Category Archives: How To

How to make your hair dye last longer

You want bright hair dye that lasts. We all do. Each of us has our own favorite. We do our best to keep Special Effects in stock, but it does move quickly, and deliveries are, shall we say, erratic. We’re taking a pause on those for a while, so our current stock is all we’ll have of that brand for a bit.  We also stock Manic Panic brand dyes all year round, and their formulas have REALLY improved in the past few years with regard to how long they last, so, if you haven’t tried out their AMP’D line in a while, you might want to give that a go. We’re also happy to be able to stock Arctic Fox in our store. This is a long lasting dye, formulated to both condition and run less (think less of a shower bloodbath!) Whichever you choose, we know you want  to keep that soon-to-be dyed hair looking as bright as possible, for as long as you can. So use the tips below, and you’ll look awesome for as long as possible! We’ve got ’em!

  • Demi permanent dyes, like Special Effects Hair Dye, Manic Panic®, and Arctic Fox  will always show up best on pre-lightened hair. That doesn’t mean you need to bleach your hair to white! It simply means that if your hair is highlighted or even bleached for a very short period of time, it’s going to work better. Why? Demi permanent dyes sit ON your hair, not IN your hair shaft, like permanent dyes do. When you lighten your hair, you open the pores in the follicle and this allows the dye to get in there and take hold a little bit better. It won’t be permanent by any means, but the color will be a lot brighter and a lot more long lasting. Do you HAVE to pre-lighten? Absolutely not. You’re still going to get a tint with these dyes (and with some colors, a very strong tint!) but if you want to go out there looking like a Fraggle, pre-lightening is the way to go.
  • Before you use demi permanent dye, a little bit of prep is in order. Whether or not you pre-lighten, make sure you wash your hair well. Lather, rinse, repeat. You know the drill. What you may not know is that you should NOT condition your hair before you dye! We know, you’ve just bleached your hair and it feels and looks remarkably like straw. It’s creeping you out! You MUST condition!No! You must not. Trust us. Demi-permanent dyes are suspended in a conditioning base. Your hair will feel better after you’ve dyed it. If you like, when you’re rinsing the dye out, you can use conditioner then.
    So, you’ve washed your hair, you’ve restrained yourself and you didn’t condition, now what? Now, you wait. Your hair needs to be BONE dry. If there’s water in your hair, it’s going to fill up the spaces where you want your dye to go. So you have to just wait it out. Can you blow dry? We don’t recommend blow drying freshly bleached, unconditioned hair. That’s just asking for trouble.
  • Alright. You made it. You’re super clean and super dry. You’re ready! As responsible people we have to warn you, this dye stains. It stains EVERYTHING it touches, and it does it just about instantly. When you dye, you’re going to want to keep a bottle of some kind of cleanser with bleach in it nearby. If you drip a drop, spray it FAST. This probably won’t save you, but at least you tried. We recommend doing the actual dying in a bright, preferably tiled room. Tile tends to resist the staining and the bleach works best there. So, after you’ve donned your dye gear, put on some rubber gloves. These should be non-negotiable. If you don’t wear the gloves, you’re going to look silly, for DAYS and days and days and days. Also, your fingernails are going to be stained and you’ll look quite ill even after the dye comes off of your skin. If you’ve recently painted your nails, and the color isn’t black, you’re going to ruin that too. It’ll still get ruined when you rinse later, but you can keep the pretty nails dream alive a *little* bit longer if you wear the gloves. Some people recommend putting vaseline around your hairline and on your ears. We don’t disagree. This will keep your skin cleaner and make it easier to get the dye off later. If you’d like to do this, go for it. In the Attic, we don’t do this. It’s just too icky. It’s greasy and difficult to get off your skin, it always seems to get *into* our hair and BLEH. We’d rather take the hit and just have red or blue ear tops for a week. Here, we declare it a badge of honor, and move on, but it’s up to you! You can also try a thick coating of skin lotion which is a bit of a middle ground.
    And that’s our “keep it neat” disclaimer!
  • So, you’re clean, you’re dry, you’re wearing the crappiest clothing you own and you’re in rubber gloves. Time to do the surgery.  There are two ways you can go about applying the color. You can use a tint brush (usually a plastic, stiff bristled brush with a “rat tail” at the other end which is used to pull apart sections of hair) or you can go kindergarden on the job and use your fingers. There’s no right or wrong here, only what makes you comfortable. A note of caution though, if you use your fingers, the bottle is going to get really disgusting, really quickly, and if it does fall off the counter, it’s going to make an absolutely incredible mess. If you’re a klutz, we recommend using the brush! You now have two choices, you can use a paper or foam plate as a palette, squeezing a bit of the dye onto the plate and then applying it to your hair with the brush or fingers, or, you can squeeze it right into your hair and spread it around that way. Again, there’s no right or wrong, it’s up to you.