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Special Effects SFX Hair Color Hair Dye Blue Mayhem

Special Effects hair dye is a semipermanent, conditioning hair color that comes in a wide spectrum of fabulous colors. The most intense long lasting semipermanent hair color on the market. Generally lasts 3 to 6 weeks on most hair types. Lasts longer on bleached or prelightened hair. The following colors glow under black light Atomic Pink , Nuclear Red ,Cherry Bomb, Hi-Octane Orange, Joyride, Cupcake Pink , Bright as F Yellow, Napalm Orange

Key features

  • Semi-Permanent Cream Formula
  • Vegan friendly, not tested on animals
  • Conditions hair as it colors
  • Made in the USA

Honest reviews


Better than other dyes, but would never use again

I used this in a dark purple colour. Last time ever. Not only did it originally come out black, which stayed that way for a couple weeks, (I have light skin so it just make me look really pale, I’m always careful not to choose too dark of a colour for this reason) but my roots had faded in those two weeks far quicker than my ends, so the colour was really uneven. The colour was so strange that I couldn’t get anything that matched it and I was definitely not going to use this stuff again. It had stained everything. I’m not new to unnatural hair colours, but this stuff was ridiculous. My entire body was purple and I had to take an hour long shower to get it off of my skin. Not just that, but it continued that way for the next three showers. My entire bathroom was purple and required multiple bleach treatments, for that matter it didn’t even last long enough for it to be worth it. Jerome Russell’s Punky Color lasts longer, doesn’t stain the entire room and actually comes off your skin. Whenever anyone that ever says anything about Special Effects, I always refer back to Punky Color

Maricela Beverly, OH

Beautiful for a minute..

This is a lovely color…not going to orange or pink, just a great red. It didn’t last past 5 shampoos before fading out. This was on virgin light brown hair. Color was applied and put under heat for 30 minutes and left on for 1 1/2 hours covered in plastic. The shampoo used was also sulfate-free for color treated. It just bombed out too quickly.

Cherry Dunnellon, FL

Cupcake pink fades quickly

I was told afterwards to just buy the atomic pink and dilute it to achieve the same results. So if I had to do it again, I would follow that advice.

Judi Oscoda, MI

Amazing color that lasts! Have some application tips, too!

I had my hair highlighted at the salon with pink highlights and I noticed it started to fade almost immediately. My stylist pulled me aside and told me that she uses Special Effects at home and it lasts a long time! She was right! I left it in for about 2 hours (instead of the recommended 15 minutes) and the parts of my hair that were bleached because a vibrant pink. The rest of my head (which is dark brown) became a lovely violet color. I love it!!!A couple tips:- Wear gloves when applying. You can get a box of cheap gloves from a drugstore.- Use a mascara brush to apply it. I had a mascara wand that II had gotten from Sephora that I had not used for mascara. You can dip it into the bottle and carefully apply it to your hair. It helped me control where I wanted the dye to go AND it kept it off my scalp and ears.- Use clips to separate your hair. If you do your hair in sections, you won’t get any on your clothes, ears, forehead, etc.- Put a plastic tarp (like one from a hardware store to use when painting) on the counter and floor. Trust me, it’s easy clean up and can be reused every time you color.- After rinsing your hair in the bathtub, spray some Lysol bath & tub cleaner or similar immediately on the tub and let it soak. I did that every time I rinsed my hair for the first couple days and my white tub is not pink. No scrubbing needed.Good luck and have fun!

Luella Dublin, CA

insane color

I had my hairdresser apply 2 bottles over my hair, which was a very pale yet not bleached out, blonde. Only had to let it sit in for about 30 minutes and I was done! The color came out almost neon looking, unlike any other bottle dye I have ever seen. It had a blue-ish tone in most indoor lighting, and outside it definitely had a pink tone to it. It’s been just over a month since It was dyed the first time, and the only parts that have faded are my ends and bangs. The whole back of my hair is still a very rich dark purple.

Isabella Washington, OK

My favorite color

I love this color. It is a vibrant purple initially and fades through a very attractive spectrum to a light bluish-lavender. Last time I mixed it 2:1 with SFX Virgin Rose and have gotten more compliments on it than any other color.

Essie Bath, PA

Great color!

