Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHY SHOULD I USE MANIC PANIC® HAIR COLOR?
Manic Panic® Hair Color is a 100% vegan, cruelty-free semi-permanent hair color! Our products are Tested on Celebrities Not Animals! ™ Each color is non-damaging and has been fortified with conditioners that add moisture to hair. Because they don’t lift or use harsh chemicals, you will want to pre-lighten your hair before applying the color for best results. For some colors that are more pastel, you will need a platinum level 10+ blonde base for best results. You can mix and match all of our colors together to create your own unique shade! Or use our Pastelizer® to create a custom pastel from any of our highly pigmented colors.
2. WHY DO I HAVE TO DO A PATCH TEST AND STRAND TEST BEFORE I BEGIN?
A patch test and strand test is essential before beginning a hair color or lightening process. MANIC PANIC® Hair Color is PPD FREE but some people do develop allergies to different color dyes throughout their lives. For that reason you should always perform a patch test! The Strand Test is to ensure your color will turn out how you’d like! Sometimes, it can save you from bleaching as well to see if the color will show up on hair before pre-lightening. But mostly it can allow you to see how it will look before you apply all over so you can adjust your mix or lighten your base color and get your desired result!
- Select a small test area, about the size of a quarter, behind the ear or in the inner fold of the elbow.
- Wash the test area gently with mild soap and water. Dab dry with a clean towel.
- Cover the clean test area with a thin coat of the specific shade of Manic Panic Hair Color desired.
- Allow the test area to dry. Leave it uncovered and undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Examine the test area carefully. If there are any signs of irritation, then under no circumstances should the product be used.
- Should you have any further concerns, please consult a licensed dermatologist.
- If the patch test goes well, move on to the strand test!
- Choose a small strand from a place that is hidden in your hair and apply the color or bleach to ensure you do not have any allergies or unwanted results.
- Wait for 40 minutes, rinse with cool water and see the result! If you have no allergic reactions and the color is the desired shade you are ready to move on to coloring! It’s that easy!
- See below!
HOW MUCH PRODUCT DO I NEED?
- BLEACH: Most people with average length hair purchase two bleach kits at a time. This should ensure you have enough product and if you don’t use the second you have it for touch-ups! One bleach kit is required for every 4-5 inches of hair, per process (average thickness). Please note: Leftover mixed bleach may not be saved and should be properly disposed of immediately after use.
- COLOR: Most people with average length hair purchase two 4 oz. jars. If you have long hair or hair that is above average thickness you may need 3 or more! This should ensure you have enough product and if you don’t use it all you will have it for touch-ups! One container of hair color is required for every 10-12 inches of hair. (average thickness).
We also now carry an 8 oz jar in six shades!
4. HOW DO I COLOR MY HAIR WITH MANIC PANIC?
- Since Manic Panic® does not damage or lift hair, the base color is essential to the end result. For best results, you will want to achieve at least a level 7+ blonde for many of our shades prior to coloring and a level 10+ for pastel and Neon/UV shades.
- Wash hair with a clarifying shampoo like our Prepare To Dye® Clarifying Shampoo (do not condition) and blow-dry until fully dry!
- Gather your supplies! Get a t-shirt (that you don’t mind getting color on), gloves, Color, mixing bowl, tint brush, towel, dye away wipes, and coconut oil (or other protective cream) for your hairline, and set up your spot! Make sure to be careful to avoid splattering dye on any porous surfaces.
- Perform a strand test and patch test.
- Apply Manic Panic® Hair Color evenly and fully saturate your strands making sure to work in small sections.
- Cover hair with a plastic cap (not necessary but can help with processing and clean up).
- Use a hairdryer to apply heat to your hair for part of the processing time (not necessary but can ensure hair follicles are primed for best absorption).
- Leave color on for 30 minutes or longer. Since Manic Panic® is non-damaging, you can leave it on for an hour or more!