*Safety Disclaimer! You should, at this point, do an allergy test. You know the drill. Put a little spot of dye on your skin, wait 24 hours, if you have no reaction, go for it.Start with your hairline, being careful to avoid the “baby hairs” high up on your cheeks in the sideburn area. They’re going to get a little bit of dye on them anyway, but if you’re using a blue based color and you dye them, you’re going to have a smurfy glow for quite a while. You want to make sure you get the color all the way down to the scalp. Yes, we know, the bottles say to avoid the scalp. And, it’s true, when you get that dye on the scalp, it’s going to stain it and stain it badly. However, if you don’t go all the way down, and you’ve bleached, you’re going to have a weird, unattractive, blonde halo. Also, the good thing about your scalp getting stained is that your scalp produces oil. As this oil works it’s way, out, the stain will fade, and it will fade a LOT more quickly than on any other part of your skin. You’ll have a few days of stain for 6-8 weeks worth of  awesome looking hair.After you’ve done your hairline, do the tips. They’ll fade quickly, but they’ll pick up the dye quickly too, as they’re typically the most damaged part of the hair. You don’t need drippy gloopy coverage. When the hair is dyed, it’s dyed. After you’ve got the hairline and the tips done, take a large toothed comb and comb the dye through from hairline to tips. You’ll get some buildup between the teeth, just rub that onto your hair and comb again. Keep doing this until the dye doesn’t spread anymore. When you use this method, you’ll end up using a lot less dye overall. This will make the bottle last longer and make the next day a lot easier for you.
  • At this point, you’re going to want to start filling in the middle. Put a little bit of dye on, work it in, and then comb. Repeat this until all of your hair is covered. It’s extremely helpful at this point to have a buddy act as your spotter. A lot of times you think you’ve  gotten everything covered, but you’ve got lots of missed patches. Common places to peek at are the very top of your head, and behind your ears. Use a second mirror if you have to, it’s frustrating to have a great looking dye job with big patches of bleached yellow mixed in.
  • Once your hair is all covered with dye, completely saturated, twist it into a knot on top of your head and clip it securely. You don’t want loose strands falling out and brushing against your face. They’ll leave stains anywhere they touch.
  • Now, break out the plastic wrap and wrap your head! Yes, you’ll look positively foolish, but this will serve two purposes. First, it’ll keep your face, and your house safe. You’d be surprised how often your head brushes against things in your house. A plant, the edge of a door, your shower curtain. Keeping dye off of those items will make the post dye cleanup much easier. The second purpose this will serve is to hold in heat. The heat is going to “bake” that dye into your hair and help it last longer.
  • Once you’re fully wrapped up, you’re going to blow dry that lovely plastic beehive on your head. Don’t hold the dryer *too* close. You don’t want to melt the plastic. You’re just warming up your hair. Do this for about ten minutes. Again, you’re “baking” the dye into your hair and helping it to last longer. When you’re done with that, you’re at the hair dye commitment crossroads, and decisions must be made.
  • What are your plans for the next day? If you have any, skip the next portion and go right to “time to shower.” If you don’t, and you REALLY want your dye to last, get a bandana and tie it around your plastic beehive. Tie it tightly. Embrace your new look, you’ll be working it until tomorrow.
    The longer you keep your dye in at this stage, the longer you’re going to keep your color. Before you go to bed, get a large, dark colored towel, and cover your pillow. This will keep it from being utterly destroyed. When you wake up, it’ll be time to shower, and then, you’re almost done.
  • Time to shower! Ok, you’re ready to rinse this goop out. If you’ve done the previous step, your face is likely smeared with dye and you look a bit like you were assaulted by a Crayola factory worker. It’s ok, we can fix that in the end.Take off your plastic cap. Don’t be alarmed at how hard your hair has become. It’ll feel a bit like plastic, but that’s just the dried out dye. Carefully take off whatever you’re wearing on top and put it right in the washing machine. If it touches anything, it’s going to stain it. Now, get into the shower. Don’t use hot water, use warm. Hot water is not going to be your buddy for as long as you want to keep this dye in. It’ll fade it more quickly. All you’re going to do is rinse. Rinse for a long, long time. I’m not going to tell you to “rinse until the water runs clear” because, particularly if you’re using a blue dye, that’s pretty much never going to happen. With a red dye, you’ll come close, but not blue. You’re going to rinse until the water is *pretty* clear. Rinse until it no longer seems that your head is a paint can that has spilled out in the shower. Make sure you’re rinsing with your face pointed up, so the water spills over your back. This will keep your face from being more dyed than it has to get. If you like, you can put some conditioner on your hair at this point. Not a lot, just enough to work through. Leave the conditioner on while you soap yourself up, but rinse it out again before you wash your face.
  • Washing your face after dying your hair is a bit of a multi-step process. First, you’re going to use whatever you use for the rest of your body. If you have a shower poof or a washcloth that will lightly exfoliate your face while you do it, all the better. Wash it well and then rinse. The next step is to use some kind of facial cleanser. We find that acne cleaners work best at removing the dye. After you’re done with that, rinse your face again. Finally, before leaving the shower, turn the water on as cold as you can stand it, and rinse your hair in the cold water. This will close the pores of your hair and make it look more shiny and keep the dye in longer.
  • Use a dark towel to dry your hair when you get out of the shower. Once you’re no longer dripping, take a look in the mirror. If you’re incredibly lucky, you’ve gotten all the dye off, and hats off to you. If you have dye all over your face, you need to find yourself a smoker. The best way to get hair dye off of your face sounds completely gross, but it works. Get yourself some cigarette ash (if you’re not a smoker, keep a pack in the house and just let one burn down on its own, outside the house.) Once you have the ash, wet a paper towel and dip it in the ash, then take the towel and wipe it on the stains. The mild acid in the cigarette ash will take the dye off of your skin. You’ll be left with ash all over your face, but that’s easily removed with a simple face washing. Don’t rub for too long, or too hard. You’ll only end up burning your skin.

