Best Hair Dyes

Want a bold new look without paying a fortune in salon fees? At-home box dyes could be your holy grail to affordable and great-looking hair colour. Learn more about different hair dyes and what to look out for. Read more…

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Based on 2,458 reviews
Brilliant Silver White Hair Toner

Brilliant Silver White Hair Toner

4.9  (20) Summary
Kim Timbs
Kim Timbs QLD3 posts
 
JoBaz Hair Dye Remover

JoBaz Hair Dye Remover

3.6  (122) Summary
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Ccg
Ccg
  Max Strength
WorstIf you black hair : DONT BOTHER ; I have brown roots and black hair : twice I did ; Show details
Naturtint

Naturtint

3.4  (29) Summary
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Cel W.
Cel W.NSW
  Ebony Black 1N
L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss

L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss

2.7  (164) Summary
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Angela grant
Angela grantNSW9 posts
  Fair Incentive 300 Darkest Brown
Excellent experienceNo hair damage. Leaves hair enriched in oils. Full coverage. Lasts weeks. Show details
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Bussa
Bussa2 posts
 
Not worth the moneyThe results are of a 15 dollar packet hair dye. I have light brown hair that normally takes on blonde well. I used it as directed and it was orange tone. It's like the old sun in. Not worth what you pay. Plus my hair ended up dry and brittle. Won't be purchasing again. Show details
Schwarzkopf Napro Palette

Schwarzkopf Napro Palette

2.5  (111) Summary
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Joanna Russell
Joanna RussellGorokan4 posts
  Rosewood Violet 5-99
Wrong colourWhat should have given me a nice, deep red, turned my hair into almost black. I now have to buy a clarifying shampoo, strip this horrible colour off and start again Show details
Herbatint

Herbatint

2.8  (37) Summary
Jill Goodman
Jill Goodman
 
PerfectionThe best experience with hair color ! First pass at DIY and it is gorgeous natural and above all my hair feels soft . I am self proclaimed devotee forever ! Thank you Herbatint Show details
Garnier Nutrisse Creme

Garnier Nutrisse Creme

2.3  (115) Summary
DeannR
DeannRVIC10 posts
  3 Expresso
L'Oreal Excellence Crème

L'Oreal Excellence Crème

2.2  (203) Summary
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Joanne
Joanne
  6 Light Brown
Schwarzkopf Live Brilliance

Schwarzkopf Live Brilliance

2.4  (64) Summary
qtpieandkids
qtpieandkidsQLD15 posts
  Romantic Brown 30
Garnier Olia

Garnier Olia

2.3  (130) Summary
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Kamile B.
Kamile B.
  4.0 - Dark Brown
LEAVES YOUR HAIR GREASE EVEN AFTER WASHW ITH SHAMPOOLove the colour, but after left my hair so greasy!!! Looks like my hair is covered in oil, decided to wash my hair properly with shampoo, and still looks greasy!!! Never buying again!!! Show details
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Chris S.
Chris S.NSW
 
L'Oréal Magic Retouch

L'Oréal Magic Retouch

2.8  (20) Summary
KERI A.
KERI A.
 
Not a good productIt makes your hair feel gummy and sticky, you cant even comb through after using. Then I
Looked at the ingredients. Would not
Be surprised if some of the chemicals are carcinogenic. Who knows how safe it is? Show details
Schwarzkopf Live Colour

Schwarzkopf Live Colour

2.0  (242) Summary
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Lauren T.
Lauren T.
  Ultra Brights Shocking Pink
TerribleTerrible!! Was a wishy-washy light rose pink colour, and I left it on for 35 minutes! I had bright blonde bleached hair and it still didn't turn out. I use to use this brand around 4 years ago and it was great! But they must have changed the ingredients because it's utter rubbish now. Don't waste your money. Show details
Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse

Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse

2.2  (44) Summary
Star191
Star191
  Black 1-0
Zero foam,just pure liquid that went everywhere but my hair!This was a mess! No foam! Super peed off! Have an event tomorrow too.Guess I’m attending with grey hair because you can’t rely on this product! Show details
Dukkkman
DukkkmanWA37 posts
  Medium Brown 60
Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-Up

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-Up

2.0  (55) Summary
Unimpressed
UnimpressedNSW2 posts
  4 Dark Brown
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bibi u.
bibi u.
 
