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How To Achieve Extreme Hair Colours and Styles

Updated on March 27, 2012

Why Would I Want an Extreme Hair Style?

In a world increasingly dominated by celebrity culture and fashion, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Just ask 'Umbrella' wielding pop tart Rihanna or X Factor runner up Cher Llyod who have sported virbrant red hair often over the last twelve months in order to gain the attention of the paparazzi. And where would superstar Lady Gaga be without a crazy barnet atop her ridiculous outfits?

Pink hair is also very vogue at the moment thanks to big booty rapper Nicki Minaj and songwriter Ellie Goulding donning rose shades this summer and Paul Costelloe and Vivienne Westwood's models donning the trend on the catwalks of this year's London Fashion Week.

Apart from Gaga, the hairstyles of these celebrities have been fairly boring despite their vibrant colouring. The addition of extreme cuts and/or styling products and tools can give brightly coloured hair that extra look-at-me edge (see below for more information regarding extreme hair cuts).

Maybe you are a huge fan of anime and/or video games, or of Gothic and/or other alternative culture? These are realms in which out-of-the-ordinary hairstyles are often prevalent.

Whatever your reason for wanting a hair style that can't be ignored, you're bound to find some advice in this lens to help you achieve your perfect cosplay or everyday extreme hairstyle.

If you want to read more about the celebrity trend of coloured hair, you can read an article I recently penned about the subject here.

Dyes for Extreme Hair Colours

What Brand of Dye Should I use to Achieve a Bright Hair Colour?

Many people wrongly think that they will be able to achieve bright hair colours using a hair dye that is available to buy in a standard high street pharmacy but this really is not the case - trust me! I spent many years attempting to get bright results using 'Live Colour XXL' dyes and the like and they just can't deliver the vibrancy that they promise.

This does not mean however, that you are limited to the hair salon for achieving unnatural, dazzling hair colours. In fact, colouring your hair at home can be a great way to save money!

in my opinion, the best place to purchase brightly coloured hair dyes is Bee Unique (see Links module), at least, in the UK. This website stocks all of the leading brands in the realm of bright hair, including Stargazer, Manic Panic, Directions and Special Effects...

Note:To achieve the brightest hair colours, vibrant, semi permanent dye must be applied to hair that has been pre lightened or bleached with peroxide. For help regarding the bleaching of hair, you should visit this page.

Above you can see a picture of a few dyes from the Special Effects range and a picture of me (@DeadBoomerang on Twitter) with hair coloured with the 'Virgin Rose' dye from the Special Effects range.

Reviews: Extreme, Brightly Coloured Hair Dye Brands

Here is what I think of the leading brands in the realm of extreme colour hair dyes:


I can't say I was ever impressed with these dyes (or their cosmetics range, come to think of it!) I have tried both the red and pink varieties of dye, neither of which left much colour on my hair after applying in the way directed by the box. You would want these dyes to actually colour your hair considering that they contain hair-weakening peroxide! I do not recommend these dyes in the slightest!

Manic Panic:.

To be perfectly honest, this is not a brand I have tried myself to date (I'm as shocked as you are about this but MP dye was not easy for me to get a hold off back before I discovered Bee Unique and when I discovered that site, Special Effects became my brand of preference). I have heard good things regarding the brightness of Manic Panic dyes from my American friends however, though the longevity is apparently less than that which is achieved with Special Effects.

La Riche Directions:

These results from using these dyes can be pretty decent, depending on the colour that you choose. The rule appears to be that the brighter the colour chosen, the longer the semi permanent colour will remain in your hair (though still nowhere near as long as SE dyes last), whereas the pastel shades don't work very well in my experience. My current favourite is 'Rose Red' which is actually an attractive shade of fuchsia. As an added bonus, these dyes are relatively inexpensive and available widely at alternative and head shops.

Special Effects:

Special Effect dyes are a little more expensive than the dyes from competing brands but for a very good reason - the results are blindingly bright and the longevity is great for a semi-permanent product! Many of the dyes even react under UV light - great for club hoppers! The colours of these dyes are so vivid that you can mix a little with a big dollop of your favourite conditioner, making the dye stretch even further. 'UV Atomic Pink' is the most popular product on Bee Unique and is my "go to" colour. I love the fact that it lasts for up to 8 weeks before I need to even think about giving my locks a colour boost!

Start Experimenting with Extreme Hairstyles Today!

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How To Get an Extreme Hair Cut

Many "alternative" folk actually cut their own hair at home, not only to save money but to achieve that "one of a kind" style that they crave so much. Not everyone is brave enough to attack their own hair with scissors or set of hair clippers however and so, some choose to go and seek help from a professional instead.

Whether you are capable of cutting your own hair at home or not is actually quite dependant on the style that you are after. Some popular extreme hair cuts include:

Asymmetric styles


Partially shaved styles

Completely shaved styles

The latter three are likely achievable at home either by using a set of hair clippers yourself or getting a friend to help you. If you want something a little more technical however (i.e. layers) and/or you're petrified of leaving yourself with blunt strands and/or areas you probably should visit a salon - cutting your own hair really is only an option for the bravest of folk!

My friend Stephanie is one person who chooses to cut her hair at home - she is the girl with green hair pictured above.

You don't even need a hair cut to achieve an extreme hair style though as you can create an eyecatching look for your hair using a number of styling products and tools instead (see sections below).

