Looking for the best color for black women’s hair is an exercise in futility. Each of us has our own favorite color, so it’s impossible to objectively say which is the best color.
What we can do is find brands and products that offer high-quality hair dyes while minimizing risk. And while we probably won’t find the best color for African-American women’s hair that all of us can agree on, this list of brands will likely show you something you like.
Best Color for Black Women’s Hair Reviewed In This Guide
Best Color for Black Women’s Hair List
These are my picks for the best colors for black women’s hair. I’ve chosen these products and brands based on personal experience, as well as product quality and diversity, as well as their bonus features, like doubling as a moisturizer.
#1 Manic Panic Hair Dyes for Black Women’s Hair
Manic Panic’s hair dyes are advertised as “Classic High Voltage”, and it’s not hard to see why – their neon tones and high intensity make them one of the best colors for black women’s hair. This brand offers a wide range of hair dyes, each with its own personal name and punch.
You won’t find generic reds, blues, or yellows here – you’ve got Red Passion or Wildfire for red, After Midnight or Blue Steel for blue, and Sunshine for yellow. But in spite of this rich selection, It’s Manic Panic’s neon colors that really stand out – their Siren’s Song turquoise and Mystic Heather, in particular, come to my mind.
Each of Manic Panic’s hair dyes has its own personality, and if you’re looking to make a statement with your hair, this is it. Manic Panic’s store also carries their renowned Flash Lightning hair bleaching kit, which raises your hair’s color by up to 5 levels – perfect if you’d like to experiment with Manic Panic’s lighter colors, such as Electric Tiger Lily (orange). For black women, who have hair in the black to the deep brown range, this bleaching kit is a fantastic tool to add to their styling kit.
Manic Panic Hair Dyes Color Options
All of Manic Panic’s hair dyes are free from allergens common in hair dyes. You won’t find any PPD, ammonia, resorcinol, phthalate, gluten, or parabens in their hair dye. Manic Panic’s colors are also semi-permanent, so expect a single tub to last you for quite a while.
Customers agree that Manic Panic’s selection of novel colors completely fills a niche in the market. However, they’ve also cautioned that this hair dye is very hard to get rid of if it gets on surfaces. This is also a semi-permanent hair dye, so be sure to try out the color you want on a small lock of hair to see if it suits you.
Best For: Neon colors
- Novel but well-defined hair color selection
- Cruelty-free vegan formula
- Lighter colors come with conditioners to add moisture
Pros: No PPD, ammonia, resorcinol, phthalate, gluten, or parabens, huge selection of non-generic colors
Cons: Hard to wash off if it gets on surfaces
#2 Kiss Tintation Semi-Permanent Hair Color for Black Women’s Hair
One thing that I love about Kiss Tintation’s hair dye color for black women’s hair is their selection of pinks. They’ve got the bold atomic pink or dynamic pink mania if you’d like to stand out – but that’s not all. They also carry more muted pink hues, such as neon peach, salmon, or the demure pink petal. Not all pinks are created the same, and Kiss Tintation knows that the best pink color for black women’s hair varies from person to person.
Kiss Tintation Color Options
On top of that, each of Kiss Tintation’s hair dyes is infused with good stuff for your hair. An aloe vera base ensures that your scalp is soothed and healed during the entire hair dyeing process. Argan oil, olive oil, collagen, and keratin are all potent ingredients in hair care, and they’ll work to nourish, moisturize, and protect your hair while you strive towards the color you want.
Best For: Pink hair
- Aloe vera water base for soothing effect
- Also contains argan oil, olive oil, collagen, and keratin
Pros: Affordable, good selection of color intensity
Cons: Doesn’t seem to work for some people
#3 Adore Semi-Permanent Sunrise Orange Hair Color for Black Women’s Hair
Adore promises that it will “infuse each strand with a vibrant burst of luxurious color”, a promise that they’ve kept. While Adore does stock many different colors of hair dye, it’s their 038 Sunrise Orange that I love the most. This semi-permanent hair dye comes in a deep and rich orange that works even better when color graded. In particular, people with ginger, reddish, or brownish (yes, even dark brown) hair have vouched for the quality and depth that this hair dye gives their hair, making this the best orange color for black women’s hair.
