Ask The Attic: Which Color Lasts the Longest?

We get a lot of hair dye questions here in the Attic, and one of the most commonly asked is which hair dye lasts the longest? In our opinion and experience, Special Effects dyes, when applied according to our blog tutorial, seem to last the longest. Now, even among the Special Effects line up, all dyes are not created equal.

No matter what brand you use, be it Special Effects, Manic Panic, Punky Colors, or anything else, you’re going to find that red shades fade a lot faster than blue shades. Red shades also tend to fade more quickly than other shades when using permanent dye. There’s not a lot to be done about it, it’s in the nature of the color, so when choosing what kind of color you’re going to go with, keep in mind that if you pick a red or orange shade, you’re going to be touching up your hair a lot more often than if you do a blue or a purple shade.

Due to its long lasting nature, Amalthea’s Attic carries the full range of colors in the Special Effects line. Among the red Special Effects shades, the one that lasts the absolute longest is blood red. This is a very deep color with very subtle blue undertones. You can get a LOT of wear from this shade, and it’s highly recommended for the summer months when you’ll be swimming and washing your hair more often than usual. Reds like nuclear red, and the very red looking high octane orange will fade a lot more quickly, but will give you the kind of pop you’re not going to be able to achieve with blood red. Looking for a happy medium? Give devilish a try. You’ll get that nuclear red pop, but with a deeper base, the color lasts longer.

Nuclear Red Dye In Action.

If you’re more of a blue person, blue velvet is the longest lasting color in line, followed closely by electric blue. Velvet is a very deep tone that when first applied, can sometimes look black, while electric has a brighter pop to it. Both of these are great “low maintenance” color choices.

Little known fact, Blue Velvet tends to attract kitties.

For those goldilocks hair dye people out there, purple shades offer the brightness of red, with some of the more long lasting qualities of purple. Got a question about your specific shade? Let us know! Got a question about anything else? We’d like to hear that too! Just drop us a line and put “Ask the Attic” in your subject heading. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a spotlight in an upcoming Ask the Attic blog post!

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11 thoughts on “Ask The Attic: Which Color Lasts the Longest?

  1. Kailey

    I dyed my hair dark red auburn ( 550 dark red auburn from Garnier). How long would that color last? But before that I had it bleached and colored a weird orange, almost close to a dark yellow. After about three months I dyed it with the dark red auburn color. I followed the instructions that it said on the box. So I didn’t wash my hair for about 48 hours or so but then when I took a shower. It began to fade to that orange color! D: What should I do?! I need advice! Any tips?!

  2. Amalthea Post author

    Because you’re dying over bleach, you’re going to have to be really careful with anything even remotely “red,” including “dark red auburn. My suggestion is to go several shades darker than what you think you’re looking for until the bleach grows out, because that orange is going to fight you to come through. Go for a very dark brown shade, that’s likely going to get you closer to the dark auburn you’re looking for!

  3. Samantha

    Do you know which special effect purple lasts the longest before fading? I was thinking of doing the virgin rose or pimpin purple. I like the pink base ones but I wanted to have it for a while..

  4. Amalthea Post author

    Between those two shades, I’d go with Pimpin’ Purple, which does tend to fade out to a pink shade. If you want to add some extra staying power, you might want to mix in a little bit of Deep purple or even Electric Blue (a VERY little bit if electric blue) and they’ll last. Also, don’t forget to put a pinch of whatever color you use right into your conditioner to keep it going as long as possible!

  5. Sarena

    Hi I have died my hair red and I know it bleeds, I want to start swimming and it’s a public pool, I saw a YouTube video where a woman said when she dived in and came up she looked like Carrie from the horror film, now I’m not worried about colour fade or something similar I want to know how many washes after dieing my hair will the bleeding be less dramatic, I don’t want to be kicked out of the pool and being embarrassed of how much is noticeably running down my face and into the pool. Hate crazy confrontation and don’t want to have to die my hair black or brown because I love swimming like crazy and live across the street from my pool, also it should be known I love swimming under the water staying under for as long as possible so keeping my head out is not really an option and I have a swim cap but can’t stand wearing it for long I swim for an hour + every time. Thanks for any help

  6. Amalthea Post author

    Hi there! Once you’ve washed it 3 or 4 times (particularly Arctic fox) the color doesn’t really noticeably run “Carrie” style. It WILL stain towels for a bit, so bring a dark towel to the pool. But I recently dyed my hair and then went for a trip to Puerto Rico, where I swam in pools and the ocean for a week, and aside from dying some white towels blue, all was well!

  7. Sarena

    Thank you that helps, I am satisfied with the answer, awesome response time, definitely saving this site

  8. Melanie Bloch

    If I add conditioner to Sparks Purple Passion which I find a little dark, will it just lighten the color or will the color not last as long?

  9. Lisa

    Hi , I am in my 50’s and desire that dark auburn shinny look. My hair is thin yet I have a lot of it. It is also fairly dry and at the most, I actually shampoo it is every three days ( I can go a week without washing it and it will not look greasy). At any rate, what would be the best way to maintain a dark auburn shinny look at my age. My natural color is a dishwater blond. I am lucky and do not have any grey. My mother at 81 does not have grey hair either…

  10. Amalthea Post author

    For natural colors, like a dark auburn, Henna is a great, natural option. It’s safe for your hair and doesn’t damage, while also depositing rich, warm color!

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