My hunt for the perfect shade of red-orange hair color at my local beauty supply chains yielded some very bland results, so in desperation I turned to Amazon and Special Effects hair color. Lo and behold, Special Effects Hi-Octane Orange is exactly the shade I envisioned for the tips of my ultra-dark-brown-to-orange ombre hair!The color is vibrant- I mean REALLY vibrant- for a week to 10 days and fades nicely afterward. The consistency is creamy, but not too thick, which makes it very easy to apply. It’s also nicely moisturizing compared to some other semi-permanent colors. I am most impressed by how well the Special Effects dye adheres to colored hair. I pre-lightened the ends of my already colored dark brown hair for an ombre/dip dye look, but the color permeated well enough to give an obvious red-orange sheen to even the darkest portions of my hair.

Charity Browns Valley, CA


After using some Manic Panic red, the color only lasted a few days. As soon as I washed it I had half red half pink hair. After washing it and washing it with dish soap I finally had a gross shade of pink left in the root and blonde ends. I had a wedding to go to and my hair was just not in acceptable condition. So I ordered a bottle of SFX Atomic Pink. I didnt want to go for a super dramatic color so I SERIOUSLY diluted the dye with conditioner. I used only a little tiny squirt to achieve a very cute cotton candy pink. Its been a few months of washing and now it has faded to a super cute baby pink! This stuff STICKS!

Kerry Cooksville, MD

love this stuff!

I use this in between colorings to maintainy red hair. I love this stuff and it is way better than manic panic in my opinion.

Lynne Cleaton, KY

Amazing Poduct!!!

I bleached the tips of my hair with manic panic bleach kit and I dyed it purple the same day. My hair is naturally a dark brown color. You have to apply this to dry hair and MAKE SURE YOU DON’T GET IT ON YOUR SKIN!!! The dye does not come with rubber gloves. BUY SOME! I got a lot on my hand because I had to take a glove off and the dye was a pain to get out. I had to use baby oil, bleach, comet… It did come out eventually though. Anyway, the color is amazing, it is a really nice purple color. It is dark but bright at the same time. The only problem I had was that it stained the shower BIG TIME! I had to scrub for an hour with bleach to get it out. I suggest you rinse your hair in a metal sink or wash tub. Overall, it works great, and looks amazing! 🙂

Fannie Sherman, IL

AWESOME color that actually stays in for a while

Ive been using this brand for over 6 months now and LOVE it. It’s the only brand that doesn’t instantly wash out. I use the Atomic Pink and Burberry Wine colors so far to get my hot pink highlights.Yes the color will get on EVERYTHING, but rubbing alcohol will usually take it off anything (even clothes, skin, walls, tubs) I also use Tilex mold and mildew and it completely takes away the color out of the grout and all in the shower/tub even when its been sitting for a few days or even a week just let the spray sit for about 5 mins and usually it sprays right off with hot water sometimes i use a scrub brush to get into the grout…. also bleach clean up spray works good but I found Tilex and rubbing alcohol work the best.don’t forget to use towels of the same color as your dye or towels you don’t care get ruined. I haven’t had my towels stain from the color yet, it washes out in the washer some how but I do know after drying my hair for the first week or so there is tons of dye that comes out. Also wear old shirt while coloring your hair or no shirt at all if your doing it by yourself. I also line my sink and floor where I am standing with towels to help with clean up so less actually get on my surfaces and just mainly get on towels that I can wash.Yes after the first few washes your hair can leave pink on things especially when its WET… i usually shower at night so when its wet I make sure I don’t lay my head on the furniture and when I go to bed I put a towel over my pillow. And once the towel is finally not turning pink anymore I know im safe to remove the towel for the next wash. It’s the price to have funky colors almost all of them do this, but at least this one (at least for me) stays on my hair for 3-4 months instead of only 1 week. also I never had problems of it dyeing my clothes when my hair is dry just when it is wet and only for the first few washes. So avoid if its raining or just blow dry your hair after showers before you put our clothes on to avoid your clothes from getting ruined.You will freak out the first time you wash your hair after dyeing it but when you come out of the shower it will still look great. I have no ideal how my hair can still be so pink after the first real shower because of how much pink comes out of my hair, it always (even still) freaks me out and Im scared it all washing away, but its still there everytime.I have long hair just below my bra strap and I use 1.5 – 2 bottles for just highlights. I do have where I put the pink at lighten so the color takes to my hair better and is a brighter pink. I have dark brown hair and my hair stylist lightens it to an organish color you don’t need to go completely to blonde/white just lighten to an orange color.My color will last about 2-3 months depending on how I take care of it.To make it last longer do’s and don’ts:1. wash/rinse every time in the coldest water you can stand it keeps your hair cuticles shut so more dye stays in your hair than with hot water.2. us a shampoo that is safe for colored hair3. Wash less frequent if you can (dry shampoos are awesome to help length between shampoos)4. use as little hair products as possible after the shower also.5. only put on DRY hair and let sit longer than the 15 mins that say. there is no harsh chemicals in it so it won’t fry your hair the longer it sets in your hair the better it will take to your hair and stay in it.6. wait as long as possible to do the first real wash after dyeing day… 4-7 days is best so try to do hair styles to get away with it for a bit like pony tails without hair spray, the longer it sits in your hair before the first real wash the longer it will stay in after each shampoo.I love this brand and colors, wish they lasted forever but at least they last a long time compared to other brands, got to love the maintenance to have funky colors 🙂

