September 18, 2020

9 Best Red Hair Dyes for Blonde and Dark Hair

9 Best Red Hair Dyes for Blonde and Dark Hair

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If you’re looking to add color to your hair that will stand out and show your fiery, edgy, or daring side, then going for a red hue is perfect. Whether you’re looking for bright and intense red tones, luxurious deep red colors, or a more natural-looking brown-reddish blend, then this list of red-dyes-for-hair has all the options you’re looking for.

You might also be looking for the best red dyes for different skin tones. In this list, we rounded up options that can work best for different kinds of situations. Whether your complexion is pale, light, brown, or dark, there’s an option in this list that suits different skin tones well!

Table of Contents

9 Best Red Hair Dyes

Our Pick

For our best pick, we’re going with the Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme Shade 66 True Red (Pomegranate)

The Garnier Nutrisse Nourish Color Crème is a permanent dye that has over 40 different colors. One of those is the shade 66 True Red (Pomegranate). To get the best results for this color, it’s recommended for those with medium to dark blonde hair, and for light to dark brown hair. If you have black hair, then the outcome of this dye might be darker than what’s shown on the box.

This non-drip cream formula stands out for a bunch of reasons, and one of them would be the fruit oil ampoule that’s used alongside the cream. This grape seed oil concentrate deeply nourishes your roots during the coloring process. This makes the red hue stick around longer and makes it more vibrant!

It also comes with an after-color conditioner that’s mixed with different essential oils. This oil blend contains avocado oil, olive oil, and shea oil that helps lock in moisture and nourishes your mane. Expect your locks to be softer, silkier, and have more volume! It’s also great at handling dandruff and itchy scalps!

With this red dye, you don’t have to worry about your gray strands. This formula gives you a 100% gray hair coverage! With the color boost technology in its formula, expect to get the vibrant red hue that you’re aiming for!

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Comes with fruit oil concentrate
  • Comes with after-color conditioner
  • 100% gray coverage
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Those with long, thick hair might need more than 1 product

Best for Experienced Users

L’Oreal Paris is one of the well-known brands when it comes to beauty products, and for good reason. This permanent dye has a fade-defying formula that gives your hair a nice vibrant color for a long time!

The outcome of this red dye will also depend on your natural hair color. If your hair is on the lighter side, then expect a lighter auburn hue, while darker hair will give you a darker auburn hue. Either way, this permanent hair dye will give your hair a natural-looking color!

What makes this product special is its aftercare shine system coupled with its key ingredients of vitamin E, camelina oil, and antioxidants. This will leave your mane feeling silky smooth, shiny, and vibrant for 8 weeks! It also has UV filters in its formula that helps protect your hair from the sun. This is perfect for those who find themselves under the sun a lot!

This gel-like dye also comes with a Care Supreme Conditioner. This helps maintain frizz and vibrancy to your locks and leaves them feeling smooth and nourished!

This product gives you the brownish-red hair color that you’re looking for. On top of its affordable price tag, it’s even great at covering up grey hair. This is our runner-up for the best red hair dye.

Pros

  • Long-lasting results
  • Unique formula gives great shine and vibrancy to hair
  • Has UV filters to protect your hair
  • Affordable and comes with a full kit
  • 100% grey coverage

Cons

  • Might be difficult to use for beginners

Best Vegan Option

If you’re particular about going for vegan options, then this red dye by Arctic Fox is exactly what you’re looking for. As the name implies, it’s a red hair dye that only uses vegan ingredients. There aren’t any harmful chemical ingredients in its formula, no animal by-products, and no animal testing at all!

Its safe formula is great for preventing any hair damage because it has no peroxide, ammonia, and ethyl alcohol. Despite also not having any PPD (paraphenylenediamine), this semi-permanent dye still gives you a long-lasting effect and gives you a bright and fiery red hue! However, you should keep in mind that the longevity of the dye will depend on your hair type and hair care routine.

One unique feature that this product has is that it has a sweet scent that’s uncommon for hair dyes. This is a great pick-up for those who want to avoid red hair dyes that have a strong or distasteful smell. Another big bonus is that 15% of all profits are donated to charities that help in ending animal abuse! Not only will you be getting a sweet-smelling bright shade of red hair, but you’ll also be helping out a good cause!

Pros

  • 100% Vegan
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Semi-permanent dye that lasts you 4-8 weeks
  • Sweet smell

Cons

  • Bright red hue doesn’t match well with darker skin tones

Best for Dark Hair

The Manic Panic Vampire Red Hair Dye is a great option for those who have dark hair. Typically, dyeing your hair red when you have dark-colored hair to begin with is not the best situation if you want to achieve color-accurate red hues from products. This product recommends dark-haired individuals to bleach their hair before applying to get the best results, but applying it on non-bleached hair works just as well and gives you a luxurious burgundy color!

