Special Effects is perhaps one of the best hair dyes for those that like to dye their hair unnatural colors. There is a very large range of shades, and unlike its competitor Manic Panic, which is notorious for fading after just a couple of days, Special Effects colors stay put for weeks.

If you have medium to dark hair (basically, anything that isn't the absolute lightest of blondes), it is necessary to bleach your hair first to get the true, advertised color. If you do not bleach, you will end up with just a subtle tint that may not show up in all lighting. Some might like this look, but I'm not crazy about it.

Here is a complete, annotated list of all the dyes Special Effects is making at the time of this writeup:

(arranged by hue)


  • Fish Bowl- Bright, bright turquoise. My friend put a few streaks of this in her platinum blonde hair a while ago and it looked fantastic.
  • Blue-Haired Freak- A medium blue tone.
  • Electric Blue- A bit darker than Blue-Haired Freak, but not quite a navy shade yet.
  • Blue Mayhem- Similar to Electric Blue, but more purple.
  • Blue Velvet- Darker than Blue Mayhem, but with a similar blue-purple tone.


  • Wild Flower- A dark, but still bright (if that makes any sense) purple.
  • Purple Smoke- Medium purple.
  • Virgin Rose- Very similar to Purple Smoke. I can barely see the difference.
  • Joyride- The brightest purple I've ever seen.
  • Pimpin' Purple- Deep, royal purple.
  • Deep Purple- A rich plum color.


  • Atomic Pink- Bright, hot hot pink.
  • Cupcake Pink- A slightly more pastel pink, but still bright. I currently have this in my hair and love it.
  • Cherry Bomb- Very dark pink, almost a red.


  • Blood Red- Brown with just a hint of red in it.
  • Burgandy Wine- Deep burgandy.
  • Candy Apple Red- Dark brownish red, a bit like the color of dried blood.
  • Devilish- Another dark red. Like Candy Apple Red, but with less brown hues.
  • Hot Lava- Like the perfect shade of red lipstick. Dark red, not too bright.
  • Nuclear Red- Bright bright bright fire-engine red.

Oranges & Yellows

  • High-Octane Orange- Neon. Period.
  • Napalm Orange- A more subdued orange.
  • Bright As F#@$ Yellow- The name says it all. I've never seen anyone who has used this, but the swatch looks intense.


  • Limelight- Bright, lime green.
  • Iguana Green- A deep green, like the color of moss.
  • Sonic Green- Not really green, more of a teal.


  • Pitch Black- Just plain black.

They also produce mixer/toner, bleach, and I have heard word of a cosmetics line. View color charts or shop online at their official site, www.specialeffectsusa.com.

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