Kathie Delta, IA


This is one particular brand of dye I will continue to buy every time I need something fun! It has a better shelf life than other boxed dyes that need developers and it is less damaging than those.

Rachelle Cable, WI


The seller was fast and efficient but the product itself kind of sucks. It fades faster than any other brand I’ve used so I have to recolor weekly. I wouldn’t recommend this product…

Graciela Amherst, WI

Super Bright!

Used this on pre-lightened hair and kept it in for 45 minutes and it turned out great! Stains skin though (I didn’t have any gloves and it stained my hands pretty good. XD).****Update****So, it’s been almost 2 months and the color is still bright. The only thing is the color is starting to fade a bit on the ends, but it’s not very drastic. It looks like a cotton candy pink on the tips. This is still the best hair dye I have ever used.

Vicky Kenvil, NJ

Works so well

I love Special Effects. It has major staying power, and is so bright and vibrant. My girls both love having bright colored hair, and it stays even through multiple pool visits.

Nina Laverne, OK

An Okay Purchase

I bought the atomic pink and it was a lot darker than I planned for. I bought it as an alternative to another pink dye which washed out rather quickly. This lasts much longer and now I mix it with a conditioner to get a more pastel color. I don’t know that I’ll buy it again, but in the technical department there wasn’t anything wrong with it. Just not the color I was expecting.

Lorna Washington, NC

Especially beautiful blue, violet and green etc. dyes!

