Manic Panic - Classic High Voltage Hair Color

overall Rating:



Eva Milstein-Touesnard
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I took the average of all three categories to deduce the overall rating. Overall, compared to other brands of hair dye (such as L’Oreal or Garnier), Manic Panic is a more sustainable brand, this product has less toxic ingredients, more sustainable ingredients on average, less known cruelty in the process of production, and less packaging.

what it's made of:


Paraben-free, Gluten-free, Ammonia-free, Resorcinol-free, PPD-free, Phthalate-free (1 out of 1 Planet)

  • Parabens are negative because they are a xenoestrogen compound, or a substance that mimics the bodily hormone, estrogen. This disruption is linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. it is also thought that they can accumulate in the body3. Gluten-free is great because many people have celiac disease in which they are allergic to gluten and have severe reactions. Many others have intolerances. Ammonia is a chemical used for fertilization, manufacturing, and is found in many household cleaning products. Exposure to ammonia can lead to many negative health affects on humans4. Resorcinol is a compound that causes some people to have allergic reactions and can have some adverse health effects. In general, it is used for skin removal to treat various skin irritations5. PPD stands for Paraphenylenediamine and it is commonly found in hair dyes because it helps colors be stronger. However, many people get allergic skin reactions to it6. There are alternatives and since it is a common allergen it is great that Manic Panic is using those instead. Phthalate is a chemical that helps harden plastic. Particles can be ingested or inhaled by humans which leads to harmful effects7.
  • 1 Planet  is earned for the lack of allergens and toxic chemicals because it increases consumer access to this product and ensures that consumers helath will not be harmed.

Ingredients (0.25 out of 1 Planet )

  • A note on transparency - Manic Panic does not list its ingredients online, only on the packaging. Also, they do not say where they source their ingredients. For this aspect, no planets are earned.
  • Ingredients vary slightly by color of dye. Here are some ingredients found in many of the different colors:
  • Aqua (purified water) - No significant known negative impact
  • Aloe vera - not significantly harmful8.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol - Derived from plants (like coconut or palm oil) or created synthetically. this could potentially have negative land impact9 although lack of transparency makes it hard to tell.
  • Cetyl Alcohol - This ingredient requires the use of oil (oil is split to create this compound)10. Although oil may not be derived simply for this purpose, the us of this material might support the crude oil industry.
  • Citric acid - no significant negative impact.
  • Ceteareth 20 - made from cetearyl alcohol and steryl alcohol. Not much is known about this chemicals effect On the body, however it has been shown to speed the transportation of chemicals into the bloodstream11.
  • Dyes - Vat dyes are manufactured dye molecules. In ingredients they will appear as ‘Blue 99’ or ‘Orange 15’. Production of vat dyes may lead to the pollution of heavy metals and hazardous chemicals. Historically, this process has led to serious wastewater and solid waste problems that took large sums of money to fund clean up projects12.
  • The cultivation of most of these ingredients do not have significant negative impacts on the environment or communities. However, since there is no information about how Manic Panic sources their materials, it is unknown whether a few of the ingredients (such as Cetyl alcohol or Cetearyl alcohol) have cultivation processes that lead to emissions. For this reason, this category will earn 0.25 Planets (if there was transparency and the ingredients were sourced sustainably, there would be the possibility of 1 planet, one for transparency and one for ingredients).

Packaging (0.5 out of 1 planet )

  • In genergal, Manic Panic packaging is mimimal. For this product in particular, there is no extra cardboard or plastic aside from the main container. That container has a base container with a recycle number 1 and a lid with recycle number 5. About 25% of No1. containers are recycled and about 3% of No5. containers are recycled today13. Both numbers, however, indicate that the plastics are commonly accepted at recycling plants since recycling them is profitable.
  • 0.25 planets  is earned for the fact that the plastics used are good recylcing numbers. However, an additional 0.25 planets will not be earned for the following reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to see the recycling numbers which menas consumers will be less likely to see them. Secondly, there is no promotion on the packaging of the fact that it is recyclable such as a graphic that says “recycle me” or “this packaging is recyclable”. Lastly, Manic Panic does not have any notable recycling campaign to encourage their consumers to recycle. It is great that there is minimal packaging and that the packaging is recyclable. However, if the consumer does not end up recycling the material, that initiative is in vain.
  • Not shipped - When this product is bought in a store, there is no additional packaging to that listed above. This is efficient and more sustainable14. That earns this product 0.25 Planets .
  • Amazon - When Manic Panic is sold on Amazon, it gets shipped to customers in Amazon packaging. Amazon packaging is excessive and shipping practices (such as rush shipping)14 are very unsustainable since they use transportation and emit excessive carbon. The possibility of earning another 0.25 planets is taken away here.

how it's made:


Vegan and Cruelty Free - “Tested on celebrities, not animals” “acredited by PETA”

  • PETA is the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA works to end the cruel treatment of animals and the exloitation of animals in labs, the food, clothing, and entertainment industry1. PETA’s reviews are credible but they have been criticized in the past for how extreme they are2. If anything, this means that it is difficult to get their approval on animal treatment which helps my sustainability ratings. Vegan and Cruetly Free certifications gets this product 1 planet.

The product is made in the USA. Therefore, it is assumed that working conditions, hours, and minimum wage meet U.S. law throughout production. However, there is no information about the manufacturing of the product or packaging, not information about conditions of jobs Thats acquire the ingredients.

  • 0.25 planets are earned for the facts that manic panic working conditions meet U.S. labor law. However, no additional planets are earned here due to the fact that there is no information about the manufacturing process nor the source of packaging which could both be high carbon or pollution emitting processes.

who makes it:


This Product is made in the USA by the company Manic Panic. Manic Panic was started 43 years ago by two sisters who play punk rock and dye their hair a lot. Their slogan is Dye for Peace.“15% of Manic Panic’s annual profits are donated to various charities.” They donate to a large variety of charities including the World Wide Fund (WWF) (nature), Catskill Animal Sanctuary (animals), Green Chimneys (animals), True Colors (homelessness, LBGTQ+), BCRF (Breast Cancer), Etc. Overall, the company is transparent about their history and current goals/actions. However, on their website there is no information about the ingredients. They also sell their product on Amazon, which is a company that has much worse values than Manic Panic. I give the Manic Panic company 2.8 Planets. This company has really great goals and initiatives and was founded with a virtuous purpose. The only reason they lose 0.2 Planets is because they sell on Amazon which is a company with goals and initiatives nowhere near as virtuous or sustainable (this is a difficult trade-off, though, because we must measure the harm from using amazon against the good of selling more product). Overall, though, compared to most other hair-dye companies, they are a better brand.