Finally, if you want your dye to last as long as possible, avoid shampooing. When you do have to shampoo, do it quickly and don’t use hot water. Your hair will, over time, get used to being washed less often and won’t look greasy or dirty. Your scalp will also thank you for not using so much shampoo. Sleeping on dark towels can be a good idea. There’s never going to come a time when your dye doesn’t rub off in the night. It’s just the price you pay for super bright, super cool looking hair. There WILL come a time, when it’s rinsed enough that it won’t come off on your face. Also remember that reds do not last as long as blues, no matter what you do, that’s just the nature of these dyes.

Do you have any tips to help make your dye last longer? Leave them in the comments! We’d love to hear them and share them with our other customers. Got photos of your gorgeous dye job? Send them in so we can post them in the Customer Gallery!

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While You’re Being Thankful

Give a little thought to others who may not be so lucky. After you’ve recovered from gorging, consider making up a care package to take to your local food pantry for the holidays to come. While most people know to bring perishables, there are a lot of items that food pantries DESPERATELY need, but don’t ask for outright. So, to help you to help others, here’s a list of stuff you might have just lying around the house that can make a huge difference in someone’s day.
1. Spices.
Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.
2. Feminine Products.
Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.
3. Chocolate.
People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.
4. Toiletries.
Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.
5. Canned meats and jerky.
This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.
6. Crackers and tortillas.
They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.
7. Baby toiletries.
Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.
8. Soup packets.
Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.
9. Socks.
From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.”
10. Canned fruit other than pineapple.
Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.

So, next time you’re going through your bathroom, and you find the million little toiletries you’ve taken from hotels on your travels, or you hit up the pantry and realize, hey, I thought I bought garlic powder, but this is onion powder, what am I going to do with this? Now you know. Pop it all in a bag, take it to the food pantry, and be grateful that you have something to give to others!

