What’re the differences between Manic Panic, Arctic Fox, and oVertone?

difference with other dyes

Maybe you’ve probably already experimented with fantasy colors, but are wondering which brand would be best for your hair.

I think all of us who change our hair from turquoise to emerald green to almost anything else every few weeks have asked ourselves the same question.


It’s already hard to tell the difference between Manic Panic and Arctic fox, and once you add oVertone to the equation, things get complicated.

But don’t worry, today we’ll make it simple.


  • If your hair is very damaged, dry, or as stiff and your grandmother’s straw broom, oVertone is your best option.
  • If your hair is very porous and absorbs dye like a sponge -but releases it just as quickly- I would recommend Arctic Fox.
  • If you have normal hair that’s neither damaged nor porous and want to try a vast palette of colors, then Manic Panic is the dye for you.

How do I know all this?


I’ve been dying my hair fantasy colors for years. And if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what dye I use; I’d be a millionaire.

And no, I’m not dramatic. The only thing surprising about me is the color of my hair.

But what was the very first brand of fantasy colors I tried?


I first used Manic Panic.

Simply because everyone was talking about it, it seemed like every picture on my Instagram feed was someone trying out another Manic Panic dye.

And, of course, I uploaded a few of my own. And for the first few years, I was in hair color heaven.


 But over time, I noticed the color washed out more and more quickly. I don’t want to discourage you, but be aware that this is normal after using semipermanent hair dyes. Later in this article, we’ll discuss why. 

At first, I thought Manic Panic’s formula had changed. We all know how the world works. What do companies do to keep prices down?


Use cheaper ingredients, creating a lower quality product.

But Manic Panic’s formula hadn’t changed. What had changed was my hair. It simply wasn’t the same as before.

I should have seen it coming, as it’s a normal reaction. I had bleached my hair. And dyed it repeatedly. And now it was starting to catch up with me.

My hair was now much more porous. So while it absorbed the dye easily, it also faded very quickly. At which point, I would dye it again.


Later, I discovered Arctic Fox. I thought I would give it a shot; I had nothing to lose. And I can truthfully say the color was still there ten shampoos later.

 But all that dyeing has taken its toll on my hair. It wasn’t as shiny as before because my hair was a dry as the Sahara desert dunes. 

As dry as our planet is going to be if we don’t do something to stop the arctic ice caps from melting.


That’s when I learned about oVertone. After a few applications, my hair recovered about 80% of the humidity it has lost, and I could once again wear the wild colors I loved.

As you can see, all of these dyes do the same thing. What makes one better for you depends on your hair.


To help you figure out which dye you should try, we’re going to discuss:

  • The biggest differences between Manic Panic, Overtone, and Arctic Fox.
  • A few other notes about these brands


Do you want to keep dying your hair fantasy colors but can’t seem to find the right dye for your hair? If that’s the case, keep reading!

Or don’t, and keep experimenting aimlessly. It’s a free country.


What’s the difference between Manic Panic, oVertone, and Arctic Fox?

needs bleaching

Check Manic Panic hair dye price on Amazon 


As I said at the outset, the determining factor as to which brand is best for you is your hair’s health.

It’s also important to note that all three of these dyes are:

Now, what exactly is a semi-permanent dye?


Semi-permanent dyes don’t alter your hair’s natural color; instead, they deposit a new color. That’s why dark hair must be bleached before dying it bright or pastel shades.

If you’re blond, congrats! You may not need to bleach your hair at all.

Not only that, but because it’s a semi-permanent dye, it will fade after a few shampoos.

Those are the similarities.

Now let’s look at the differences.


  • Basically, Manic Panic and Arctic Fox are semi-permanent dyes, while oVertone is a color-depositing conditioner.
  • Therefore, if you don’t have much experience with hair dye, I recommend using oVertone. Why?


 Because it’s so easy to use: simply apply it in the shower like your usual conditioner, let it sit, and that’s it. 

For brighter color, I recommend leaving it on your hair about 15 minutes before rinsing it.

differences with arctic fox

Check Overtone hair colors on their web


If you have very dry or damaged hair, oVertone’s conditioning formula can help soften your hair. It’s not as effective as an intense hydrating treatment, but it certainly won’t hurt your hair.

Despite its advantages, oVertone is sometimes hard to find. While Manic Panic is available online and in brick-and-mortar stores, oVertone can be much harder to get.

Now, what’s the difference between Manic Panic and Arctic Fox?


In my experience, Manic Panic fades much faster. But it’s ideal for anyone who wants to experiment with pastel colors, as it has a gentle formula that doesn’t dry out hair.

That being said, if you have very porous hair, I would recommend Arctic Fox.  This dye tends to fade less quickly in porous hair.

However, this doesn’t mean you can wash your hair every day. To keep my hair from fading quickly, I wash it in cold water every four days and use a dry shampoo if it starts to look greasy in between washes.


Want to learn more about these fantastic ways to create vibrant, wild colors in your hair?

If you do, keep reading!


What results you can expect from Manic Panic, Overtone, and Arctic Fox dyes

differences with manic panic

Check Arctic Fox hair dye price on Amazon


We’ve already taken a look at the main differences between these three hair dyes.

But there’s a few more.

If you’re looking for a wide range of color options, which of these three brands would you choose?

The winner is…

Manic Panic

Did you want colors? Manic Panic has twenty-five different options, each as unique and vibrant as the feelings in my heart when I listen to Shakira.


Not only that, but Manic Panic has created an entire line of cosmetics, from hair bleach to lipstick to nail polish.

Because this brand has been on the market longer, it’s also the easiest to find out of these three brands.

Can I offer you a piece of advice?


If you think of dying your hair a pastel tone, it’s best to bleach your hair first, as most pastel colors don’t show up clearly on unbleached hair.

Another tip: if you have short hair, one container of Manic Panic can last for months.


Arctic Fox

Although Manic Panic offers the broadest range of colors, Arctic Fox isn’t far behind, with twenty-two colors in its line.

But Arctic Fox doesn’t offer any other cosmetics.

That being said, Arctic Fox has one unique advantage.


This company donates 15% of our profits to help prevent animal abuse.



If there’s one thing that sets this brand apart, it’s how easy it is to apply.

As well as color-depositing conditioner, this brand has other hair care products, which add some variety to its color line. For example, you can mix a product containing dye with an uncolored conditioning mask to create a more subtle color. It’s a great way to create a custom color.


As you can see, there’s plenty of options available if you want to experiment with wild hair colors.

Which brand are you thinking of trying? Let me know in the comments!


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