Special Effects dyes are wonderful. The colours are great and you can buy a few and mix your own even better unique colours, plus the formula doesn’t harm your hair or smell toxic and give you a headache.I bought:
• Sonic Green
• Blue Velvet
• Blue Haired Freak
• Virgin Rose
• Burgundy WineThe only problem…or less than perfect thing…I am finding with them is that they are taking agggges to wash out. They are
• very
• long lasting if you apply them to bleached hair!(I know it is impossible, as these dyes stain the hair really so the colour has sunk right into the hair, but I’d love a magic instant SE dye removal product!)The long-lastingness of the dyes is not a problem at all if you have one colour or pattern of colours that you want to keep for months and months. It is great. I was really amazed at how long and well the colour lasted.Colourful hair dyes have come so far since I last did them over 10 years ago I’m so happy to see! The colour used to fade as soon as you looked at it. Even when hair was freshly dyed back then it was nowhere near as VIBRANT and deeply chromatic as any of the SE dyes are. I was surprised how little dye I had to use too. My 5 bottles will last me many years probably.Sonic Green and Blue Haired Freak mixed together make the most beautiful aqua and turquoise colour. Burgundy Wine or Virgin Rose mix well with either of the blues to create beautiful violet colours and pinkish purples.I started off doing my long fringe (about 1/4 of my head) in Virgin Rose on the left, then Blue Haired Freak and then more Virgin Rose and finally a chunk of Sonic Green. Was so happy with the result.Now about a month later the fun of doing my first recent dye job has faded though I have some more ambitious ideas and am trying to wash out the colours now as much as possible so I can start with an almost blank canvas. It is hard going though. I have washed my hair about a dozen times this week with harsh dishwashing detergent and it still hasn’t faded all that much even though I’ve left the soap on for over an hour. The pink in particular is very stubborn to get out.(If you want to go colourful just for the school holidays, SE pinks are not a good idea, unless you are okay with dyeing hair dark brown or black right before school starts.)I want to get rid of as much of the pink as possible so I can re-dye most of it blue. Blue Haired Freak is the most lovely colour and I was surprised to find it looks even better as it fades! I might even have a go at mixing the dye with conditioner when I put some on next to try and get a more pastel colour (as I have seen people demonstrate well on some online videos). I love how bright and light it is compared to the deep fresh, full-strength and quite dark colours.I’m thinking Blue Haired Freak in the middle with Blue Haired Freak mixed with Sonic Green on either side…in a nice graduation from one to the other. Or Blue Haired Freak in the middle gradually turning into a violet colour on the edges…and all in bright soft pastel tones. A bit like Dame Edna’s hair but without the perm! Or pink becoming purple, then turning into blue and then on the right a big chunk of green….like a little colour chart…lovely!All you need to do bits of hair different colours is a tinting brush and some hair pins and tinfoil. You divide hair into the sections you want and then wrap up the bits of hair separately in foil, held secure with a pin, when you’ve put the dye on. Then leave it for 1 – 2 hours or more depending on how deep you want the colours. If you put old towels down in the bathroom and wear an old shirt when you dye, and gloves, clean-up isn’t very hard.My only critique of the product is that a jar with a screw off lid would be far easier to use. As it is this bottle means you have to work out how much you’ll need ahead of time and squirt that amount onto something ready to use, instead of just dipping your brush in a pot as you go – which is so much easier. Plus sometimes I’ve had to hit the bottom of the bottle hard and wait awhile to get dye to come out as it tends to gel in the bottom of the bottle. (I can’t stand up long so that really annoys me.) This product repackaged in a little fat easy-open jar would be perfect.My advice if you like to change things around is to maybe avoid the pinks, as they are far more colourfast than some of the other colours. I wish I’d stuck with blues first up, then I’d be free to do more blues, or purples or greens over the top any time I liked, or all three. The pink is more limiting.I have significant issues with chemical sensitivities (as part of the severe neurological disease I have called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – see the HFME site for info on it, if you want to). I got around these by only bleaching and dyeing my hair starting about an inch form the roots – so none of the dyes or bleaches touch the scalp and the skin at all. The rest of my hair is natural brown coloured. I think it looks better not going all the way to the roots, personally. Plus doing it this way avoids all regrowth issues and means I only will have to re-bleach every 4 months or more. Pretty low maintenance, which is what I was after.The bleach is smelly and toxic though, even if you don’t apply it to the scalp. Even with all the precautions I took (well-ventilated room, making sure bleached hair was on top of head as it processed etc.) it did give me a half hour headache. I used Manic Panic’s one. I feel it is still well-worth it though, seeing as how it’ll last a really long time, and the actual dyes are so non-toxic too.I have been too ill to do anything with my hair at all really for about a decade. Making my hair all pretty colours was my way of celebrating the fact that finally my health is slowly improving and that maybe soon my life will be about more than just basic survival…and have a bit more fun and life and colour in it!Being very ill means boring clothes and hair (and even music and room decorations and other things) and not being able to do so many things that make up who you are. This felt like a small way of reclaiming my non-ill personality a bit too. It made me feel more myself than I have in years. It is a small thing but to me, symbolic.It doesn’t help me cope with every day that much, it is all still really hard each day…but now and then when I see a glimpse of blue or another colour in my hair’s reflection it makes me smile…as does planning which combinations of colours I’ll do next. I love these SE dyes!I’d recommend going colourful, in a big way or even only in a small section of hair, to anyone whose job allows it… and especially anyone that is ill or for other reasons just needs or wants a bit of fun and excessive colourfulness. More beautiful and unexpected colour in the world is always a good thing!Happy dyeing everyone!Jodi Bassett, HFME

Dixie Dagmar, MT

The best.

SFX is my favorite, go-to brand for unnatural colors. It lasts the longest of any colors I’ve tried. Definitely recommended if you want vibrant, long-lasting color.

Isabella Lavonia, GA


if you want the color of your hair this will sure do it it gives you the best last longing results i love it and am glad i got these

Aisha Desdemona, TX

Best bright colored dye out there!