- Rinse hair color with cold running water (making sure to avoid your eyes and face). Shampoo and conditioner are unnecessary since Manic Panic® acts as a conditioner while it’s in, but we like to use our conditioner for added softness and shine. Make sure to rinse thoroughly over the sink (but be mindful of where you rinse at it can stain porous surfaces)! To ensure most shades are adequately rinsed, rinse until the water runs almost clear.
- Towel and/or blow dry hair (make sure to use a dark-colored towel to avoid staining). Style as usual. Take on the world.
Disclaimer: Results will vary depending on many factors (the health of your hair, other colors applied previously, hair care routine, etc). This product should not be used for dyeing eyebrows and eyelashes. If eye contact does occur, rinse immediately with warm water and contact a physician. Please always conduct a patch and strand test to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to the product and that the hair color will appear on your hair the way you’d like it to! And always contact us with questions you have so we can help you!
Maintain color by washing with a sulfate-free color-safe shampoo & conditioner, using cool water. The more often you wash, the faster the color will fade out so try to use dry shampoo in-between washes to prolong the life of your color!
5. DO I HAVE TO BLEACH MY HAIR BEFORE COLORING?
- Not necessarily! If you have naturally light blonde hair or even a light brown color, there are some colors that can give you great results or a beautiful deep tint! Here are some of our pigmented shades that work best on unbleached hair. Natural hair is healthy hair and that is great; however, it is far less porous than bleached hair. This is why even if your hair is naturally blonde, you will want to stick with more pigmented shades.
- Of course, applying Manic Panic® Hair Color to pre-lightened hair is the best way to ensure that you will achieve the vibrant results that you see on our color swatches. For most semi-permanent hair colors, you’ll need to be at least a level 7+ pre-lightened for best absorption but lightening with our Flash Lightning® Kits to a pale blonde (level 9-10) will give the most intense results. On every page, you'll see a chart with results of before and after for different levels of hair. This is an approximation but is usually very close to typical results!
6. WHICH MANIC PANIC COLORS WILL SHOW UP THE BEST ON HAIR THAT IS NOT PRE-LIGHTENED? (CLICK ON COLOR FOR PICTURES)
For more intense and longer-lasting results, try the above-mentioned shades in our Amplified™ Collection! This formula is stronger and lasts 30% longer! Some of the Amplified™ shades start out as pastels and will still be considered pastels even in amplified formulas but with more intensity (Shades like Dark Star™, Coralline Dream® etc!). Check hair swatches on the product pages for a general idea of how they will look!
7. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT RESULTS WITH MANIC PANIC HAIR COLOR ON BLEACHED VS. NON-BLEACHED HAIR
Everyone’s hair will have different results depending on several factors but in general, the color will be more true to tone and vibrant on bleached hair. Our more pigmented shades will give brown hair a deep tint but the color will be more subtle. The most important step is the strand test so you can see how it will look before coloring all over and adjust your formula if necessary!
Here is an example below of how the same shade can work on different hair levels. Once you know yours you can shop the best shades for your hair level!
Here are two videos of different people using Purple Haze®!
8. I HAVE NEVER USED LIGHTENER BEFORE. SHOULD I HAVE A PROFESSIONAL STYLIST COLOR MY HAIR?
If you are unsure or feel like you don’t have the experience to lighten your own hair, we always suggest having a professional stylist color your hair. If you are not able to visit a professional stylist, you can always email email@example.com, and we will walk you through the process. We also have step-by-step instructions for bleaching - see section 18 for instructions.
9. I PUT BLUE DYE IN MY HAIR BUT IT CAME OUT GREEN. WHY?
If you apply blue pigment on top of a yellow-toned blonde, the results can veer more toward teal or green (since blue and yellow make green). The whiter the hair, the truer the color tone. You can often counteract this by adding in a small amount of a deep Purple or Violet-blue shade to your mix (since those colors cancel out yellow). As a visual aid, we included swatches on all of our product pages to show you how the color is most likely to appear on your current hair level so you can plan for the mix you’ll need.
