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How to Dye Dark Hair Without Bleach

Hair Color Tutorials

How to Dye Dark Hair Without Bleach How to Dye Dark Hair Without Bleach How to Dye Dark Hair Without Bleach

When you have dark hair, sometimes you might feel as though your light-haired friends get to have all the hair color fun. After all, having to use bleach to lighten your strands before you can achieve your desired hair color can be a drag, not to mention damaging. If only there were a way to color dark hair sans bleaching it. Oh, wait—there is! Yup, if you’re looking for hair dye for dark hair that works without bleach, we’d like to introduce you to a few holy grail hair coloring products. Want to learn more? Read on for our bleach-less dye picks.


The first option for coloring dark hair without bleach is to use temporary hair color that’s made to work with a dark base color! These hair dyes are specifically formulated to be vibrant and true without having to lighten your dark strands prior. They’re also super convenient for experimenting since they wash out with one shampoo.

L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color: Available in 14 shades, this temporary hair makeup has a gentle, leave-in formula that offers one day color. You can play with one, two, three, or more colors without the need for bleach or gloves.

How to use it: Place a towel around your shoulders to protect clothing. With your fingertips, apply a dime-sized amount onto a thin, dry, section of hair. Comb or brush hair to distribute the color. Air dry or blow-dry the color and style as desired.

L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray: You can also opt for a spray formula like this one, which is available in 10 shades. The temporary hair color spray allows you to instantly create bold looks without the commitment since it washes out in just one shampoo. Each shade is formulated to allow for vivid color on all hair types—no bleach required.

How to use it: Shake the can well before each use. Hold it four to six inches from dry hair and spray. Wait a few minutes for the color to dry completely. Tip: Don't spray too much at once! The color becomes more visible as it dries.


Perhaps you would like your hair dye for dark hair to last longer that one shampoo but still don’t want to commit to a permanent hair change. Enter semi-permanent hair color—more specifically, the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color. The line features four shades specifically formulated for dark hair colors. The semi-permanent hair dye is also ammonia-free and lasts through four to eight shampoos—the perfect amount of time to test drive a fun hair hue.

How to use it: Choose the sections of your hair you want to color to customize your look and apply according to the included instructions. Wait for 15 to 30 minutes; then rinse and style as usual.


What if you want your hair color change to stand the test of time? Well, it’s all about looking for shades that will show up on top of your dark strands. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to go for colors that are darker than your starting shade, or at least stay in the same family! Need some recommendations? Here are a few of our favorite permanent hair dyes for dark hair that won’t require breaking out the bleach. Make sure to follow the application instructions that come with whichever dye you choose since they may be different depending on the dye.

For edgy black strands…try the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference in Ultimate Black or Black Sapphire.

For a rich brown color…try the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying Shine Permanent Hair Color in Cool Darkest Brown or Dark Ash Brown.

For a statement red…try the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Rich Mahogany or Deep Burgundy.

For a trendsetting purple…try the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Midnight Violet or Purple Smoke.

Next up: Speaking of coloring your strands at home with permanent hair color, if you’re new to the game, you may need a little guidance. Learn everything you need to know from our article, 10 At-Home Hair Color Tips for a Gorgeous New Hue.