Manic Panic colors

Manic Panic colors

Fashion Synopsis

For all the best in shock value (if there even is still such a thing) cosmetics, Manic Panic is the name. If it weren’t for Manic Panic, rebellious youths would still be soaking their hair in Rit dye and Kool-Aid for the best in neon-colored shock locks.

Tish and Snooky Bellomo, the two sisters behind the Manic Panic panic, brought the day-glo colors of hair dye to the outlandish punk crowds of St. Marks Place in New York City. Progenitors of the carnivalesque fashion show that was the early punk and glam movements of the late 70's, Tish and Snooky offered everything the early drama queens (and kings) needed from their store, Manic Panic.

No more bleach, no more home-done peroxide botch jobs gone bad, and no more frying your hair to crispy, crunchy conditions just to get outrageous colors on top of your head. Manic Panic is a vegetable-based hair dye in 32 kind but outrageous colors like deadly nightshade, cotton candy pink, green envy, and vampire red. Yes, for under $10, you could have any color imaginable on top of your head, even the ones you can't imagine because they can't be found in nature.

Rainbow-colored hair was still an underground style flaunted by the street punks at the start of the 80’s, but pop stars like Cyndi Lauper had sooooo much fun dancing around in crazy-colored hair that mainstream crowds soon took notice. Instead of the permanence of hair dye, the 80’s brought paint-on hair mascaras or washout mousses for temporary, one-night-only fun. But then Manic Panic livened things up.

Manic Panic was the best of both worlds. This semi-permanent color lasted longer than one night, but would eventually wash out with a few weeks’ worth of shampoos—a great sell to the punks, who liked to change their hair color as often as they changed clothes. So don’t worry if atomic turquoise wasn’t the color for you—with a couple of washes, you were ready to try virgin snow instead.

The quest for personal expression and individuality became mainstream in the 90’s, and the best way to shock and garner attention with the least amount of pain (as opposed to tattooing or body piercing) was to dye your hair in wacky shades of eye-catching colors. By the time the 90’s entered full swing, having flaming red hair was as common a sight as having a spiral perm in the 80’s.

Once the rainbow-bright colors of Manic Panic were discovered, hair was never virgin again.

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