Trust us when we say we’ve all been there at some point, wondering what the levels of hair are and how do I find mine?!

To put it simply, whatever your hair level is will depend upon the lightness or darkness of your current hair colour. Once you have this information, you can then refer to your hair colour as a specific number on the hair levels chart, rather than having to explain that you are a cool-toned ashy blonde each time.

It can sound intimidating to some, but really figuring out your hair level couldn’t be much easier. Take a look at our Manic Panic UK hair levels chart:

We like to break the chart into 3 sections of hair levels and tones: dark, medium and light. Let’s take a closer look at these.

Levels 1-5

These are the darker shades within the chart, usually the natural hair colour levels. When it comes to colouring your hair with semi-permanent dyes, these shades are typically less likely to produce a visible result due to their dark pigmentation.

Level 1 hair colour – We begin the chart at level 1 black, the darkest shade of them all. This beautifully chic colour will not make a suitable base when dyeing your hair with semi-permanent colours as it will not produce a visible result. You will be required to bleach your hair if you wish to dye your hair with the Manic Panic colours.

As we reach the lighter of the darkest shades, you may find that certain levels will begin to produce subtle hues of the highly pigmented deep Manic Panic shades. These levels consist of level 4 brown and level 5 Light Brown. Levels below will not visibly produce colour as they are each much too dark.

Levels 6-7

In the middle of our chart, you will find the medium levels: level 6 Dark Blonde and level 7 Medium Blonde. You’ll find that our super pigmented deeper shades will appear much more suitable to these hair levels producing results that are beautifully rich in pigmentation.  Here you can find shades that can produce some tonal results.

Levels 8-10

Now you’re stepping into the much lighter territory and your Manic Panic colour options just doubled in size - if a vibrant result is what you’re looking for. This group of levels is generally the best for hair colouring, especially with vivid semi-permanent dyes.

If you believe your hair to be the result of a successful bleaching process but you’ve been left with some brassy/yellow tones throughout, you are most likely a level 8 blonde. You’ll find that the majority of Manic Panic colours can create bright results on your bleached base, excluding the pastel range and other substantially light shades.  It may be worth sticking to our warmer toned shades, just in case you are dealing with some stubborn yellow tints on your base which could end in some unexpected colour changes. Check out our recommended colours for this hair level, here.

A level 9 blonde appears much more even in colour compared to a level 8 with its yellowy hues. This level comes with an abundance of colour choices that will produce vibrant and long-lasting colours due to its extremely light appearance.
It is important to take into consideration that a level 9, although very light will still not enable pastel shades to become their most vibrant versions.

If you are looking to achieve a pastel shade or any other colour, a level 10+ is where you need to be. This significantly light and bright level that contains little to no blonde or yellow tones, allows for you to use pretty much any colour dye you can think of!
This particularly white base will produce the brightest and most vibrant versions of the Manic Panic colours; some may even visibly show off their undertones. You’ll also have the best chance at achieving the UV feature that can be found as part of some of our classic colours such as Electric Lizard, Mermaid and Cotton Candy Pink.

Things To Consider Before Changing Your Hair Level

Hopefully, you’ve now got a good idea of what your current hair level might be, so you can now decide whether you might need to give your hair a little pre-lightening prep or if you’re good to go with your desired colour.

Before you do make those decisions, it’s important to consider a few things before you start bleaching the heck out of your hair!

Is your base natural and how dark are we talking? A natural base can be lifted quite safely, however, the darker your hair the more bleaching sessions you might need to rota in. When lifting a dark base, patience is key! You’re going to experience some orange stages and your perfect base won’t happen straight away, but don’t think that back-to-back bleaching is the answer because this is only going to lead you down a road of inevitable hair damage.

The best thing to do when bleaching your hair, whether or not it takes 1 attempt or 4 to get to your ideal hair level, is to use high-quality products at a gradual pace. This will lessen the chance of damaging your hair, and also make for the best condition of hair for your new colour!

Planning on applying your Manic Panic colour to your natural base? This sounds like the perfect conclusion, but unfortunately, a natural unbleached base sometimes isn’t the best base for colouring hair. An unbleached base is far less absorbent than a pre-lightened one. Bleach works to lighten your hair colour whilst also producing much more porous strands; this makes the hair much more likely to hold the colour successfully and extends the colour longevity.

Now that you really do have an idea of the hair levels and what it may take to get to your desired one, we’d say you are well-equipped for the next stage. However, if you are still feeling slightly doubtful when it comes to your hair please contact us at or direct message us at @manicpanic_uk.