How long to leave Manic Panic in the hair? 7 application tips and tricks you shouldn’t ignore

yellow, green, purple and pink

  • Manic Panic hair dye should be left on hair for up to 30 minutes.
  • If you leave it on longer, the color will saturate, and your hair will expel hair dye for several weeks. If you leave it on for less, the color will quickly fade.
  • Some darker and more intense tones of Manic Panic allow you to play with the exposure times to achieve different shades of the same color. Today, I’ll give you some examples.


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Don’t get confused by people who try to convince you that you can play with the exposure of Manic Panic hair dyes in your hair as you please.

 The maximum exposure time for Manic Panic is 30 minutes.  

I didn’t invent that.


It’s from Tish and Snooky, creators, founders, and mentors of Manic Panic hair dyes.

They are reinvented singers with a punk past that endorses them in their hair coloring experience.

If the creators of the product say so, there must be a reason, right?


let the dye work for 20 minutes

With Manic Panic, you can play with many things.

  • For example, you can play tic-tac-toe to find out which color to apply on your next adventure.
  • You can play “rock, paper, scissors” to compete with your sister to see who will use this month’s Pink Warrior tone.
  • You can even play hide and seek to keep your mother from being scandalized by your new Hot Hot Pink hair color.


 But what you can’t do is play with the exposure times, at least if you want your hair to look like the Manic Panic bottle. 


If you’re very stubborn and wondering if all Manic Panic colors have the same exposure time, you’ll find my answer and the manufacturer’s are the same.

The exposure time for all Manic Panic tones is 30 minutes maximum.


Now,  you can play with some Manic Panic tones to achieve different intensities.  They’re usually the most intense and vibrant tones.

So, you probably bought a Manic Panic hair dye. If, after doing the strand test, you notice that it’s too intense, you can leave it on for 20 minutes to get a softer color.


semi permanent hair color

For example, Cotton Candy Pink is shocking pink. However, if you leave it on your hair for 20 minutes, you’ll get a more pastel pink.

The same goes for Pink Warrior or Electric Pink Pussycat.


It’s a matter of taste and choice of tone.

You can only leave the Manic Panic hair dye on your hair for more or less time if you want to achieve a softer or more intense tone of hair dye.

The truth is set in stone.

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Manic Panic hair dye has to be in your hair for up to thirty minutes to achieve the color on the packaging

blue, green, yellow, pink, purple

Now that we’ve gotten used to the fact that there are no limits to hair color customization, there’s a trick you can always keep in mind.


 If you bought a Manic Panic tone and find it’s too intense or too light, there’s a little trick you can try. 

Best of all, you won’t need a magic wand.

  • If you want your intense color to be more pastel, you can leave Manic Panic on for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If you chose a pastel color and want it more intense, you can leave Manic Panic on for 30 to 40 minutes.


 Of course, this doesn’t apply to all Manic Panic colors. 

If you want a color like Blue Angel in your hair, it’s light and won’t get more intense no matter how much longer you leave it on.

The same goes for colors like Blue Steel, Amethyst Ashes, or Virgin Snow.

This is because most light or very light tones cannot be intensified with exposure time.


semi permanent hair color cream

However, the opposite happens with intense colors because they can be softened.

  • For example, you can easily turn a deep blue, like Shocking Blue, into a pastel tone by leaving it on for only 15 minutes.
  • You can also intensify a pastel tone like Siren’s Songs by leaving it on for 40 minutes.


If you want to use this ace up your sleeve, remember that the color you choose can’t be extra light or pastel.


There are other tips you can keep in mind when applying Manic Panic.

Today, I’m going to give you seven Manic Panic application tips. Why seven?


Because, in numerology, the number seven represents perfection, and I want your Manic Panic color to look perfect.


7 Manic Panic application tips and tricks

blue, green, yellow, pink, purple

1- Apply Manic Panic on dry hair that is free of other products

Don’t do any weird experiments. Otherwise, you’ll only stain everything around you.

If you apply Manic Panic on wet hair, it’ll end up dripping down, and no guardian angel will save you from your mother’s justified rage.


2- Protect your forehead, nape of your neck, and ears with Vaseline

If you choose Venus Envy, which is a really personal green, and you don’t protect these areas of your face, you could end up like the Incredible Hulk.

The Vaseline prevents the hair dye from Staining your skin. It’ll save you hours and hours of rubbing your skin with a cotton pad to remove the color.


3- If your hair is very porous, use a shower cap to cover it after applying the hair dye

cover hair to generate heat

The same advice applies if you have a lot of gray hair. Generally, porous hair or gray hair are rebel.

Although they absorb water, hair products and hair dyes tend to fade easily.

Gray hair is easy to spot. However, how do you know if your hair is highly porous?


It’s easy. If you have split ends, your hair is dehydrated, and it lacks shine even under a thousand spotlights, it frizzes and tangles easily, your hair has high porosity. 

How do you solve this so that your favorite Manic Panic tone settles properly?


It’s simple. Once you’ve finished applying Manic Panic, wrap a shower cap around your hair. 

If you don’t have one, don’t drown in a glass of water. Use a nylon bag or plastic wrap.

The heat generated on the scalp and the head will enhance the effects of the hair dye.


4- Use two bottles of Manic Panic if your hair is very long or very porous

various light and dark shades

I just explained that very porous hair quickly absorbs any hair product. Therefore, if your hair is also very long, you’ll need two bottles of Manic Panic.

The worst thing that can happen when you change your hair color is to get halfway through your hair because you don’t have enough hair dye.


5- Don’t apply Manic Panic on your roots

If you don’t want your scalp to be stained, leave at least a 1-centimeter gap. This way, you won’t expel an excessive amount of hair dye when you rinse your hair.


6- Use cold water to rinse your hair

After the exposure time, rinse your hair with cold water. It’ll seal the hair dye on the surface of the hair.


7- Don’t shampoo when rinsing out Manic Panic

Don’t shampoo during the first 72 hours to extend the duration of the color in your hair.



According to the manufacturer, Manic Panic should be left on the hair for 30 minutes. However, if you choose an intense or vibrant tone, you can leave it in your hair for less time to achieve a softer color.

If you want to intensify a pastel tone, you can leave it on for up to 40 minutes.

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