IronyandParadox wrote:So, my question is: is that hair dye really as short-lived as they say on their website?
Also, where the hell can you buy hair dye in something other than natural colors? Can you buy manic panic in stores? I haven't seen it...
Whoo hair dye! As far as lasting... it depends. To keep it in longer: bleach, shampoo infrequently with cool water, hope for favorable interactions with the dye and your hair (no hard and fast rule here, sorry... test strands help), leave the dye on your hair wrapped in plastic (so it's heated by your head) for longer than it says... heat will help set it; the dye itself (unlike bleach) should not harm your hair if it stays on a long time. There's a lot of information online if you go looking for it
Some dyes stay in REALLY well. Atomic Pink by Special Effects (SFX)
is a great example; I currently have two (pre-bleached) streaks in my (Asian) hair. I didn't bleach all that well, so it was never brighter than magenta, but I (with help from my roommate) dyed it once in September and touched it up in December and I'm still get compliments on the red in July. Word on the street is the best way to get rid of Atomic is with scissors. ^^ There are parts fairly faded down near the roots where it kinda missed the touch-up and is more orangish-pink, but the dye's still there. I could probably dig up/take timelineish pictures if you want. Reds tend to stay in better than blues; blues tend to fade to smurf-poop-green if not well-maintained.
If you don't bleach, it will probably stay in a couple weeks. My SO has medium brown hair and we used one of the dark Manic Panic (MP) reds without bleaching and it lasted... I wanna say 2-3 weeks? Pretty sure it was under a month. I've also heard many stories of people using [dye brand/color] and it washing out right away, where [dye brand/color] is just about anything. It really varies. I've heard the most positive reviews for SFX and MP, though. Punky and RAW are less common but some people like them too (RAW is scented, though... may or may not be to your liking. Wasn't to mine.)
Also, DEFINITELY try to get someone to help. ESPECIALLY if you're bleaching. Even if neither of you know what you're doing, it's a lot easier seeing the back of your head with a second pair of eyes (and maybe a camera). And extra hands can be very helpful.
For buying... I don't know where you're located, but Hot Topic has dyes. SFX goes fast (I got it online), but that's where I picked up RAW. Sally's Beauty also has dye, which is where I got the MP.
Oh, another two cents: if you've been toying with the idea... just do it! If your mom wants it cut off, she shouldn't care, right? And if you like it, you can always do it again later.