There are a lot of at-home hair dying kits on the market, so to help sift through the virtual shelves to find the best permanent black hair dyes I reached out to Patrick Jardines, a colorist at the NYC-based Eliut Salon. He told Bustle that choosing the best at-home black formula is no different than any other color. First, narrow down the formula by focusing on your hair texture and then consider choosing a shade based on your complexion.
Let's start with hair type. Those with finer and medium-textured hair can basically choose any product as their locks will easily grab onto deeper shades. On the other hand, natural or relaxed hair with a coarse texture will absorb dyes slower because "the cuticle is more porous," and thus, Jardines explains, "more vulnerable to breakage." If that sounds like you, look for dyes specially formulated for your tresses, which will add visible color while keeping your overall hair health intact.
Finally, if your strands are on the super dry side— from things like heat-styling or bleach— reach for a cream-based dye that's chock full of moisturizing oils to counteract damage instead of exacerbating it.
Since the most highly rated dyes often come in more than one shade of black, Jardines offers this helpful tip: Pay attention to undertones. "Pick a dye undertone that is opposite of your complexion undertone," he explains. In other words, if your complexion is warmer, then look for a cool-toned black, and vice versa. And if you're neutral? Most shades will complement you. (Note: For more, here's an in-depth guide on how to choose the right hair color for your skin tone.)