Hair · Review

Review and How To: Manic Panic Hair Dye (plus Discount Code!)

If you follow me on any of my social media platforms (here, here, or here), you’ll have seen me make mention of stripping the dye from my hair and trying a new colour over the weekend; so today, I’d like to share that process with you all, as well as let you in on the secret to my wonderful new hair colour!

Before I start I’d just like to say that anyone who’s new to hair colouring, or who has sensitive skin, allergies, and/or is in any way unsure about their choice of colour should of course absolutely always perform a skin and/or strand test with the appropriate products.  I didn’t, because a) I was excited for the change; and b) I have never experienced any form of allergic reaction to anything, ever; but if I had, it would have been my decision affecting only me; obviously you know yourself better than I do, and can therefore make your own decisions on the various types and methods of testing.  If you need it, there’s information on patch testing in this Manic Panic video, just before the two minute mark.

Taken from my Instagram account, how my hair looked after using the dye remover

For me, the first step in this process was to remove the ‘old’ colour from my hair; to do this I purchased a colour remover from a high street beauty & health retailer.  I chose one that was bleach & ammonia free, because I have very fine hair and can’t stand the smell normally associated with hair dye; as I was taking red dye out I got an ‘extra strength’ remover, but needn’t have worried as my hair ended up rather blonde!

To remove my previous colour, I simply followed the instructions that were included in the box; the only downside to this process was that for a day or two my hair had a faint pee-like smell to it, but it was a simple process and one I’d repeat again (though not when I had anything important coming up!)

I was excited to get to work turning my hair into a better shade of my ‘natural’ colour, and to do that I used Manic Panic Dye, from gothic clothing online retailer Kate’s Clothing.  Manic Panic, alongside Directions hair dye, are probably best known for their crazy colour hair dye, with shades including ‘Electric Lizard’, ‘Voodoo Blue’, and ‘Sunshine’.  Tempting as all of the colours are, crazy hair dye sadly might not be the wisest of ideas while I’m still settling into a new day job, plus I wasn’t sure which of the many shades I have my eye on I’d actually suit, so I opted for ‘Pillarbox Red’ which I thought would be similar to my old colour, but a brighter and more vibrant (hence, a better) shade.

Sadly, my day job isn’t anything hair or beauty related, so the “how to” that follows is simply my personal way of dying my hair – it works for me and I’m pretty certain it should work for anyone else too, but there might be a better way for you (or me!) to do it.

The first step for me is to put an old T-shirt on so that I’m relatively safe from the dye (totally lacking in any artistic skill means I don’t have the steadiest hand for hair dye); sadly I don’t have any old T-shirts of my own that would be suitable, so I raided Mr LPU’s wardrobe…the first one I came to would not have been a good choice, even for semi-permanent dye:

Note: do not wear one of your other half’s prized band tees when dying your hair 😉

The next one was a much better choice, and meant I could move on with the process: gathering my supplies, opening the dye (being very careful with that knife!), and sectioning my hair.

Missing from this photo is extra virgin olive oil – I used this as a buffer between my hair & skin (as you might with petroleum jelly, for instance); as well as cling film.
Very carefully removing the protective lid with a small kitchen knife

This is how I section my hair: it’s probably on the basic side but it works for me.  As I get one ‘layer’ of hair coloured, I re-section each bit of my un-coloured hair and start on the next ‘layer’ up.  I do this until I reach the top of my head.

The instructions on the tub say that you should dye your hair from about half an inch down the shaft, and that once you’ve got your whole head dyed, you should comb it through so that it foams up a little, although I found that no matter how much I combed my dyed hair, it didn’t really create a foam, though that doesn’t seem to have mattered.

I start dying my hair from the lowest layer…
…and then work my way around my head and then upwards…
…and then comes the combing
…lots of combing

Once I’d covered my hair (and a large part of my hairline & neck!) with dye and combed it through, I piled my hair on top of my head and used the Dye Away wipe on my forehead, ears, and neck – I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the errant dye came away.  Once that had been completed, it was time for the cling film.

This little thing is magic!
To ensure I cover all of my head, I layer the cling film – the first layer coming around from the nape of my neck, and then the second going backwards from my forehead

Manic Panic say you should leave the dye on your hair for at least half an hour, although I know people who sleep with it on and wash it out the next morning; this time I left it just for thirty minutes, but next time might leave it longer.

After washing, drying, and styling this is my result, which I love, although I don’t think the photo does the vibrancy of the colour many favours, it is much redder in person, whereas “on film” I think it looks more like a regular red hair colour:

Overall, I’m really happy with the dye – it’s a gorgeous colour and is vibrant enough for me at the moment, though if I wanted a brighter colour I’d happily pre-lighten it with either a Manic Panic kit or another lightening product.  One other option for a more intense colour is to add heat (i.e. a hair dryer), which is something I’ll try when my colour needs touched up; next time I think I’ll also get a little closer to my roots, as I seem to have been overly-cautious with that (a friend told me of the time she dyed her hair and scalp ‘Electric Lizard’!).  I was also happy to find that after wrapping my pillow in an (old!) white towel before I went to bed, that there was no transfer of dye.  Of course, I’ll use my Save The Blow Dry shower cap to ensure that the colour stays bright for as long as possible.

I definitely recommend Manic Panic dyes, they’re vegan so are animal friendly, and because they’re not permanent there’s no horrible ammonia/bleach smell that regular dye has – in fact it smells really nice (almost like perfume!), and it even left me with really super-soft, shiny hair too – which is definitely a plus!

If you’d like to try Manic Panic dye from Kate’s Clothing, they’ve been kind enough to give me a code for 10% off which runs from now through to January 2nd, and that is: 10PinUp10.

Have you ever used Manic Panic, or another dye to colour your hair a “non-hair” colour, have you ever been tempted, or do you just want to watch from the sidelines?  I’d love for you to share with me in the comments below…

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Disclaimer: Kate’s Clothing sent me a tub of Manic Panic dye to review along with a Dye Away wipe, gloves, and a brush; besides receiving these items I have not and will not get any further compensation from Kate’s Clothing and/or Manic Panic monetary or otherwise.  Regardless of this, all opinions expressed are mine and mine only, (except where I might note Mr LPU’s opinion).

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