Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Manic Panic Hair Dye Guide

Although I proclaim myself as a mistress of Metal, I'm pretty tame in "real life."  I've never had any piercings (not even my ears), no tattoos, no hair dye, and I hadn't started wearing makeup until about two years ago, and not advanced makeup (with my Kat Von D eyes and such) until four months ago.

So, at twenty-two years old, I finally decided I desperately needed some sort of physical change in my life.  I also wanted to do something shocking to surprise my fiance once he gets off his aircraft carrier [soon].  He hasn't seen me in person since October! So, out of all the "crazy" things I could have done, dyeing my hair with semi-permanent dye is by far the least damaging and non-permanent option.  My mind made up, I went on a research-quest to find the right dye for me, and decided on Manic Panic.  The brand has punky/metal colors, is Vegan and vegetable-based (I'm not Vegan, but I like when products are!), and supposedly washes out quicker than most dyes.  Winwinwin. 

I think it's cute.
I picked the color "Vampire Red" because it looked like a deep red in swatch photos and on their website, and I wanted red hair.  I have very pale skin, and red hair is just lovely on us pale beauties!  I didn't want "natural" red hair, either--I wanted super sexy, unnatural, Metal, Little Mermaid hair.  And I got it.  I wasn't expecting unbleached hair to come out so, well, vibrant.  Though, it's becoming a bit more purple as it sits in my hair and mixes with the oils in my head.  Which is still cool.

Forgive the duck face--I've been culturally brainwashed.  Photo on the left taken by Rachel Kertz.
Just look at that RED hair.  And that's without bleaching.  I always considered myself as having brown hair, but I suppose I'm naturally blonde, aren't I?  All the more reason to dye it.  And, with virgin hair and this being my first experience with hair dyeing, I learned many things.  I will share my new secrets with you.

  1. Cover your bathroom (or wherever you dye your hair) with towels.  Everywhere.  The dye got places I didn't know it could go.   
  2. Cover your face, ears, and neck with Vaseline.  You'll thank me later.  Also, wear a shirt you don't care about (though the dye washed out of mine).  
  3. Really, have a friend/significant other/SOMEONE ELSE put your dye in for you.  You do NOT want this stuff in your sink.  SO messy.  Make sure they wear good gloves. 
  4. My hair is crazy-long and very thick, but I only needed one jar of Manic Panic.  The friend who dyed my hair used a wee bit of a second jar, but it probably wasn't necessary. 
  5. You can let your dye sit however long you want.  There aren't any bad chemicals in it to seep into your brain and give you cancer (Manic Panic is rated 4/10 on EWG).  The internet says the longer you leave the dye in, the longer it lasts.  The jar suggests 20 minutes and I let mine sit for four hours.  And it hasn't really gone anywhere in the five days since I dyed it.  I expect it to last at least a month.  UPDATE:  It's been two months.  Still red.  I've got some roots showing, though.  But this stuff isn't budging!  :D
  6.  Please, do not get any dye on your scalp.  My scalp was covered in dye and it took over an hour to rinse all of it out, and I had to shampoo my head twice to get it off my scalp. 
  7. Rinse your hair in the shower--NOT the sink--if you left your dye in longer than the instructions advise.  Even if my scalp wasn't dyed red, it would've taken a good 30+ minutes to get my water to turn clear, and even then it never REALLY turned clear.  I just had to give up.  Make sure you towel dry your hair really well after getting out of the shower.  
  8. Mentally prepare yourself for all the bleeding that will happen if your hair gets wet.  Because it bleeds like a mutha.  Rain is now my enemy. 
  9. Also mentally prepare yourself for ridicule from just about everyone!
And that's how the magic happens!  Granted, it seems like quite a bit of work, but it's really not so bad.  I just have to accept the fact that, with Manic Panic, that whole "when water turns completely clear" thing will just never happen.  Ever.  I always wait until the dye pouring out of my hair is a light pink (rather than blood) color before I hop out of the shower.  And my pillowcases and clothes are fine.  My towel that I let my hair dry on, though--that thing is stained pretty badly.   

I only go outside when driving places, apparently.

Stay tuned for the funny ways you'll get treated once your hair is an unnatural color!



  1. As a green haired lady...the best use of the unnatural color is scaring the religious right, small children, and old people.

  2. Lol! YES, it was an interesting experience :3 Glad to see the color turned out as well as it did. wahaha!

  3. At first I was unnerved by it, but now I think it's quite funny :P It's like there's a hush when I walk by, because people are like O____O WHAT IS THAT?!

  4. It's super pretty! wow I'm real late at finding this... anyways doing a strand test of Infra Red for a red velvet cupcake color (: hope it turns out! <3

  5. Very pretty! How long did you leave it on (the dye)
    How long did it take for your hair to come back to it's natural color?

    1. Hey! I left it on for about four hours, which is way longer than the suggested time, but I felt no burning.

      Here's a picture of it a month later: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/Chocoboeh/1526133_10152866325954104_340640330086457286_n.jpg

      It was showing a bit of roots, and it was pretty obvious (hence the headband). The next time I dyed my hair (August or September, I dyed it in April) I used a box dye (I prefer Clairol Natural instincts) because I was starting to seek employment at the time :( I do miss how vibrant the manic panic was, but I felt employers wouldn't appreciate it, sadly.