We’re deep into lockdown and our roots are well and truly making themselves known. With salons shut, the only option for many of us – if we’re not ready or don’t want to let our natural hair colour grow through – is to use the best hair dye and do it ourselves.
There are more than enough products on the market to assist you with whatever colour transformation you’re after. If it’s just a touch-up, or a basic all-over colour change, you’re more than qualified to have a go yourself but remember to do a patch test prior to applying any product.
Before you choose the best hair dye, it’s worth thinking a little about what colour you should go for.
A general rule of thumb is:
For the most extreme colour changes, try matching a light natural base and brown eyes, or vice versa. This will create the greatest contrast.
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Why we love it: If you’re looking for a brand that’s going to deliver on every possible hair dye desire you could have, L’Oreal is the brand for you. What began in 1909, L’Oreal’s product range included the first concept for a synthetic hair dye, later moving onto cream colour before its ‘Instant Saver’ and ‘Trend Collection’ more recently.
Many of L’Oreal’s products are incredibly easy to use for first-time at-home dyers, or those of us who have tried all the brands there are. If you’re looking for a permanent dye, a semi-permanent dye, temporary or just a root touch up, this is the place to start. We recommend specifically the Magic Retouch Temporary Instant Root Concealer Spray which costs only £6 and is the quickest, most simple fix for any root dilemmas.
The L’Oreal website also, very cleverly allows you to virtually try any shade to see which one would suit you most before you take the plunge.
£6.49 | Buy now from Superdrug
Why we love it: The Clairol brand is a great place to start for home hair dying. It’s been around since the 1930s when Joan Gelb saw the potential for a product that would take action on the hair shaft, therefore creating a softer dye and ultimately concealing grey hairs.
Since then, the brand has maintained the highest level of quality and inclusivity; stating its mission is to help make every woman feel beautiful, confident and to live her life colourfully. Clairol was the first brand to create a home dye/tint/shampoo/colour product, and from there, the rest is history.
Clairol’s Nice n Easy range is a go-to for anyone looking to dye their hair for the first time, or maybe even the hundredth time. It’s a staple hair dye and comes in an easy-to-use creme, offering an impressive 54 shades.
Around £18 | Buy now from eSalon
Why we love it: If you’re after a modern and different take on the best hair dye, try eSalon. The brand allows you to create your perfect hair dye by creating a hair profile online. This includes adding a recent photo of yourself and answering a couple of questions about what you want from your hair dye. The company’s teams of experts then craft you your own unique hair dye, before it gets delivered to your door, stress-free.
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The whole creation costs around £18 and once your personalised product has been delivered, you’re able to access any advice or guidance from experts. eSalon has created more than 194,000 individual colours, and are totally led by experts so your hair is in the safest of hands.
£4.99 | Buy now from Superdrug
Why we love it? Over thirty years ago, the first John Frieda salon opened in London. From there, the brand has continued to develop and create products for those of us wanting to change our hair from the comfort of our own homes. This brand has always specialised in making everyday colours more vibrant, bold and impressive with its Brilliant Brunette, Radiant Red, and Sheer Blonde ranges.
Today, John Frieda will not only help you colour your hair beautifully, but will also look after and nourish it with its shampoos, conditioners, and toners all with specific colours in mind so your hair will feel completely spoilt.
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If you’re after something quick and easy to touch up once you’ve started colouring your hair, we’d recommend the Root Blur range. Simply brush the colour onto your roots to blend away any unwanted greys or original root colour. For blonde hair, you can also buy the Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Spray. This naturally lifts your hair colour gradually. We’re also big fans of the brand’s precision foam hair dye as it’s super easy to use.
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Manic Panic offers pretty much any colour ranging from pastels to primaries to UV hair dye, and one of their best hair dye features is that every colour they offer is completely vegan and cruelty-free. Their hair dyes are also all designed to moisturise your hair whilst colouring, a real 2-for-1 situation.
Depending on the colour you’re after, we recommend their High Voltage Classic Formula Colour which comes in handy resealable pots or even mini tubes if you’re looking for a multicoloured effect.
Why we love it? Similarly to Manic Panic, Bleach London is all about bright and head-turning colour, but they’re best known for their toners which can ease your hair, without using a product as potentially harsh as bleach or dye, into the candyfloss, pastel colours of your dreams.
As its name suggests, the brand also hosts a number of impressive bleaches and ways to bleach; namely the No Bleach Bleach Kit which works naturally over time to lift the colour of your hair.
Similarly to Manic Panic, all Bleach London products have been made both vegan and cruelty-free, as well as with sustainability on their minds, massively limiting their use of single-use plastics.
Libby graduated from Bournemouth University with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. She’s worked as a researcher and writer for Heart Radio as well as a features writer for a Somerset newspaper. She’s since taken time out to travel, manage a hotel restaurant, do a lot of dog walking, and now works in London’s West End