9 Best Red Hair Dyes For Dark Hair, Cosmetologist-Reviewed – 2024

Dye your dark locks in the comfort of your home with organic and vibrant red dyes.

Reviewed by Lindsay Loo, Cosmetologist
Written by Shiboli Chakraborti, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Aditi Naskar, MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness
Fact-checked by Ramona Sinha, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Getting your dark hair colored red is a task full of struggle as it is difficult to get on, easy to fade, and prone to damage too. Cons about red are the fading, it’s a high maintenance hair colour, and you need to invest in at home care. That’s why you need the best red hair dye for dark hair. With these, the hair dyeing process becomes easier, and you can sit back and chill and easily become a redhead despite having naturally dark hair. If you don’t believe it, scroll down to check the 12 best red hair dyes that we have listed for dark hair. So whether you belong to the brown hair category or black hair, these excellent dyes will have you covered. We promise these are worth it!

Top Picks
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Top Choice:SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely go intense! – Radiant Copper
Price on Amazon
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Best Chemical-Free:Manic Panic – Vampire Red
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Best Easy-To-Use Hair Color:L'Oreal Excellence HiColorHiLights – Red Highlights
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Best Permanent Hair color:Revlon ColorSilkLuminista – Red
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Best For Gray Coverage:L'Oreal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color
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Best For Salon-Like Results:Vidal Sassoon Ultra Vibrant Color – 6RR Runway Red
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Best Nourishing Formula:Creme of Nature Exotic Shine Color – Intensive Red 7.6
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Best Long-Lasting Formula:Splat Midnight Ruby
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Best Ammonia-Free Hair Color:Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color – 64 Ruby Red
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Best Red Hair Dyes For Dark Hair

The Soft Sheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Ultra Vibrant Hair Color offer intense results on dark hair. This highly pigmented, non-drip hair color provides 100% gray coverage while boosting hair shine. This anti-drying cream-gel’s breakthrough formula is enriched with olive oil that protects the stands by conditioning them and also helps promote your hair health. It delivers vibrantly visible results on dark hair. This perfectly balanced product contains dye and color and shine boosters and is developed for women of color. It complements all skin tones and leaves your hair looking smooth and soft. In this YouTube video of a tester’s experience, you will find a detailed review of the SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely go intense! – Radiant Copper

Weight: 0.8 Ounces | Hair Type: All | Color: Radiant Copper | Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.2 x 6.5 inches

Pros

  • Vibrant
  • Softens the hair
  • Covers grays
  • Delivers intense shine

Cons

  • May make the hair feel straw-like

Our Tester's Experience

"This hair dye works effectively on my locs, providing good coverage and leaving my hair with a nice sheen. It covers grays and adds softness to the hair strands without affecting hair health negatively."


protip_icon Trivia
Only 2% of the world population have natural red hair. That is why red hair dyes are so popular.


Best Chemical-Free:Manic Panic – Vampire Red

4.1
Manic Panic – Vampire Red Image: Manic Panic

The Manic Panic hair dye in the shade Vampire Red imparts burgundy tones to virgin dark hair. This semi-permanent hair dye stays on top of the hair shaft without coming in contact with the cortex of the hair and lasts for 4-6 weeks. This hair dye offers some restorative care as it contains conditioners that nourish and add moisture to the hair.

This hair dye is free of additives like parabens, ammonia, gluten, and phthalate, making it safe to apply. This vibrant hair shade is non-drying and can be used without a color developer. The product also promotes smooth, silky hair. For the best results, it is recommended to pre-lighten your hair with a suitable bleaching kit. To know more about the results of the Manic Panic – Vampire Red hair dye, go ahead and click on this video of a reviewer’s experience.