10. CAN I USE MANIC PANIC® TO COVER GREY HAIR?
Everyone’s hair is different and this is especially true with gray hair! Some grays can be more coarse and less porous (even though they are lighter in color) and require pre-lightening or super pigmented shades to cover. For our most updated list of shades that can work on covering gray hair please reach out to us on social or via customer service!
The best way to find out if a color will work for you is to do a strand test! Please see strand test instructions for how to complete this process! If you apply a strand test and it doesn’t seem to be light enough, then you will know you’ll have to pre-lighten for best results.
11. IS IT DANGEROUS TO COLOR MY HAIR DURING PREGNANCY?
Since our color is non-damaging with no harsh chemicals, you should be able to color your hair in theory but you will need to contact your doctor regarding this just to be safe! And of course, you may develop allergies during pregnancy you don’t normally have so you’ll want to do a patch and strand test prior to coloring if you get the okay! While Tish™ did not stop coloring her hair while she was with child, she did, however, refrain from bleaching or using any harsh chemical products.
12. WHAT KIND OF SHAMPOO SHOULD I USE AFTER I COLOR MY HAIR TO HELP MY COLOR LAST?
You’ll want to check the ingredients and make sure you are using silicone-free, sulfate-free products with no harsh chemicals or heavy oils. It is also a good idea to avoid shampoos with high levels of sodium chloride. Be sure to use a deep cleansing/clarifying shampoo before coloring (and don’t apply conditioner prior to coloring). We have some shampoos for both preparing your hair for color and maintaining your color! Check them out here!
We recommend washing your hair in cold water when you do need to shampoo it, using dry shampoo like our Hair Freshener® in between regular washes, and avoiding anything that can strip the color (like high-heat styling, swimming, etc). The more often you wash your hair, the faster your color will fade but using the right products and best practices will help!
13. HOW LONG DO MANIC PANIC® COLORS LAST?
The way Manic Panic® Hair Color fades varies as it can be dependent on many factors! If your hair is bleached, for example, it will typically hold color much longer than someone whose hair is unbleached. But if your hair is over-processed, it can mean your hair will have a harder time holding color. It also depends on how often you wash your hair and the products you use to maintain your color!
In general. Classic High Voltage® can last up to 6 weeks on pre-lightened blonde hair. Amplified™ can last up to 8 weeks on pre-lightened blonde hair. Creamtone™ and pastel shades (like Blue Steel™), typically last 2-3 weeks on platinum blonde hair. Hot Tip: If you’d like to add a few drops of a deeper color to your pastel you can make them last a bit longer!
14. WHAT ARE THE UV COLORS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
We have a variety of hair color shades that are UV-reactive or Glow Under Black Light. Specialized UV lights such as black lights cause fluorescent substances like some of our hair colors to glow. Please note that hair must be lightened to a level 9+ or higher for the UV reaction in the dyes to show up and work properly. If you mix a non-UV dye with it, this will dilute the UV effect.
15. WHERE CAN I FIND MANIC PANIC HAIR COLOR IN STORES?
You can find Manic Panic® on shelves at ULTA, Sally Beauty Supply, or Hot Topic. You can also find us in select Bed Bath and Beyond stores, Walmart online and many more! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re not sure where to shop. You can also call 1-800-95 MANIC to locate a shop near you!
16. HOW DOES VIRGIN SNOW WORK?
Our Manic Panic Virgin Snow™ is a Toning Shade. See above photo of @maeeast who used our lighting kit and Virgin Snow™ to tone her icy locks! A toner works to neutralize unwanted pigments left behind on newly lightened hair. Toner and toning mixes can help cancel out unwanted tones (like yellow tones) in freshly bleached hair. Virgin Snow™ works as a direct-deposit toner so it will not further lighten your hair, only add in the tones needed to give the appearance of a whiter blonde.
