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Your Ultimate Guide to the Best At-Home Dye Brands
If there’s anything the past few years in lockdown have proved, it is that most of us have an inner hairstylist. Social media was flocked with photos of crazy new hair colors that had plenty of us purchasing at-home box dyes and bleach.
But whether you joined the money piece trend or stayed natural throughout quarantine, it’s never too late to try a different hair color! The hair is our crowning glory, after all, and what better way to wear that crown than in a beautiful color that suits your personality?
Below, we list some of the most popular dye brands that will color, lift, and nourish your locks – without having to go to the salon.
IN A HURRY? THIS IS THE BEST DYE BRAND:
If you don’t plan on doing anything too drastic with your hair and are super particular about keeping it healthy, then a box dye from L’Oréal Paris can give you the hair color you desire.
It’s formulated with advanced triple color technology and a pre-protective serum that protects hair from drying and frizziness, two things that are common with at-home hair coloring treatments.
The best part is that you can walk into almost any beauty store, department store, or even drugstore and find one of these hair color treatments sitting on the shelves because they’re so accessible.
AT A GLANCE: THE BEST DYE BRANDS
It’s no surprise the world’s largest cosmetics brand has its own hair color line, and an amazing one at that. L’Oréal Paris has…
Best for Glossy Hair
REVLON COLOR SILK
The worst part about any dye job is the dry, brittleness of your locks after. Thankfully, this permanent color (yes, it’s not just semi-permanent…
CLAIROL NICE N’ EASY
Did you know that some people can develop an allergic reaction to hair dye? That’s why it’s super important to patch test…
Best Drugstore Hair Dye
GARNIER OLIA HAIR COLOR
Another great permanent hair color you can buy is the Garnier Olia, an oil-powered formula that contains nourishing…
Best Pastel Hair Dye
MANIC PANIC CREAMTONE
If you’ve been waiting for a semi-permanent color that actually suits your bold and bright personality, then you cannot…
Best Metallic Dye
Do you dream of sporting metallic locks like your favorite Asian celebs? Thailand’s premier hair color brand…
Best Bubble Dye
LIESE BLAUNE FOAM COLOR
Although these products make the process much easier, changing up your hair color by yourself is still a pretty daunting task.
GOOD DYE YOUNG COLOR
Another wonderful cruelty-free, natural hair dye is the Good Dye Young. This at-home DIY hair color kit is widely known…
Best for Natural Hair
JOHN FRIEDA FOAM COLOUR
Any experienced stylist can attest to the fact that formula dripping is one of the more inconvenient parts of dyeing your hair.
Best Budget Dye
GLAMWORKS HAIR DYE COLOR
Finally, for our super budget-conscious guys and gals, we recommend checking out the Glamworks Permanent Hair Dye.
How Do We Test At-Home Hair Color?
Like any beauty product, it’s important to patch test your hair dye before using it. It’s especially important when you’re trying out at-home hair dyes as they can contain harsh chemicals and potential irritants. Whether your at-home hair color is a natural hair dye, a semi-permanent formula, or a permanent conditioning formula, you’ll still need to test it out before using it. Even the “best” at-home hair color should still be tested.
Patch testing a permanent or semi-permanent dye is similar to patch testing your brand new skincare products. Just take a small amount and apply it behind your ear or at the back of your neck. Wait 24 hours and observe your skin’s reaction. If there is no irritation, dryness, itching, or redness, then it’s safe to use.
Another way to avoid adverse reactions is by checking the product’s ingredients before you buy it. Look for red flags like ammonia, metallic salts, and henna. Metallic salts and henna can cause smoking when mixed with peroxide, so be sure to avoid them altogether.
On the other hand, products with coconut oil and argan oil – often found in natural hair dye – can make for the best at-home hair color products because they won’t cause frizzy, dry hair.
Can I Use At-Home Hair Color to Cover Gray Hair?
Yes, of course! At-home hair color is not limited to bright colors or red hair, but can also be used for extensive gray coverage or to make light hair or gray hairs a touch darker.
Drugstore hair dyes are pretty great for gray coverage – even the semi-permanent dyes. Although semi-permanent formulas can last anywhere from three to four weeks, they’re straightforward to use, and often cheap, too.
Below, we list plenty of options that can help you with covering grays.
