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HI! My name is Jet and I've worked here at your fav rock shop the Alley for years now. I'm a big fan of alt hair fashion, and I've learned a  thing er two in the 10+ years I've been doing synthetic dreads and craaaazy hair colors. I thought I'd share some of my tips with you.

My favorite semi-permanent hair dye brand is Special Effects, by far. I find it to last 3 to 4 times longer than Manic Panic, and it usually fades to nicer colors. All these tips would work for Manic Panic too, though. (Or whatever other brand you use...but I don't get behind those other brands. Special Effects is the shizzle).

Tips for Dying Process:

  • Its says to leave it on for 20 mins, but leave it on for a few hours if you have the time. This dye just deposits (no lifting involved) so it won't hurt your lovely mane any to leave it on longer. I usually leave it on for two hours or so, personally
  • Wash your hair prior to dying, but don't condition. It helps your hair soak up that dye better.
  • Make sure your hair is totally dry
  • Don't forget to pull the color through your ends, even if you are just doing your roots
  • While bleaching your hair first will make the results more dramatic, putting this dye over natural hair colors (or dyed hair that is dyed to look like a natural color) can give a "pop" to a blah head of hair any day! Particularly nice on redheads. I recommend Nuclear Red or Cherry Bomb to put a pep in your step!
  • Remember to wrap your head in a shower cap, plastic wrap or plastic bag (no one will judge you!) after applying the dye. If it dries out it will stop processing, so you gotta wrap it! Also, your body heat that is kept in by the cap will help the dye take to your locks better.
  • Rinse out the dye with COLD water! Hot water opens up your hair shaft and the color will come out much more quickly!

Tips To Keep Your Color ROCKIN'

  • Wash with cool/cold water as well, and use color safe shampoo! Nothing with citrus in it for sure. I use Tigi "Fashionista" most of the time. It smells like grapes and doesn't break the bank.
  • Keep in mind that flat ironing/curling and applying copious amounts of hair products will make your color fade faster. Lord knows that doesn't stop me from doing it, but knowledge is power!
  • Don't fantasize for a minute that swimming in a pool full for chlorine isn't going to strip your color. Get real, gurl!

General Tips

  • Don't be afraid to mix colors to customize! I do it all the time to match my real hair to my dread extensions. If you want to make a special color but yer scared, ask someone here at the Alley and odds are we can help you pick the right colors to mix
  • If you want a better idea of what a color will look like, just Google "Special Effects (insert color name here)". There are lots of websites with pics of real people like you and me with their hair dyed with those colors. Lots of times they have pics of how they fade, too!
  • Special Effects is all natural and vegan friendly! No animals were harmed and guess what...it's safe to use to dye your dog with ...if you're into that sort of thing. I can't confirm or deny if I've ever dyed my Japanese Chin.
  • Softscrub will take the colors out of your shower, astringent is pretty good at getting it off your skin.
  • If you are dying at a friends/your mom's/grandma's house...don't you dare use the "special towels" meant for company! Use a towel you either don't mind ruining or is the same color you are dying your hair. Believe me, I've bought enough replacement towels to learn my lesson


Dying your hair with temp colors is a fabulous way to make you feel pretty (or uh, manly)  and reflect your mood. It washes out in about a month or two, so you aren't stuck with it and you can feel free to change it with your whims. It's safe for all ages, safe for pets, not safe for white towels.


Stay Beautiful, Keep Rockin' and Be Yourself

Much love, xo



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