When applied to level 10+ pre-lightened hair, the result will be whiter hair. Hot Tip: Applying heat with a blow dryer during processing time will help your hair absorb the toner better!
We also have Silver Stiletto™ that works as a silver toner on platinum hair! Some people prefer to use shades like Blue Steel™ or even diluted Ultra™ Violet for a stronger toning effect!
17. HOW CAN I REMOVE MANIC PANIC® HAIR COLOR FROM MY HAIR?
Most people let color fade or use clarifying shampoo like our Prepare to Dye® shampoo to fade color before their next color! However, if you want to remove color, you will want to purchase a color-remover made for semi-permanent hair dye for this.
Bleach should not be used to remove color as it can drive pigment further into the hair follicle due to the volume of the developer. For more tips email email@example.com
18. HOW CAN I LIGHTEN MY HAIR BEFORE APPLYING MANIC PANIC DYE?
If you feel comfortable bleaching your hair at home prior to coloring, we offer 3 bleach kits that will lighten your hair. If you’re not sure which kit is right for you based on their description, please feel free to contact us!
Make sure to mix all contents in your bleach package when preparing bleach to ensure the proper and safe formula. Our bleach kits are prepared with the perfect ratio of bleach powder and developer to give you consistent results every time. If you are unsure about bleaching feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN NOT TO BLEACH:
- Do not bleach If you currently have color in your hair. Bleach with a high-volume developer can sometimes drive the pigment further into your strands and create staining. Instead, look for a color remover with a lower volume developer that’s made for the type of dye in your hair! And never use it to remove permanent dye!
- Do not bleach if your hair is damaged or already suffering from breakage.
- Do not bleach if you have box dye in your hair. Especially black box dye which can cause a severe chemical reaction resulting in excessive breakage.
- Do not bleach if you are allergic to bleach.
- Do not bleach if you have any cuts, scrapes or abrasions on your scalp.
- Do not bleach if your hair is wet.
- Do not bleach over previously bleached hair especially if your hair was bleached less than 48 hours ago.
- WARNING: DO NOT USE BLEACH to remove permanent dye! This can create unwanted banding, staining, and often MAJOR BREAKAGE. It is very dangerous to apply any bleach to hair colored with a permanent black color.
19. HOW IS BLEACH APPLIED?
The bleach mixture should be applied to dry, unwashed hair using a hair dye brush like the one provided in our bleach kits. When applying bleach, make sure to spread the mixture evenly and completely saturate all strands using the brush or gloved fingers. Not saturating the hair enough or uneven application can lead to spotty results. Do not allow the bleach to dry out as it will stop lifting when it is dry. See above warnings and tips! Need more help? Reach out to us at email@example.com
Watch video on how to apply bleach HERE.
20. HOW LONG SHOULD I LEAVE THE BLEACH ON?
The length of processing time depends on the color and condition of your hair, but we don’t recommend leaving the bleach on for longer than 40 minutes per session. While processing, make sure to check your hair every 10 minutes after the application to evaluate how much color has lifted. To do so, wipe away some of the bleach in the area you want to check with a damp paper towel and re-apply bleach as needed to the small spot, and continue processing. If you feel burning or discomfort in any way, wash bleach out with shampoo immediately (making sure to avoid eyes and face). Never apply bleach more than once back to back.
WARNING: DO NOT LEAVE ON LONGER THAN THE RECOMMENDED TIME.
21. DO I SHAMPOO MY HAIR WHEN REMOVING THE BLEACH?
Yes! Thoroughly shampoo your hair away from your face and make sure to be careful not to get any bleach in your eyes, nose or mouth! This may take multiple washes to ensure the bleach is completely removed. If you’re dying your hair with MANIC PANIC® after bleaching, you don’t need condition since the color acts as a deep conditioner. Instead, dry your hair completely before applying color. For a clarifying shampoo that works well for rinsing bleach thoroughly, you can try our Prepare to Dye® shampoo! It can help to remove product and buildup and give you the best canvas for your next shade!