This semi-permanent dye also has conditioning ingredients in its formula and helps moisturize your hair while you dye them! This is great for bleached hair that needs nourishing before getting dyed to achieve that vibrant and lively shine.

This red hair dye is also harmless to your tresses. Its cream formula is 100% vegan, ammonia-free, cruelty-free, PPD free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and phthalate-free. You can apply this dye and leave it overnight, and you don’t even have to worry about it damaging your hair!

One fun feature that this product has is that you can easily mix it with any of the other 49+ shades that Manic Panic has to offer! If you’re looking to play around a bit and mix up some hair colors to get the red hue you’re looking for, then this is a great pick-up!

Pros

  • Works great for those with dark hair
  • Harmless semi-permanent cream dye formula
  • Moisturizes well
  • Can be mixed with other Manic Panic dyes

Cons

  • Burgundy hue doesn’t match with pale and lighter skin tones
  • Might be difficult to apply for some

Best Gentle Formula

What’s great about this semi-permanent hair dye is its non-harmful formula. It has no ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. No need to worry about damaging your hair with this product!

This product gives your hair natural-looking color and proteins, making it also great for covering grey strands. This hair dye gives you long-lasting shine that’s great for the bright red hair tone you might be looking for. The red color this product gives leans on the bright and fiery side. If that’s what you’re looking for in a red hair dye, then this is a great choice.

This non-damaging dye will leave your hair in better condition than how it was before applying. The natural ingredients infused in the formula also treat damages and even give your locks more strength!

Pros

  • 100% safe ingredients
  • Gives shine and strengthens strands
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Comes in a small amount
  • Liquid consistency makes it hard for beginners to apply
  • Bright red color doesn’t work well with darker skin tones

Best for a Natural Look

If you’re looking to get that redhead signature shade kind of look, then this permanent red hair dye by Clairol will make you feel like you’ve been a redhead your entire life. The reddish-brown hue that this dye gives off is perfect for the natural-looking effect that you’re looking for.

This product swears by giving you a healthy-looking and shiny redhead shade that will last you for up to 8 whole weeks. Not only that, but it also has 100% grey coverage. You don’t have to worry about pesky grey strands with this red dye. This dye also works well for any hair color. Lighter shades will give you a subtly brighter tone compared to those with dark hair, but the difference is not that big.

This product is also packaged with an easy application tear-tip bottle and plastic gloves, making this a good option for those who look for convenience and easy-to-use applications.

Pros

  • Gives a natural redhead look
  • Makes hair shiny and healthy-looking
  • Easy to use
  • Lasts a long time

Cons

  • Not recommended for sensitive scalps
  • Causes allergic reactions for some

Best for Long-Lasting Color 

This hair color cream dye by Schwarzkopf is a great option for those who are looking for a luxurious, shiny, and vivid permanent dye on their hair. They offer dyes of different shades and there are a ton of great red shades! For those looking for a rich dark red shade, the 5.22 Ruby Red option is perfect.

This permanent red hair dye gives you a vibrant dark red shade that can last for up to 10 whole weeks. This is great for those who are looking for red hair dyes that will last a long time! This product also comes in a complete kit: color, developer, conditioner, gloves, and a precision applicator. All that for an affordable price!

What also makes this product great is its premium formula that contains UV filters and its patented Diamond Brilliance Serum. The shine that this dye gives works well for all types of hair. Whether you have straight, wavy, curly, or even coarse hair, no need to worry if this hair dye will work great for you!

Another notable feature is that some claimed that they didn’t even have to bleach their hair before using this product to get a great red shade! Although this product still recommends that for you to get the ruby red hair color that you’re looking for, it’s best used for those with light, medium, and dark brown hair.

Pros

  • Gives hair a vivid and luxurious shine
  • Works for all hair types
  • Long-lasting result
  • Affordable with a complete hair color kit
  • Unique formula and ingredients

Cons

  • Needs skill to be applied well
  • Not recommended for weak hair
  • Could be harmful to your hands. Use gloves!
  • Rich dark red shade might be too dark for some

Best Semi-Permanent

What’s great about this product is that you only need 1 application and it can last you for up to 40 washes. That’s great for a semi-permanent solution! You don’t have to worry about any constant restocks which is great!

