Are you ready to rock some red locks? Then this post is a great resource for you. Below you’ll find a detailed list of the best red hair dye options out there! Take a look to find the dye that’s right for you.
I’ve mentioned here before that I love dyeing my hair. It’s a fun way to change up my look. One of my favorite looks is vivacious red hair. From a brownish-auburn to electric red, there are dozens of red hair dyes to choose from. Pick the right product can be tricky, so I’ve compiled a list of the best hair dye brands.
Below you’ll find a bit of everything on the red color spectrum. To make things even easier, I’ve divided options up into categories like ‘best box red hair dye’ and ‘ best red hair dye for dark hair’. No matter what you’re looking for, I feel pretty confident that we’ve got you covered!
Best Semi-Permanent and Permanent Red Hair Dye
If you’ve read our recent posts, you know that Arctic Fox is a pretty popular brand. Their super-gentle hair dye has no harmless chemicals, and it actually conditions your hair while you’re using it. Poison, a super vivid red hue, is a semi-permanent dye that doesn’t require any developer. The formula is ready for use right out of the bottle. It’s a great pick if you plan to frequently re-dye your hair, as you don’t have to worry about damage.
For permanent hair color that’s salon-quality and affordable, Wella is hard to beat. This red hair dye produces a natural-looking red, so it’s great if you want a tamer look. Wella Color Charm is one of my go-to dyes because it’s permanent and doesn’t require constant touch ups. The red dye is less than $5.50 on Amazon, so it’s an absolute steal considering it’s used in salons. I suggest pairing it with the Wella Color Charm 20 Volume Creme Developer to get excellent, professional-looking results.
I consider Matrix Socolor in Light Brown Red Violet on of the best red hair dyes for a few reasons. First, this brand and specific product are used in salons to achieve perfect, professional results. It’s also very positively reviewed on Amazon by over 200 satisfied buyers. Lastly, the color is unique and bridges the gap between natural red hair and an ultra-bright red look. If this color doesn’t suit you, you can still use the Matrix Socolor formula. Some of their other dyes include Medium Brown Red Copper, Dark Red Blonde, Dark Brown Red Violet, and more. It’s easy to find a red hue that’s right for you with this brand.
If you want a rich red color with a nice glossy finish, Schwarzkopf Ultime Hair Color Cream may be right for you. This very reputable brand offers hair dye that’s designed to leave your hair in good condition. The dye contains their exclusive Intensive Care Elixir that includes pearl essence. Pearl essence is often used in hair and cosmetic products to create a beautiful sheen. Aside from Mahogany Red, Schwarzkopf has an entire Flaming Reds line for you to check out. The other colors in this line include Vintage Red, Cocoa Red, Light Copper Red, and Ruby Red.
Best Temporary Red Hair Dye
If you want a dark red hair dye without the commitment, try out Manic Panic’s Color Styling Gel in Vampire Red. This is a two-in-one product; it’s a hair color as well as a hair styling gel. The formula is firm holding, so it’s best for use on shorter hair. The color comes right out when you shampoo your hair, so you can use it as often or as rarely as you’d like. As an added perk, this unique non-toxic hair color gel glows under UV black lights. It’s a perfect pick if you’re going to a party or club and want to change things up!
Unique Hair Color Spray is a super vivid neon red temporary color. It comes in an aerosol can, so you get excellent precision when applying it to your hair. It’s ideal if you just want highlights or to color specific sections of your hair. The lighter your hair is, the brighter this red color will look. If you’ve got darker locks, you may need to apply a few layer. Like other temporary hair dyes, Unique Hair Color Spray comes out completely when you shampoo your hair. You can use it for special events or to simply see if red hair is right for you!
Best Red Hair Dye For Dark Hair
My natural hair is a very dark brown, and I kept it dyed black for about a decade. When I wanted to give red hair a try, my friend told me about this Garnier Nutrisse dye that would color over dark hair. I honestly didn’t expect this dye to work, but it did a wonderful job. As you can see on Amazon, it’s very highly-rated by hundreds of buyers who also have dark hair. In addition to how effective this dye is, I really love two things about it. One, it doesn’t use bleach to color your hair, so you don’t have to worry about harsh damage. Second, it contains super nourishing ingredients like avocado, shea, and olive oil. If you have dark hair and want red locks, I highly recommend giving this affordable brand a shot.
When it comes to the best red hair dye for dark hair, HiColor by L’Oreal is one of the most popular and respected brands on the market. As you can see on Amazon, the product has great reviews from over 200 customers. This thick and creamy dye is designed specifically to work on dark hair to create bold red highlights. It lifts your hair three to four color levels, so you’ll certainly get noticeable results. This unique formula is also available in Copper, so you have two red hues to choose from. At under $6, this highly-regarded formula is a pretty valuable deal.
