Monday, 8 April 2013

My Thoughts on Manic Panic 'Pillarbox Red', from

Manic Panic Pillarbox Red Electric Amysthst Fuchsia Shock
Manic Panic dyes: Pillarbox Red, Electric Amethyst & Fuchsia Shock. These  are £10.99 each on
It's been a while since I posted - my recent solo trip to Amsterdam left me rather exhausted! I spent a lot of time walking around sightseeing, shopping, stopping in coffee shops, and getting lost, but in a comfortable way - I could always find my way back to key landmarks.

I'm glad I beat my personal challenge of travelling there alone, and it was very interesting to see the city from a very different perspective, compared to my previous visits with others.


Anyway, upon returning I found a delivery waiting for me from sent me three pots of Manic Panic hair dye to try - I picked the three colours pictured to the top of this post.

The site specialises in bright hair dyes and stocks the Crazy Colour, La Riche Directions and Stargazer brands in addition to Manic Panic.

The site also provides awesome discounts on multiple dye orders, and free UK delivery. Click the banner below to visit the site. logo

I've never used Manic Panic before...

Although I have dyed my hair many bright shades over the past decade, Manic Panic is a brand I'd never used previous to this review. I've wanted to try it out, but in my experience this dye has always been scarce compared to the other brands stocked in the UK.

But finally I can see if these dyes live up to the strong reputation they hold among fans of vivid hair dyes...

Manic Panic Pillarbox Red hair dye review

Of the three dyes I received, I decided to use the Manic Panic Pillarbox Red first.

Before applying this dye, my hair was coloured with Special Effects' 'Virgin Rose'. I liked my hair freshly dyed this colour, but it faded quickly and I also fancied a change from my now-sorta-signature shade.

Special Effects Virgin Rose dye hair swatch
A photo of my hair pre-colouring. Shade: Special Effects' 'Virgin Rose' (faded). Sorry, I didn't noticed the lack of camera focus until after colouring my hair!
I did not pre-lighten my hair before using Manic Panic. I simply applied the entire pot of Pillarbox Red after shampooing and towel-drying my hair. I didn't apply any extra heat like the packaging suggested for 'extra vivid results' either, since I wanted a subtler red  (though I think I ended up with the "vivid" results anyway!)

When I first started application, I started to worry a bit because the dye has quite a lot of yellow in it. This made me think my hair would end up a light-gingery brown. This was this actual result:

Manic Panic Pillabox Red dye hair swatch
My hair coloured with Manic Panic Pillarbox Red. It's not orange (at least, not yet...) This pic was taken without the flash on.
Pillarbox Red Manic Panic KatSick
 My previous pink seems to peek through the red  in certain light... I suspect I will need to apply more red dye sooner, rather than later! This pic was taken with the flash on. Like my dressing gown? Ha!

Why I like Manic Panic's 'Pillarbox Red'

  • You can apply it without gloves: As the dye contains a lot of yellow, it barely stains skin at all! I noticed this when I accidentally touched it with a fingertip, and so didn't bother with gloves. My hands returned to their normal colour after washing them with everyday household soap.
  • It's not (very) messy: I was expecting the bath to look like a murder scene after rinsing out the dye, but no! The water was tinged red but it was not nearly as bad as I expected - it seems my hair absorbed most the colour! Application-splatters wiped off of the tiles really easily too, though there were few because...
  • The dye doesn't drip: This conditioner based dye sort of 'lathered' up during application, which made it really easy to smooth evenly through my hair.
I am worried that this dye is going to fade more quickly then I would hope considering it didn't stain my skin of the bathroom surfaces though! 

I am a little put off by the price of £10.99 a pot too - whether this equates value for money will depend on the dye's staying power. Assuming it doesn't fade too terribly, half a pot would probably be sufficient for each colour refresh.

Whether or not this dye fades quickly or not remains to be seen, but I think might stick to red for a while regardless. I've just ordered four bottles of 'Fire' red dye by Crazy Colour, from (only £14.99 including P&P - bargain!) so I can top up the colour as needed.

This should prove far more economical than using Manic Panic each time - though I am certainly impressed with the brand, and I look forward to trying the other two colours I was sent in the future.

I wonder how long will pass before I'm bored of my hair colour this time...

What do you think of my new 'do? If you fancy trying out some Manic Panic dye yourself, be sure to check back to my blog soon - I'll be running a giveaway sponsored by, through which five of you can win a pot of your choice!

/KatSick xx