Best at home hair color

The 9 best at-home hair dye kits, according to viral TikTok colorists

This is a beloved brand for many, Parks included, who revealed that her TikTok famous black and red look was due to using the vegan hair color, sold at Sally Beauty.

The Best At-Home Hair Colors for Your DIY Dye Session

Our favorite is Madison Reed’s Radiant Hair Color Kit.

Erin is a Brooklyn-based beauty editor and has been with InStyle since 2016. She covers all facets of beauty for the site.

At Home Hair Dye Kits

Whether you’re an expert at hair color or are planning to dye your own hair for the first time, there are more products than ever to make at-home hair coloring a breeze. But before you break out the cape and gloves, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right product for your hair.

When searching for the best at-home hair dyes, look for options that provide long-lasting color and are easy to use. You’ll also want to consider the ingredients and whether the color is permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary. We researched at-home hair kits with formulas that are packed with nourishing ingredients, keep your hair soft and healthy, and don’t cause damage. In addition, we looked for kits that are suitable for natural hair, damaged hair, and gray hair. To find the best products, we consulted hair care experts to get their tips to help you get the next best thing to a salon-quality finish at home.

“A good rule to follow for best results is to stay within two levels (lighter or darker) of your natural shade,” says Deb Rosenberg, professional colorist and AVP of Technical Education, PPD for L’Oréal. “When covering gray, choose shades that are balanced with natural tones, most brands will have an indication on the label with the words ‘neutral’, ‘natural’, or the number ‘0’”, explains Rosenberg. From permanent root touch-up kits to all-over color that leaves hair soft and shiny, we found the best at-home hair dye kits from some of the most trusted brands. Madison Reed’s Radiant Hair Color Kit took our number one spot due to its nourishing blend of ingredients that deliver vibrant color. The brand also has a color match quiz that lets you discover your best shade.

To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best hair dye kits currently on the market.

Our Picks

  • Best Overall: Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit
  • Best for Natural Hair: Dark and Lovely Fade Resist Permanent Hair Color
  • Best for Allover Color: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour
  • Best for Damaged Hair: Schwarzkopf Professional Keratin Color Permanent Hair Color
  • Best for Root Touch Ups: L’Oréal Paris Root Rescue Permanent Hair Color
  • Best At-Home Hair Color for Extra Shine: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Permanent Hair Color Creme
  • Best for Gray Coverage: Clairol Professional Advanced Gray Solutions Semi Permanent Hair Color
  • Best At-Home Customizable Hair Color: Color&Co. Personalized Colorbox

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The 9 best at-home hair dye kits, according to viral TikTok colorists

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Hair colors palette as background with a TikTok logo and three brands of hair colors on top

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Get to the root of your hair color problems from home.

In a time when going to the salon isn’t just a hassle but may be limited due to COVID concerns, many are taking hair color into their own hands — literally. With the help of box dyes, people have been doing their own do’s forever, but many with questionable results.

However, those who have been on TikTok recently have seen some at-home hair color disasters, either in videos from the person themselves or in viral reenactments by accounts run by Siiri Parks (@siiriparks), Theresa Van Dam (@theresavandamstylist) and Taylor Burgos (@madeandtaylored), now dominating the subsection of the app dubbed HairTok.

Since we don’t want your dye job going viral for all the wrong reasons, we decided to have a chat with each of these hair colorists to see if they could provide us with any tips and tricks for a successful at-home dye session sans major fails. We asked them each to recommend their favorite brands, too, so you can revive your color between appointments or try your hand at an at-home color as safely as possible.

Is is safe to color your hair at home?

A box hair dye and other hair coloring accessories

This brand was recommended across the board as one of the best. Not only do they have a great shade range, but as mentioned above the kit comes with stain removers, a post-treatment mask and everything else you’ll need to color your locks at home.

“My favorite for virgin hair I would probably have to say would be IGK hair color,” said Parks, who actually uses this brand herself. “It’s a beautiful color match and makes my hair super soft and super shiny.”

2. Kristin Ess

A box of Kristen Ess hair color

This is a great brand to use for a gloss treatment, which is even more temporary than semi-permanent dye, but can be great to use between professional treatments or as a fun tint to test the colored waters.

“She’s also a celebrity stylist, so her tools and her color line is made by a professional,” said Parks. “Since glosses are non permanent, that’s a really good way, especially for lighter haired people, to experiment with going like a touch darker or maybe giving themselves like a rose gold or a nice honey blonde. It’s a really good way to experiment without the permanence of dye.”

3. Manic Panic

Three tubs of Manic Panic hair dye

This is a beloved brand for many, Parks included, who revealed that her TikTok famous black and red look was due to using the vegan hair color, sold at Sally Beauty.

“I love Manic Panic,” she said. “Whenever everyone was obsessing over my black and red hair last year, the red that was on my hair was literally Vampire Red by Manic Panic.”

4. Arctic Fox

An array of Arctic Fox hair dye

If you want to go for a vivid shade of red, blue, purple or any other rainbow hue, a top brand is Arctic Fox, as recommended by our pros. It is sold at Sally Beauty in a range of shades, which is also one of Van Dam’s recs.

5. Moroccan Oil

A tube of lilac Moroccan Oil conditioner

For stunning color and healthy, shiny locks, our professionals love Moroccan Oil, and specifically their color depositing hair masks. These are semi-permanent, and like glosses, wash out after a few shampoos.

“Moroccan oil also makes a really amazing color depositing hair mask, and you can get that at Sephora,” said Burgos. “They have regular natural tones, and brighter color-depositing colors, so you can do like a brunette, blonde or red, or you can get a more vivid color like pink, red, green, purple — whatever strikes your fancy.”

6. Wella Professionals

A tube of Wella hair dye

This is another gloss brand, that you can easily apply yourself for a touch of stunning color and shine that washes out after a few shampoos. It is sold on Amazon and comes in an array of natural and bright colors, too.

“I actually got a chance to use Wella first-hand on one of my friends and it was a beautiful tone,” said Parks. “It was easy application and really liquidity so it spread especially well.”

7. ion Color

Two boxes of ion dye

This one is used by professionals and DIY-hair colorists alike, which is why our experts recommended this brand. It is sold in a variety of vivid shades and natural hues at Sally Beauty, easily accessible to purchase.

“I have used ion before, and I’ve actually heard of a lot of salons that recently have been introducing ion and Wella into their salon settings,” said Parks. “I believe that they have like an external professional line that professionals have been using.”

8. dpHUE

A bottle of brown color conditioner

To find a hue for you, the brand dpHUE has some great options that won’t leave your hair as damaged as trying to do full color on your own. This is why Burgos likes it, especially for gray coverage and root touchups.

“dpHUE is a good one that a lot of people use, and they also make a lot of wonderful spray colors to cover your grays,” said Burgos. “I’ve also seen people on TikTok just spray their entire head and change from blonde to brunette or whatever they want to do.”

9. Madison Reed

A tube of orange color conditioner

This salon-quality brand is a great bet for both permeant and semi-permanent colors, approved for use at home and designed by a reputable salon. They also have a new gloss treatment that is great for a subtle change or a refresh between colors.