Adore hair dyes use an aloe vera base to ensure that they’re gentle and light on your scalp. Along with other natural ingredients, Adore hair dyes will not only give you that “wow” look you’re searching for, but also give your strands shine, softness, and silkiness.
Best For: Orange hair
- No ammonia, alcohol, or peroxide
Pros: Affordable and effective
Cons: Each bottle doesn’t contain much
#4 Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Color for Black Women’s Hair
Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair series advertises itself as catering to fantasy hair colors, and they really deliver. While the rest of their dyes are great in their own regard, it’s Lime Crime’s collection of the best teal colors for black women’s hair that puts them on this list. Ranging from the appropriately-named Anime color (a light aqua) to the somber and deep teal Sea Witch (a watery dark green), Lime Crime has teal down pat.
Many customers have happily vouched for the efficacy of Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair series, and, as one Amazon comment succinctly put it, “be prepared for total strangers to complement your hair”. Lime Crime hair dye is also very easy to apply, and while it stains easily like other hair dyes, proper handling goes a long way.
Best For: Teal hair
- No developers nor heat required
- Full coverage conditioning formula that’s 100% vegan and cruelty free
Pros: Works great even on darker hair, smells good
Cons: Seems to wash out faster than other semi-permanent dyes, can stain if not handled properly
#5 John Frieda Precision Foam Color for Black Women’s Hair
John Frieda is a name that’s thrown around in hair grooming instruments. Thus, it’s no surprise that they made their own formula for coloring black women’s hair. In particular, John Frieda’s Precision Foam Color for blue black hair is an amazing product that’s sure to satisfy your desire for those dusky, deep tones.
This hair dye is applied as a foam, which makes it much easier than usual to color your hair. If you’re a first-timer, don’t worry: John Frieda hair dyes also come with instructions on how to use and apply each of the items in the package. Long-time hair dye users will be happy to know that each package of John Frieda Precision Foam Color comes with colorant, developer, conditioner, foamer, and most importantly, gloves.
Unfortunately, this hair dye’s potency is also its downfall – it’s so good that it’s hard to find it in stock. If you find this hair dye for sale, I suggest snapping it up!
Best For: Blue black hair
- Anti-fade formula for long lasting effect
- Deep saturation to fight graying hairs
- Complete package comes with colorant, developer, after-color conditioner, foamer, and gloves
Pros: Established brand name, all-in-one package, foam dye is easy to apply
Cons: Hard to get a hold of due to popularity
#6 Schwarzkopf Simply Color for Black Women’s Hair
Schwarzkopf Simply Color Permanent Hair Color’s sinfully luscious chocolate brown is perfect for black women who’ve always dreamt of having brown hair. This dye is free from PPD, alcohol, silicones, and ammonia, which makes it great even for people with sensitive hair and skin. Apart from that, this dye comes with oat milk, soy protein, and argan oil – all of which allow it to nourish and fortify your strands even as it coats them with its delicious hues.
However, if you’re looking for a purely dark brown look, this may not be the hair dye for you as it contains some red. While red tones work great in tandem with dark brown, this makes this hair dye unsuitable for some customers.
Best For: Dark brown hair
- Free from PPD, alcohol, silicones, and ammonia
- Contains oat milk, soy protein, and argan oil for promoting healthy hair
Pros: If you want to blend gray hairs, this is great at covering them; lasts very long
Cons: Contains some red for toning
#7 Keracolor Clenditioner Hair Dye Color for Black Women’s Hair
Honey colored hair looks amazing on black women, making honey yellow one of the best colors for black women’s hair. And if you’re looking for the best honey hair dye, Keracolor Clenditioner Hair Dye has you covered.
Keracolor’s special hair dye doesn’t lather, so it’s great for people with sensitive hair and scalps. This formula contains neither glutens nor parabens and provides additional benefits to your hair through conditioning and cleansing.
