Can I use Manic Panic Blue Steel on Brassy Hair? Only if you want this hair color


apply on very light hair

  • If your hair is a brassy/copper shade and you want to dye it blue, you shouldn’t apply Manic Panic Blue Steel. If you do, you’ll only remove the unwanted tones and leave your hair in a grayish-brown or ashy tone.
  • To wear Manic Panic Blue Steel, you should bleach your hair to a very light yellow base.
  • You should also do a strand test to check how your hair will react to the pigments in the Manic Panic Blue Steel hair color.



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Are you disappointed?

It’s better to feel a bit disappointed now instead of having a headache later.



I guess that if you want to apply Manic Panic Blue Steel semi-permanent hair dye on your brassy hair, you want your current hair to turn into beautiful hair with a soft blue-gray or steel blue color.

Trust me, you won’t get that. How do I know?


Because today  I saw a teenage girl in the salon who thought the same. Her hair was dark brassy after bleaching. Then, she applied Manic Panic Blue Steel. 

However, she didn’t take colorimetry into account, and her hair turned dark brown. Can you imagine her surprise when she looked in the mirror?




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  There’s a big difference from dark brown to grayish blue or blue steel. 

Luckily, since the Manic Panic hair dye is semi-permanent, she’d only have to wash her hair more frequently until the hair dye washed out.

I gave her an appointment for when that happened. So, she would go back to the salon to bleach her hair and, then, apply the Manic Panic Blue Steel.

First colorimetry law?



 Semi-permanent fantasy color hair dyes are always applied on very light blonde shades.  And brassy isn’t.


  • If your hair is dark brassy, and you apply Manic Panic Blue Steel, the resulting color will be a dark brown shade.
  • If your hair is medium brassy, and you apply Manic Panic Blue Steel, the resulting shade will be a medium brown.
  • And if your hair is light brassy, and you apply Manic Panic Blue Steel, at most you’ll get a light grayish-grayish ashy tone.

As you’ll see, none of the possible results is blue steel.


Also, apart from my advice, the best you can do is the strand test to make sure what color your hair color will be.

  • If the strand test results in the shade you’re looking for, you can dye all of your hair.
  • If the strand test isn’t close to the shade you wanted, you should bleach your hair. Then, apply Manic Panic Blue Steel hair dye.



Take it from me! You don’t lose anything by trying.

Also, you can avoid big disappointments. To apply Manic Panic Blue Steel on your brassy hair, you first need to understand how the neutralization works.

And that’s what I’ll talk about next.


Why doesn’t Manic Panic Blue Steel work on brassy hair unless you’re looking for a brown shade?

yellow in front of violet


Neutralization is a technique used after bleaching. It involves applying the opposite color to the one you want to remove.

This way, you can remove any unwanted undertones. To find out which color to apply, stylists are guided by the famous chromatic circle, in which:



As you can see, blue eliminates the brassy color. For this reason,  if you apply Manic Panic Blue Steel on your brassy hair, it’ll only neutralize the brassy tone. 

However, your hair won’t be blue steel. Instead, it’ll be a lighter or darker brown according to the intensity of the brassy.

Why does this happen?


 Because you need an almost white hair base to apply the fantasy colors.

Remember that semi-permanent hair colors don’t contain ammonia nor are applied with a developer. They’re only deposited on the surface of the hair.


As they’re only deposited on the surface of the hair, the base shade of your hair is a key factor to get the color you want. What does this lead to?

  • If you want to use the Manic Panic Blue Steel, you’ll need to bleach your dark brassy hair to a light blonde 8 or very light blonde 9.
  • If your hair is light brassy, you should bleach it to an extra light blonde level 10.

I know what you’re thinking. “Alejandra, please tell me some good news!”


Your wish is my command, dear reader.

 If your hair is light brassy, it’s at a level 7 or 8. Therefore, with just one bleaching session you’ll perfectly achieve the highest level to apply Manic Panic Blue Steel. 

Now, if you still want to test the results of Manic Panic Blue Steel on your brassy hair, the best is to perform the strand test.



How to do the strand test before applying the Manic Panic Blue Steel

before bleaching

This procedure is widely used in salons to ensure the result you’ll get before applying the hair dye.

It’s very simple, and here is the step-by-step:

  • Style your hair in a ponytail
  • Separate a small strand at the back of your hair
  • Apply Manic Panic Blue Steel and wait the time indicated by the manufacturer
  • Rinse the strand and observe the result.


Is this the color you wanted?

You’re in luck! Even if your hair is not blue-steel, go ahead if you like the color! Dye all your hair.



Isn’t the resulting color what you wanted?

Unfortunately, you’ll need to bleach your hair to get the Manic Panic Blue Steel to look its best.


  • If the result is a dark brown, you should go through at least 3 bleaching sessions.
  • If the result is a medium brown, you should undergo at least 2 bleaching sessions.
  • If the result is a light grayish-grayish, you should bleach your hair only once more.


However, before you bleach, make sure your hair will withstand the process.


If you notice that your hair has a lot of frizz or split ends, or that it feels rough and dry when you touch it, you should do an intensive moisturizing treatment.

You can use natural coconut oil masks or intensive moisturizing masks until your hair’s health improves. Then, you can bleach it.



Manic Panic Blue Steel is a trendy color. However, before applying it, you should check your base color.

If your hair is brassy, the color you’ll get will never be blue steel. Do a strand test to avoid unnecessary disappointment.

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