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Photograph by George Sakkestad

Make Your Head Glow

Sage advice for neon locks

By Mary Spicuzza

ADMIRERS OF HAIR COLORS like Pimpin' Purple, Vampire Red and Deadly Nightshade, beware. Overly impulsive action when breaking from boring locks can have catastrophic results on both hair health and emotional stability. Mastering the perfect shock-value shade is an involved process, and novices should carefully research brands, colors and predying suggestions.

A trusted hair stylist usually provides the safest means to crisis-free dying. But most twentysomething goths and punks, unless they're trustifarians (members of the trust fund tribe), aren't raking in enough cash to feed an expensive salon-dye habit.

Self-sufficient types have remained devoted to Manic Panic for years. Tish & Snooky's NYC Inc., creators of this semipermanent color, fill their user-friendly website (www.manicpanic.com) with helpful directions for dying.

Like most dye-makers, Tish and Snooky advise preliminary bleaching to make hair more porous. Bleached-out hair absorbs more dye and stays closer to the true shade than "virgin locks." For example, electric blue can easily transform into avocado-toilet green if applied to blondish hair.

Less established brands, like Fudge and Special Effects, are gaining goth fans by the dozens (www.amphigory.com) because of their notoriously shocking shades, boasting colors like Bright as [email protected]#! Yellow and Cherry Bomb.

Whether dying hair Hello Kitty pink or Pokémon yellow, anyone going for nature-defying shades should heed Manic Panic's advice and discontinue use if "burning, itching, blisters or eruptions" ensue.


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From the September 26-October 3, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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