As we’ve found you here, we understand that you may have a question or two regarding a Manic Panic product or the process of hair dyeing. Here you can find our frequently asked questions with detailed answers as well as links to our top guides and tutorials.

Why Use Manic Panic Hair Colour?

At Manic Panic, we promise vibrant, bold and beautiful results when using our colours. Our products consist of wild yet mild formulas that only contain high-quality vegan ingredients and are fortified with 98% conditioner to keep the hair moisturised. We have ensured our colours are free of harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulphates, PPD and even gluten. Our hair dyes are also renowned for being cruelty-free having always been tested on celebrities, not animals!

Our dyes are all semi-permanent lasting between 2-8 weeks depending on the shade and range you choose from. The semi-permanent properties of our colours allow our dye hards to experiment and get creative without the worry of any permanency.

Why Is Doing A Patch And Strand Test Before I Begin So Important? 

Performing both a patch and strand test are essential processes to undertake before dyeing/lightening your hair.

Patch Test

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 burning during your testing time or developed any irritation, please do not continue to use the product.
  • If you find that the test caused none of these problems and went well, then you’re ready for a strand test.

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 this 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!

Do I Need To Pre-Lighten My Hair Before Applying Manic Panic Colours?

If you are looking to achieve a vibrant and bright colour similar to the shades on the Manic Panic swatch chart, you will need to lighten your hair to pale blonde (level 9-10). However, depending on the colour you choose, some of our shades can provide beautiful deep tints to light brown un-bleached hair.

It is important to remember that having healthy un-bleached hair is great but it does make for a less porous base. Bleaching your hair creates a far more porous base and this allows the hair to create a more vibrant result and hold onto the colour for longer. For natural blondes and brunettes that do not wish to bleach their hair, we suggest choosing from our more pigmented shades. 

If you have not bleached your hair before, check out our How To Bleach Your Hair And Top Tips guide for a fully detailed run-through of the bleaching process.

Are There Any Reasons That I Shouldn’t Bleach My Hair?

Bleach is an acidic substance so it is important that you have taken on all precautions and considered any reason that may mean you shouldn’t bleach your hair.

When not to bleach hair

  • Do not bleach your hair if you know you are allergic to it. If you are unsure, perform a patch and strand test before applying the bleach to a full head.
  • Do not bleach hair that currently has colour in it. A high volume developer in bleach can drive the current colour pigment further into your hair strands and leave staining of the colour.  Ensure to remove the colour with a clarifying shampoo or a colour remover with a low developer made for the dye type that is already in your hair. Never bleach over permanent dye!
  • Do not bleach hair that is damaged.
  • Do not bleach over box dye.
  • Do not bleach if you have any damage to the scalp such as cuts and scrapes.
  • Do not bleach wet hair.
  • Wait at least 48 hours since the previous bleaching session to bleach again.

What Manic Panic Colours Should I Use If I Would Prefer Not To Bleach My Hair?

If you’ve come to the conclusion that bleaching just isn’t for you, do not fear! We’ve got a range of beautiful colours that can result in some beautiful deep and rich tones.

We recommend sticking to our more pigmented shades for un-bleached hair such as Deep Purple Dream, Enchanted Forest, Fuschia Shock, Infra Red, After Midnight, Vampire Red, Venus Envy and Raven.

Keep in mind that applying our colours to dark hair will not make for a vibrant result, the colour will appear much more subtle and if the base is too dark (level 1-3) the colour may not show up at all. It is also important to note that the colour won’t last quite as long on un-bleached hair as the condition is far less porous and will not be able to hold onto the colour for as long.

What Is the Difference Between The Manic Panic Hair Colour Ranges?

As you may have noticed we stock a few different ranges of semi-permanent colours: High Voltage Classic Formula Colour, Amplified Formula Colour, Creamtones Perfect Pastels Dyes and Professional Colour. There are slight differences within these ranges and different advisories, so let’s go ahead and address these.

All of our colours are vegan and cruelty-free. They are also all free of harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulphates, PPD and even gluten. Our formulas are wild yet mild consisting of 98% conditioner.

High Voltage Classic Formula Colour

These cream formula semi-permanent hair dyes are the original Manic Panic colours. They were the first dyes to be formulated and developed by our brand and have continued their promise of fulfilling all your punk and colourful hair needs.

These dyes usually last between 4-6 weeks depending on the chosen shade, the base colour they are applied to and the condition of your hair.

Amplified Formula Colour

This long-lasting range is formulated exactly the same as our High Voltage Classic Formula Colour range, but with an added twist. The colours within this range are perfectly designed for those that are 100% set on the colour they want for their hair; they have been fortified with 30% more pigment, guaranteeing a longer-lasting colour.