Other popular alternative hairstyles include:



Hair falls

These styles are a little more difficult to acquire for the hair needs to be both well prepped and maintained to achieve dreads that look decent and the latter two styles require different materials to be woven, weaved or otherwise attached to the hair. If these are styles that take your fancy, you should seek help and advice from someone well experienced in that field (the complexity of these styles is the reason why I have not indulged in them to date).

Beautifully extreme dreads, braids and hair falls can be seen in the next module.

Extreme dreads, braids and hair falls:

If people all looked the same, we'd sure get bored of looking at each other!

Styling Tools for Extreme Hair Styles

From my own experiences, I feel that these are the products that are the most useful for creating and "jazzing up" extreme hair styles:


Combs are not only useful for the even and simple application of hair colourant cream but they can also be great for creating volume with the technique known as "back combing." I used to be a devotee of back combing but doing it too often can leave your hair in a terrible condition. Don't overdo it and be sure to use a deep conditioning treatment regularly to avoid damage.


Who says that alternative hair cannot be curly hair? Curly hair looks great as an alternative style if carried out correctly - think Japanese Lolita style instead of the traditional "granny roller" look! The best part about Curlformers is that they require no heat whatsoever in order to work and so your hair will not become ravaged due to heat exposure. These little curling tubes are so cool that I actually wore them in my hair for a cyber-goth event that I attended. This is not a look everyone would be comfortable with but I received many a compliment! For the craziest of curly styles, mix different sized Curlformers across your head during application.

Hair dryers and Hair straighteners:

These appliances are the basic tools for creating any decent hairstyle and so they should not be left out of your extreme hair styling arsenal. Try those that comprise ion technology to ensure your hair stays in tip top condition.

Gothic/punk hair clips and bows:

If your hair is not bright and extreme enough after following the previous advice, leave people's doubts regarding your goth or punk credentials at the door by adding one or two appropriately styled hair accessories to your barnet. There are many cute varieties on the market - my favourite place to source these is Extreme Largeness. There is also a plethora of oversized hair band bows available currently due to Lady Gaga integrating them often into her various hairstyles over the last year.

Styling Products for Extreme Hair Styles

In my own experience, these are the products that are the most useful for creating extreme hair styles:

TREsemme Freeze Hold Hair Spray:

Most hairsprays cannot last the distance of an entire day and this can see your hair looking less than perfect or flat just a couple of hours after styling your do. Freeze hold hairspray however really does hold and so, it is fantastic for spiked and messed up styles. A can will last you longer than your might expect too for it can be used quite sparingly whilst still producing the desired effect - EXTREME hold!

Garnier Fructose Manga Head Explosive Putty:

Some people are not keen on hairspray and prefer to use a more pliable substance for texturing their hair. Garnier's Manga Head Putty is great in this instance, though admittedly the smell and colour of the substance could be better! Still, if you want an alternative to gel that also comprises stiff-as-a-board hold, this is the product for you.

V05 Moisture Hot Oil Treatment:

Bleaching the hair can leave it feeling dry and brittle over time and so deep moisturising treatments are ideal for keeping your locks looking as if they are in great condition. A V05 hot oil treatment is ideal for repairing and preventing split ends whilst also smoothing cuticles across each entire strand of hair. Whilst the overall look of your hair is your main priority, you should not abandon good hair care in favour of aesthetic. Be sure to address both!

Colour protect shampoos and conditioners:

There is no point in getting your hair to a deep blue colour or that smoky purple hue you have fancied for a while if the results do not last. This is why you should use both a shampoo and a conditioner specifically designed to protect the hair from colour fade. Regular shampoos do not have a suitable PH level for coloured hair and they will see you hair run colour with every wash.

Bright Hair Dye Products on Amazon

Useful links:

These are useful sources for appropriating extreme hair colourants, tools and products:

Let me know what you think of my lens. Any Questions?

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I was looking for unique color plus hair cut. I had seen a haircut in a famous Australian magazine, can you suggest any stylist for the haircut. Found awesome cut for my hair on

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hey all. Question

      Is it easier to dye hair before or after you get dreads? I'm black so my hair isn't the textures of the pics shown. I have been thinking about going purple. I have natural hair that has no color or chemical in it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      If you have extreme spikes or just want your hair to stay put, you can't go wrong with the got2 b line of products. Easily identifiable by the bright yellow packaging. I've used the hairspray, styling cream and my hair stayed spiked in the pool. It's easy enough to wash out too though I do use Pantene clarifying shampoo once a month ish to get rid of any residue of gunk. Hope this helps ou funky peeps :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I tend to stick with manic panic. Their hot pink lasts about two months without any noticeable fading on my hair. Great lens.

    • Staceysk profile image


      7 years ago

      Great info. Manic Panic is frequently used in my house but I may just have to see if Special Effects is available near me.

    • DeadBoomerang profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hey Mel, I have experienced similar problems over the years due to a previous love of black hair dye - it really is the worst colour to try to bleach out of hair! A salon might be your best option for really dark hair but there are also bleaches designed for dark locks - look for at least 40% vol peroxide.

    • alsomelbel profile image


      7 years ago

      When I was in high school going through a strange hair dye phase, I went for this like burgundy color. It looked really cool, but it was short lived. My hair is so dark that I had to bleach it before dying it and it was really rough on my hair. If I ever do it again, I'll have to get it done in a salon. I think I used Manic Panic. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Orrrrrsome Lens...want to dye my hair now!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think you're sexy Kitty. That lady with the short green hair tickles my insides.

    • TapIn2U profile image


      7 years ago

      Love the creative hairstyles! Great lens! Sundae ;-)


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