Clairol Nice 'n Easy

Clairol Nice 'n Easy

1.6  (768) Summary
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Kelly S.
Kelly S.
  Age Defy Permanent Hair 3.5 Colour Darkest Brown
New 4R Formula is horribleThis review won't let me choose my color but it was 112/4R since the early nineties and the new 4r is a totally different color. Solid, no highlights, brassy. Have combed Ebay for years now and will most likely just not use a Nice N Easy product once I can't find the old stuff. Too bad - loved this color Show details
Clairol Natural Instincts

Clairol Natural Instincts

2.3  (17) Summary
Freyja
Freyja
  2 Black
Great colour but it lasted WAY longer than advertisedI have strawberry blonde hair and I really liked the black and how it naturally faded with every wash. My hair felt soft, shiny and moisturized after. However, it's been nine months and well over 28 washes and sections of my hair are still black. Beware if you have light hair and use the 2 black shade. Show details
CustomerOne
CustomerOneMelbourne69 posts
  7N Natural Medium Blonde
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Chris
Chris
 
HorribleAbsolutely the worst product ever. It DOES NOT WORK.
Clairol you should be disgusted advertising and selling this useless product. Show details
L'Oreal Paris Colorista Washout

L'Oreal Paris Colorista Washout

1.4  (32) Summary
Still waiting
Still waitingQLD2 posts
  Blue
Does not wash out, do not recommend for brunettesThis is not a semi permanent color. After +20 washes, color has gone from blue to green and still showing in brunette hair that has never been coloured before. Off to the hair dresser to fix. Do not recommend as does not work as per advice. Show details
Just for Men Moustache & Beard

Just for Men Moustache & Beard

1.4  (27) Summary
Howard C.
Howard C.
 
Good productI find that the dye wears off after a few days. However, the applicator pen contains enough to reapply. It's easy to apply too and excess washes off after you wash your face or shower. Show details
Emily
EmilyWaynesboro
  600 Blue
sue
sueVIC2 posts
 
Love the result!The colour result isn't quite as the package shows but I was looking for more of a pink end result and that's exactly what was achieved. Holds well to grey hair. The colour lasts a couple of months or more. I make the conditioner that comes with the colour last a number of washes. Show details
Gisele adams
Gisele adams
 
Very happyLove this product! Hides my thinning spots on my scalp and makes my hair look thicker. The only negative is that it easily transfers onto my glasses when I put them on my head and I end up with black marks on my face when I put my glasses on which I have to remember to wipe off. Still love it enough to order a second lot Show details
Joico Colour Intensity

Joico Colour Intensity

3.0  (2) Summary
Tay
TayWA
  Colour Intensity
Debrah
DebrahVIC3 posts
 
HORRENDOUSThis is one horrendous box dye hair colour I have ever used. Applied it over my bleached blonde hair to make it silver however from root to tip it turned yellow. Now I have to find a really great toner to remove the yellow, spending more money on my hair. Show details
Dare Temporary Hair Colour

Dare Temporary Hair Colour

5.0  (1) Summary
Suzi J.
Suzi J.VIC3 posts
 

Image of blonde hair and a colour chart of hair colours

The last few years have seen the world take on many different hair trends from beachy balayages to Billie Eilish-inspired neon green roots. It’s no wonder you might be inspired to try something new with your hair or perhaps just maintain your roots and banish your greys. No matter the case, there is a dye on the market to help you achieve your goals.

Types of hair dyes

There are a wide variety of hair dyes available to suit your hair, the look you’re going for and the occasion. Each category of hair dye functions differently on a chemical level. Temporary dyes and colours do not penetrate the hair at the follicle but sit on top of it until it is eventually washed away. Permanent hair dyes use peroxide and other chemicals to sink into the hair at the shaft and change the composition of your hair permanently.

Temporary hair colour and wash out colour

These are usually synonyms for each other. As the name suggests, they are temporary and usually come out within 1-2 washes. Because they work by staining the hair instead of changing the composition of your hair, they come in many versatile forms such as chalks, sprays, mascaras and pastes.

Temporary hair dyes can be useful for parties, dress-up events, quickly brushing up greys or roots, weekends getaways or for testing colours on your hair before committing to them.

Because they only deposit colour and do not lift the colour on your head, your hair must already be light enough for them to have any great visible effect - those with light blonde or bleached hair can easily use these products.

Semi-permanent vs. demi-permanent hair colour

Continuing from temporary hair colours, there are other options if you wish to keep your new hair colour for longer than 1-2 days but not alter your hair colour permanently.

Semi-permanent hair colour is one step up from a wash out colour and normally lasts around 3-6 washes or 1-2 weeks. The molecules of semi-permanent hair dye are large and therefore, do not penetrate the hair but act as a stain in the cuticle layer. Semi-permanent dyes can be used to add a refreshing layer of colour to dull hair and to make them appear softer and shinier.

Demi-permanent hair dyes last longer, typically for 24-30 washes or 4-6 weeks depending on the brand and type. They are most suitable for those looking for a more long-term hair change without the use of harsh chemicals such as peroxides or ammonia. Demi-permanent hair dyes can also be used to tone bleached blonde hair.

Toners

Toners are a form of temporary hair colour, usually applied after bleaching. They combat brassy yellow and orange tones by using a blue or violet-dye base.

