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Freeyourhair/Manic Panic Experimental Color Project 3. Sky Cries Mary and Tape the Rainbow

brettebretteHello Dear Friends. Welcome back to the 3rd project in the Manic Panic/ HTHG Experimental Color Studios. If you are here for the first time, a little background information on the collab:

This little project was in an effort to provide HTHG readers/viewers and Manic Panic fans a little look into some experimental techniques for creating new color patterns and textures in the hair.

7U6A5136The techniques used in this color series borrow inspiration from the fine art world, and involve the creative use of tools such as small paint brushes, stencils, spray bottles, and braids. The purpose of the videos is to share with you our process for experimenting with color, as well as our results…….our hope is that you leave with some inspiration to experiment yourself, and push your own boundaries and beliefs about hair color.

We want you to notice the depth of inspiration for conceptual coloring that is all around you……Use it as your muse to mix and blend your Manic Panic colors into custom shades.

With the Experimental Color Studios, we aim to demonstrate the versatility of using Manic Panic color, and show you that the opportunity for incredible color with this revolutionary line goes so far beyond what meets the eye.

The world of hair and beauty is moving fast, and new techniques scream through the industry at light speed…….It is a wonderful time for us as colorists/stylists to bridge the gap between hair, expression, and art and take the industry in a really exciting direction.

HTHG and Manic Panic are here to help inspire you and push you, encourage you to try new things and share your results so that other people can learn and be inspired. Let’s make this hue revolution explode into technicolor rainbows.

Thank you all for being here, and thanks to Manic Panic for inspiring me and pushing me to experiment since I was a 11 year old baby riot grrrrrl.

For more inspiration, we invite you to follow @howtohairgirl @manicpanicnyc #freeyourhaircolor

7U6A5055Today’s project is very close to my heart, both personally and hair-wise. I had the honor of being given full creative dream on my dear friend Brette’s pre-lightened hair. Every colorist knows, this is like putting a kid in a candy shop and telling them it’s all free.

bfujaThe occasion of this particular hair color job was a reunion show for the 90’s psychadelic prog-rock band Sky Cries Mary, where Brette was singing alongside the original band members which included her dad Joe Skyward, who is fighting prostate cancer……. The show was a benefit for Joe and for raising awareness about men’s preventative health. This show, which sold out at Nuemo’s in Seattle ,  was the first time that the band had played together in 23 years.

Sky Cries Mary was an anomaly in the Seattle music scene in the 90’s, when most music coming from the region was very dark and shadowy. The SCM sound was uplifting, positive, and colorful while still being totally rock. They used bright and trippy oil projections for their backdrops, and sang songs with lyrics that were as psychedelic as the come. In an interview with Roderick, lead singer and songwriter for the band, he was asked why his lyrics are so positive, in the context of a place and industry that is saturated with darkness and negativity. He answered

‘There is enough negativity in the world today and I don’t think writing music about negativity does anybody any good’

7U6A4636This uplifting, colorful positivity was both the inspiration and the backdrop for Brette’s colorful hair scheme…….But before we dive into hair, I have to share a little memory of Brette’s just to give a little more context of the importance of this reunion show (and of her crazy colorful hair.)

I was 7 my first time in San Francisco. I stayed at the studio while Sky Cries Mary recorded Exit to the Axis: A Return to the Inner Experience. I remember the trip like a dream…..Cruising down Market street with my brother Jaxin and the band, eating pizza and watching Planet of the Apes marathons. Dancing my heart out to Blondie in all the bands costumes, and going to the Alameny Swap Meet. I bought a Barbie there, and cut off all her hair and dyed it with beet juice and blackberries and named her Guacamole. Then, we drove to Mexico and camped down the Pacific Coast. It was one of the most formative Summer’s in my life.

This memory, and the return of Sky Cries Mary, called for an insanely dreamy hair color scheme. Also, Brette had a very special dress from Rainbow Kimono to wear that night, and it was important that hair and dress played beautifully together. Needless to say, her hair got taped and rainbowed, and we called the hair creation ‘Heartsong.’

Split the vein, divides the sun.

Hear the rain, watch them run.

This is the moment of the fall.

The big tent tumbles one, tumbles all.

-Circus Church, Written by Roderick for Sky Cries Mary

( Maybe play A Return to the Inner Experience while you do this color on a friend;)

Tape the Rainbow

Here is how her hair unfolded.IMG_8157

The night began with red wine, a plate palette full of Manic Panic colors ( Electric Banana, Cleo Rose, Mermaid, After Midnight, and Pillarbox Red) mixed and blended to custom rainbow shades, and my 5 tubs of Tinge Pastel Color Conditioner.

We were going for dreamy washed out color-fade, with flashes of brightness in the under-layers. tinge

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.34.19 PMWe began by sectioning off the top of her head, in a rounded rectangle, clipping off the top.

In the underneath section, I applied Turquoise Tinge at her roots, working my way through in small sections, and thoroughly saturating the roots.

Below the root, I applied Silver Tinge throughout her hair. Then Below that, Purple, Pink, then Peach, creating a nice soft melted watercolor rainbow.tape

Next, I made a thin, 3/4 inch deep sub-section along the inside of my top section. Basically, sectioned off a rounded rectangle shaped strip of hair to apply the bright colors too.

I laid the sub-sections on 3 strips of foil, so that they fell in natural fall around the head. I combed them so that they were nice and straight on the foil, then I used scotch tape to both secure the hair to the foil and to create gaps in the color application. I taped at different angles and at different places across the hair, to create organic and un-uniform effects. I then applied my Turquoise Tinge at the roots.MP


Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.35.47 PMThen, It was time to tape the rainbow. I used my magic Manic Panic Mixes to make a rainbow down each taped section of hair, painting the color onto the hair and foil.

I began at the top, with blue, then moved to green, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple. I painted right over the tape, and I overlapped each color just a little bit at each transition.


Towards the end, I added another foil strip below the first ones to extend them to compensate for the length of her hair.

I made sure to apply the color thick and with some muscle, so as to make sure it saturated through the whole strip of hair, without leaving any hair uncolored.finish

Then, I covered each strip with foil, and squished the foils flat against the head to help work the color in and melt it together.

With the existing hair at the top of her head, I repeated the Tinge pattern: Turquoise at the roots, Silver, Purple, Pink, Peach.

She sat for a half hour or so, then rinsed her hair out. My bathtub was a rainbow for days.

7U6A4143 4.47.39 PMBrette’s Heartsong Hair was magic. She rocked it like a color priestess on stage the next night, and is enjoying the insane fade-out process as the color melts and blends and lightens all around her crown.

Viva la Color Revolution. Thanks for being here!

xo, HTHG and Manic Panic




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