The best at-home hair dye you should use in 2021.

what is the best hair dye to use at home

Temporary, permanent, demi-permanent, black, blue, green, red, silver – the variety of ways you can colour up your hair is completely mind-boggling! If you’re ready for a new look, which is the best at-home hair dye?

The market is saturated with brands, each promising you a different shade of red or blonde! With so much choice, how do you know which product will actually work for your hair? And what if you get the wrong shade and end up with Oompa-Loompa-coloured hair?

We’ve tested all of the best at-home hair dyes on our own heads (and those of some friends) to help find out which ones really live up to their promises.

We’ll tell you about each brand’s pros and cons, as well as where they performed best – whether in terms of colour pay off or ease of application.

Our reviews cover everything from temporary tints to semi-permanent options and even permanent colours too! So whatever kind of look you’re going for, we’ve got something for everyone. Let’s go!

beat at-home hair dye funny tweet

Which is the best at-home hair dye?

Which hair dye is the best depends on a few important things:

  • The colour your hair is now
  • Whether your hair has been dyed before
  • The colour you want to be
  • The condition of your hair
  • Your hair texture
  • Allergies you may have
  • Whether you are pregnant.

So there’s really no straight answer.

When it comes dyeing your hair at home, the types of hair dyes, you can choose from range from permanent, semi-permanent, demi-permanent and temporary. Each one works in a different way to deposit that fabulous hair dye colour onto your hair.

Here’s a round-up of the best at-home hair dye brands we recommend. Read more about each one below!

Best hair dyes to use at home at a glance.

Hair dyeLooks likeBest forBuy it now
John Frieda Precision Foam Hair dye.
What is the best hair dye to use at home
Permanent hair dye. Darker colours.
L’Oreal Excellence Creme hair dye.q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00PJR3RXG&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBWhat is the best hair dye to use at homeLighter colours. Blondes.
Garnier Olia q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B009SK3HFI&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBWhat is the best hair dye to use at homeDry/damaged hair
Clairol Natural Instincts No Ammonia Vegan Hair Dye.
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Demi-permanent colour.
Garnier Nutrisse q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00PIM1L1M&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBWhat is the best hair dye to use at homeLong-lasting colour.
L’Oréal Colorista Washout Hair Dye.
What is the best hair dye to use at home
Semi-permanent colour.
Schwartzkopf Live Hair Dyeq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00PXYZ4KO&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBWhat is the best hair dye to use at homeBright, bold colours.
Colorista Hair Makeup
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Temporary colour.

What is the best permanent hair dye to use at home?

Permanent hair dye is great for those who want a deep, lasting coverage. Permanent dye uses ammonia to penetrate your hair shaft with colour so it sinks in and sticks. It won’t wash out like semi-permanent hair dye but fades and grows out with time.

If you want to dye your hair a permanent colour at home, John Frieda’s Precision Foam are the top types of hair colours we recommend because of their easy to apply, non splash wonderousness and lasting colour.

They’re particularly good for grey hair coverage and darker colours too – such as black, ash brown and burgundy. You can read about why they’re the best in our John Freida review here.

John Frieda Precision Foam Hair dye.

john frieda permanent hair color

How do I apply John Frieda hair dye?


Which is the best at-home hair dye for light hair colours?

L’Oreal Excellence Creme is all about nurturing and restoring the condition of your hair while you’re dyeing it and we love it for that.

The range has over 25 colours including lots of blondes in its colour palette and they frequently make our Best of Lists for lighter, natural hair colours like Ash Blonde, Caramel Blonde and Highlights.

This enriched formula leaves hair feeling so soft with LOreal Excellence. Its a rich, thick cream (or creme!) so it doesn’t splosh everywhere either. Our hair felt thicker and more luxurious – like we’ve lathered on a deep conditioning mask, not a hair dye. Overall, it’s the best at home hair dye to use if you want to dye your hair a lighter colour.

L’Oreal Excellence Creme hair dye.

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How do I apply L’Oreal Excellence?


What is the best at-home hair dye for dry/damaged hair?