Many Manic Panic hair dyes are designed for use on lightened hair. However, the Manic Panic FAQ page lists several colors that work on dark hair, and Infra Red is one of them. The page states that this color works well on hair that ranges from very dark brown to dark blonde. As per usual, Manic Panic has a very gentle and natural formula that conditions your hair while it dyes it. If you have dark brown or brown hair, expect more of a red tint than a major color change. Another one of their red dyes, Vampire Red, is also designed for use on very dark brown to dark blonde hair. If you want to change things up with zero damage to your hair, try out one of these red Manic Panic hues!
Best Box Red Hair Dye
Choosing a box red hair dye can feel tricky, but the Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme reviews are incredibly reassuring. At the link above, you’ll notice this boxed hair dye has over 1,400 reviews and an outstanding star rating. Like the other Garnier Nutrisse dye mentioned above, this one is rich with moisturizers including olive, avocado, and shea oil. It also comes with a small dose of grape seed oil for you to add into the dye for enhanced nourishment. It’s a permanent dye that offers 100% gray coverage, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something long-lasting. It also comes in shades like Intense Auburn and Dark Burgundy if you want a different red hue.
Yet another Garnier boxed dye tops our list of the best red hair dye! The Garnier Olia formula is newer than the others, so I decided to research it a bit. From what I’ve discovered, this dye is really focused on being very gentle and actually enhancing the condition of your hair. The formula contains a 60% oil blend that treats dryness by hydrating hair and making it look and feel shinier. Despite being ammonia-free, this gentle dye is long-lasting. If you want a box red hair dye that will nourish your locks, you may want to give this one a try.
When I had black hair, Revlon Colorsilk Haircolor was my go-to hair dye. At first, I figured all jet black hair dye was the same, and I tried nearly ten brands. However, Colorsilk dye ended up being my absolute favorite. The product description says that you’ll get vibrant multi-tonal results, and this is absolutely true. Even with the black dye, my hair looked vibrant and the color wasn’t flat or dull at all. It also claims to leave hair in better condition, and I truly feel like it does. The results lasted at least six weeks, so it’s definitely a great option for long lasting color. Their Auburn Brown is a perfect pick if you want a somewhat natural looking red color. You may also consider Burgundy, Dark Auburn, or Deep Burgundy. No matter what you pick, I’m confident you’ll like this dye.
I remember seeing the L’Oreal Paris Couleur Experte kit in stores. It intrigued me because it’s a two-in-one kit that offers all over color along with highlights. It’s designed to create salon-like results without the cost of a salon, and Amazon buyers are very satisfied with the product. This pick is excellent if you want a truly natural redhead look, as you’ll have rich highlights blended evenly into your new color. According to the instruction, the process only takes about 30 minutes. That’s pretty impressive for the promised results! After reading the Amazon reviews, I can honestly say that this dye has my vote.
Tips For Keeping Red Hair Vivid
In my experience, the only downside to having red hair is that it can fade very quickly. This may be true for many colors, but I noticed red faded quicker than others. Here are some simple tips for getting the most from the best red hair dye you choose.
- Dye your hair one day after you’ve washed it. Dyeing your hair when it’s freshly washed and dried means there’s very little or no natural oil in it. A bit of oil protects your hair and scalp, so dye your hair at least 24 hours after your last shampoo.
- Get a bottle of dry shampoo spray or powder. Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is great for fine oily hair, and Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo, Keratin Infusion works well for dry or damaged hair.
- Read our posts about shampoo and conditioner for red hair. There are tons of shampoos and conditioners for redheads. We’ve covered some of them in ‘Best Shampoos for Color Treated Hair – Dye Hards Unite!’ and ‘Best Conditioner for Color Treated Hair – Soothe Your Strands’.
- Wash your hair with cool or lukewarm water.
- Create a DIY deep conditioning treatment for redheads. I mentioned a tip similar to this in our recent post about the best purple hair dye. Add a tablespoon or two of gentle red hair dye into a jar of deep conditioner. I’d recommend using one of Manic Panic’s red hair dyes and a treatment like L’Oreal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask. This ultra nourishing mixture can revive your red hair if you leave it on for a few minutes.
- Try using a color glaze or color gloss in between dyeing your locks. These products are designed to coat your hair with color, and this makes your dye job last longer. According to this Oprah.com article, gloss lasts two to four weeks and glaze lasts one to two weeks. John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss, Cool Red is highly rated and fairly affordable at about $7.
Sport Your Radiant Red Locks With Confidence
When you use the best red hair dye, you can feel confident that your strands will look stellar. There are so many options on the list above; you’re sure to find something affordable that’s perfect for you. If you have any red hair dye recommendation, questions, or comments, just drop a comment below. I’m happy to discuss all things beauty with you!
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