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5 Inspiring Hair Color Looks from Manic Panic

When NYC-born sisters Tish and Snooky launched Manic Panic in 1977, rainbow hair was a revelation. Today, it’s one of the most popular hair trends around, seen everywhere from Hollywood’s red carpets, to Insta-famous trendsetters, to real life clients — and in every form from vibrant, to pastel, to metallic.  

Kelsey Deuel recently used Manic Panic to create the look that won her a spot in our 30 Under 30 contest. Below, we caught up with Kelsey — plus four more top stylists in the industry — to hear about their goals, tips, and what they love about being colorists. Along with their inspirations, each stylist shared a stunning Manic Panic look (in order as posted below) and the formulas you need to recreate it.

Kelsey Deuel

Salon: Studio Covert
Instagram: @kelseydeuel

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’ve lived in LA for 3 1/2 years, originally from Mooresville, NC. I moved out here to have more opportunity and get a taste of all the things I could do within the beauty industry. I wanted to dip my toes in everything and say that I did it. From red carpets, to performing on hair competition stages, I have had a taste of it all. Don't ever limit yourself or let someone's negative opinion stop you.

What inspired you to become a colorist?
Hair shows, the internet, GUY TANG!

What are your goals?
It's funny how much your goals can change in a couple years. I used to think that I wanted to work with celebrities and fly around and be on tour with people. Since I got to get a taste of that, I have decided I have more of a passion behind the chair and a love for educating. I also love styling hair, whether that means being on set or creating videos for my YouTube Channel. I want to be happy in all areas of my life and career.

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
There is so much to be grateful for. It all started with Wella’s 2012 Trend Vision, where I took home gold for Young Talent. Recently, [I’m proud of] winning the 2016 Bioionic Style Awards, working at the Grammys and Emmys and walking the red carpet! And, I also can’t forget when I worked on Ariana Grande’s “Focus on Me” music video.

What are your specialties?
Coloring and hair styling

What do you love most about being a colorist?
The ability to enhance someone's beauty and confidence. Making someone say, “I look amazing!” Because, let's be real, we all don't give ourselves enough credit. Self LOVE!!

Who would you consider to be your mentors/role models, and why?
Sonya Dove, Mark Debolt, Jen Atkin, Ceaser Styles, and the Sebastian and Wella Creative teams. Insane techniques, flawless colors — simply put, I think these people are beauty industry geniuses.

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
The “bruised hair” look right now is really beautiful. It's iridescent tones in the hair that aren't bright fashion colors so they can be worn as an everyday type of look. Also, it's a technique that was started to bring awareness to domestic violence and I always like supporting a good cause.

Do you have a color tip that you can share?
Saturation is key!!! Always be honest with clients if their hair can't handle what they are asking for. Always use Olaplex.

Jaymz Marsters

Salon: Taylor & Co.
Instagram: @jaymz.marsters

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Situated in a small town in England, and covered with tattoos, blending in isn't easy. At the age of 26, and with 10 years salon experience, I have managed to grow my clientele up from the ground with the help of social media and vivid, bright fashion shades. I like to keep my clients colors fresh and forever changing, meaning they never slip below the radar, and, like myself, stand out in a generic town environment.

What inspired you to become a colorist?
Taking influences from popular Japanese culture, including the likes of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, I can continuously infuse my love for candy and cartoons with my passion for futuristic concepts to come up with some of the most unique hair color combinations around.

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
Gaining recognition from various magazines and numerous everyday hairdressers for colors that I create on a daily basis. We currently live in a century where you no longer have to be famous or have your own color brand or products to become a role model in the industry. Along with that,  being able to work with such great companies like Manic Panic has been one of the best accomplishments of my career so far.

What are your specialties?
Creating colors based off real life objects and scenes. I'm always taking inspiration from everything, whether it's the color from a candy wrapper, a scene from nature, like the Amazon, or an image of a city skyline. I can pinpoint direct colors within these images and items and I am able to execute them onto my canvas of hair to give an organic feel with an added wow factor.
 
What do you love most about being a colorist?
Being able to spend hours at a time getting to know my clients; learning about their life, their ups and downs — this is something I will always treasure! I also enjoy the fact that I can play around with different shades of colors, executing exactly what my clients want. I can change their image and their whole self esteem in just a few hours. Then, to top off all of this, seeing those clients leave the salon with the biggest smile on their face is a feeling you can't describe.

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
Colored hot roots is my obsession this season! Deep, rich browns or powdery blondes with a hit of vivid re-growth is perfect for clients who feel they are not brave or committed enough for a full head vivid shade! Creating such a small pop of colored re-growth creates such a dramatic impact with the majority of the hair still showing a neutral shade.

Do you have a color tip that you can share?
Cold water is my biggest tip for keeping color locked in and stopping shades from running together! It's so simple, and can sometimes feel like torture, but it is by far one of the best pieces of advice I can give my clients and fellow stylists.

