Temporary, permanent, demi-permanent, black, blue, green, red, silver – the variety of ways you can color 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 brown or blonde! With so much choice, how do you know which product will actually work for your hair?
Read on to find out which hair dyes truly are the best ones to use at home – whether you want long-lasting, temporary, or permanent color, and whether you have thick or thin hair, light or dark shades in mind.
We’re here with everything you need to know so you can confidently choose the perfect one for you.
Our Research & Review Process
To ensure our recommendations are as comprehensive and reliable as possible, we’ve undertaken an extensive research effort.
We cite scientific evidence and journals, collect real user reviews and gather impartial perspectives from hair stylists, users, and experts in the field.
Additionally, we conduct hands-on testing by using products and applying hair dyes not only on our own locks but also on real human hair extensions and hair pieces of different hair type, textures and lengths.
This rigorous approach allows us to provide you with insights into which products genuinely live up to their promises.
As always – please consult with a professional hair colorist or stylist for advice on how to color your own hair at home. It’s different for everyone!
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Research & Review Process
- 2 Which is the best at-home hair dye?
- 3 Best hair dyes to use at home at a glance.
- 4 The best permanent hair dye to use at home.
- 5 John Frieda Precision Foam Permanent Hair Dye
- 6 The best semi-permanent hair dye to use at home.
- 7 L’Oréal Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Dye.
- 8 The best demi-permanent hair dye to use at home.
- 9 Clairol Natural Instincts No Ammonia Vegan Hair Dye.
- 10 What is the best temporary hair dye to use at home?
- 11 L’Oreal Colorista Hair Makeup
- 12 The best hair dye for light hair colors.
- 13 L’Oreal Excellence Creme hair dye.
- 14 The best hair dye for dry/damaged hair.
- 15 Garnier Olia Hair Dye
- 16 The best hair dye for long lasting color.
- 17 Garnier Nutrisse Hair Dye
- 18 What reviewers say about Garnier Nutrisse hair dye:
- 19 Which is the best hair dye for bright hair colors?
- 20 Schwartzkopf Live Hair Dye
- 21 How to Choose the Right Hair Dye for You
- 22 Parting words
- 23 How to dye your hair at home.
Which is the best at-home hair dye?
Which one is the best depends on a few important things:
- The color your hair is now
- Whether your hair has been dyed before
- The color you want to be
- The condition of your hair
- Your hair texture
- Allergies or sensitivities you may have
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 color onto your hair.
Here’s a round-up of the best brands we recommend. Read more about each one below!
Best hair dyes to use at home at a glance.
|Hair dye||Looks like||Best for||Buy it now|
|John Frieda Precision Foam Hair dye.||Permanent hair dye. Darker colors.|
|L’Oréal Colorista Semi-permanent Hair Dye.||Semi-permanent color.|
|Clairol Natural Instincts No Ammonia Vegan Hair Dye.||Demi-permanent color.|
|Colorista Hair Makeup||Temporary color.|
|L’Oreal Excellence Creme hair dye.||Lighter colors. Blondes.|
|Garnier Olia||Dry/damaged hair|
|Garnier Nutrisse||Long-lasting color.|
|Schwartzkopf Live Hair Dye||Bright, bold colors.|
The best permanent hair dye to use at home.
This is the hair dye for those who want a deep, lasting coverage.
Permanent dye uses ammonia to penetrate your hair shaft with color so it sinks in and sticks. It won’t wash out like semi-permanent but fades and grows out with time.
If you want to dye your hair a permanent color at home, John Frieda’s Precision Foam are the top types of hair colors we recommend because of their easy to apply, non splash wonderousness and lasting color.
They’re particularly good for grey hair coverage and darker colors too – such as black, ash brown and burgundy. You can read about why they’re the best in our John Freida review here.
What reviewers say about John Frieda hair dye:
“I am SO SO SO happy with how the color turned out! I’m sure it will fade a bit, but even if it does, it’s only $12 to touch up, so not too big of a deal!”Review on OliviaSheStyle.com
Watch and learn: How to apply John Frieda hair dye
The best semi-permanent hair dye to use at home.