Best Hair Dyes
Let’s Go Over Each Hair Dye Brand
It’s no surprise the world’s largest cosmetics brand has its own hair color line and an amazing one at that. L’Oréal Paris has a vast catalog of at-home dye products, all of which are beginner-friendly and straightforward to use, and also feature a lot of fun colors for all ages.
We love that their products are also quite accessible. Literally, you could walk into any beauty store and there is a 99% chance you’ll find one of their DIY box dyes on the aisles.
Their brand also carries different types and styles of hair colors that you can choose from. There’s L’Oréal Excellence, which is the most widely available one here, and also includes a pre-color treatment. Then you have the L’Oréal Preference, a longer-lasting dye that includes post-color treatment.
L’Oréal Paris offers office-appropriate shades that are suited for Filipino skin tones, including Dark Brown, Golden Nude, and Light Brown. Those looking for a color lift will love the brand’s lighter tones, among which are Natural Blonde and Golden Blonde.
The brand also has a lot of other options for when you’re not ready to go all out with a new color yet. If you feel like making a subtle change, try their Superior Preference Glam Lights Brush-on Highlights, which gives you just what the name says without having to sit in a salon chair for hours.
Pros and Cons of the L’Oréal Paris Hair Color
|✔️ Multiple color options|
✔️ Strengthens and protects hair texture
|✖️ May require bleach|
The worst part about any dye job is the dry, brittleness of your locks after. Thankfully, this permanent color (yes, it’s not just semi-permanent hair dye) helps retain the glossiness and luster of your natural hair even after you’ve altered it, color-wise.
Revlon’s Color Silk has a gentle formula that is infused with keratin which helps with retaining and providing ample moisture to make your hair silky smooth. So, if you’re worried about destroying or drying out your locks, then this brand is for you.
As a bonus, this at-home color can help cover grays and provide you with a natural look.
Pros and Cons of the Revlon Color Silk
|✔️ Best at-home hair dye for natural looks|
✔️ Can cover gray hair
✔️ Retains the silky smooth texture of natural hair
|✖️ Not cruelty-free|
Did you know that some people can develop an allergic reaction to hair dye? That’s why it’s super important to patch test any product first, especially if you’ve got a history of sensitive skin.
Clairol’s most popular permanent color treatment comes in 50 shades. Each one contains ME+, the brand’s breakthrough hair dye molecule that prevents your body from developing an allergy. That way, you can experiment with your locks without worrying about an adverse reaction.
Pros and Cons of Clairol
|✔️ Prevents allergy|
✔️ Wide color variety
✔️ Natural-looking hues
✔️ Simple application
Another great permanent hair color you can buy is the Garnier Olia, an oil-powered formula that contains nourishing ingredients that keep your hair bright and shiny.
Garnier is a drugstore brand, which means it’s more affordable and accessible, paying only a fraction of the price of a salon treatment. The good news is that you can get similar results.
The drip-free formula allows you to keep the messiness to a minimum, meaning you won’t have to clean up too much afterward. It’s ammonia-free, too, so there is no harsh scent that will irritate your senses. In fact, most of its ingredients are natural and nourishing.
Pros and Cons of the Garnier Olia Oil
✔️ Free of ammonia
✔️ Conditions the hair to keep it soft
✔️ Nice fragrance
|✖️ Limited bright tones available|
If you’ve been waiting for a semi-permanent color that actually suits your bold and bright personality, then you cannot go wrong with Manic Panic. The 40-year-old brand is known for their hot pink hues and vibrant color palette. They’re also a proudly vegan and cruelty-free brand.
Despite specializing in loud colors, the product’s formulation is actually very gentle so you can achieve your wildest hair color dreams without sacrificing its smooth, silky texture. Some of their hues include bright pink, blue, green, orange, and yellow.
Pros and Cons of the Manic Panic Creamtone
|✔️ Vibrant colors|
✔️ Ethically made
✔️ PPD and ammonia-free formula
|✖️ Can be messy to apply|
Do you dream of sporting metallic locks like your favorite Asian celebs? Thailand’s premier hair color brand, Lolane Pixxel, has got you covered.
Known for its trendy color variations, Lolane Pixxel is an affordable drugstore brand that can help you achieve salon-worthy looks at home. If you’re someone with a knack for do-it-yourself projects or simply want to learn how to color your hair by yourself, then this product line is worth trying.
It’s worth noting, though, that many people still recommend lightening or bleaching one’s hair first – especially if it’s dark – in order to get a maximum color payoff.