Get the Look:

Green:
Manic Panic Electric Lizard (root area)
25g Manic Panic Electric Lizard + 50g Manic Panic Electric Banana (mid-lengths and ends)

Orange:
20g Psychedelic Sunset 10g Electric Lava (root area)
Sunshine (mids and ends)

Steven Austin

Salon: Close Cut
Instagram: @stevenaustinhairartist

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I'm 31, and I'm a vivid specialist based in Bolton, UK. I live with my partner and two dogs. I love my job and my girls (I don't like the word clients, I call them my girls instead!). I've been in salons since I was 14 years old, starting off as a Saturday junior and working up to where I am today. I love learning new techniques and skills as much as I love helping to develop other people's skills.

What inspired you to become a colorist?
I've always loved to color — even from a young age I was always experimenting on family members (sorry about that, family!!) — but what, or I should say WHO, inspired me was, and still is, Guy Tang! He showed me that color can be fun, exciting and not as scary as people think it is. He also taught me that anyone can have color and to not stereotype and put people into groups (thanks Guy!).

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
My two biggest accomplishments would be becoming a Manic Panic sponsored stylist, as well as doing a live demo for them at salon international… it was AWESOME!!

What do you love most about being a colorist?
I love that someone can come in feeling bored and drab with their color and I can make them feel beautiful again. I love that I can encourage someone to step out of the box they have put themselves in and make them see that times are changing with color. You don't have to be a certain person or in a certain group to have the color that you’ve always wanted — they can have it now!

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
One of my favorite (and most popular!) trends at the moment is the underlights/hidden rainbow. I love that when the hair is down, only myself and my girls know that just underneath the top is a hidden surprise!

Do you have a color tip that you can share?
Have fun with color, don't be scared — it's fun and exciting! And, when working with vivid colors, don't forget to SATURATE and MASSAGE the color in — enough is never enough!

Get the Look:

All Creamtones on top (Blue Angel, Dreamsicle, Fleurs Du Mal, Velvet Violet, Sea Nymph) and on the bottom: Sunshine, Psychedelic Sunset, Mystic Heather, Siren's Song, Lie Locks, and Cotton Candy Pink.

Neal Malek

Salon: Trim Salon & Spa
Instagram: @nealmhair

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was a troubled youth and got into my fair share of trouble. It wasn't until I found hair at the age of 25 that I felt complete. I say that hair saved my life because it has given me a new purpose and a new passion for life. I was able to throw my troubles away and be happy with my new career. I love hair for that.

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
Im super proud to say that in 3 years, I have built a full career for myself. My proudest accomplishments are being published in many magazines. I am so proud to have won the 2016 PRAVANA Show Us Your Vivids contest. I also won the 2016 Kenra Simply Blonde contest, and have won some amazing prizes to go along with these wins. I'm also very proud to be sponsored by my favorite color lines!

What are your specialties?
My specialties are color correction, balayage and vivid color work. Also, I like to specialize in photo shoots.

What do you love most about being a colorist?
What I love most about being a colorist is the transformations I can create. From before and after shots, to making a woman feel beautiful for the first time in a long time.

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
My favorite trend right now is definitely the soft pastel/metallic shades. I love creating a vivid or pastel shade with oxidative hair color because it has a different finish to it than abnormal vivid would.

Do you have a color tip that you can share?
I love using Brazilian bond builder in all of my color and highly recommend it to any colorist. Also, when lifting, I prefer to go "low and slow" with soupy lightener. I would rather bleach a couple of times for longer periods of time than to blow out the cuticle with one hot shot of bleach.

Get the Look:

Sea Nymph + Siren's Song = 100:1 ratio
Electric Banana + Pastelizer = 60:1 ratio
Blue Steel + Atomic Turquoise = 30:1
Fleurs Du Mal + Cotton Candy Pink = 60:1

Shelley Gregory

Salon: Square Salon
Instagram: @Shelleygregoryhair

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I'm originally from Las Vegas and have been doing hair for 15 years. I specialize in blondes, pastels and styling, but I am obsessed with all aspects of hair. I have a husband and three little kids that I like spending all my time away from hair with.

What inspired you to become a colorist?
I started out doing makeup primarily and hair on the side. Once I was in salon and doing color, I realized I loved painting hair even more then faces.

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
Going viral with my Macaron hair color, being named one of Beauty Launchpads Top Beauty Influencers.

What are your specialties?
Blondes, pastels and styling.
 
What do you love most about being a colorist?

Having the freedom to be inspired by anything I see, then translating it to hair, and being able to immediately transform someone and change their life.

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
I love doing hand-painted balayage, then making it stand out with a pastel or multiple pastel colors.

Do you have a color tip that you can share?
Always rinse color out of the hair with ICE cold water. It makes it hold well and have major shine.

Get the Look:

Started with virgin hair
Pre-lightened hair all over with 30 Volume Bleach (with Olaplex)
Pastelized Pretty Flamingo, Velvet Violet, Dreamsicle, Fleurs Du Mal, Sea Nymph, and Pastelized Siren's Song