Semi-permanent dye enhances your natural color 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 color and the effects won’t last as long – around 10-12 washes.
If you want to dye your hair a semi-permanent color at home, the absolute top of the list is the L’Oreal Colorista Washout range.
The colors are hot, with loads of on-trend pastels to transform your locks. We also love the permanent Colorista range for when you find the color that steals your heart. Swoon.
What the reviewers say about Colorist Semi-permanent hair dye:
“This product is awesome, but know it will stay around for a long time if you take care of it well!”Eden L, Influenster
“I loved it only problem faded too fast. I got lots of compliments on my hair.”Gmabee12, Ulta Beauty
“I’ve been using this colour for a while and I absolutely love it. It lasts well and even faded looks good.”Linda D, Review on L’Oreal Paris
Watch and learn: How to use L’Oreal Colorista Washouts.
The best demi-permanent hair dye to use at home.
Like permanent dye, demi-permanent sinks into the shaft of your hair, but it doesn’t penetrate as deep as permanent formula does.
Because of this, it’s not as long-lasting as permanent type of hair color but it lasts longer than semi-permanent.
If you want to dye your hair a permanent color at home, Clairol Natural Instincts is the top product we recommend for its gorgeous range of colors, naturally derived ingredients and eco-friendly ethos. You can read more about why it’s so fabulous here.
What reviewers say about Clairol Natural Instincts:
“This is a really good semi permanent hair colour, it’s enough coverage for my greys and it adds so much shine to my hair. Easy to use at home”Flying Marie, Lookfantastic.com
“It was absolutely perfect and did exactly what I needed it to do. Like everyone says, the conditioner that is included is the bomb and makes my hair so soft and shiny. That’s another plus.”Helena S on Make Up Alley
“This is my favourite home hair dye kit. My only criticism is that I wish there were a few more lighter shades to choose from.”Penny P on Beauty Crew
Watch and learn: How do I apply natural instincts hair dye?
What is the best temporary hair dye to use at home?
Temporary types of hair colors 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 colors to experiment with at home, L’Oreal tops the color charts again with their Colorista Hair Make Up.
The colors are splendid and can be mixed together to create any shade you choose. Go wild!
What reviewers say about Colorista Hair Make Up:
“Finding this product is a BIG WIN in my book and I can’t wait to use it more regularly for one-day color, whenever I’m feeling like it.”Lauren, Review on Unapologetically Bossy
“My hair is soft, feel like after using conditioner. Will definitely get other colors and try out. Oh FYI, works best on blonde hair.”Charmaine, Home Tester Club
“Used this temporary dye on my wig and i absolutely love it!! i added some nice color and rejuvenated the wig!”Vanessa O, Influenster
Watch and learn: How to use Colorista Hair Make Up.
The best hair dye for light hair colors.
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 colors including lots of blondes in its color palette and they frequently make our Best of Lists for lighter, natural hair colors 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. Overall, it’s the one to use if you want to dye your hair a lighter color.
What reviewers say about L’Oreal Excellence hair dye:
“I have been using L’Oreal cream hair coloring for over 30 years… I’m pleased with this product… My hair is healthy… I do a touch up every 6 wks.”Review on Viewpoints.com
“Since Covid I have become an expert colourist along with many others. When it comes to a lasting permanent colour, this would be one of my top picks.”itsclearascrystal on BeautyReview.co.nz
“Wow, I just went from light brown to middle blonde using tis product! I feel like myself again. Thank you LÓréal!”Review on MakeUpAlley.com
Watch and learn: How to color gray hair with L’Oreal Excellence.
The best hair dye for dry/damaged hair.
Garnier Olia is the first permanent home hair color powered by oil, not ammonia.
This means that the oil in the colorant and developer pumps the color 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 color 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.
What reviewers say about Garnier Olia:
“My hair was left in good condition after using this unlike some where you will notice damage months down the line. Covered my hair well and the colours are amazing.”Lauren on HomeTesterClub.com
“My hair genuinely feels healthier, looks healthier and the colour is incredibly natural.”Sonja K, Review on Beauty Crew
“The color is rich and vibrant, and it provides excellent gray coverage.”Colorist Louis Licari to Allure
Watch and learn: How do I apply Garnier Olia hair dye?
