Manic vs Splat: Which is Better?

Manic vs Splat

Manic vs Splat: which one is better? When it comes to dyeing your hair it’s crucial to take the steps needed to keep your hair safe, while still achieving the highest quality results possible. Semi-permanent hair dyes can seem like a gamble and even the mainstream brands need to be researched.

Whether it’s in the salon or you’re doing it by yourself, choosing the right hair dye can make or break your hair…literally. Today, we’re talking about two very popular semi-permanent hair dye brands: Manic and Splat.

What are Manic and Splat?

If you aren’t familiar with hair care terminology and brands, you might be wondering what exactly Manic and Splat are. Manic and Splat are both semi-permanent hair dyes that are prominent among stylists both professional and amateurs alike. Known for their intense color options, Manic and Splat provide a great change to your normal, everyday look, for just a few months.

For anyone wondering, a semi-permanent hair dye usually means the product doesn’t contain ammonia, but only carries deposits. Therefore, the dye doesn’t need to be mixed in with other products like developers that would cause a chemical activation.

This is one of the reasons semi-permanent dyes are used by so many within the comfort of their own homes. Typically, the coloring will last between four to twelve wash cycles. Additionally, these types of dyes are considered safe to use even if you’ve gotten a perm and/or relaxer treatment right before.

Which is Better: Splat or Manic Panic?

MANIC PANIC Amethyst Ashes Classic Hair Dye
Source: Amazon

There is a lot of debate online about Splat vs Manic panic which product is superior; Manic Panic or Splat? Ultimately, it can really come down to someone’s personal preference, but on the other hand, the two dyes definitely aren’t the same.

Manic Panic is one hundred percent vegan and cruelty-free. Most people do seemingly prefer Manic Panic dye over Splat. Some users have described it, as well as other vegetable-based dyes, as acting more like colorized conditioners that nourish the hair in addition to dyeing it.

Additionally, their bright range of colors works on many different hair tones, although given the inevitable tendencies of most hair dyes, it’s still recommended to try and lighten darker hair before dying if possible. Even though Manic Panic has been said to act like a conditioner, it’s also advised to add a normal conditioner to your dye to brighten the color even more. Manic Panic has even been said to last much longer than Splat, by several months.

The downsides to Manic Panic are that it transfers and bleeds in the first few weeks after dyeing the hair. This can be caused by the hair being previously damaged before dying and also not being left in for long enough.

For this reason, it’s recommended that Manic Panic should be left in for four-plus hours before rinsing out. On the other hand, some people say Manic Panic doesn’t last as long as it claims it does.

Plus, like most dyes, blonde hair naturally performs better when it comes to color payoff, making pre-bleaching a potentially necessary step for darker-haired people. However, although opinions seem to vary on Manic Panic’s effectiveness in certain categories such as longevity, one thing all people do agree on is its pigmentation and cruelty-free status.

As one reviewer said, despite being disappointed with it fading just after a few weeks, the color was ultimately very bright, flattering, and faded nicely into a lighter pastel. In addition, most people say that Manic Panic is nourishing to their hair in comparison to other dyes.

As for Splat, the reviews are more negative than positive. Most negative reviewers of Splat say that the dye damaged their hair, most likely from the chemicals included in the dye kits.

Furthermore, many also say the color payoff does not match what is guaranteed on the box and that the color, whatever it may end up as fades quite quickly. In addition, Splat also unfortunately has been known to stain hair after being washed out.

Although Splat has received praise from reviewers who’ve had great experiences with the product and specifically the color payoff, as well as the fact that their dyeing kits have every tool needed including bleach, it’s hard to make an argument for it. For one thing, Splat, unlike Manic Panic, requires bleach and is definitely not a vegan product.

As many of you know, bleaching your hair, especially when done without the oversight of a professional, can result in chemical burns on the scalp and harsh stripping on the hair. Even more so is that bleach may set a blank canvas for a brighter color, but the results show more people are willing to go for a chemical-free option of semi-permanent dye rather than something that brings semi-permanent damage.

As far as comparisons go, it’s fair to say that Manic Panic comes out stronger. Despite its own issues, Manic Panic scores stronger in color output, lasting time, and healthiness for the hair itself. Of course, you could try both out for yourself to make your own decision, which is usually the best way to make a decision, but at the risk of damaging your hair, whether it’s chemical damage or staining, we’ll recommend one for you, which is Manic Panic.

Does Manic Panic Have Bleach?

Manic vs Splat

Manic Panic is a traditional semi-permanent hair dye with direct pigments, so by definition, it does not contain any bleach whatsoever. You’d usually be hard-pressed to find a semi-permanent hair dye with harsh chemicals, although they’ve been known to pop up. Then again, people’s reactions to hair dyes can also be attributed to the person’s hair structure just as much as the hair dye’s ingredients.

What’s really important to realize though, is that although semi-permanent hair dyes do not include chemicals such as bleach, this fact doesn’t mean someone with darker hair, such as brunette, black, or even red, may need to do additional treatments before using semi-permanent dye.

These ‘treatments’ are typically going to include some form of bleach and/or other chemicals, in order to lighten the hair and/or additional things such as manipulating the actual hair structure, such as perm services. Then again, this is a personal choice and one should always take their previous treatment history into account before taking on more bleach into their hair.

Does Manic Panic Work Without Bleach?

As previously mentioned, Manic Panic is a vegan product, meaning that absolutely no chemicals, such as bleach, are included in the formula. However, when it comes to color payoff, darker hair may need a lightening treatment, aka bleaching before dyeing.

Especially with the vegan formula, the softness of the dye can affect the brightness of color. So, if you’re willing to take on a lightning treatment, the color payoff may benefit.

Can You Mix Splat and Manic Panic?

Yes, you totally can mix the two dyes together but we don’t really recommend it. Both have different formulas that make it adhere to the hair differently and it can be tricky to try and balance them out. Mixing can result in inconsistent texture in the hair and uneven coverage of color.

So sure, if you have just a little bit of each brand left and don’t want to head to the store, you could concoct a Frankenstein dye, but if you don’t want an equally Frankenstein result, stick to one brand.

Arctic Fox vs Splat vs Manic Panic

Manic Panic Green Envy Hair Dye Classic
Source: Amazon

So the more complex question is Arctic Fox vs Splat vs Manic Panic, who holds up? For Arctic Fox, the brand is ranked quite high among semi-permanent dyes. Some may even prefer Arctic Fox to both other brands. For one thing, Arctic Fox only bleeds in the shower and for a short time afterward but does not dye the surrounding skin or clothing.

Additionally, the longevity of color is reported to be much longer than Manic and Splat, although some reviewers have said it has stained their hair for months. Much like Manic though, Arctic Fox

has a nice color fade and is also 100% vegan. They also donate 15% of profits to animal cruelty prevention organizations. Overall, Arctic Fox is gentle on the hair and scalp and stands alongside Manic rather than Splat.


So from all, we’ve covered, in the case of Manic vs. Splat, both have potentially alluring characteristics that would benefit different customers. Although our recommendation leans towards Manic, it’s always worth it to think about your unique hair situation and ask yourself questions about how much you value color payoff and how much you value the health of your hair. As long as you think things through before making a commitment, you’re sure to pick a dye that’s right for you.

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