Don’t worry about damaging your hair. Lolane Pixxel’s formulation carries omega oil that provides your follicles with protein to prevent inflammation, along with lecithin, a compound that prevents hair loss. Plus, it smells really nice.
Pros and Cons of the Lolane Pixxel in P17 Very Light Ash Blonde
|✔️ Semi-permanent hair color|
✔️ Simple dyeing process
✔️ Helps enhance skin tone with metallic hues
✔️ Nourishing color creme
|✖️ Might need to bleach real hair|
Although these products make the process much easier, changing up your hair color by yourself is still a pretty daunting task. You’ll also need a lot of equipment, like a color mixing bowl, brush, towel, and more.
But what if we told you that you could achieve a new hue just by shampooing your hair? That’s exactly how the Japanese brand Liese Blaune works. Its creamy foam formula can be applied just like your regular shampoo – mix it then massage it for 30 minutes, and you’re good to go. Whether you have thick hair or thin hair, this is a suitable option. You can use it to make a subtle change to your natural hair color or to cover up gray hair.
The secret to its formula is royal jelly, a nourishing substance that leaves your scalp and hair soft after the coloring process. Hydrolyzed silk, amino acids, and other preserving ingredients are also present to keep hair at its healthiest.
Pros and Cons of the Liese Blaune Creamy Foam Color
|✔️ Shampoo-like application |
✔️ Great for first timers
✔️ Multiple color options to choose from
✔️ Accessible drugstore brand
✔️ Suitable for any hair type
|✖️ Not a lot of bright colors or pastel colors |
✖️ Doesn’t lift color of dark hair
Another wonderful cruelty-free, natural hair dye is the Good Dye Young. This at-home DIY hair color kit is widely known all over the world for its semi-permanent hair dyes that come in different colors.
If this brand sounds familiar, you might have heard it being endorsed by Paramore’s lead vocalist, Hayley Williams, who is known – among other things – for her vibrant red locks. We all know how beautiful and bold her hair is, so it’s a huge testament to this brand’s quality if she endorses them. Their product comes in head-turning hues like magenta, teal, gold, and peach.
Pros and Cons of the Good Dye Young Semi-Permanent Hair Color
|✔️ Ideal for all hair types |
✔️ Cruelty-free formulation
✔️ Pleasant scent
✔️ Electric and quirky colors
|✖️ Pricier than others|
Any experienced stylist can attest to the fact that formula dripping is one of the more inconvenient parts of dyeing your hair. But the John Frieda Precision Foam Color ensures your hairline stays clean, and so does your bathroom floor. Thanks to its whipped texture, the formula stays stiff on your brush or gloves and doesn’t splatter all over the walls.
This radiant hair color kit comes with a 20 volume developer which can lift the hair one level lighter – exactly one level lighter than your current color, celebrity hairstylist Damian Monzillo said. It’s great for those with darker hair colors that don’t want to go all-out with bleach.
Another problem the John Frieda Precision avoids is uneven, streaky hair. The light texture makes it easier to work through each strand of hair so your treatment is as even as possible.
Pros and Cons of the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour
|✔️ Precise application that isn’t uneven or streaky|
✔️ Light, whipped texture
✔️ Lifts hair color
|✖️ Sodium sulfite may be an irritant|
Finally, for our super budget-conscious guys and gals, we recommend checking out the Glamworks Permanent Hair Dye. If this name sounds familiar, we can guarantee that you’ve probably seen this product at your local department store or the beauty section of your local grocery shop.
With prices starting at Php 50, you can buy multiple stocks to last you a long time. Although the color is said to last around 8 weeks, retouching won’t be a problem because the price isn’t heavy on the wallet at all.
That said, this item works pretty much like all the other hair dyes we’ve listed above, so there’s not much to say about it in terms of its process and formula. One downside, however, is that the product contains phenylenediamines, which may be a potential irritant.
Pros and Cons of the Glamworks Permanent Hair Dye Color
✔️ Makes hair super shiny
✔️ Lasts up to 2 months
|✖️ Contains potential irritants or allergens|
Hair Dye Comparison
You don’t need to be a celebrity colorist to achieve the hair color you want. All you need is a professional-grade (yet beginner friendly!) hair dye, time, and a lot of patience.
Fortunately, you can’t go wrong with the amazing products above. We hope this guide was helpful in your search for a new look!
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.