The bummer is that they sometimes run out of the popular colors, but if you can get your hands on this stuff, you won’t be sorry. Well, you really should put gloves on first… I decided to pop this on over my grey hair, and it has taken beautifully. The fade is pretty slow, especially if you don’t wash with soap all the time (use some conditioner instead; google "curly girl method" and you will change your life!). I mix this with a little Blue Velvet, and get a really rich, deep color that just lights up in the sunshine. Doesn’t stink, doesn’t wreck your hair, doesn’t fade fast. Enjoy!

Jamie Eltopia, WA

Love it.

I loved that there was tape around the bottle,and was in a plastic bag to make sure nothing leaked. Came pretty fast too. Hot lava,is an amazing color,and awesome to use after my red hair (I use affinage salon dye) fades, and can deposit the color back in without damage! Note that if you never used special effects,it will come off on your pillow sheets,etc. Especially just the day or so after. But if you want a dye to last,this is it!

Tanisha Wood River, IL

Just another SFX Order

I have always been happy ordering this hair dye online. I love the color I got which was Cupcake Pink. It seems like there are millions of little glitter pieces in the dye! This company has always been my favorite for hair dye companies for crazy, bright colors. I have nothing negative to say. They arrived on-time, the dye is fantastic. I would recommend this dye for ANYONE that loves doing crazy colors.

Janine Hope, NJ

Just what I was looking for

This blue is gorgeous, the perfect shade! It has great lasting power, I only need to do touch ups every 3 weeks or longer.I only dyed my tips, so this bottle will last me a long time. Great buy, Special Effects never fails.

Sallie Ermine, KY

Best vibrant red!

I use Cherry Bomb to touch up my magenta hair (I use L’Oreal HiColor Highlights in Magenta) and it is perfect. Because I have pretty kinky curly textured dry hair I don’t need to wash it that often so the color stays pretty vibrant. I touch it up every other month and have no issues with getting full coverage and the color I want. I mix about 1/3rd of the bottle with conditioner and leave it in my hair overnight as a deep conditioning treatment + color refresh and it is perfect.The only issue I have with this dye (and any other vegan/vegetable dye I’ve used) is the bleeding. You’re kind of stuck with it no matter what. Kind of have to deal with not wearing light clothing until the bleeding stops. It says to rinse until it runs clear but it never runs clear for me (not until like the 4th wash).

Marylou Chewsville, MD

VERY FAST ~ I got it 4 days after I ordered!

I can’t wait to use the product I’ve been hearing so much about. It even came with a Fatal Impact sticker! It’s on my laptop now! It came warm from the mail truck, though, so be sure to cool it in a mini-fridge or something for a while before use.

Dina Dublin, GA

beautiful color! Dyes EVERYTHING! Doesn’t work on dark hair

This color is so gorgeous! I can tell because my scalp, skin and shower are all a lovely shade of bright magenta. As the label states, if you dye over dark hair it will act as a highlight in bright sunlight only. You really cannot tell that it’s been dyed at all otherwise. Even very very diluted drips from your hair will dye your skin, clothes, shower and sink and it doesn’t come out easily. I have waist length hair and 1 bottle covered it nicely. It’s very thick and I’ve read it can be thinned a bit with conditioner. Don’t just use a layer of vasaline. Thick conditioner should cover all of your exposed skin and do rinse away from your face! My entire back and down to my feet turned pink just from rinsing. Even so, I plan to bleach some of my hair and re-dye because I cannot resist the lovely color.

Mara Knifley, KY

cute color

we have done other colors before. this really stains, so watch out. I found the bottle a pain to work with, like the jars better. this stuff is thick which is good, it stays on the hair nice and no dripping, but its a bit thick to pour out of bottle, you have to squeeze. I found that porous hair (after bleaching you have porous hair. ) this really sucks in, so if you have a med or longer hair, you will want more than one bottle, we did just the bottom 9 inches of my daughters hair, it took a full bottle to really cover. we let it set for half an hour. the ends of her hair were not virgin, they have had a lot of stuff going on this summer and grab color quick now. this set in fast and looked good after the first wash. some blue does rinse out. I will update as time goes on. the blue is not rubbing off on her. I do think of all the types of strange colors we have done, I like working with this the best. I used a tint brush and glass bowl. it did stain the glass bowl! stains came off with bleach. see my pix of daughters hair with blue velvet on the ends…. its a cool looking color.

Therese Poyen, AR

pretty pretty

Starts dark blue and fades to a vibrant purple. I loved it :] It started out very vivid dark blue.

Tina Geary, OK