These dyes usually last between 6-8 weeks depending on the chosen shade, the base colour they are applied to and the condition of your hair. Due to the higher intensity of these shades, you may even find that on bleached porous hair the colour may stick around for a little longer, so ensure you are fully committed to your colour before applying.

Creamtones Perfect Pastels Dyes

This small but pastel perfect range consists of 5 soft and subtle creative colour dyes. If you’re keen to add a light pop of colour to your mane, then we definitely recommend the Creamtones range.

Due to the pale fairness of these colours, they are not fortified with as much pigmentation as our other shades. The usual length of time these colours will last is between 2-4 weeks depending on the base colour the colours are applied to and how the colour is then taken care of.

These shades will not visibly show on a dark base and do not perform so well on an un-bleached base. To achieve a true pastel result you will need to pre-lighten your hair to a level 10.

Professional Colour

Our Professional Colour range is exclusively available to our salon account holders.

These dyes are sophisticated in both colour and formula consisting of semi-translucent gel-based consistency. This range is exclusive for professional usage only as they require an experienced technique when in use. These direct semi-permanent dyes work by identifying and bonding to the hair fibres and then mimicking these to produce an evenly flawless base.

You can learn more about our Professional Colour range here.

Is There Anything I Should Do Before Dyeing My Hair?

There are a number of steps we recommend taking before committing to dyeing your hair. These consist of:

  • Perform a hair dye/bleach patch test
  • Perform a strand test
  • Consider whether or not you will need to pre-lighten your hair
  • Wash and cleanse your hair with a clarifying shampoo. The Manic Panic Prepare To Dye Clarifying Shampoo is specially designed to prep your hair for its new colour by removing any excess oils and giving your hair the pre-dye deep clean it deserves.

How Do I Dye My Hair With Manic Panic Colours?

New to the Manic Panic hair dyeing experience? We’ve got some tips for you.

Ensure you have taken all the advised tips before dyeing your hair such as patch and strand tests. You can then find a full breakdown of the hair dyeing process in our How To Dye My Hair guide. This also includes a video from our fantastic founders, Tish and Snooky visually showing you how to get it right!

How Do The UV Colours Work?

We have a wide range of fantastic colours that include our out of this world UV feature! If you ever find yourself under a black light (a specialized UV light) whilst wearing your UV reactive hair dye, be sure to admire your hair as it glows brightly!

In order to successfully create the perfect glow, these UV colours must be applied to a pre-lightened base of a level 9+ to ensure the UV reaction works. Also, if the UV-reactive dye is mixed with a non-UV colour, this will dilute the UV substance and minimise the effect.

Remember these colours do not glow in the dark; they will only glow under black light.

How Do I Maintain My Colour?

There are several things you can do to keep your colour healthy and vibrant in-between dyeing sessions.

The products that you use in your hair are a main factor as to whether or not your hair will stay bright or fade much quicker than expected. Here at Manic Panic, we have a great hair care line specially designed to be gentle on hair and safe for colour. You can read all about our haircare and how it helps to maintain your colour in our How To Keep Your Hair Healthy And Your Colour Vibrant guide.

You can also find more tips in our How To Make Hair Dye Last Longer guide where we touch on certain things to avoid when your hair is coloured.


Why Is My Colour Bleeding?

Semi-permanent hair dye is designed to gradually wash out, however, there are some certain conditions that can allow this to happen quicker than expected. These specific dyes do not harm the hair's cuticle as they only create a layer of colour on the strands rather than driving the pigment directly into the hair's shaft, so you may experience some colour bleeding.

If a colour is bleeding, you would usually find that after the first 2-3 washes this begins to cease. However, with some highly pigmented shade such as reds, blues and green they can bleed for somewhat longer.

If you find that the colour is excessively bleeding more than expected, there are a few things that could be contributing to this:

  • Washing hair in warm/hot water. Warm/hot water will allow for the colour to fade a lot quicker, whereas cool/cold water will lock the colour in for longer.
  • Not using colour-safe products. Using colour-safe products are essential as these are specifically designed to lock the colour in whilst also cleansing your hair.
  • Washing hair too often. We recommend washing hair 1-2 times a week if possible to slow the fade rate. Dry shampoo is a great addition to your hair care collection when you have coloured hair.
  • UV rays can bleach the colour of your hair. Wear a hat or scarf if you can to stop any UV rays from targeting your hair directly.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to get in contact with us via social media @manicpanic_uk or via email at