22. WHY IS MY HAIR ORANGE AFTER BLEACHING IT?
When bleaching dark hair, it can often take more than one processing session to lighten your hair to a pale yellow. Slow and steady wins the race here! After the first time bleaching, your hair could be orange or golden yellow. We recommend waiting at least two weeks before lightening your hair again so that the hair follicle has time to recover before undergoing the next treatment. Ideally you will get the proper lift the first time, but if your hair is very dark and you do need one more session, patience is key to the health of your hair! Be very cautious applying bleach to hair that has been previously lightened and check the hair frequently during the process. You most likely won't need to leave bleach on the full processing time for a second session.
23. MY CREAM DEVELOPER IS WATERY. WHY?
The developer and bleach powder get thicker once mixed. If the developer is still thin after mixing, let the mixture stand for a few minutes and it should thicken. If it doesn’t thicken up and you’re sure you’ve mixed it correctly, please do not use it and contact customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know!
24. HELP! I ACCIDENTALLY STAINED MY SKIN! HOW DO I GET THE DYE OFF?
- Use Manic Panic® Dye Away® hair color removing wipes! - or -
- Rub Dish Soap on with a sponge or use dish soap on hand with hot water as soon as the dye makes contact and have dry paper towels there to wipe the area clean.
- Prevent staining with gloves, careful application, and coconut oil or petroleum jelly applied on the neck, hairline, and wrists!
*Try to stay away from rubbing alcohol because it can dry out your skin, but if you don’t have a choice, just apply a small amount to a cotton ball and dab on it. Make sure to apply lotion to skin afterward! Always test these methods on a patch of skin first to test for any sensitivity prior to full use.
25. OH NO! I ACCIDENTALLY GOT DYE ON MY BATHROOM SURFACES… HOW DO I GET IT OFF?
Manic Panic® hair colors can stain anything that is porous (just like your hair!) so it is best to cover your surfaces and anything you don’t intend to color with, tin foil, newspaper, or hair dye towels to ensure you do not get any unwanted staining on your home surfaces. Always rinse your hair under a faucet and away from your face. We do not recommend rinsing your freshly colored hair in the shower, as this can cause the color to splatter and stain your shower walls & tub. Some bathroom surfaces are more porous than others – better to be safe than sorry! If you do see color starting to get all over the shower, spray and soak with bleach based cleaner as quickly as possible and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing.
Here are a few tricks to get color out of surfaces:
- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers live up to their name! Just rub the area with a dampened one and watch the stain disappear.
- Bleach or bleach-based cleaning sprays work best on tough stains.
- Rub toothpaste with a rag or old toothbrush in circular motions with a little warm water
- Nail polish remover can work on some surfaces but may strip paint so be careful with this one!
26. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY HAIR DYE HAS GONE BAD?
Most hair colors have a shelf life of around 1-2 years if stored properly and unopened. If you believe your hair color is expired or there is something off about it in any way, please contact customer service at email@example.com with your proof of purchase, the name of the color, where you purchased and the batch number (found on the bottom of the jar) so we can further investigate immediately and help you.
If the color or consistency appear to be odd or “off” please do not apply color to your hair. If you did not purchase the dye from us we would still love to be notified so we can correct any possible issues but please contact the place you purchased it from as well to let them know so that they can replace the product or refund you if their policy allows!
Also please keep in mind that you can use color again for your touch ups after it’s been opened if it has been stored properly. Always store color in a cool dry place and do not contaminate the jar with a comb or anything that could cross-contaminate it with outside bacteria. Always pour color into your clean mixing bowl before applying and then wash all your tools afterward!
27. COLOR SPRAY ADVICE:
- Shake up temporary hair color spray really well before you use it!
- Holding the spray cans at an angle (about a 40-degree angle) rather than holding the cans upright will help to ensure a smooth spray of product onto the hair.
