How Long Does Manic Panic Really Last? Here’s The Truth.

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If you’re considering dyeing your hair with Manic Panic hair dye, you probably have a lot of questions. How long does Manic Panic last? What is the fading process like? Is it damaging to your hair?

We’re here with the answer all of those questions and more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Manic Panic hair color so you can decide if it’s the right hair dye for you.

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How Long Does Manic Panic Hair Dye Last? 

In our experience, when used correctly, Manic Panic hair color can last from 2 to 4 weeks before you’ll want to refresh your color.

However, there are a few things that can affect how long your color will last. These include:

  • The type of Manic Panic you use: There are 4 different types of Manic Panic hair color—Classic, Amplified, High Voltage and Professional Gel. The Amplified formula is the most fade-resistant, while the Classic and High Voltage formulas will begin to fade after about 3 weeks. 
  • The condition of your hair: If your hair is damaged or porous, your color will fade more quickly. 
  • If your hair is bleached or over-processed: this will also affect how it can hold onto vibrant hues – so expect Creamtone™ and pastel shades (like blue steel) to last 2 – 3 weeks max.
  • How often you wash your hair: The more often you wash your hair, the faster your color will fade. Try to only wash your hair 1-2 times per week to keep your color looking fresh for as long as possible. 
  • How you care for your hair: Be sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to prevent your color from fading too quickly. You should also avoid heat styling tools whenever possible. 

Expert Insights

“It depends on how often you wash your hair and what product you use to shampoo your hair. If you use a shampoo that lathers, that’s going to fade your hair color. If you use a pigment based shampoo, your color will last longer.”

Alexandra, Cosmetologist and Aspiring Spa’s in Florida and New York

Real Talk: User Experiences.

When it comes to choosing the right hair color, nothing beats hearing from those who’ve already taken the plunge.

  • ChickAdvisor User: “This product works very well. It lasts about two months for me, starts to fade to a hot pink after about two weeks, and I wash my hair twice a week.”
  • MakeupAlley User Experience: “I literally showered for the FIRST TIME with purple haze in. AND IT ALL CAME OUT! I DO NOT RECOMMEND”​
  • Sally Beauty Reviewer: “ENCHANTED FOREST – medium length Thick wavy hair – It lasted me about a week before fading on natural blonde and bleached hair.”

When it comes to Manic Panic hair dye, it’s a bit of a mixed bag of experiences. Folks absolutely adore the range of vibrant colors – they’re a real treat for anyone looking to spice up their look.

However, keep in mind, the longevity of these fabulous shades can vary quite a bit. In our experience, lighter or pre-lightened hair seems to catch the color best.

What is Manic Panic?

Manic Panic is a direct dye like Arctic Fox, which means it doesn’t require any developer or hydrogen peroxide to work.

You can simply apply Manic Panic to your hair with a nifty hair dye brush and wait for the color to develop. 

It’s known for its long-lasting hair color. In fact, some say it lasts longer than any other semi-permanent hair color on the market.

We love it best for alternative hairstyles like unicorn, mermaid and galaxy hair when you need bright, solid colors with great coverage.

The Different Types of Manic Panic.

Classic High Voltage

MANIC PANIC Mystic Heather Hair Dye - Classic High Voltage - Semi Permanent Hair Color - Mauve Shade With Pink Undertones - Glows in Blacklight - Vegan, PPD & Ammonia Free - For Coloring Hair

The Classic High Voltage is the original Manic Panic dye. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a wide range of bold colors.

It generally lasts about 2 to 4 weeks, especially if your hair is pre-lightened or naturally light blonde. This is great for anyone who loves a vibrant look but doesn’t want the commitment of a long-lasting dye.


MANIC PANIC Pillarbox Red Hair Color - Amplified - Semi Permanent Hair Dye - Deep True Red Color - For Dark & Light Hair - Vegan, PPD & Ammonia-Free - For Coloring Hair with Men & Women

The Amplified line is like the Classic High Voltage, but with more punch. It has 30% more pigment, so the colors are brighter and last longer, up to 6 weeks. It’s ideal if you want your color to stand out for a bit longer.


MANIC PANIC Blue Angel Hair Dye – Creamtone Perfect Pastel - Semi-Permanent Hair Color - Light, Sky Pastel Blue Hair Dye - Vegan, PPD & Ammonia-Free - For Coloring Hair on Women & Men

Creamtones are all about pastel shades. These are softer, subtler colors that work best on very light blonde hair, like platinum. They last around 2 to 4 weeks. If you’re into a gentle, dreamy look, Creamtones are the way to go.