Garnier Olia is the first permanent home hair colour powered by oil, not ammonia. This means that the oil in the colourant and developer pumps the colour into your hair without using frizz making ammonia. So it’s better for your hair condition and stops it from drying out like other dyes.

It’s a difference you can really feel from when you first put it on. The formula is thick and easy to apply and smells kinda fruity. Our hair felt totally revitalised from root to tip. Because it doesn’t use ammonia, the colour may not last as long as some other dyes. But if you dye your hair regularly at home, this dye should be top of your list.

Garnier Olia

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How do I apply Garnier Olia hair dye?


What is the best ammonia-free hair dye to use at home?

Like permanent hair dye, demi-permanent sinks into the shaft of your hair, but it doesn’t penetrate as deep as permanent hair dye. Because of this, it’s not as long-lasting as permanent type of hair colour but it lasts longer than semi-permanent hair dye.

If you want to dye your hair a permanent colour at home, Clairol Natural Instincts is the top hair dye we recommend for its gorgeous range of colours, naturally derived ingredients and eco-friendly ethos. You can read more about why it’s so fabulous here.

Clairol Natural Instincts No Ammonia Vegan Hair Dye.

clairol demi-permanent hair color

How do I apply natural instincts hair dye?


What is the best at-home hair dye for long lasting colour?

Garnier are all about the oils and Garnier Nutrisse is bursting with them – in a wonderfully fragrant formula infused with a combination of avocado, olive, and shea oils to gently condition your hair without damaging your locks.

As well as smelling good enough to eat, Nutrisse gives power to your colour. It develops in 25 minutes which isn’t long and the longer you leave it in, the stronger your colour results.

Nutrisse regularly makes our Best of Lists for a range of colours for its long-lasting, fade-resistant effects. Go for this if you don’t dye your hair at home that often.

Garnier Nutrisse

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How do I apply Garnier Nutrisse hair dye?


Which is the best semi-permanent hair dye to use at home?

Semi-permanent dye enhances your natural colour so you won’t get roots growing out like you will with permanent dyes. But it’s also not as effective at covering greys as permanent colour and the effects won’t last as long – around 10-12 washes.

If you want to dye your hair a semi-permanent colour at home, the absolute top of the list is the L’Oreal Colorista Washout range.

The colours are hot, with loads of on-trend pastels to transform your locks. We also love the permanent Colorista range for when you find the colour that steals your heart. Swoon.

L’Oréal Colorista Washout Hair Dye.

colorista semi-permanent hair color

How do I use L’Oreal Colorista Washouts?


Which is the best at-home hair dye for bright colours?

Schwartzkopf are a hairdresser fave and their glorious selection of colours and ranges make our head spin! Do we want Colour + Moisture? Lift? Intensity?! We want it all!

For bold, bright colours, there’s no hair dye better than Schwartzkopf. Their colours are rich and intense and can lift your base colour to lighter shades too.

They score amazingly in reviews for coverage, with no patchiness or colour fade. And they came out top of the vivid colour brands in L’Oreal Colorista vs Schwartzkopf Live|Head to Head.

Schwartzkopf Live Hair Dye

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How do I apply Schwartzkopf Live hair dye?


What is the best temporary hair dye to use at home?

Temporary types of hair colours come in various forms — from hair chalks, rinses, shampoos, crayons, gels, sprays, and foams.

They’re fun, they’re crazy, they’re fabulous, and only last as long as the next wash so you can be adventurous as you dare!

If you want to get some temporary colours to experiment with at home, L’Oreal tops the colour charts again with their Colorista Hair Make Up. The colours are splendid and can be mixed together to create any shade you choose. Go wild!

Colorista Hair Makeup 

colorista temporary hair make up

How do I use Colorista Hair Make Up?


There are so many hair colour options out there, it’s hard to know which is the best one for you.

You don’t want to end up with a horrible dye job that will cost hundreds of dollars and hours in front of the mirror to fix.

Hopefully, our guide has given you everything you need to pick the right hair dye at home for your needs.

Now head over to How to dye your hair at home|The ultimate guide for beginners for a step-by-step guide to dyeing your hair at home with confidence.