Review / Manic Panic High Voltage in Violet Night

Sunday, 28 February 2016

I’ve always adored the look of unnaturally coloured hair, but I’ve never really ventured into anything too exciting beyond having black hair for a year or so and my attempted bleaching ‘incident’ a couple of years ago. The goal had been to go light enough to go pastel, but I have a lot of hair and zero patience for dealing with styling or dying it, so I ended up giving up and dying it brown again. Since then, I’d been toying with the idea of just going purple over my natural colour for a more muted version of what I’d hoped to achieve before, so when Manic Panic UK contacted me asking if I wanted to try out one of their dyes I jumped at the chance.

Manic Panic are a brand I’ve heard of time and time again because they have a wide range of vibrant, bright hair colours that’s hugely popular in both the rock, punk and alternative crowd and just folks that like colourful hair in general. All of their products are vegan, and don’t test on animals – they’ve even won PETA awards for best cruelty free hair product. Like many colourful dyes, theirs are much gentler on the hair than the usual chemical dyes you can pick up on the high street.

I was asked what sort of colours I wanted and they kindly offered to supply a lightening kit too but I politely declined as my hair is still chemically damaged and would probably start falling out if I tried that again… I did name a few of the purple shades I was interested in though, and received the High Voltage® Classic Cream Formula in Violet Night* in the post not too long after! I actually received these literally like three months ago, but in my quest to get a new job, I’d been putting off dying my hair until after any interviews.  Still haven’t got a new job yet, so figured now was the time to just go for it!  I requested two or more jars of dye as my hair is incredibly thick and is getting longer again; one jar or box or tube of dye has never been enough to cover my hair. I was a little worried when my two tubs arrived because I wasn’t certain that they’d be enough to do the whole lot, so as well as these I thought I’d use the opportunity to get rid of some leftover Directions dyes I had lying around too, just in case. Better to have some to spare than not enough to actually dye my whole head of hair.

The instructions recommend applying it to clean, dry hair but not being in the mood to wash my unwashed hair only to wash it again later in the day, so I just made do with what I had. The dye is a sort of creamy, gel-like consistency and is very easy to apply – just use a tint brush to coat your hair piece by piece. It’s easily worked into the hair using a comb or by gently rubbing it in, and once it’s all on you then just comb it through until it starts to foam up. For my very bottom layer, I used a mixture of Directions Rubine and Violet, and then covered the rest with Manic Panic’s Violet Night and worked in the odd extra patch of the Rubine mixture near the ends to hopefully give the colour a better flow. Although the Manic Panic dye covered way more of my hair than I was expecting it too – I had about a quarter of a jar leftover – I’m still glad I used my old dyes too, as I think I would’ve been left just a tiny bit short had I only used Violet Night and wouldn’t have had enough to properly coat my whole head.

Because these dyes are so gentle on the hair, you can keep them on for anywhere from thirty minutes to overnight for a more intense colour, so I left mine on for close to two hours before washing it off because I’m impatient and tend to end up staining things even with a shower cap on. As per usual with my hair, it took absolutely ages to wash everything out and I still didn’t get the water to run clear as you’re apparently supposed to, but I could be dunked under the sea for a week and still not get all the damn dye out so that’s nothing new for me. I let it dry naturally, and I was very pleased with the result!

Violet Night is a very bright, sort of cool-toned purple that would be extremely bold on someone with a whole head of white blonde or light blonde hair. Because my hair is about two thirds bleached (under faded brown dye) and one third virgin medium brown, the colour pay-off varied between the top and bottom of my hair, although it's difficult to see in the above photos. Virgin, dark hair takes in much less colour than lighter or bleached hair, so the result was a much more vibrant colour towards the ends of my hair and a more muted, subtler purple closer to the roots. This was something I was well aware would happen and that Manic Panic did remind me of when they contacted me, but it’s actually exactly the kind of look I wanted given that I had been thinking about just going for a purple tint over my natural brown anyway. The brighter ends just give it a nice ombre effect, and the bits of Directions dye throughout the under layers add an extra bit of interest and kept it from being too same-y. Although there’s the odd patch of hair where the colour didn’t seem to take as well, this is more than likely just because I didn’t manage to apply it properly just because of the sheer volume of hair I have rather than any fault of the dye, as I have this problem with any and all dyes I use.

The colour is lovely, and so far I have absolutely nothing negative to say about it! It’s cruelty free and vegan, it was easy enough to apply, (reasonably) easy to wash out and the end result is a great colour that hasn’t damaged my hair. The photos might suggest otherwise, but as I said, my hair was chemically damaged long before I used this and I also hate styling my hair, so any dryness you might notice is bleached hair from ages ago and frizz I can’t be arsed to style out. At £11.99 per 118ml pot, it’s a little bit more expensive than the Directions dyes I’ve used in the past, but on my hair it also seems to be way more pigmented.  I also noticed that it seemed to take much better to my virgin hair than the Directions dye I used did, and I'd bet that someone with thinner hair than me could also get away with using just the one jar of dye instead of two or more, so it’s likely better value for money.

Would I use it again? It’s a yes from me. I may never have pretty pastel hair like I’d dreamed of a couple of years ago (unless I win the lottery and can afford to have it done professionally every few weeks to save myself the hassle...), but I’m thrilled to know that Manic Panic dyes can still give me a beautiful, unique colour even over my natural hair colour. As well as the High Voltage dye that I tried, they also do Amplified formulas and temporary dyes on top of some other ranges, so if you’re looking for a great cruelty free and vegan hair dye that comes in every colour of the rainbow (and more!) then definitely check them out.

What are your favourite colourful hair dyes?

* This review is not sponsored and has not been paid for, however the products were sent to me free of charge.  All views and opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I actually really love the purple on you, also love that it's sort of subtle and works with your dark hair. So happy that so many new products these days are cruelty free, I'm been trying to make the switch but it's hard! P.s. That lipstick looks lovely on you!

    Sally ~ DiagonSally

    1. Thank you on both accounts! I'm actually considering keeping it up even after the previously bleached parts of my hair grow out, I really like the subtle tint. And yes, definitely - there's so much choice nowadays there's bound to be something for everyone which is fantastic. :)

  2. Ah I love it so much! Manic Panic gave me life in my teen years, I miss my wild coloured hair so much! I've bee debating trying something like you have for a while now but I'm a bit concerned how it will end up looking at work haha.

    Your hair is gorgeous!

    Brianne xo

    1. Thank you! I just ended up sodding it and thinking eh whatever. My colleagues haven't even commented on it but I think it's just because they don't comment on things unless they actually like it and let's just say they haven't said the most positive things about other people at work with even just dyed, subtle red hair! But oh well, I've been there long enough for them to know I'm the best person for the job purple hair or no purple hair. :P


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