Best For: Honey hair
- Non-lathering formula
- Conditions and cleanses as you color your hair
Pros: Gluten and paraben free, leaves hair feeling super soft and silky
Cons: Cap can be hard to use
#8 L’Oreal Paris Feria Shimmering Permanent Color for Black Women’s Hair
The intensity of L’Oreal Paris Feria Shimmering Permanent Hair Color is its main claim to fame, making this the best red color for black women’s hair.
L’Oreal always strives to be at the forefront of the hair industry, and this hair dye reflects their commitment and devotion. A special formula created by master stylists ensures that users get shiny, multi-tonal red hair that blends naturally. This hair dye also comes with a built-in conditioner and moisturizer, ensuring your new, beautiful red hair stays healthy and happy.
Best For: Red hair
- Special formulation for shiny hair
- Multi-tonal hair dye
Pros: Multi-faceted shimmering color, comes with conditioner and moisturizer, very natural red color
Cons: Box art can be misleading
#9 Clairol Nice’n Easy Perfect 10 Permanent Hair Dye Color for Black Women’s Hair
For auburn hair that can’t be beaten, look no further than Clairol’s Perfect 10 hair dyes. This hair dye is a ten out of ten both in its quality and its application time – all it takes is ten minutes out of your day. These ten minutes will give your hair an unmatched auburn color, perfect for complimenting reds and browns. Clairol’s unique formula ensures that their hair dye will keep your hair deliciously auburn for up to 60 days.
On top of that, Clairol’s hair dye packages come with all the tools you’ll need – an activator to kick start the coloring process, conditioner to seal the color in, and gloves to keep your hands safe.
Best For: Auburn hair
- Long-lasting formula that lasts up to 60 days
- Comes with color cream, activator, color seal conditioner, and gloves
Pros: Applies quickly, all-in-one package
Cons: Hard to find in local stores and needs to be bought online
#10 Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Creme for Black Women’s Hair
The bold violets that Garnier offers make this the best purple dye for black women’s hair. From luxurious burgundy shades to rich sangrias, Garnier has it all.
On top of this collection of wonderful colors is a nourishing oil composed of three potent ingredients, namely avocado, olive, and shea. These substances are widely used in hair care products, and for a good reason – they’re fantastic moisturizers, conditioners, and healers.
Despite its rich color and status as a permanent dye, Garnier Nutrisse Hair Color Creme does wash out rather quickly. If you’re planning to use this coloring agent, be sure to go light on your hair.
Best For: Dark purple or plum hair
- Color boost technology for increased vibrancy
- Triple nourishing oil formula of avocado, olive, and shea
Pros: Works well even on dark hair, nourishes hair as you style it, smells nice, non-drip formula
Cons: Fades fairly quickly despite being a permanent dye
Dye Color for Black Women’s Hair: Buying Guide
Shopping for the best color for black women’s hair can be tricky. It’s not as simple as picking out a color you like and sticking it to your hair. Hair dyes are made of chemicals, which react differently depending on how long the dye is supposed to last, and if you’re not careful, you may find yourself allergic to the dye you just bought.
What Is A Colored Hair Dye?
A colored hair dye is a substance that’s applied to your hair. When this substance comes to rest, it changes the color of your hair to another hue. In the case of black women, who have rich dark hair tones, this usually involves hues of deep blacks and browns.
How Does A Colored Hair Dye Work?
The best color for black women’s hair dyes work differently depending on how long they’re meant to stay. Permanent hair dyes form powerful chemical bonds with your natural hair pigments, while temporary dyes simply apply a coating of color to the surface of your strands.
What Is the Best Color for Black Women’s Hair Dye?
This is a tricky question to answer, as only you can tell what the best color for you is. While I highly recommend sticking within two shades of your natural hair color, this advice goes out the window if you’re looking to experiment with different colors and want a striking look that only novel colors can give.