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How To Have A Gothic Thanksgiving


The holidays are here and everyone’s ready to have their day, their way. But what if you’ve got a non-traditional family who still celebrates those traditional holidays? Never fear, you can still have the folks over for food, without compromising your esthetic desires. Even if you’ve got a conservative family and friends, with more “old fashioned” ideas of how the day should look, these tips will help to carefully guide them into a tasteful night of tasty food.

Look, you don’t want every holiday to look just like Halloween. Halloween deserves its own night, so don’t go stomping on it by dying your turkey black and serving up purple mashed potatoes. You’re looking for tasteful, not distasteful, and with that said:

(1) Pick a color scheme. You might want to tweak the traditional orange and burgundy shades of table linen for black and red, or black and purple. Try a spiderweb runner under those autum leaf accents. Little touches mean a lot here.

(2) Don’t go crazy with dinnerware. Unless you’re a BIG party thrower, your money is likely spent in better ways than stocking up a load of once a year china. Use white standards, but pop a dark charger under the dinner plate. Places like Target and even dollar stores have them for a very low price, and with an accent napkin in the center, wrapped in velvet ribbon, your table will look classy without breaking the bank.  As far as stemware is concerned, your regular wine glasses will be fine, but consider adding some of that ribbon you used around the napkins to tie bows around the bases of each glass in alternating colors for an eye catching, but tasteful, table layout.

(3) And now, for the food! Instead of serving plain white wine, try making a blood-red sangria. Use novelty skull ice trays for your chilled drinks, and if you’re baking pie or cookies, use those halloween cookie cutters you just couldn’t resist to make those steam holes and sweet treats.

And finally, keep it loose. It’s YOUR day. Your family is your prisoner! They’re already in your house. They’ve stepped over the threshold. If they leave now, they’ll miss the biggest glutton fest of the year. You think a few spiderweb accents are going to chase them away from their plates? Ha! Never! So make it yours. Have a good time, and raise a glass to a cooler, more fun twist on a traditional American Holiday.

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Want Shiny, Unfried Hair? We’ve got a few tips!

So, you’ve been bleaching and flat ironing, and teasing your hair into a hot, fried mess. We’ve all done it. But how can you turn it from this:

Into this?:

Well, we’ve got a guest poster today that’s here to show you exactly how to do it! So, without further delay, take it away, Jemma!


Amazing tips on getting awesome hair in 30 days…

So, you want awesome hair? Then you’ve got to start from the inside out. The techniques I am about to share with you are all proven to improve your tresses, and while it might take some time, it’ll definitely be worth it. Some might be common knowledge but I guarantee you that there will be some aha moments here as some secrets are revealed by the hair experts.

To achieve that gorgeously perfect hair we need to care for it inside and out. Here are the lists of the things you need to eat or to avoid in order to accomplish our goal:

  1. Eat the right food, fruits and vegetable is a must for a healthy hair. But adding nuts, brown rice, beans and pulses to your diet would really be a big plus on your hairs’ condition.
  2. Get supplement that nourish your hair such as hair-building vitamins B6, B12, evening primrose oil, folic acid and a good multivitamins.
  3. Avoid smoking, caffeine and alcohol it does more harm than good to your tresses in fact if you eliminate this, your hair will grow stronger and longer.

And now the next step is the dos and don’ts in keeping your hair in top condition. Bear in mind that how you wash your hair and the products you use can go a long way toward maintain a smooth and shiny hair according to dermatologist.

So follow these steps to get healthy hair in no time:

