As I have revealed in previous posts about my love of hair dye, I have always been a Manic Panic addict. I don’t know that it was ever any elaborate reason – of the higher quality semi and demi-permanent dyes, it is the one that is readily available here in small town, Southern Ontario. Recently, however, I ordered Arctic Fox to give it a try and I wanted to share my honest comparison of the two for anyone that may be interested. Let’s take a look at a Manic Panic vs Arctic Fox comparison!
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It started with the need for a festive hair colour with Christmas around the corner. Sure, the silver was fun, don’t get me wrong – but I was growing tired and wanted something new. I had been considering going emerald green for a while, but the stores that carry Manic Panic here have a somewhat limited selection of colours, and no one stocked Enchanted Forest, Venus Envy or Green Envy.
I began looking at ordering the Manic Panic colours online but due to the whole shipping consideration (more on that to follow), I also took a peek at Arctic Fox, ordering Phantom Green.
Here is a break down of my thoughts on a number of different aspects:
Table of Contents
Availability & Shipping
The first consideration obviously if you are looking to dye your hair – where am I going to get the dye? As I mentioned previously, Manic Panic is a brand that is readily available in this area, with a very small selection at most Walmart stores and a larger array of colours at Shoppers Drug Mart. They definitely don’t have everything, but up until this time, there was always a colour that fit what I was looking for.
Arctic Fox, however, isn’t a brand I have ever seen on the shelves in this area. I only know about its existence due to the number of alternative style groups I belong to on Facebook where the topic of dye is discussed regularly.
Shipping turns the tables completely on the availability discussion. Where Manic Panic dominates local availability, its safe to say the company isn’t interested in making money through online sales in the Canadian market. The shipping costs on a single pot of Manic Panic through their website was more than the cost of my Arctic Fox order including the product, taxes and shipping costs combined! I swung over to check out costs for each on Amazon and ultimately Arctic Fox was the smarter choice cost wise hands down.
I have never ordered Manic Panic, so I can’t speak on shipping times/packaging, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with how quick my Arctic Fox dye arrived here. It was packaged safely avoiding any issues with leakage or destroyed packaging.
Product Size & Cost
There is some variation depending on where you are purchasing your dye, however looking just at their website for a clear comparison. Pricing on the websites are listed in USD.
Manic Panic 4 Fl oz: $13.99
Manic Panic Amplified 4 Fl oz: $17.99
Arctic Fox 4 Fl oz: $7.99
Arctic Fox 8 Fl oz: $13.99
Due to the length of my hair, if I am doing a complete dye job it generally takes me more than one pot of Manic Panic. With Arctic Fox, I can get twice the dye for the same price, which I feel like is a no-brainer so long as the dye performs comparably, right?
Manic Panic Amplified and Arctic Fox dyes both come in a squeeze bottle. Personally, I prefer this option as I found it easier to handle. While some may argue that the pot that the regular Manic Panic colour is easier because you don’t need to use a separate dish if you don’t want to, but I personally prefer to have one. This is 100% a matter of personal preference, so if you find the Manic Panic pot to be ideal then I totally get that!
If you are looking for a large selection of colours, I have to give this one to Manic Panic. They have 44 different shades in their classic formula, 5 shades in their Creamtones and 24 shades in their Amplified formula. Arctic Fox has 19 shades plus their diluter, which is considerably less, however, the shades that they do have are quite varied. You can also mix colours as needed to create the desired hair colour.
Personally, the limited shades don’t bother me as I had already ventured into the mixing my own hair colour stage with the Manic Panic dyes that I was using. I’m sure if I had a specific colour in mind I would likely go with whichever brand makes it, but overall this isn’t a huge concern for me at this stage.
Both the brands are vegan, semi-permanent hair dyes. They were pretty much the same consistency, so there is no real frontrunner there. One thing that I did notice right away was that the Arctic Fox hair dye smelled AMAZING in comparison. While that’s not a make it, or break it point for me by any means, it definitely is worth consideration if you’re going to spend a good deal of time breathing this stuff in!
I applied the Arctic Fox in the same way I regularly do my Manic Panic dyes, leaving it on with a shower cap so that it had time to really do its job. When it came time to rinse my hair this is where I notice the next different. I found that A LOT less colour rinsed out of the Arctic Fox, allowing it to run clear a lot sooner in the process. The final dye job was incredibly vibrant, providing a great overall coverage.
Now, I’ve personally never had an issue with coverage with Manic Panic, but I have never been battling dying with darker hair. I have read that the Arctic Fox brand is much better in those cases, so something to consider for those that may have naturally brown or black hair. This may provide you with some better options with less damage.
Supporting a Good Cause
I wouldn’t allow this to impact my decision if it really was about deciding between using an amazing product as opposed to one I view as inferior, but with the two being so comparable I believe that this is worth mention. Arctic Fox donates 15% of their proceeds to prevent animal abuse including the following organizations:
Honestly, if I’m getting a good product AND I can make a difference with a cause I believe in, I’m sold without hesitation!
**Update: It was brought to my attention that the Manic Panic website advises that they donate 15% of their annual profits. The organizations that they donate to can be seen HERE.
I suppose now we’re at the final test – How long is this dye going to last? The colour looks great, I’m LOVING the green. Personally, from everything mentioned above, I think I may just be changing hair dyes. From what I have seen thus far there is very little dye running, which indicates it’s going to last – so as long as it doesn’t suddenly all wash out a week from now then I see a winner.
Arctic Fox is better value for the product you get, it smells amazing, and it supports a good cause. 10/10!
ETA: Coming back to this post, I wanted to add in my experiences with the final question – longevity.
I understand that hair dye is a very individual experience, with different people responding differently to different dye formulations. Keep that in mind when reading my final remarks here… For me, the Manic Panic provided a nice bold colour at first, but very quickly faded away as if it were never there. The Arctic Fox dye lasted much longer, with a beautiful fade that kept it looking nice even when it wasn’t as vibrant. If I wasn’t already recommending AF, I would be after that!
Do you dye your hair? If so, what brand do you use?