Looking for a hair color spray for Halloween, or other fun events like color runs and parties? It’s the easiest way to add temporary color, but not all sprays are made alike. As a brunette, I’ve tried many that don’t work for dark hair. Most are designed to be used on light hair shades, and only leave a slight tint to anything darker than medium brown.
I recently had the opportunity to walk in the Las Vegas Pride Parade, and of course I wanted to incorporate as much color as possible. Even though my hair is already purple, this was the perfect time to temporarily add even more bright shades! I had the brand new Manic Panic Amplified Temporary Hair Color Spray lying around for a couple months, waiting for an excuse to be used, and this was it.
Manic Panic is known for their vibrant bright colors, so I had really high hopes. They claim that this spray works on all hair types and color levels, from light to dark. The spray currently comes in seven different colors plus one glitter spray, but I only used five for my Pride hair color: Wildfire (red), Pretty Flamingo (pink), Electric Lizard (green that also glows under blacklight), Rockabilly Blue (blue) and Ultra Violet (purple).
While I currently have purple in my hair already, it’s a balayage style, so my roots are still my natural color– a deep black/brown. My plan was to do a reverse ombre with the spray, adding the color to my roots and have it fade into my purple color.
The first thing I noticed with this spray was that there’s no easing into it. It comes out quickly with force, so be sure to apply at least 12 inches away from your hair to get more even coverage. Even still, I was surprised with how much color comes out in one shot. This is not a color you can really build up— it’s pigmented and it’s proud of it. With that said… yes, this shows up on dark hair! I was so happy with the red and pink, because it looked just like the can’s top.
In fact, all the shades showed up extremely well. Even the dark colors looked really ibrant at my roots. This is hands down the most pigmented hair color spray I’ve ever used.
With that said, there were a few factors that made this spray a hassle. The first, and probably most annoying, being that the color transfers really easily, moreso with the red and pink shades. It washes off skin easily with regular soap and water, and I used bleach spray to get residue off of my counters. The color will rub off onto your skin if it brushes up against your face.
Even though the color shows up extremely well on dark hair, the end result does look a little piece-y or wire-y. You’re supposed to use this spray on dry styled hair as a last step, and it’s clearly just sitting on the surface. So as your hair moves around, you’ll start to see the separation and your natural hair color come through the color. In my opinion, it ends up looking kinda chunky when your hair is down, so I think this spray works better if your hair is in a style that won’t cause a lot of movement of the colored part. I originally sprayed while my hair was down, but ended up pinning back the top section and re-spraying for a more even look.
As a hairspray, it does stiffen the hair the more you spray it. This is another reason why I feel it’s best on updos. You can always break up the hair a bit with a wide tooth comb, but be mindful as that can also take a bit of color off.
The other thing: the smell. It smells like real spray paint and the scent doesn’t fade even after a few hours of having it in your hair.
This spray is not something I would use every day due to the mess (the brand also advertises it as being useful to touch up roots between colors… no thanks), but it’s still the best I’ve tried for adding funky color just for one night. The spray shampoos out, and I didn’t notice any residue left over after my shower. If you have lighter hair, a clarifying shampoo would work best.
Right now you can find the Manic Panic Amplified Temporary Hair Color Spray on the brand’s website.