  1. For oily hair, more frequent washing is necessary the more oily your scalp the more you should wash your hair. Here are 3 following scenarios that can help address the frequency of washing the hair.
  • Washing once or twice daily whichever is appropriate for oily hair.
  • Your hair may be drier if they have been chemically treated so washing should be less frequent.
  • Your scalp will be making less oil as you get older so it might not be advisable to shampoo hair every day. However if flakes are forming then it may be a sign to wash your hair regularly with a shampoo.
  1. Shampoo should be applied directly to the scalp to clean the scalp primarily and not the entire length. Washing the ends will result to dull and coarse hair creating flyaway hair.
  2. Conditioner should be concentrated on the hair tips and not on the scalp or the length of the hair because it will make your fine hair look limp.
  3. Using conditioner every after shampoo is a must. It can greatly improve the look of damaged hair by adding shine, lessen static electricity, improve strength and provide protection from the damaging rays of the sun.
  4. Your shampoo and conditioner should be appropriate for your hair type such us color treated hair or damaged hair as this was specifically made to benefit the intended user.
  5. Never go swimming without protecting your hair. Chlorine has been proven to damage the hair so to avoid this always wet the hair and condition them before swimming.  Wearing of tight-fitting swim cap is also advisable. And lastly, do not forget to wash of the chlorine after swimming use specially formulated shampoo and deep conditioner to replace lost moisture.

Stay tuned for a more in depth discussion on caring for your hair. Make sure to follow the tips to get luscious hair in 30 days…You can use hair extensions for more gorgeous hair and have thicker hair. You can visit clock is ticking…start now!




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Ask The Attic- My House Is A Crime Scene! Help!


What a bloody mess. Photo by Pixie Trash

When hair dye ruins your skin, your house, your very life.

Q- I recently bought Blood Red Special Effects hair dye from you and have a few problems with it.  The dye went on and took to my hair nicely, but I dyed it on Friday (and today is Monday) and already my roots are showing.  Every time I take a shower the dye washes out as if I had put fresh dye on my hair and was trying to redye it.  Because of this, my skin looks like I have a really bad sunburn and I cannot get it to come out.  Also, my clothes are covered in red where my hair touches my shirt, my pillow has turned red, my hair straightener is red, my winter coat (which I have worn only once since dying my hair) is red, and so is a (once) white headband.  My hair touches all of these things when it is dry, so the color shouldn’t be coming out but it constantly does.  Do you have any suggestions on how I can prevent this from happening anymore?

A- Hi there! We have tons of dye tutorials on our blog.You can find them by going to the blog and searching for “hair dye” or just follow this link:

Blood red is the longest lasting red, but it also bleeds for the longest, however, with care (I use this color myself) you can get at least 4-6 weeks of bright color out of it!

Follow up:

Q-That helped a little bit, thank you, but what do you suggest to get it out of everything I own?  I’ve gotten it out of my clothes, but I can’t get it out of my headband, pillow, or coat and I’m afraid of ruining my straightener along with my glasses (I only just realized there’s red on them).  I’m sorry for all the questions, but I usually use Manic Panic and got used to everything that happens when I use that.  Then I decided I wanted to make my hair look like Rihanna’s and my cousin, who I guess knows all of you guys, suggested that I try it and then told me to come to you when I expressed my problem to her.  This is by far my favorite color but I don’t know how to deal with it so it doesn’t get everywhere.

A: For metal and plastics, anything with bleach in it (scrubbing bubbles with bleach) tends to work really well. Fabrics, if you get them quickly, can be cleaned with regular detergent and some oxy clean, otherwise, bleach is the best way to go with those. Keeping a dark dye like this under control requires a bit of behavior modification. Only sleep on dark pillowcases, the constant rubbing and friction in the night is going to stain them with a dye like this (alternately, you can sleep on a towel.) For a headband, avoid light colored bands for the first week or two. BEFORE you step out of the shower, wrap your head in a dark towel (I keep one on a hook in the shower and have an unstained, light gray bathmat, so it does work!) until you’re no longer dripping. When you’re wet, avoid all things white, and just bear in mind that a color like this absolutely, positively WILL run under some circumstances. If you’re looking for little or no maintenance, only a lighter color, or permanent dye is going to get you there. Another not so fun dye fact, the more you bleach your hair, the more ANY color is going to run and the faster it will fade. This is due to damage from the bleaching process so if at all possible, only bleach new growth, never re-bleach already dyed or bleached hair! I hope that helps!

Additionally, something that must be considered with “weird hair” is that there’s absolutely, positively, NO way to get around the “trade off.” You know why Rhianna’s glasses arms aren’t red like mine and yours? Because Rhianna is a millionaire with a ridiculous glasses budget and someone following her around ensuring that the second dye gets on those glasses, they’re replaced (also, I’m not entirely sure she wears glasses, but you catch my drift.) Much in the same way that women in movies are never icky and sticky after sex, and action heroes never have to pee (I’m looking at you, Keifer Sutherland. 24 hours with nary a poop or a pee? REALLY, Sir?) in real life, things are a lot more ugly and messy.