Weight: 4.16 Ounces | Color: Vampire Red | Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches

Pros

  • Ammonia-free
  • PPD-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Resorcinol-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Ready to use
  • Lasting results
  • No bad odor

Cons

  • Stains a lot

Our Tester's Experience

"This hair dye delivers vibrant color and the results can be striking, especially under black light. The application time can be adjusted for the color intensity. The formula does not cause any scalp irritation but be prepared for some staining."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 5,623 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.


The L’OrealHiColorHiLights offers intense red highlights with no brassiness. This easy-to-use hair color requires no pre-lightening or bleaching of hair to get the desired results. Its breakthrough technology provides results in just 30 minutes by lifting the color up to three levels to leave you with a consistent and beautiful shade. The rich and creamy formula is non-drip and does not dry out the hair. It is true to color and does not fade quickly. This dye is available in three hi-lift red hues. 

Weight: 4.16 Ounces | Color: Vampire Red | Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Intense color
  • Long-lasting
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Can be damaging

protip_icon Pro Tip
Put a shower cap after applying the product to avoid unwanted rinsing off.

SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely go intense! – Radiant Copper
Top Choice
Manic Panic – Vampire Red
Best Chemical-Free
L'Oreal Excellence HiColorHiLights – Red Highlights
Best Easy-To-Use Hair Color
Weight 0.8 Ounces 4.16 Ounces 4.16 Ounces
Hair Type All --
Color Radiant Copper Vampire Red Vampire Red
Dimensions 3.7 x 2.2 x 6.5 inches 2.36 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches 2.36 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches
Rating
Reviews2,5225,623226
Price-$13.87$22.89
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

The Revlon ColorSilkLuminista is a permanent at-home hair coloring kit that offers excellent coverage to dark hair. The Hi Intense System breakthrough formula offers vibrant and shimmering hues to naturally dark hair while eliminating brassiness. Its gentle formula is infused with mango butter to add a glossy shine while providing conditioning effects, making your hair healthy and bouncy. Its fiery shade is ideal for anyone looking to drastically change their appearance. For a visual demonstration of the Revlon ColorSilkLuminista – Red, go ahead and check out this YouTuber’s video of a tester’s experience.

Weight: 4.4 Ounces | Number of Items: 1 | Color: 150 RED - MX | Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 2 x 6.1 inches

Pros

  • Ammonia-free
  • Conditions the hair
  • Imparts shine
  • Minimizes brassiness

Cons

  • Fades quickly
  • Can be damaging

Our Tester's Experience

"This hair dye is a reliable choice for dark hair, giving a rich color and covering the black. Its user-friendly application process and nourishing conditioner are a bonus for me. The color lasts for a long time and does not affect the hair health."




L’Oreal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color kit contains conditioning color gel, conditioning developer cream, aromatic shimmer serum, extra shot of pure dyes, conditioning shampoo, and power shimmer conditioner. The hair kit provides excellent gray coverage and long-lasting color. This multi-faceted hair color is known for edgy colors, shimmering colors. This fiery shade is ideal for all hair types.

Weight: 4.35 Ounces | Number of Items: 1 | Hair Type: Dandruff | Color: 6RR Runway Red | Product Dimensions: 6.02 x 9.13 x 16.14 inches

Pros

  • Long-lasting color
  • Easy-to-use
  • Available in 50 shades

Cons

  • Can be damaging

Our Tester's Experience

"I've been loyal to this red hair dye for years and love its coverage without the need for pre-lightening. It fades gracefully into lovely red hues, allowing extended periods between touch-ups. It is ideal for concealing grays around my hairline."


protip_icon Pro Tip
Before applying this product, wash your hair with a mild shampoo to cleanse dirt or oils without any residue for better coverage and results.


The Vidal Sassoon Ultra Vibrant Color in the shade 6RR Runway Red is a professional hair color that provides salon-like results. This right blend of pigments offers rich and bold color. This ready-to-use hair color is easy to apply and delivers an extended stay of up to 8 weeks. It comes with a color-preserving conditioner that keeps this bright shade looking vibrant and also adds shine and softness to the hair.