Types of Colored Hair Dyes
When shopping for the best color for black women’s hair for your hair, you should also keep in mind the permanence of the dye you want to apply to it. There are four major kinds of hair dye, based on how long they stick around. These are permanent hair dye, demi-permanent hair dye, semi-permanent hair dye, and temporary hair dye.
Permanent hair dye is a long-term commitment since – as its name says – permanent hair dye is here to stay. While the name claims it’s permanent, permanent hair dye actually fades away after roughly 6-8 weeks. This stuff forms powerful chemical bonds that are almost impossible to remove without bleaching your hair. If you’re planning to use permanent hair dye, be doubly sure that you’re picking out the best color for black women’s hair for your hair.
Demi-permanent hair dye usually uses low amounts of ammonia. This kind of colored hair dye gently bonds with you hair, providing long-lasting coloring while also giving your hair a different color tone and adding shine.
Semi-permanent hair dye uses no ammonia and needs to be mixed with other substances to be effective. This kind of dye doesn’t use any chemistry as it just applies coating directly to your hair strands. Because of this direct application, semi-permanent hair dye is pretty easy to wash out, and will usually be gone after around 5 washes.
Temporary hair dye is the least “sticky” of these dyes and is a good option if you’re trying out a new best color for black women’s hair for your hair. As its name suggests, this hair dye isn’t adhesive at all and will usually wash out after a single shampoo session.
Features to Look for In Colored Hair Dye for Black Women’s Hair
Buying hair dye can be a tricky affair. The best color for black women’s hair for your hair is the one that’s free from allergens, irritants, and is smooth and gentle on your scalp. The best color for black women’s hair will also last just long enough, whether that’s for months or just for one single session – and it shouldn’t stray too far from your natural hue and color. Here’s what to look out for when buying hair dye.
Only you can decide what the best color for black women’s hair is for you, and part of that decision is how long that color is going to last. Hair dyes today range from (not really) permanent to temporary, and each of these dyes have a specific purpose. If you’d like to try out new colors or just want a quick and easy one-time fix, you can’t go wrong with a permanent dye. If you’re an old hand at this, you may want a permanent dye to save you money and effort.
When coloring dark hair, stylists suggest that you try to stay within two shades of your hair color, whether that’s lighter or darker. This leads to more natural-looking hair, and the colors will blend seamlessly and perfectly for a great look.
However, if you’re looking to experiment with a standout hair color, you can ignore this advise – as long as you’re using a dark-colored hair dye like blue, or purple. Going into lighter colors such as red and orange involves bleaching your hair, and that’s a process that’s best done by a professional.
Irritants and Allergens
Hair dyes use a lot of chemical substances to give your hair luster and shine. However, these same chemicals can cause allergic reactions and can be life-threatening in extreme situations. Common sense needs to prevail here – always check the ingredients of a hair dye you’re planning to get, and make sure you aren’t allergic to any substances within the hair dye.
It’s always, always, always important to do the 48-hour patch test when trying out a new dye. This test is done to thoroughly check if you have any allergies or adverse reactions to a certain hair dye. To do a patch test, apply a small amount of dye to your skin (usually behind the ear or in your inner elbow) and wait 48 hours before washing it off. If you develop any symptoms during these 48 hours, that dye probably isn’t safe for you to use.
Don’t Follow The Box Art!
One rule that you should always be aware of when looking for the best color for black women’s hair for your hair is to not take a dye’s box art as gospel truth. For starters, we can’t be sure of the model’s natural hair color––so it’s dangerous to assume your hair will look exactly the same as it does on the packaging.
Common Questions About the Best color for black women’s hair Dyes
What is hair color level?
Hair color level is a number that stylists use to determine what treatment is best for you. In the world of dyes, hair color levels are a useful indicator of what color your hair will go well with.
The lower the number, the darker the color. Pure black hair sits at hair level 1, while very light blonde hair occupies the highest level of hair color.
Are do-it-yourself dyes hard to use?
Nope! Unless you’re looking for a very specific kind of treatment, you’ll get on just fine with a dye kit in the safety and comfort of your own home. And if you’re having trouble applying hair dye, practice makes perfect, or you could always ask for help.