Professional Gel Hair Color

Manic Panic Professional Color Solar Yellow - Medium True Yellow Semi Permanent Gel Hair Dye - Lasts Through 40+ Washes - No Developer Required (3oz)

Lastly, the Professional Gel Hair Color is a salon-quality option. It’s designed for long-lasting results, sticking around through 40 washes. This one is for you if you’re looking for a professional look that lasts.

Each type of Manic Panic dye has something different to offer. Whether you want a bold statement or a subtle touch, there’s a product for you. Remember, taking good care of your colored hair helps these dyes last longer.

Expert Insights

“Even though this is a semi-permanent dye, it’s very pigmented so it can stain your hair if you’re not careful”

Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

How long do you leave in Manic Panic?

You may think to make Manic Panic dye last longer, you have to leave it in for longer. This is a myth!

The amount of time you should leave Manic Panic in your hair depends on two factors.

First, how light or dark is your natural hair color? If you have very light hair (like platinum blonde), then you won’t need to leave the dye in as long as someone with darker hair (like dark brown).

Second, what kind of result do you want? Do you want a super vibrant color that pops or something more subtle?

Depending on these factors, leaving Manic Panic in your hair anywhere from 15 minutes up to an hour should give you fab results.

Always follow the instructions on the bottle for guidance that will work for you.

Does Manic Panic fully wash out?

The fading process usually starts around the four-week mark, but some people find that their color lasts even longer.

Eventually, all hair color will fade and Manic Panic is no different. However, the good news is that it fades gradually over time so you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy your new color before it’s gone.

Looking after your hair is key to making your color last. Be sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, avoid washing your hair too often, and use heat styling tools sparingly.

Expert Insights

“A general rule of thumb is 20 washes for good quality vivids with professional shampoo and cold water washes. Using non professional shampoo, hot water, no conditioner, going swimming, being out in the sun, ect… all will cause the color to fade faster.”

Your Helpful Stylist, Former Stylist 

Is Manic Panic damaging to your hair? 

No, according to Manic Panic themselves, the dye is not damaging to your hair. In fact, it’s actually one of the gentler hair dyes on the market.

The dye is made with natural ingredients like plant extracts and vegetable dyes. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or ammonia, so it’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive scalps.

Of course, as with all hair dyes, there is a small risk of allergic reaction. Be sure to do a patch test beforehand to ensure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Expert Insights

“It doesn’t damage your hair, but getting it out might. Be really sure about coloring your hair before you do it, do your research on all the kinds of fantasy colors there are the processes you will have to go through when you grow tired of it.”

Leslie Slavens, Licensed Cosemtologist

Watch and learn: Manic Panic hair dye tips and tricks.

Here’s a great video tutorial that shows you the best way to dye your hair with Manic Panic to get the best results.

How to make Manic Panic hair dye last longer

The key to making your hair color last for longer is proper application and aftercare. 

In addition to following the instructions on the package and using sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, there are a few other things you can do to make Manic Panic last longer.

First, avoid washing your hair too often. Every time you wash your hair, some of the color will fade. So if you want your color to last as long as possible, wash your hair no more than once or twice a week.

Additionally, try not to use heat styling tools too often. Heat styling can also cause color loss, so if you can let your hair air dry partially before using a blow dryer, that will help prolong the life of your color. And also use a heat protecting spray before you do.

Use a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask once a week. This will help restore moisture to your dry hair strands and help keep the color locked in and supple.

Finally, if you start to notice that your color is fading more quickly than usual, consider using a color-safe dry shampoo in between washes to help extend the life of your color.

Fading your color 

When you’re ready to say goodbye to your hair color, there are a few ways to fade it out.

One way is to simply wait for it to fade on its own over the course of a few weeks.

Another way is to use a clarifying shampoo or color removal kit designed specifically for removing semi-permanent hair color.

We do not recommended using bleach or any other harsh chemicals to remove Manic Panic as they can damage your hair. 

Parting words

Remember, Manic Panic is a semi-permanent hair color, so it will eventually fade whatever you do.

But with proper application and aftercare, you can enjoy your new color for weeks or even months.

Now that you know all about Manic Panic, are you ready to try it out? Just remember to use it safely and responsibly, and enjoy your new hair color!

And hey, why not share your Manic Panic journey with us on Facebook and Instagram @colouredhaircare? We’d love to see which variant you picked and how stunning you look!

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!