- Spray the product from at least 12 inches away and in short bursts, rather than a steady stream for the best results.
- Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before going to bed to avoid staining on linens & fabrics.
- Shampooing hair with a clarifying or dandruff shampoo can help remove any stubborn spray pigment left behind after your initial wash.
- Be sure to properly cover bathroom surfaces (walls, floors, counters, etc.) before use to avoid staining, and wipe up any accidental drips right away as they can be harder to remove once they dry.
28. WIG FAQS - MANIC PANIC® HEAT STYLEABLE WIGS
- Wig Facts/Info:
- Heat Styling Tool Compatible
- Heat Resistance up to 248 °F / 120 °C
- Hand Washable with Warm Water
- Fully Adjustable Wig Cap for Secure Fit
- Realistic Look and Feel
- Professional Quality Synthetic Wig
- Full Bodied for Voluminous Styling yet also Lightweight and Comfortable
- Can Be Trimmed to Create Your Own Shape and Style
- Cruelty-Free and Vegan
29. Are Manic Panic® Wigs Safe for Children?
Manic Panic® wigs are designed for adult use only. Manic Panic® wigs are fancy dress items for adults. Manic Panic® wigs are not toys. WARNING: Keep wigs away from fire.
30. How Should I Store My Wig In Between Uses?
Always gently brush your wig after each use using a wig brush to detangle it before storage. Start gently brushing from the bottom up to avoid causing knots and pulling out the hair. If necessary, use a synthetic wig detangling spray. You may store your wig on display using a wig head, or, you may simply and carefully wrap your wig up in its original hair net and keep it in its original box.
31. How Often Should I Wash My Wig?
Determining how often to wash your wig generally depends on how often you wear it. Your wig should be washed after about 30 wears, or every four to six weeks. However, your lifestyle also plays a big part in how often your wig should be washed. If you're around heavy smoke, perfume, or strong odors of any kind, you should wash it more often.
32. Preparing to Wash Your Wig:
Wigs should be washed when they are dull, lifeless, over-sprayed, or tangled from too much teasing. Start by gently brushing your wig from the bottom in short strokes to remove knots, any spray build-up, and to separate the hair strands.
33. Step-by-Step Guide to Washing Your Synthetic Wig:
STEP 1. SOAK
Mix lukewarm water with synthetic wig shampoo in a sink or basin (never use a washing machine). Soak your wig for five minutes, or a little longer depending on how soiled it is. Even if your wig is quite soiled, never rub, twist or wring it.
STEP 2. CLEAN
After the five minutes, gently dip it up and down in the water. If there are makeup stains on the cap, clean them gently with a small brush (like a toothbrush.)
STEP 3. RINSE
Rinse your wig gently, but thoroughly, in lukewarm water.
STEP 4. CONDITION
After washing your wig, conditioning it will restore the original style pattern of your wig. Conditioning the wig will keep it looking great and lasting longer. Synthetic wig conditioner contains specially blended oils that soften dryness and bring out the luster and mobility of the hair. To condition your wig, refill your sink or basin with clean, lukewarm water. Add one or two capfuls of conditioner to the cool water. Immerse your wig in the conditioner solution, gently working the solution through the wig with your fingers.
STEP 5. RINSE
Rinse your wig again gently but thoroughly in lukewarm water.
STEP 6. DRY
The weight of the water could stretch the wig hair and ruin the style. To avoid this, pat the excess water out of the wig with a towel. Hang your wig loosely on a wig stand or over a bottle (like a shampoo bottle) to dry at room temperature. Never place a wet wig on a Styrofoam head or a blockhead which can stretch the wig cap. Also, never comb a wet wig or attempt to speed dry it with a blow dryer. Air drying takes only a few hours and ensures healthy-looking, manageable hair. Once your wig is completely dry, use a wig brush to gently brush out your wig, starting from the bottom and working your way up.