Amalthea fun fact: 2 years ago, I couldn’t take it anymore and dyed my hair jet black. For one solid year, NOTHING I went near was stained! I used white pillowcases and blankets and towels with abandon! My shirt collars were pristine. It was sort of awesome, except that at the end of that year, I felt a bit like I’d given up on life and I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. So about a year ago, I decided to pin down what I hate the MOST about the dying process. It came down to 2 things: Ruined bathroom accoutrements and bleaching. I HATE bleaching. I’m 35 (woah!) and I can’t have fried, frizzy hair anymore, it’s just not cute, so bleaching involves ONLY doing the most recent growth and absolutely NEVER overlapping with touch ups. So, my solution? I go to a salon to get my roots bleached. That’s all they do. I leave there looking like a half bleached drown rat. Sucks for them, rules for me. Also, I am CAREFUL. I have lovely sheets on my bed, but on my side, the pillowcases are black. I have a half red, half white comforter cover. Guess which side I sleep with? My bathrobe is, you guessed it, red. I keep a spray bottle of bleach in the shower and I’m not afraid to use it. But you know what? I have RAD looking hair AND a pale grey bathmat, and that, my friends, is fun hair success.

Got any more tips for dealing with the hair dye mess? Leave ’em in the comments below.

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Quick tip- The Last Bit Of Dye In The Bottle

We’re cheapskates here in the Attic, we admit this freely, so we know the pain of tossing out that last bit of dye. Plus, with the irregular shipping schedule for Special Effects dye, you want to make sure that the stuff you do have lasts as long as humanly possible.  So, what’s a person to do when there you are, with your *almost* empty bottle of special effects (or other, similar product) hairdye, and it’s absolutely killing you to throw it out? You’ve curled your finger inside, you’ve stuffed your ends inside the bottle, and swirled them around but still, there’s some left. How can you save it, and, if you do, is there even enough to use? The answer is yes!

This tip will not only help to make that bottle of hair dye last longer, but it’ll keep your color bright for a little bit longer too! Magic!

The first step to doing this, is to asses the conditioner you use. If you use something thin and liquid, like Alberto V05, you’re set right away.

Alberto V05, thin, cheap, and very useful.

If you use something like Aussie Moist, or 3 Minute Miracle, you’re going to need to thin it down.

Aussie, super thick, smells good, cute kangaroo logo.

First step, turn your hairdye bottle right side up and let what’s left settle to the bottom. This will make it less likely that you have overflow and get dye all over the place. Next, if you’re using a thick conditioner, open of the top of the dye put a little bit of water in the bottle. You just need a couple of tablespoons here. Nothing crazy! Now, re-cap the bottle, VERY tightly, and give it a good shake. Let it settle back to the bottom again. Now, all you have to do is squeeze about an inch of conditioner into the dye bottle. Do this SLOWLY. If you do it too quickly, it’s going to clog up the neck and overflow and bleh, what a mess. If you’re using a thin conditioner, just skip the water step and go right to the squeezing! Now that you’ve got that conditioner in the bottle, close it back up and give it a really good shake until the color and the conditioner are all mixed together. Got it? Good! Now, once a week or so, you’re going to use this lovely mix after you wash your hair.Doing this, will REALLY make your dye last. The best part of this method? When there’s still a little left, you can just repeat the process. Eventually, you’re just going to have conditioner in the bottle, no dye. But that’s ok, that’s what you were doing before anyway, and now you don’t have to have that horrible “ug, I spent SO MUCH MONEY on this dye and now I’m throwing it away!” feeling.

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What’s That Purple Stuff? AKA How To Use Toner

Just lately, it seems like quite a few of you are going blonde. You must be, otherwise, why would you be writing in asking about toner?  What is it, how does it work? Will it make me look thinner?

Lets work on these one at a time. What is hair toner?

