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From Subtle To Bold, These At-Home Hair Dyes Have Your Dark Hair Covered

Bustle / Amazon

If you just can't get to the salon or you're keeping an eye on your budget and want to take matters into your own hands when it comes to your hair color, the best hair dyes for dark hair are powerful enough to color even black hair but gentle enough to not seriously damage it.

Now, there some things you might want to leave to the professionals, like bleaching your hair, but if you understand what you're doing and you proceed with caution, you can change many things up at home.

Manage Expectations

To play it safe when it comes to permanent dye at home (especially if you're just starting out), stick with a shade two shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. And keep in mind that the model on the box might not be the color you'll get (especially if you're going lighter). You'll need to refer to the color examples for that.

If you have dark hair, getting permanent blonde or rainbow pastel hair requires many, many steps and over-treating your hair can be damaging so that kind of serious transformation might be best left to the pros. However, there are one-day spray-in accent options available in a range of fun colors like bright purple and blue that will work on dark hair.

Prepare & Take It Slow

It's no secret that hair dye can be messy. To keep the mess to a minimum, I find that puppy piddle pads are great for covering your work surface and catching any rogue splashes of hair dye. And make sure to leave yourself enough time for the application and for the color to develop.

So if it's time for a refresh and a salon visit isn't in the cards, scroll on for some great hair dyes for dark hair to get things rolling.

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1
The Overall Best Permanent Dye

With a pre-color treatment that contains conditioning ceramide, a color creme with pro-keratine, and a conditioner with collagen, your hair is protected through every stage of the coloring process with L’Oreal Paris’ Excellence Creme. The no-drip formula offers healthy color that lasts an incredible eight weeks. Choose from a range of colors including lots of shades of black and brown.

Helpful review: "I have been trying to dye my hair successfully to dark brown for almost a year now, whether I dye it at home or go to a salon. Every time my hair would turn into a dark brown red, always red in it no matter the shade I chose. [...] I bought this Dark Ash Brown hair color and boy let me tell you [...] I'm so happy and satisfied and for the price!"

2
The Best Permanent Hair Dye For Touch-Ups

Clairol’s Root Touch-Up is ideal for permanent quick root fixes and comes with a precision brush tool that really gets down to the end of the root for amazing coverage. The color only takes 10 minutes to develop, and it lasts about three weeks. Choose between packs of one or two.

Helpful review: "I am covering up VERY grey roots in my center part and along my temples and it covers VERY well, blending nicely into the rest of my hair. [...] As my hair grows (I wear it long, to my mid-back), the color of Root Touch-Up does lighten a bit BUT STAYS NEUTRAL BROWN. No red overtones. No brassy overtones. This is critical for me and what makes this product ideal for me. It's the ONLY hair coloring product I've ever use that gives me the brown shade I want.”

3
An Ammonia-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

Formulated with 80% naturally derived ingredients, and infused with a conditioning blend of coconut oil and aloe vera, Clairol Natural Instincts is semi-permanent hair color that's ammonia-free and less damaging on your hair than many other options on the market. To make things even easier, the color develops in 20 minutes, and gives you color that lasts through 28 washes. There are over 20 shades available on Amazon with lots of blacks and browns.

Helpful review: “I picked the color solely by looking at the front picture, which is very dark aurburn-ish red. The name though says "plum burgundy brown", which is what I got pretty much- very dark brown with slight red undertones. It doesn't cover the gray completely, but it blends it very well, kind of looks like highlights."

4
A Bright Semi-Permanent Dye Without Bleach

If you want to make a colorful change while avoiding damaging your hair, Splat's hair dyes offer a pop to shake things up in a semi-permanent way that lasts 30 washes. Available in rich colors including blue and red on Amazon, Splat does not contain bleach, and it conditions while you color. However, a few reviewers report that this can be a messy one to use.

Helpful review: “My natural hair color is between dark brown and black [...] To be honest it think is the best result a dark brown hair can hope for without bleach and the help of the professional. The bathroom did turned blue but I was able to get the stains out with Tilex that contains bleach."

5
A Color & Highlight Kit For Multidimensional Color

L'Oreal's Couleur Experte color and highlights kit brings together a permanent base color and highlights that coordinate perfectly in one neat little box. And it’s easy enough to use, just apply the base color and then add in the highlights. The blue "high-visibility formula" and the enclosed fingertip applicator helps with the precise application of the highlights. The end result is hair color with dimension from a box in about 30 minutes. The only drawback might be that the color range is more limited.

Helpful review: "I have been using this product for 10 years now and I still get compliments about once a month on the color. It's a dark brown/red that in the sun is stunning in it's varied hues. It is very easy to use. I use the highlight kit more in the summer when it makes sense that you would have highlights. But whether you do or don't the color is wonderful."

6
A Temporary Hair Color In 10+ Bright Shades

Need a change without the commitment? L'Oreal Paris' Colorista temporary hair color spray might just be the ticket. The spray-on formula is like makeup for your hair, and because there's no developer and no bleach, your hair is perfectly safe. You could try a new color every day of the week if you wanted to, or even use two at a time — with 11 colors, the choices are endless. And this temporary hair color spray couldn't be easier to use, just spray it on for the day and wash it off when you're done. Quite a few users have noted that the color transfers easily, so washing it off is important.

Helpful review: "Color will transfer to clothes or anything else so keep that in mind. That being said, it does have good color payoff and really does wash out with [one] shampoo. Just be sure you buy several cans if your hair is longer than shoulder length."