The best hair dye for long lasting color.
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 color. It develops in 25 minutes which isn’t long and the longer you leave it in, the stronger your color results.
Nutrisse regularly makes our Best of Lists for a range of colors for its long-lasting, fade-resistant effects. Go for this if you don’t dye your hair at home that often.
What reviewers say about Garnier Nutrisse hair dye:
“On the box or website they’ll tell you not to use this color on very dark hair. But with this color it came out beautiful, the exact color on the box with a touch of warmth. My hair stylist was amazed I was able to acheive it without it turning red or orange.”Cuban Curls on Make Up Alley
“The result – I’m happy! I feel blonde, I feel like my usual self, it looks me 30 minutes in total and cost me £10.”Louise, Mama Still Got It
“It has brilliant coverage and blends greys well, shade range is fantastic.”Suzanne T, Influenster.com
Watch and Learn: How to color your hair at home with Garnier Nutrisse hair dye.
Which is the best hair dye for bright hair colors?
Schwartzkopf are a hairdresser fave and their glorious selection of colors and ranges make our head spin!
Do we want Color + Moisture? Lift? Intensity?! We want it all!
For bold, bright colors, there’s nothing better than Schwartzkopf. Their colors are rich and intense and can lift your base color to lighter shades too.
They score amazingly in reviews for coverage, with no patchiness or color fade. And they came out top of the vivid color brands in L’Oreal Colorista vs Schwartzkopf Live|Head to Head.
What reviewers say about Schwartzkopf Hair dye:
“The colours are rich and vibrant and doesn’t strip your hair of moisture or dries it out, it actually leaves your hair feeling soft and shiny with a great colour.”FeFe on Beauty Heaven
“This product did a great job of covering my grey, left my hair silky and body-ful and encouraged my natural curl.”Ishwrite on Make Up Alley
“If you’re looking for a stunning colour which is sure to wow everyone Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Brights will deliver a brilliant result in under an hour start to finish.”J Wright, What’s Good To Do
Watch and learn: Top Tips for using Schwartzkopf Live hair dye.
How to Choose the Right Hair Dye for You
Selecting the perfect hair dye isn’t just about picking your favorite color from the shelf. It’s about finding a shade that complements your unique features and meets your hair care needs. Here are the main things to think about:
#1 Understand Your Skin Tone
Cool Skin Tones: If you have a cool skin tone, look for hair dyes with cool undertones like ash blonde, cool browns, or burgundy.
Warm Skin Tones: Those with warm skin tones should opt for colors like golden blonde, warm browns, or rich auburn.
Neutral Skin Tones: Lucky you! Most hair colors will suit you, but always try a strand test first.
#2 Consider Your Hair Type and Texture
Fine Hair: Lighter colors can make fine hair appear fuller. Avoid dark, flat colors that may make hair look thinner.
Thick Hair: You can go bold with vibrant or deep colors. Thick hair holds color well and is versatile in terms of dye options.
Curly or Textured Hair: Natural and warm tones often work well. Be mindful of how hair dye can affect your curls’ health.
#3 Factor in Your Current Hair Color
Consider using a color remover if you’re making a drastic change from dark to light.
#4 Think About Maintenance
Permanent dyes require less frequent touch-ups but involve more commitment.
#5 Assess Your Lifestyle
If you’re frequently outdoors, consider how sun exposure can affect your hair color.
Busy schedules might benefit from low-maintenance color options.
#6 Don’t Ignore Your Eye Color
Your eye color can influence which hair shades will look most flattering.
#7 Allergies and Sensitivities
Always do a patch test before applying a new hair dye to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
#8 Professional Advice
When in doubt, consult a professional colorist!
They can provide personalized advice based on your hair’s health, texture, and your desired outcome.
Remember, the best hair color is one that makes you feel confident and beautiful. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but always consider your hair’s health as a top priority.
There are so many hair color 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.
How to dye your hair at home.
Did you find your perfect hair dye match from our list? We’re excited to see how you transform your look! Share your hair adventures with us on Facebook and Instagram @colouredhaircare, and keep exploring the colorful world of at-home hair dyes.