Tag Archives: Advice

Ask The Attic- Quick Hair Dye Tips

We get a TON of the same questions about hairdye here at the Attic, so we thought, hey, lets just combine them into one super convenient Q&A, shall we? A: Yes, we shall!

Q: What’s the most important thing I can do to make my dye last longer?

A: We get this one the most. Number one tip? DON’T WASH YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY! Don’t do it! And, honestly, even if you don’t dye your hair? Still, don’t wash it every day. You’re stripping oils out that your hair actually LIKES having in there. When you first switch off from daily washing to, lets say, 2 times a week at MOST washing, yes, your hair is gonna look a little grungy. Give it a couple of weeks to retrain itself and you’ll be amazed at how happy it is.

Q: But, Amalthea, I work out! I sweat, I HAVE to wash it!

A: No, you don’t. Trust me, I’m not some kind of crunchy oatmeal dreads girl. When I did have dreads they were 100% synthetic. I’m not advocating stinkin’ up the joint. However, rinsing your hair in warm water after a workout, unless you worked out in a vat of molasses, WILL rinse out the sweat. I’m a huge fan of summer gardening. I know all about sweating and grossness. I use this method and it really does work.

Q: Ok, fine. You win, but when I DO wash it, what should I use?

A: Whatever you want. It’s really not going to make THAT much of a difference. Personally, I use Herbal Essences Color me happy shampoo and I use a variety of conditioners that I rotate between, including Dove Intensive therapy, whatever’s cheap in the store, and the stuff nice n’ easy uses for after you use their box dye. Thanks to my mom’s incredibly short hair, I have this in no short supply, but they do sell it separately in the store, or so says the obnoxious marketing button on each and every tube of the stuff.

Q: How long does YOUR dye last?

A: I use blood red by special effects and generally speaking, my roots are a problem before fading is. I get at least 4-6 weeks in the fall, winter, spring and 3-4 weeks in the summer because I refuse to give up swimming.

Q: Why does the crown of my hair always fade so quickly? The ends seem to last.

A: Hot water. Your hair dye HATES it when you stand in the shower under the hot water just letting it beat on the top of your head. Now, personally, I’d rather be bitten on the face by a zombie than give up hot showers so I find that the best thing to do is TURN AROUND! Let the water beat on your upper back, not your head. You’ll enjoy this just as much after awhile and voila! You’ll have a dark crown.

Q: I hear you just gutted and completely overhauled your bathroom, how can you possibly dye your hair in it?

A: Take your time, keep bleach in the shower with you, and possibly most importantly, keep a dark towel in the shower with you and wrap your hair BEFORE you step out of the shower.

So, that’s the quick tips for the day. Have any questions? Leave ’em in the comments or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to answer them for you!

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Ask The Attic – More Hair Dye Questions!

For whatever reason, all of the sudden, we’ve been getting a ton of hair dye questions from you guys! And because we like to be helpful, we’re going to answer a whole batch of them right here! How great is that, eh? It’s very great, trust us.

Q: What hair dye colors last the longest?

A: Ok, c’mon, guys, help us to help you! We’ve got the answer to that one in this entry.

Q: How often can I use Special Effects or Manic Panic hair dyes?

A: Well, this varies. The good news is that both of these dyes are incredibly gentle and are both suspended in a conditioning base. You can use them every single day if you want and you’re not going to damage your hair. The bad news is that if you do that, you’re going to live in a world of drippy looking skin and stained sheets, walls and everything else you encounter. As we’ve mentioned before, these are demi permanent dyes and they sit ON your hair, not in it, like permanent dyes do. What does that mean? Well, it means that by their very nature, these dyes are kind of a messy affair. Here in the Attic, we like to consider the mess the dues you pay to be in the awesome hair club, but some people (particularly parents) consider the mess “damaging to their homes.” So, be sane about your applications. If you follow the method we’ve posted in this entry to apply the dye in the first place, you’re really not going to have to re-apply more than once a month and your hair will look awesome (and so will your towels and sheets!)

