been dying my hair since I was 2004 so I have a few years of knowledge just from learning from my own experiences on my hair and on others. I definitely have learned I don’t have the patience to do it as an occupation, but for myself or a friend, hell yeah.
So, I’ve used four different brands of hair dye for unnatural colors over the years. I’m going to do this in order from what I used first and so on. Also, prepare yourself for a ton of old/embarrassing pictures.
Manic Panic - CreamI was obsessed with this hair dye for years. I swore by it, but in reality compared to others I’ve used now, it’s only okay. It fades fairly fast. Within the first week, a touch up isn’t necessary but the brightness definitely fades depending on how much you wash your hair. After the first two or three washes, the brightness starts fading. From my memory it doesn’t fade drastically but noticeably. Though one of the best things about Manic Panic is that it’s vegetable based so after bleaching your hair, it doesn’t do excessive damage.
They have a very wide range of colors to pick from instead of your basics so you get to choose certain shades which is pretty nice :] You can mix their colors too to make your own shade.
Also, they sell a cream and a gel. I haven’t tried the gel but I heard it works really well.
As for staining skin, I don’t remember it ever doing that. Not for long at least. It definitely washes out easily.
Here’s a couple pictures from the past of my old hair. I was 15-16. Lol.
The first one is Pillarbox Red and the second is Electric Lizard.
Beyond The Zone Color JamzOf course I couldn’t help but try this one out next because it was sold right next to Manic Panic in Sally’s Beauty Supply. Even from the first try I wasn’t impressed. The dye didn’t stick to my hair very well. The only time it did was when my hair was freshly bleached but it still bled and faded quickly. It’s not unheard of for some people to say that it works well in their hair but for the majority of what I’ve seen, experienced, read, it’s not that great.
However, for nostalgia’s sake, I can’t help but love it anyways. It’s a cheap and somewhat temporary way to see if you’d like unnatural colored hair. You can use this on light blond clip-in extensions and it’ll work fine since you won’t have to wash them as much.
More old picturesss.
The first one is Rasberry Kamikaze. It was a little darker in person. The picture is really over exposed and in the second picture, the blue was actually Not So Shy Violet. I loved it. It was actually a much stronger, brighter blue than in the picture. Bad camera settings. Haha.
Special EffectsDuring the first few years of me dying my hair, I heard about Special Effects but never tried it until Hot Topic started selling it in their stores. When I finally tried it, I FELL IN LOVE. This is THE best hair dye I have ever used. It’s vegetable based, smells good, the color is bold and bright and stays that way for a month before it needs a little bit of a touch up but even without touching it up the color stays in bold for months after depending on how much you wash your hair. It does stain so you have to use a bleach cleaner on tile and stuff but it’s no big deal.
I wish they still had it in Hot Topic. That’s pretty much all I went in there for but now I have to order online.
Like Manic Panic, they have a wide variety of colors to choose from.
Pictures below: Iguana Green, Fish Bowl Blue
I’ve also used Nuclear Red and Napalm Orange. They came out so true and beautiful. I’m just not sure which pictures they are. I’ve gone through so many hair styles/colors but there’s a small example of Napalm Orange below.
RAWI’d say this might come between Special Effects and Manic Panic. As in it’s better than Manic Panic, that it stays in longer and bolder, but that it’s not as good as Special Effects because it doesn’t stay in as well and some times doesn’t stick as well.
I used this as a substitute when they stopped selling Special Effects at Hot Topic and I was too lazy to order online, haha. So I’m okay with this but it’ll always feel lower than second to Special Effects and I refuse to use Manic Panic now. But it does it’s job for awhile.
First picture is Fire Red and the orange was left over Special Effects Napalm Orange. The picture is a bit bright but the colors were just as vibrant. So there’s not much difference to this picture versus seeing it in person. It may have been a little darker but still as bright.
I think the second picture is Twisted Teal. Not quite sure but I know it was one of the two dark blue ones. I’m sure it doesn’t really look like that color though because I put it on top of a purple which was made from putting blue on top of my previously red hair. Like I said, I’ve gone through lots of hair colors/styles.
This stuff definitely sticks in but make sure when you put it in your hair, that your hair is a nice even color with as little yellow as possible because it will pick up the hints of yellow/orange if you're trying to do a light color. If you look below at the pink hair, I think I was going for a light pink by putting in 20 volume developer but because I didn't bleach it evenly, it turned out like a highlighter orange/pink in person. It was pretty, but it was uneven and not what I was going for.
Aside that tip, this hair dye is actually pretty good. The color holds in really well and vibrantly. It's taken me quite a few washes before it fades. Though I've only used the pink and red thus far so I can't say how it works with the other colors.
This brand was also another filler for Special Effects and would be on the same level as RAW for me. I wonder if they're the same thing, hahaha.
Anyways, that’s it. I’m sure I’ve tried one or two more other brands but not enough to really recall facts from trying them out.
Everything written here is from personal experience on my own hair so the results and opinions may vary for other people considering different types of hair but generally, Special Effects is definitely one of the top brands for best unnatural colored hair dye. Anyone who has tried it will tell you the same.
Here’s some more pictures just for the heck of it :]