Color and ease of application:
I applied the color on my own head with a paint brush. Considering that I'd never done my own hair color before, it wasn't that hard. I dipped right out of the jar, which worked pretty well. The product wasn't runny, and didn't spray every where. I did drip on the counter once and it did stain, so be sure to cover your work area well.
I kept the product in for 2-2.5 hours, as I was dying over dark hair and Ashley of Lisa Freemont Street had left hers in for longer and not fried her hair. I rinsed my hair in my kitchen sink the first time and in the tub the second time I dyed it. Neither one was stained. The jar says not to get on your scalp, and while it didn't irritate my scalp, where I slopped on my scalp, it was stained (but went away after a few washes) and was a bit difficult to get the product off my scalp. I didn't do a good enough job getting the product out the first time and accidentally got some dye on one of my husband's favorite shirt. So, if you do get some on your scalp, be sure to work it off during the rinse!
When I blow dried my hair, the color was great! It certainly didn't match the colors on the website of people who had prebleached their hair, but it did come out noticeably stronger than the professional color. The color did not come out completely even, but I did apply it myself and I noticed that the lighting greatly affected how the color looked, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.
The second dye turned out great too, but it did not take on my roots at all. I was hoping that it would make my roots a bit less noticeable, but not luck. So, I'd definitely suggest a base red or bleach for people with hair as dark as mine using this product. It also wasn't as strong of a color, but I think that's probably due to the base color fading significantly between Manic Panic applications.
It didn't photograph very well, but I don't have great lighting in my house, so that may have had something to do with it. I also think that not photographing well is just the nature of red dye over dark hair.
4.5/5 great product!
Longevity and Maintenance:
I washed my hair every other day under cold water with shampoo for color treated hair and used dry shampoo on the off days. I also used a color sealing serum on days I washed. The color lasted about 2 weeks, although it did fade a bit during that period. I definitely don't recommend washing your hair everyday if you use this product. It took a bit of getting used to, but my hair doesn't get oily so fast anymore.
My biggest problem with this product is that it ran. Water didn't really affect it much, but as soon as I put the shampoo in, my water turned all rust colored from the dye. This lasted as long as the color was good (about 2 weeks). I had to blow dry my hair every night to keep from getting color all over my towels/pillowcases/bed. At home, I used dark towels, so it wasn't noticeable after the first couple washes, but while on vacation, I had to use the stereotypical white hotel towels to dry off with. I felt pretty bad not knowing if the color would come out. :/ I dreaded going in the pool. While it was a bit chilly in FL for the pool, I did visit the hot tub and had to put my hair up so it wouldn't get wet.
I love my showers and hate blow drying, so this was quite a bit of a bummer for me.
3.5/5 It took a lot of maintenance and bled. I know it's a semi-permanent color, but I really did expect it to stop changing the color of my shower water much sooner. Be prepared to change up your shower routine and add some mileage to your blow dryer.
Effects on my hair:
In her hair dye video, Ashley of Lisa Freemont Street claimed that using Manic Panic improved the condition of her hair. I was a bit skeptical. Could a hair dye improve the condition of my hair?
The professional coloring did damage my hair quite a bit. Now, I have naturally really fine, soft hair, so while there was a noticeable coarsening, it was by no means fried. I did used a professional leave in conditioner treatment twice between the professional color and Manic Panic. It helped a bit. The Manic Panic, however, helped out a lot! My hair is not back to 100% but my hair was much nicer and the product definitely helped more than the professional leave in conditioner.
5/5 I'm not sure how much it helps bleach damaged hair, but I was very impressed with what it did to my hair.
Post professional dye hair. (not this orange in real life)
My impressions of the company:
I didn't need to call customer service, but I was pretty impressed with the packaging. Inside the box was a catalog complete with coupons. There was also a slip where two separate people had checked off that the correct color had been shipped. That impressed me. The best customer service is the one that isn't needed.
The website was also pretty easy to use. There were a lot of pictures and testimonials, which was great for the Manic Panic virgin. I ordered online
5/5 Seems like people there care.
Manic Panic-ed hair dyed two days ago. You can see my roots and where I got dye on my scalp. I've not washed it yet so the scalp should be clear after I shower today. The splotches where I dripped on my face went away after washing my face.
Price and Value:
The Manic Panic "Classic" Cream Formula Hair Color was $12, which I think is a great value. I did thing the shipping was a little steep ($6.95), but that's a flat rate and probably covers shipping from NYC to LA and I'm only in little old Ohio. I was able to get two dyes out of one jar, which was great and made it a much better deal for me. Longer hair probably will only be able to get one dye per jar. If you can get Manic Panic in a store near you and avoid shipping, go you.
4.5/5 Avoid shipping costs and get 5/5!
A great product. It's a commitment, especially if you have dark hair or want to go for a more outlandish color, but if you're ready for the commitment, Manic Panic is the dye for you.
This is an unsolicited review. I was not paid nor did I receive free or discounted merchandise in return for this review. It's just my honest opinion.