Toners are either low in ammonia or ammonia-free and are suitable for use on damaged hair. They do use a lifting agent (peroxide), however, to gently lighten the hair. Be careful to follow the instructions on the box carefully as over toning can stain very light blonde hair a blue or purple tone.

If this happens, use a clarifying shampoo and wash it a few times to rinse out the colour. Toners are temporary and usually last between 2-6 weeks.

Permanent hair colour

For the deepest colour deposit and the longest-lasting results, permanent hair dye is the go-to choice. These dyes use ammonia to enter the shaft of the hair, hydrogen peroxide to remove the natural colour of your hair and the dyes which can enter the hair shaft and infuse it with the new colour.

They alter the colour of your hair permanently and cannot be washed away on their own. However, some hair dye removers use a formula which can help unbind these particles, allowing them to be washed out.

What colour to dye your hair

When choosing a colour for your hair, you should first consider your natural hair colour and which shades you could achieve realistically with minimal damage to your hair. Most hairdressers would recommend going 2-3 shades lighter or darker than your natural shade for the best results. You can also use the colour chart which is provided in many box dye packs to compare against your skin tone and decide on the best fit.

Image of girl with pink hair

Types of dye placements and colouring techniques

There are many different ways to style and dye your hair, some people prefer to have a one-toned natural colour applied, however, others prefer to experiment with multiple shades and placements. There are many techniques and terms floating around like ‘babylights’ and ‘wetlights’, but they all typically fall into one of these following categories:

Full head - one colour

This involves dyeing the entirety of the hair in a uniform colour and is a popular choice among many who want to maintain a natural look but simply go a few shades lighter or darker. If you have dark hair and would like to go down 1 or 2 shades without using bleach, you should consider using a permanent box dye since they contain subtle lightening agents.

The full head of colour method is also suitable for those with light hair who want to change their look entirely with a bold, funky colour. Most box dyes can get you this look, provided you are starting with a light base, as it is very simple to apply evenly over the head and get a unified finish.

Full head - split hair dye

A split hair dye is also an achievable look that you can get right at home. It will require sectioning your hair into 2 (or more) parts and applying different coloured dyes to each section of your hair. This look has become particularly popular among the younger crowd with the popularisation of it through TikTok and Gen-Z celebrities.

Roots

As your hair grows, the roots will emerge in your natural hair colour, therefore to maintain the look, many people require a root touch up. This can come in the form of all the aforementioned dye products including a hair mascara, paste, cream or permanent hair dye. If your roots are darker than your dyed hair, then you will need to bleach them first before applying a matching hair dye.

Half head of highlights

Partial highlights can be used to frame the face and lighten the area around it. It leads to a very subtle and natural look. An ombre involves dyeing the bottom half of the hair whilst leaving the roots well alone. There are many highlighting kits available in stores but should only really be attempted at home if you know what you’re doing or have an experienced friend to help you. Otherwise, it’s worth heading to the salon for the best results.

Full head of highlights

Under this category falls highlights, lowlights, wetlights, babylights and all the forms of the balayage. They aim to portray a natural sun-kissed and multi-tonal effect by using dark and light colours to mimic the way the hair changes colour over time in the sun. The lighter parts are achieved using bleach which, in large quantities over a short time, may lead to hair breakage. Since even a professional hairdresser would have trouble achieving this look on themselves at home, it’s worth putting the box dye away and going to a salon for this one.

For those looking to maintain their professionally done balayage, many toners and purple shampoos are available to keep your lightened hair pieces from turning brassy.

Things to consider when buying hair dye products

Box dyes, are for the most part, very safe given that you follow the instructions accurately, but it’s worth checking the ingredients list to see if you may have an allergy to something in it. Even if you can’t spot anything, it’s useful to do a patch test to gauge your skin’s reaction to the harsh chemicals. Wash away colours and semi-permanent dyes do not have harsh chemicals in them and therefore do not require a patch test, but anything with a lifting agent does.

If you have sensitive skin or are simply worried about hair damage, you should consider using a hair dye with organic ingredients. While they may not last as long, they will be far less damaging to your hair.

Parabens, or preservatives, are often found in many beauty products, but there has been debate as to the safety of them. It’s better to be on the safe side and avoid this ingredient where possible.

Hair dyes with a vegan or cruelty-free stamp are something you might want to opt for if you are concerned about animal rights.

Ammonia is a common ingredient in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes as it opens the hair shaft, allowing the dyes to seep in. However, it can be very harsh on your hair and lead to split ends, loss of protein and damaged hair cuticles. For those with sensitive scalps and already damaged hair, choosing an ammonia-free hair dye could be very beneficial.

You can read reviews on our website for the best hair dye products from famous brands such as L'Oréal Paris, Schwarzkopf, Brite and more.

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