Q: Does cold water make hair color last longer?

A: Short answer, yes. Long answer? Here.

Q: I can’t figure out which shade of hair dye to use! Help!

A: You know, that’s only barely a question, but still, we’re gonna help. For a pretty decent description of the Special Effects line, as well as a link to our customer photo gallery AND to a larger overall dye gallery, hit up Amalthea’s Attic’s Special Effects page here. You’ll find all that stuff, you’ll be able to order whatever colors you want and you can even see product ingredient lists. Have any other questions? Please send them to us! We’ll do our best to get you answers! Got some photos for our customer gallery? Send those too! We wanna see your gorgeous face!

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Let’s Say I Want To Go Natural, What Color Should I Wear?

It’s fall, and that means that the idea of putting makeup on doesn’t seem so awful anymore. I know, some of you are REAL girls, or super fashion dudes, unlike me, and you make the effort every day. But me? I’m a huge baby. When it’s summer and there’s sweating and swimming happening, I’m just not motivated to do the whole makeup thing. But now that it’s crispy at night, and a little more dry during the day, the whole thing doesn’t seem so bad.

So lets say you’re looking to go natural? Maybe it’s time to give your hair a little rest for a few months while you’re waiting for our HUGE OCTOBER HAIR DYE EXPLOSION (details coming soon!) How do you know what that is, particularly when, if you’re like me, you haven’t seen your natural hair color in over 20 years? Try this out for size, and you’ll get a natural look you’ll like and your hair can get a few weeks off.

best hair color for blue eyes

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A Customer Review! Special Effects Vs. Manic Panic!

Guys, as you know, Special Effects is, during certain times of the year, IMPOSSIBLE to keep in stock. Why is this? It’s because it has a shorter shelf life than Manic Panic and because they do not produce dye year round. They only do it in batches, which leads to big chunks of time when their products become MEGA scarce. We just spoke to them on Monday, and as of right now, we’re still looking at Mid October for a possible ship date from them. I KNOW! Don’t get me started.

Seriously. Don’t.

Annnyyyway, in the meantime, we have options. Namely, Manic Panic! Manic panic is the original. It’s vegan, and cruelty free, and all of that other great tree hugging wonderfulness, but most importantly, it comes in a million colors, two formulations (original and Amp’d, a longer lasting formula) AND it’s available ALL THE DAMNED TIME! That’s right! That means when you order Manic Panic, you won’t be on a backorder list for MONTHS. Imagine that? I know! Now, some of you, particularly youngins, are afraid of the Manic Panic. “Why, that’s what my grandma used to color HER chelsea green!” the children cry. You know what though, children? Your grandma knew her stuff. Yes, we’re not going to lie, Manic Panic, overall, does NOT last quite as long as Special Effects. Why is this? Dead animals. Pure and simple. You can’t get color to last like Special Effects without crushing up a few insects and maybe some other as yet-to-be-named creatures. (And a note to the scandalized, if your product can’t be specifically labeled as “Vegan” then SOMETHING  someone considers cute died to make it. Such is life.) But you know what else? We sell both products, so taking our word for it isn’t really doing due diligence. So what we’ve done is asked a customer to do an HONEST review, comparing both products, and Awesome Attic Customer and Supermom Sol has stepped up to the task!* Yay, Sol! So, without further delay, here’s Sol’s review, complete with photos! Take it away, Sol!

*Full disclosure, Sol had placed an order of Special Effects Atomic Pink through our website, and was sent an additional order of Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink, free of charge, in exchange for her lovely write up!


Hi All! Sol here, fan of Amalthea’s Attic and all things unique and fun. I’ve been dyeing my hair varying shades now for about 20 years, but 9 times out of 10 I go with Manic Panic. Yes, I know there are many more products out there so I was happy to give Special Effects a go for my favorite online store.

After bleaching the top half of my hair (bottom half is dyed with Manic Panic Purple Haze) I dyed one side with Manic Panic Amplified Hot Hot Pink and the other with Special Effects Atomic Pink.

