A type of vegetable-based hair dye. It comes in very many colors, and is often worn by people ages 15-30. It washes out in about 2-3 weeks, but will quicker if you shampoo every day.

All colors: A heavy duty (40%) peroxide bleaching, prior to using Manic Panic, is mandatory in order to get the colors to really show up. For those of you in middle america wondering where you can get your hands on said product I recommend goin to Hot Topic (http://www.hottopic.com/) . This is a goth/punk chain that, oddly enough, is located in malls across america.

When bleaching try to achieve a color that is similar to the inside of a banana peel. If you don't bleach and you have dark hair you will just end up with highlights that only show up in bright light. The bleaching process will dry your hair out severly so be sure to use lots of conditioner for at least the next week. In my experience the Manic Panic itself does not damage hair in any noticeable way.

The vampire red color: If you bleach your hair too light you'll end up with a color that is closer to hot pink than what you were expecting the first time. Don't panic. Let it dry and then re-apply another dose. From then on every time you redo the color it will come out a nice vampire red.

I have used Manic Panic many times on my (dark brown) hair, and have always been very pleased with the results. It is true that you should bleach your hair to within an inch of its life if you want the color to show up, but personally I didn't notice too much damage as a result -- in fact, I have read that the cream dyes have conditioning agents in them to counter the effects of the bleach. The cream dyes can be somewhat time-consuming and messy to use, because you have to rub them vigorously into your hair until the dye foams, but the colors can be very beautiful. I have also noticed that blue-toned colors are much more difficult to pull off, mostly because unless the bleached hair is practically white the end result will be a sort of turquoise-y green (not unattractive, though). And, as the dye starts to fade, sometimes the color will look a little dingy and brassy. Thus, pink, red, or purple is usually easier to pull off. Oh, and Vampire Red seems to get a bad rap, so if you are looking for a red dye I would suggest Pillarbox Red, which was the very first Manic Panic dye I ever used (aww) and produced a nice, deep red.

Here is a complete list of all Manic Panic cream dye:
After Midnight Blue
Atomic Turquoise
Bad Boy Blue
Black and Blue
Cotton Candy Pink
Deadly Nightshade
Divine Wine
Electric Banana
Electric Lava
Electric Lizard
Electric Sunshine
Enchanted Forest
Fuschia Shock
Green Envy
Hot Hot Pink
Infra Red
Lie Locks
Mystic Heather
New Rose
Pillarbox Red
Plum Passion
Pretty Flamingo
Purple Haze
Red Passion
Shocking Blue
Tiger Lily
Ultra Violet
Vampire Red
Virgin Snow

Manic Panic Amplified Hair Color

I haven’t dyed my hair in years due to an allergy to a chemical commonly found in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes. The chemical is para-phenylenediamine (PPD) and from my personal experience, I recommend avoiding hair dyes containing PPD, even if you have successfully used them many times before with no adverse reaction. Even the “natural” hair dyes sold in most retailers contain this chemical or some variant of it. An easy way to check to see if a particular product has PPD is to see if the dye has two components that have to be mixed together prior to use. If so, this is a chemical hair dye requiring a chemical reaction during the mixing. Be especially careful with chemical hair dyes if you have ever used black henna temporary tattoos.  

Having mousy, dirty-blonde hair gets old after a while. Even though I waited most of my life for my first full hair dye experience, I was accustomed to having at least highlights or lowlights or both. Once I discovered I was allergic to PPD, I thought I was destined to live with the dishwater blond until I turned gray.

Enter Manic Panic semi-permanent hair dye. My oldest daughter introduced me to the product. She works at Hot Topic, a retailer in malls that specializes in pop culture fashion and accessories. They also happen to carry Manic Panic hair color. Manic Panic is also available online via Tish and Snooky’s Manic Panic website (http://www.manicpanic.com/) or through Hot Topic’s website (http://www.hottopic.com/). The product is vegan; it contains no animal ingredients and it is not tested on animals, but tested on celebrities. The best part for me is that Manic Panic is PPD free!  

I was ready to dive into the wonderful world of hair color again. The classic cream formula comes in about forty different colors. I chose to try the amplified version because it is touted to last as much as thirty to forty percent longer than the classic cream. The color selection in the amplified line is a bit less diverse, with only fourteen of the most popular colors currently available. Let me warn you, if you are looking for a “natural” color, you are not going to find it in the Manic Panic line. These colors ROCK!   

After checking several Pinterest boards and doing extensive before and after Google searches, Vampire RedTM and Purple HazeTM are the colors I chose, while my daughter went with Rockabilly BlueTM. Not being very experienced in the hair dye process, I found it very helpful to have a partner. I dyed her hair and she dyed mine.

For the most part, we followed the instructions on the bottle, which are clear and easy to understand. For purity of color, the manufacturer highly recommends that you lighten your hair first and they have products available for this. My daughter and I opted NOT to bleach our hair and just apply the dye directly over our natural color.

The amplified line comes in a squeeze bottle and we just applied it directly from the bottle to our freshly washed and still-wet hair. As the instructions suggest, we combed the color through until the hair was saturated and frothy. I’m very glad I had my daughter to me, since I was doing two colors. She applied the Purple HazeTM to the longest layer of my hair and then wrapped the purple part in foil before she applied the Vampire RedTM  to the two shorter layers of my hair.

After we were well saturated and frothy, we applied heat to our hair with a blow dryer set on low for about ten minutes. Then we wrapped our hair in plastic wrap, put a plastic shower cap on over that, and topped it all off with a knit cap. The dye is activated by heat rather than chemical, so we figured the more heat, the better.  The bottle says to leave on for thirty minutes. In our research of before and after pictures, we found that many consumers recommend leaving the product in your hair much longer, even overnight if possible. This is the method we chose.

In the morning, we rinsed the dye with water as cold as we could stand until it ran clear. We followed that up with a rinse of 1 to 1 vinegar and water, which I’ve since found is recommended on the website, but not on the bottle. You can use a conditioner on your hair and rinse through one more time, but we found our hair to be soft and shiny without the conditioner. Our color came out fantastic! I am very pleased with this product. Not only did I get great color, but I had no allergic or adverse reaction even after leaving it in for ten hours!

Definitely check Trish and Snooky’s website. There are all kinds of handy tips and tricks to use when dyeing your hair. Especially pay attention to the eleven commandments. As the website says, live fast and dye your hair.

So far my color has lasted a week without any noticeable fading. The bottle recommends not washing your hair for at least a week after dyeing and only washing your hair once a week thereafter for maximum color retention. I only lasted four days after dying and then three days after that. I will post updates as to long the color lasts for me.

Happy dyeing! 

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