Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Product Review: Manic Panic Semi-Permanant Hair Dye

Description: A Semi Permanant Hair Dye which can be used over natural or pre-lightened hair to achieve vivid hues ranging from red to green and everything in between. Lasts between 4 to 6 weeks.
Website: www.manicpanic.com

I tried Manic Panic for the first time in February. My hair was a true platinum blonde and after maintaining the roots every four weeks for about five months, I opted to go back to red. However, the hair salon I chose did a horrible job of re-instating that color. Instead of using a filler initially, they went immediately to a permanant hair dye which turned my untouched roots a brilliant red but the rest a very dull brown. After three processes, I ended up with even darker red roots and even duller brown locks. And my hair was the texture of shag carpet. The salon was very apologetic and gave me a full bottle of Paul Mitchell deep conditioning for reestablishing some moisture into those overworked tresses but even the conditioner didnt do much to fix things. Not to mention, I still had dull brown hair with red roots!

Enter Manic Panic! I wasnt about to try evening out the color with another permanant dye but I thought this semi permanant product would brighten things up. Did it ever! After three hours of processing, my hair was a VIVID copper red. I had used the shade, Infra Red, which was more orange than purple based. After about 5 washes, the water finally ran clear in the shower and the resulting 'stain' was a flat copper with little dimension but still infinitely better looking than that dull brown mess.

In March, I went back to the salon and had them richen up the flat copper my MP'd hair had faded into and add some blonde streaks. As you can see from the before photo however, that faded rather quickly. I decided to use Infra Red again and see what it would do.

Initially, I had bought the product from an ebay seller and upon receipt, I realized the actual product was a rust color and rather thin. Manic Panic sent me some free product straight from their online store after viewing a positive review I had posted on their site and I realized that THIS time, the product was brilliant red and rather thick. I suspect that the ebay product had an issue, aging or what have you. I applied the color and waited four hours. As you can see, it came out PRIMARY red w/ copper highlighting where the blonde had been. I had applied conditioner over the blonde w/ a tint brush hoping it would retain some of the golden quality but after seeing the outcome, I'm glad it did not. Heh heh.

After coloring both times, my hair felt stronger, silkier, and had marvelous shine. After four washes, my hair has faded to a much more subdued red, more reminiscent of Rita Hayworth than of one of the X-men. I highly recommend this product but still feel the following tips for use are extremely important:

1.For Coloring: Separate hair into four sections before coloring. Cover all exposed surfaces w/ old sheets or towels and pour color into a tint bowl. Use vinyl gloves to avoid staining hands and *apply petroleum jelly to the rists* if the gloves do not go all the way up to the elbow. Also apply petroleum jelly to the hairline to avoid staining. Apply color w/ a tint brush from root to tip and then again from tip to root until *completely* saturated. Pin up each section as you finish. Once all hair is saturated (it will froth slightly to show that it will not absorb any more product), place hair under a plastic cap and wait anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hrs to let color process. Apply heat if desired (if so, processing time will be significantly less).

2. For rinsing: Keep the gloves on! Rinse thoroughly over kitchen sink or sink lined w/ foil to avoid staining. Rinse in cold water to maintain color vibrancy. Apply a fresh layer of Vaseline to your face and neck before rinsing so that 'stains' can be easily wiped away. Once water runs somewhat clear, towel dry hair w/ an old towel. NEXT mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1/2 cup water and put into a spray bottle. Spray hair thoroughly and comb through. This will help set the color and actually makes it last longer! Leave the vinegar solution in for about 5 minutes before rinsing again. Condition if you wish.

3. Wash every other day at the most to prevent quick color fading. If you WANT the color to fade, knock yourself out!

4. Mix a small ammount of leftover color w/ your shampoo or conditioner to make your own customized 'color-care' products.

5. You can buy a flash lightening kit from MP if you want to get 'true' color pay-off from the product. If used on Natural hair the color will be subdued but still will add some hue.

6. Remember that the color will most likely come off on towels or pillow cases for the first few washes. A dark pillow case is suggested for the first week or so.