The vibrant bright red tone that this semi-permanent hair dye gives you can last for up to 8 full weeks. It also comes with a hydra block color conditioner which prevents any fading that’s caused by water. That’s right, water is one of the causes for the fading of dyes. With this special conditioner, that won’t be a problem!

This product is perfect for those who are looking to switch their hair to a scarlet red shade! This semi-permanent solution does not disappoint.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Special conditioner prevents color fading
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not recommended for 50% or more grey hair coverage

Best Value

If you’re looking to get a good bargain from the best red hair dyes, then this permanent dye by L’Oreal Paris is a great pick! What makes the Feria line from L’Oreal Paris different from their Superior Preference line is that this caters to bolder and more fashion-inspired colors. The cherry-like red color that this dye gives is great for those who want to turn their hair dullness into something livelier and more intense!

The color of this dye reds hair pretty well and it works great for those with dark hair and even for those with lighter shades. You don’t really have to bleach your hair for this particular color shade, so the outcome of this dye will likely give you that cherry-red shade that you’re looking for!

Just like the Superior Preference line, this Feria dye also comes with a power shimmer conditioner that boosts the shine and moisture of your hair after dyeing it. Having an ammonia-free solution, this dye won’t give your hair any damage caused by chemical ingredients. Expect to have shinier, vibrant, and moisturized red hair after using this product!

Pros

  • Great value for the color kit it comes with
  • Works well for dark hair
  • Gives bold and vibrant color to hair
  • Affordable and lasts long

Cons

  • Can harm hands so you need to wear gloves
  • Not easy to apply

What is the Best Red Hair Dye for Dark Hair?

When it comes to red hair dyes, the general recommendation would be to bleach your hair a couple of shades lighter if you’re aiming for bright and vibrant red hairs. Bleaching your hair would also ensure that the color intensity and color results will be accurate to what the product intends.

No Bleach

Although, this doesn’t mean that you have to bleach your hair for all red hair dyes. If you’re looking for shades that give you darker reddish hair, then you can skip the bleach and just choose the best red hair dye for your hair color.

From all the best red hair dyes in this list, our pick for the best option for those with dark hair would be the Manic Panic Vampire Red Hair Dye. This product is great for those with dark hair and looking to color their hair with a deep burgundy hue. This dye is also semi-permanent, which is great for those who first want to try out that edgy and fiery red hair look before committing to it!

Moisturizing Formula

What’s also great about this dye is that it has conditioners in its formula. This helps moisturize your hair while you’re coloring them. If you chose to bleach your hair despite this dye working well for dark and unbleached hair, then this formula conditions and helps nourish back your hair after the bleaching process, giving you great shine and vibrancy!

No Harsh Chemicals

A big plus that this product has is that it’s a 100% vegan formula. With no traces of ammonia, animal cruelty, PPD, parabens, gluten, and phthalates, expect this dye to be safe to apply to any type of hair. You can also mix this product with any of the other 49+ shades that Manic Panic has to offer! This can make things more flexible for you to get the right kind of red hair color that you’re looking for.

However, one important thing to note is that this only gives you semi-permanent hair color and it won’t last you as long as you might expect.

If you’re looking to get a shade of red but want it to be permanent, then another great option would be the L’Oreal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color, R57 Cherry Crush (Intense Medium Auburn). This is a great permanent dye solution for brunettes who want to get shiny and vibrant red hair for a longer time!

What Red Hair Dye Lasts the Longest?

Switching your hair to a permanent red hair dye solution is a fun way to bring new life to your appearance. If you already tried to dye your hair to the color red with semi-permanent hair dyes, or if you’re just looking for a great way to change things up for your natural hair and want to go red, then going for a permanent hair dye that lasts long is what you’re probably looking for.

From our best red hair dyes list, our recommendation for the best long-lasting permanent red hair dye would be Schwarzkopf Color Ultime Hair Color Cream, 5.22 Ruby Red. This product gives your hair a luxurious and shiny shade of red that can last for up to 10 full weeks! With its special formula that contains UV filters and its Diamond Brilliance Serum, this formula works great for all hair types and will give your hair a vivid ruby-like shade of red!

With this product, you also don’t need to bleach your hair to get that color-accurate ruby red shade. Although to get the color right, this product still recommends that it’s best for those with light, medium, and dark brown hair.

What Hair Dye Cancels Out Red?

If you’re not feeling that red hair color after dyeing it with either a semi-permanent or permanent dye solution, then you might be looking for ways to get rid of it as soon as possible. Canceling out the color red isn’t as difficult as you might think, but it does depend on the new color shade you want to go for.

