Introduction: EASILY Maintain Your Funky Hair Color and Save Money

About: I'm a designer - I started off working with commercial Architecture/Interior design and transitioned through to Graphic, Product, and Industrial Design. I love making things, especially trying new techniques.

When I turned 40, I decided to color my hair for the first time (late to the game due to a conservative family). The only problem was that it would fade really quickly. I would have a nice color for about two weeks and then have to recolor it which was a long process.

This went on for about 2 years before I figured out this trick. It came about because I realized most of the color was simply washing down the drain. It only takes a few minutes every so often and works really well.

I say "maintain" because it is easier to initially dye your hair using the undiluted color to saturate it. As it starts to fade, you can use the spray to add lost color.

Once this is published, I bet some hair color company will eventually make this into a product and sell it as a companion color maintenance spray. It's so easy to make your own!


  • Temporary Hair Color (I use Manic Panic Amplified, but you can test others)
  • Spray Pump Bottle
  • Water

Step 1: Dilute the Color

So, depending on the color, you will want to dilute it accordingly. I use the Amplified version of Manic Panic because it's got more color pigment, but it can work with others.

I use 3 colors at the moment - After Midnight (dark blue) for the base, Bad Boy Blue (light blue) for the tips, and Purple Haze (purple) for the toning.

I use purple to tone the yellows, but I don't want my hair purple (at this time) so I only use small amount of the color and a lot of water. Like, a pea size to the bottle. For your primary color, use about a teaspoon to fill the bottle.

It's really not a science - just add more color if you feel it's too diluted or add water if you feel it's too intense. However, do not make it too thick since it won't spray out the bottle.

Step 2: Spray Into Your Dry Hair

As you can see, temporary color bleeds out a lot (I let it get really light for this Instructable). I personally like an ombre of black roots to dark blue to light blue tips.

What to do:

  1. Section off hair and spray with one color until you get the desired color.
  2. Dry your hair.
  3. Spray the next color.
  4. Dry your hair and if you're finished, style it. Do not rinse it out.


So, here's some hints:

  • Start with dry hair so the color can soak in.
  • Start with dark colors first.
  • Dry your hair in between so that it's not super wet as you add color. You can always keep on add more "layers" of color by spraying and drying repeatedly.
  • If you're in a rush, do only the areas that are visible. My hair is parted, so you won't see the roots in the middle. When pressed for time, I'll just spray the sides that are visible and not go into the middle parts of my hair.
  • Wear a glove on the hand that's not holding the hair dryer.
  • Since it's diluted, spraying it on your skin isn't a big deal. Just push the color back towards your hairline or wipe with a tissue. (You can use petroleum jelly to protect your skin if you're worried.)
  • Lay down a dark towel to protect your sink or floor. I try to spray close to my hair, but the color sometimes gets on my sink if I forget to lay down a towel. You can use bleach spray to clean it up quickly.
  • Since you're diluting it, you won't have to use as much color overall. This will save you money in the long run.
  • If you're low on the color, just fill the original bottle with water and shake it. Then pour it into the spray bottle.
  • If you've ever colored your hair, you know that it gets everywhere. It will stain your pillows and shower. This method is no different - neither worse nor better.

Step 3: That's How It Looks When It's Done.

That's pretty much it! You don't have to wash it out - that's the whole point.

I usually do this right before I go out, just before fixing my hair. If I find the color is still not intense, I'll hit it with the spray and let it air dry a bit rather than the hair dryer.

Step 4: Some Colors I've Done on Myself...

Above are some hair colors I've tried over the years. Some are faded variations of the hair before I discovered this trick. I'm not really picky about my hair - if I mess it up, I redo it. I like to have fun with it.

I know there is another method like adding the color into your shampoo, but I find it a bit messy, time consuming, and unpredictable. It's a great method for getting pastels and overall toning, but I find I have more control with this spray method.

Give it a try - you've really got nothing to lose.

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