I noticed a few things right away when I opened up the Special Effects bottle and squirted it into my bowl. The consistency of the dye is thicker than Manic Panic’s. One problem I’ve always had with Manic Panic is that I wish it was thicker to make application easier, as well to make sure I get enough on my hair to make the color stick. It went on nicely and was easy to spread with my dye brush and fingers as needed. Compared to Manic Panic I felt it was easier to apply in terms of the messy factor. I did use a bit more of the Special Effects but I felt the coverage of the product rivaled Manic Panic’s.

I let them both sit for a few hours, applied some heat from a blow dryer and then rinsed. The colors are different in appearance—the Special Effects Atomic Pink was a bit redder in appearance but after it was all rinsed? To the eye I couldn’t tell a huge difference between it and the Manic Panic Cotton Candy. Both sides were evenly dyed and I didn’t feel either was lacking in its ability to saturate and change my hair color.

 Of course the true test would be the performance factor. How long would it last, hold up to sun exposure, swimming, washings and the test of time.

I swim in a chlorinated pool nearly every day during the summer and after a month my hair color was starting to fade a bit but still looking nice and bright.

I found the staying power of Special Effects to be better than Manic Panic’s. I admit I was surprised as I’ve always been a Manic Panic fan. I still am but I’m definitely going to look for some more Special Effects colors, as soon as they are more widely available. The latter is the only downside I can find to Special Effects, availability. I’ve fallen in love with the way the Atomic Pink faded and impressed with the performance but now it is hard to find! I hope as Special Effects moves their production factory and gets back into the grove I can find more of their products here at Amalthea’s Attic.

Sol's lovely dye job

Comparing dyes when wet.

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Amalthea Fun Fact! I’m A Ghost!*

Ok, that’s a lie, I’m just REALLY pale. The kind of pale where my boyfriend can’t use me for a stand in on his video shoots because I don’t show up on film. Because of this I’ve become adept at hiding from the sun whilst enjoying summer activities. For example, I’m a gigantic fan of aerosol sunscreen. This may be the greatest invention of our time, particularly for those of us who have partners who get all squiged out by the idea of touching goopy greasy lotions.

Recently, after getting one too many horrible tramp stamp location burns, I learned to love rashguard shirts. For those who aren’t familiar with them, they’re always seen on those UFC guys, they’re sort of shiny and generally tight and they dry almost instantly. MMA guys love them because, well, they guard from rashes like rugburn and such, but ghosts like them because they have an AMAZING ability to block the sun. Also, they don’t ride up when you’re bent over outside doing things like gardening, thus leading to the awful tramp stamp burn. You can swim in them too, and they still protect you, which lotions and sprays don’t do particularly well. On the whole, these are great garments. LL Bean has them, Land’s End, any decent sports store does too. The one issue with them is that esthetically, they’re kind of hurting. I have a plain white one and a plain black one too. I even have a black jacket with a hideous surf logo on the bottom because I’m doing with function over form on that garment, but generally, these things look terrible unless you’re Georges St. Pierre, in which case you could probably roll around in a pile of manure and still manage to snag 18 ladies on the way out of the barn.

Why, hello, ladies, you would still love me in a skin tight clown suit, no?

Now, overall, I’m more scared of cancer than the fashion police, so until now I’ve relented and just looked terrible when it’s midday and I need to accomplish outdoor activities. But today, I was cruising about online and I came across these!

Ooooh! You mean I CAN look cool in these?! Who knew?

Not only is this “rashie” as they call it adorable, but it comes in 4 different colors (the rest are on a black background for all you traditionalists out there) and it’s called the Davy Jones which is also pretty awesome. They ship from Australia and run $85, but since sunscreen isn’t cheap (on Vieques, PR they have the nerve to charge TWENTY dollars a CAN for the stuff!) you’ll end up saving in the long run. Check out Mathmatic Surf for these and other pirate type surfer goodies.

*Speaking of I’m a Ghost, hey, Schaffer the Darklord, when are you gonna drop THAT one on us, huh?

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