Toner, clearly, affects your hair’s “tone.” Great. What does that mean? Tone is usually described in one of three categories, cool, warm and neutral. Generally speaking, Attic customers are looking for cool. (Otherwise, why would they be in the Attic? Heh, yeah…) Cool tones have a more blue base, and those snow white, and fog grey colors are about as cool as you can get, tonally speaking. When you’re in a salon, toner is usually used in conjunction with color to achieve a specific shade. There are warm blondes (strawberry,)  and cool blondes (ash,) warm browns and cool ones. Each compliments a different skin tone, and achieves a different look.

You want white? You need this.

Toners are are available in semi-permanent, demi-permanent, and permanent varieties. Here in the Attic, we carry Semi-permanet toner by Special Effects. People using our toner tend to be trying to achieve WHITE white hair. Some people also use toner to create pastel dye effects, or to stretch out a bottle of dye to make it cover more hair.

White hair

How does she get rid of the orange? Toner.

Hair toners main purpose is to remove the unwanted pigments left behind in the hair after bleaching or lightening and they work by canceling out the unwanted pigments using the opposite color of the pigment on the color wheel (see below.) For example, unwanted orange pigments (often referred to as “brassy”) in hair will be neutralized by a blue toner, yellow pigments are neutralized by a purple or violet toner, and so on. Hair toners provide a way to fine tune hair color and create the exact shade desired without further damaging the hair.

Why can’t green and red just learn to get along?

Special Effects toner (and Manic Panic toner) is a violet shade, so it is going to work the best on hair that’s been lightened to a yellow tone. If you can’t get your hair past orange with bleach, you’ll need to add a bit more blue to your toner. How much blue? VERY LITTLE. We’re talking, one drop at a time in the whole bottle of toner. It’s going to take some playing* but at some point, you’ll hit that expert level and get the elf hair of your dreams.

*A note: bleach is VERY damaging to hair. There’s nothing that will ever change that fact. Bleach works by softening and raising the cuticle of the hair,  once the cuticle is raised, the bleaching agents penetrate the shaft and disperses the color molecules. The more color molecules that are dispersed, the lighter the hair becomes. This is one of the more violent procedures you can put your hair through, and if you bleach too much, or too often, your hair will usually respond by simply breaking off.


Don’t let this happen to you, kids!

The good thing about Special Effects and Manic Panic toners is that they’re suspended in a conditioning base, which can help a *little* bit with post-bleach repair, but remember, nothing is ever going to bring your hair back to pre-bleaching health, so toner isn’t a fix all solution, but much like putting lemons in your bra, it can’t hurt, might help!

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Ask The Attic- Swimming With Funky Hair

Q: Hi I have a question about your manic panic and special effects dye products. I know how the color fades through every wash, but I was wanting to know when summer comes around and I were to go swimming would the chlorine or whatever chemicals that are put in pools, would that make it fade quicker or even come ompletely out? I would hate to go swimming and turn someones pool Thanks!

A: Swimming in a pool will make your color fade more quickly (and you’re likely to stain whatever towel you use when you get out, so bring a dark one along with you, instead of risking your host’s towels) but you won’t turn someone’s pool green (you just don’t have enough dye in your hair to pull that one off) or come out a bleached mess.
In summer, between swimming and sun exposure, you’re going to need a touchup more often than you would during the winter, whether you use Manic Panic, Special Effects, or any other demi or semi permanent dye. One of the ways you can help your dye to stay bright is to use a colorizing shampoo. You can also take a tiny bit of the dye you use for regular coloring, and mix it with your conditioner! Let this sit in your hair before your final rinse and you’ll keep your color bright for a LOT longer.

Finally, in summer, it’s always a good idea to pack along some facial cleanser wipes if your dye is really fresh, or if you’re going to get really wet or sweaty. There’s nothing worse than having a rainbow of streaks running down your face, and those wipes can stop ’em before they even start.

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I’m Terrible At Girly Things, But…

man alive. Sometimes you’re just cruising around the internet and you come across a really awesome tutorial like this one:

Holy cats! How cool is that? Even before it’s on her nails, it just looks like a lot of fun, but once it’s applied, it’s just kind of insanely awesome. Now, this probably isn’t true, but somehow I feel like I could accomplish this. What say you? Am I crazy, or is this doable? Any of you ever try it? How did it come out?

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