When trying to remove hair dye, you could always go far hair dye removers that are specifically formulated to strip dye away and then follow it up with bleaching. Although, if you’re looking for ways to get rid of red colors by dyeing over it, then there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

If you’re looking to dye over your red hair with a dye that’s shades lighter than your red hair, then it’s not as simple as just dyeing over it. You’d probably have to use hair dye removers first and then bleach your hair before you can dye it again. Although when it comes to dyeing your red hair to darker dye shades, the process will be much easier.

Color-Cancelling Shades

In general, when you want to cancel out a specific color, the best color that can cancel it out will be the color that’s opposite from it in the color wheel. If we take a look at the color red in the color wheel, the color that’s directly opposite of it would be the color green.

Dyeing your hair with green dye is a possible way to get rid of red colors in your hair. More or less, you should expect those red shades to neutralize and it could turn your red dye into a darkish brown color. Although, this may leave your hair with a couple of green shades all around, which we assume isn’t something you were going for.

Instead, the technique that stylists use to get rid of red shades is to use the ash shade that matches your red hair shade. Using the right ash shade will neutralize your red hair and makes it possible to dye your hair to a different color. If you want to switch your red hair to a different dark-colored dye, you just have to apply the right ash shade to get rid of the red colors first, and then you can go ahead and apply the new dark-colored dye.

Is Red Hair Dye Damaging?

Red hair dye isn’t different from any other color hair dye when it comes to damaging properties. However, one thing different about the color red is that it’s the biggest dye molecule. This would mean that every shampoo session would tend to strip away red shades faster. This is why maintaining red hair is the most difficult compared to other colors.

Dyes in general are known for possibly damaging your hair alongside the usual bleaching that comes with it. One ingredient that’s known to possibly damage your hair is ammonia, and this is usually present in permanent dyes.

Ammonia in hair dyes helps make the color of the dye stick to your hair. However, ammonia is not necessarily needed for permanent hair dyes to work well and make the color stick for a long time. In fact, there are permanent dye options in this list that are ammonia-free and still do a great job with dyeing!

Ammonia isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so if you want to go for products that do contain ammonia, always make sure to have a deep conditioner stocked up so that you can regularly moisturize your dyed hair throughout its lifespan. If you want to play it safe and go for ammonia-free products, then you can still rest easy knowing that there are also products on this list that are just as good at dyeing!

Conclusion

In this list of the best red hair dyes, our pick would be the Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Creme, 66 True Red (Pomegranate).

The features it has just make it stand out above the rest. Its cream hair dye formula makes it easy to apply for everyone and can work well for all hair types. By combining this with its unique grape seed oil concentrate, your hair will feel extremely nourished during and after application.

On top of that, you complete this dyeing process with the special fruit oil conditioner that also comes with it. Moisture will deeply lock in your strands and add volume, shine, and even takes care of scalp and dandruff problems.

With its formula, you even get its color boost technology that ensures 100% grey coverage, more vibrant colored hair, and you get all that for an affordable price. Without a doubt, this is one of the best products to give you the permanent red hair color you’re looking for!

Our runner-up recommendation for the best red hair dye is L’Oreal Paris Superior Preference Permanent Hair Color, 6AB Chic Auburn Brown. This is a great permanent dye solution for a lot of reasons, and one of those will be its unique ingredients!

This dye has an aftercare shine system that has a mixture of vitamin E, camelina oil, and antioxidants. This will leave your hair vibrant and shiny for up to 8 full weeks. On top of that, it even has UV filters in its formula that’s especially useful for those who are under the sun a lot.

This product also comes with its Care Supreme Conditioner that helps maintain vibrant and smooth hair! As long as you use this conditioner on your new red hair, expect to have a healthy and natural-looking red hair! However, if you don’t have a lot of experience dyeing your hair, this isn’t a product we recommend because it’s not the easiest solution to use.

Another product we recommend is the Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color. This 100% vegan product is an all-around great and safe product for anyone. With its gentle formula, you don’t have to worry about any damaging properties that this product has.

For a semi-permanent dye, this has impressive longevity and can last you for 4-8 weeks. This will greatly depend on your hair type and hair care practices, but it’s still a good feature that you can keep in mind! What’s also great about this sweet-smelling hair dye is that 15% of all profits are donated to charities that work to end animal abuse!

And if you’d prefer a color that isn’t as eye-catching as red, then check out our article on the Best Blue Black Hair Dyes, Best Hair Highlights, and Best Semi Permanent Hair Colors for good options.

But if you’re not quite ready to dye your hair, then we recommend you try a wig out first. Read through our Best Lace Wigs article for options.

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.