How do I check if I’m allergic to a certain colored hair dye?
The best way to check if you’re allergic to a certain brand of colored hair dye is to conduct a hair dye patch test. To do this, apply a small amount of dye to your skin––most people prefer to test it behind their ears or in their inner elbows. Leave the dye there for 48 hours and observe if you develop any symptoms or adverse reactions. If you don’t, then you can use that dye as you wish.
Why do colored hair dyes cause allergies?
Colored hair dyes use a chemical called paraphenylenediamine, or PPD. PPD gives hair dye its deep colors and natural look. On the other hand, PPD is also a known irritant and allergen. While PPD is safe, it can cause allergies for people who are sensitive to it – and the darker the hair dye, the more PPD it contains.
Can I use hair dye with tattoos?
Generally, you can. However, if you have (or have ever had) a black henna tattoo, I strongly advise that you refrain from using hair dye. This is due to said tattoos containing a high amount of PPD by themselves. If you add more PPD to this mixture, it can provoke a life-threatening allergic reaction.
How do I protect my skin from hair dye?
If you’re worried about getting dye on your forehead, ears, or nape while coloring your hair, you can apply a petroleum-based moisturizer on the parts you want to protect.
You may also want to look for cheap, disposable gloves while working with hair dye. This stuff sticks easily, and it’s easy to do a lot of damage to your style if your hands have been exposed to hair dye.
Can I dye hair that’s already been colored?
I suggest not doing this. The mixture of chemicals can have unexpected results, with discolored hair being the least of them. Make sure to wash out all chemicals from your hair (preferably with a clarifying shampoo) and let your hair rest for a while before dyeing it again.
How do I dye my hair to look natural?
If you’re going for a natural look, try to stay within two shades of your natural hair color – either lighter or darker.
How do I dye my hair lighter?
Unlike darker hair dyes that add color to your hair, blonde or lightening hair dyes actually bleach your hair. This can be a dangerous process as wrong application can cause permanent hair damage. If you’re planning to proceed with this process, I suggest buying from a tried-and-true brand, or better yet, visit your local hairstylist.
Should I shampoo before using colored hair dye?
For best results, it’s best to start from scratch when dyeing your hair. To that end, use a clarifying shampoo on your hair to remove any residue from other products as well as to even hair porosity. You can follow this up with a moisturizer or conditioner to replace lost water from the clarifying shampoo.
Should I shampoo after using colored hair dye?
That depends. For professionally-done hair, it’s best to wait up to 72 hours before washing your hair. However, some do-it-yourself kits work super fast – and need to be rinsed off very quickly. As a rule of thumb, follow the instructions that your dye kit comes with. Use the Biolage purple shampoo because it neutralizes warm tones that make hair brassy.
Should I buy special shampoo for my dyed hair?
If you want to maintain your hair color and get the most out of your dyes, then investing in a special shampoo is well worth it.
Can I swim in a pool after dyeing my hair?
Unless you want your hair color to go crazy, avoid pools for at least 2 weeks. The chlorine in pools does a great job of keeping germs and bacteria at bay, but it will also mess up the chemistry of your hair dye leading to unnatural-looking hair. To restore the natural pH balance of your hair, use a good neutralizing shampoo.
Enjoy Your New Best color for black women’s hair Dye
Whether it’s for a touch-up for your current hair, or you want to shake things up and try a new color, hair dyes are here to stay. Thanks to modern technology, we’ve got a variety of dyes on our hands, ranging from almost any color to permanent and even single-use dyes. With that in mind, finding your best color for black women’s hair dye is sure to be a challenging yet fun task, and I wish you luck in your search!
Mel is a licensed Chemist in New Jersey who has worked in several cosmetics companies and has years of experience formulating hair care and beauty products. She uses her knowledge in cosmetics to distinguish and find the best products to recommend to Union Of Barber’s readers. When Mel’s not writing, you can find her walking her dogs or cooking and baking at home!