If you’ve got a new hair colour on your mind that you just can’t shake, why not try something a little more semi-permanent? The Manic Panic semi-permanent hair dyes offer the opportunity to get creative, wild and whacky with your look without committing to it for too long. These direct dyes can typically stay in your hair for around 2-8 weeks, however, this is dependent on the base colour and condition of the hair prior as well as how the hair is maintained and cared for afterwards.

Here you can check out the Manic Panic UK beginner's guides which offer advice, top tips and necessary information when it comes to dyeing your hair. No one likes heading into a situation head first with no preparation, so why should your hair suffer? Within this guide, we’ve included information regarding potential issues that could hinder the chance of achieving your desired look, top tips in getting vibrant and shining results, and also some requirements we insist you perform for your own safety.  We want to help you give yourself and your hair the best opportunity at pulling off a successful result in both colour and condition and that all starts with good preparation, so let’s dive right into this guide on achieving happy hair results!

To Consider


What we love about animated and brightly coloured hair dyes is the way in which they allow the applicator to get creative with how they choose to apply the colour or the design they go for. We would highly recommend that when opting to create something a little more advanced than a single all-over colour application, the design is clear and can be easily executed - you could even draw it out as a guide. Although our colours are semi-permanent meaning they are not forever, they can last up to 8 weeks depending on the shade you choose so it’s always best to feel comfortable in the design you are creating.



The colour of the hair that your dye is applied to is your main dependable when it comes to your final result. The darker the base shade, the less vibrant your new colour is going to appear. If you are currently rocking anything darker than level 8 hair, you will need to consider pre-lightening your hair in order to achieve a brilliantly vivid result. However, if you are happy to rock some deep and subtle hues then our highly pigmented shades can produce beautiful results on hair between the levels of 4 – 7. Check below for your current potential hair level.

Hair that has previously been bleached also creates the ideal base when it comes to the longevity of your colour. Pre-lightened hair levels have a much more open cuticle within its strands which then allows the hair to hold onto the colour for much longer. A closed cuticle disables the entrance for the colour meaning that it will begin to bleed from your hair much more quickly and easily, especially when wet.

Once the hair is bleached and you have reached a level that you are happy with, it is important to tone your hair. You may notice after your pre-lightening process that your hair has developed some brassy tones throughout; toning the hair will help to bring your base colour to a much more even and accurate tone. An uneven hair tone can cause the colour applied to appear irregular. For example, hair that has been left with those yellow, brassy tones throughout after bleaching can turn green in those areas when a blue dye is applied; this is because when yellow and blue are mixed together they create green.


Try cleansing your hair 12-24 hours before your colour application using a clarifying shampoo. The Manic Panic Prepare To Dye Clarifying Shampoo has been specially fortified using gentle and nourishing ingredients that cleanse both your hair and your scalp creating a suitable base for your colour. The clarifying shampoo works to cleanse the hair and scalp of any build-up that may have occurred from applying other hair products.

Before You Start

Before applying your colour and bleach if you will be pre-lightening, it’s important to test that you will not have any nasty surprises by the end of it. Performing both a patch and strand test is vital as they allow you to identify two possible outcomes. These consist of the colour result you will achieve after applying your new shade and/or bleach, whether or not you will have an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the products you have used, and you can also test the condition of your hair and whether or not your hair will be able to withstand an all-over bleaching session.

Our products are free of PPD and other harsh chemicals, however, some allergies can react to different hair dyes throughout our lives so performing a patch test is very important. A patch test allows you to test the formula against your skin to discover whether or not you develop any allergies before going ahead with an all-over application.

How you can perform a patch test:

Begin by choosing a small area of skin, we recommend either the crook of your elbow or behind your ear. This area only needs to be the size of a 5-pence coin.

Wash this area with water and gentle soap, then dab dry with a clean towel.

Apply a thin layer of your chosen Manic Panic hair colour or bleach to your selected testing area.

Leave this area untouched and undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not get this test area wet within 24 hours as this will wash the product away and the test will be void.

Once your 24 hours are up, examine the area that you applied the product to, carefully looking for any signs of irritation such as redness. If you experienced a reaction to your patch test during your testing time, wipe the product off immediately and do not continue to use it further.

If you find that the test caused none of these problems and went well, then you’re ready for a strand test.

A strand test is performed to ensure the product used will provide the desired result. During this test, you can determine whether or not your hair will require pre-lightening and if the hair is in the correct condition to fulfil your expectations.

How to perform a strand test:

Select a small strand of hair, we recommend choosing from a section that is hidden within your hair such as underneath.

Apply a good coating of your chosen Manic Panic colour or bleach to the selected strand.

Wait 40 minutes and rinse with cool water.

Examine this strand to discover whether or not you have achieved your desired colour. If you have applied bleach, look at whether it has lifted enough but also for any signs of breakage as this could indicate that the condition of your hair may not be able to uphold a full head of bleach.

If you are happy with the result of your strand test, you’re ready to get colouring!

Are You Ready?

If you’re fully prepared and ready to start dyeing then make sure to check The Beginner's Guide To Dyeing Your Hair: How To Dye Your Hair! It’s better to know the best tips and tricks for dyeing BEFORE you start the process. Use our Manic Panic University lessons for true dye hard success!