Weight: 4.35 Ounces | Number of Items: 1 | Hair Type: Dandruff | Color: 6RR Runway Red | Product Dimensions: 6.02 x 9.13 x 16.14 inches

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Highly pigmented
  • Easy to apply
  • Nourishes the hair
  • Does not stain the skin

Cons

  • Not true to color
  • Can be damaging


The Creme of Nature Exotic Shine Color offers a deep red hue to naturally dark hair. The long-lasting formula provides conditioning effects post-coloring with its ultra-nourishing ingredients. This red hair dye contains argan oil, a nourishing ingredient, that intensely conditions the strands to leave them soft, smooth, and silky while locking in the hair color. It also contains hair strengthening vitamins that go deep into the hair shafts to deliver rich color while preventing damage, dryness, and breakage. The innovative Microsphere advanced technology makes your hair strong, healthy, and glossy.

Weight: 4.35 Ounces | Number of Items: 1 | Hair Type: Dandruff | Color: 6RR Runway Red | Product Dimensions: 6.02 x 9.13 x 16.14 inches

Pros

  • Intense color
  • Prevents damage
  • Conditions the hair
  • Strengthens the hair
  • Long-lasting
  • Imparts shine

Cons

  • Can be damaging


No products found.

Splat Midnight Ruby provides extremely vivid color while leaving you with conditioned and soft hair. This semi-permanent hair color contains a shimmering conditioner with no harmful chemicals that can cause hair damage. The Deep Reconstructor conditions and refortifies the hair cuticles.

This extended stay hair color is easy to apply and made with natural ingredients. It contains baobab seed oil and quinoa extracts that strengthen the hair strands and impart shine while locking the color to provide a decent stay. This red hair dye is a perfect shade if you want a dramatic look. It lasts up to 30 washes and is vegan and cruelty-free.

Color: Midnight Ruby

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Imparts shine
  • Ultra-conditioning

Cons

  • Stains a lot


The Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color adds a burst of vibrant red shades to each strand. It contains a rich blend of natural ingredients that add shine, softness, and silkiness to hair while locking in the classic hair color. The aloe vera in the hair dye nourishes the hair and keeps it healthy. This product does not contain harmful additives like alcohol, ammonia, and peroxide that can damage the hair and cause dryness.

Weight: 5.1 Ounces | Color: 064 Ruby Red | Product Dimensions: 5.12 x 1.57 x 5.12 inches

Pros

  • Ammonia-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Peroxide-free
  • Prevents hair damage
  • Does not bleed much

Cons

  • None

Our Tester's Experience

"I recently experimented with this product and the application was simple and easy. The color is very vibrant and offers good coverage. The scent is quite pleasant and does not overwhelm the senses."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

There are various options available in red hair color regarding colors and brands, however a few things to research before buying red hair dye. We are providing a buying guide that will help you in selecting the best red hair dye.

Things To Look Out for When Buying A Red Hair Dye

  • Ingredients

Red hair dye can make your hair dry out so it would be the ideal choice to go for the product that includes extra conditioner, moisturizer, and nourishment features. You can go with the hair dye that is chemicals free and includes more natural ingredients.

  • Ingredients To Avoid

You must select a red hair dye that is PPD-free, Paraben-free, gluten-free, phthalate-free, resorcinol-free, and cruelty-free. You must use ammonia-free hair color as it reduces chances of allergies and foul smell.

  • Permanent Vs Semi-Permanent

While semi-permanent hair colors do not open your hair shafts and deliver a more natural color to your strands, permanent hair colors do in order to provide deep color. Additionally, since they don’t include bleach, they won’t lighten your natural hair color. However, they require frequent touch-ups and fade over time, which can harm and dry out your hair.

  • Skin Tone

If you want to get a more appealing look then you must choose the red hair dye color according to your skin undertone. For instance, fair-skinned ladies with pink and cool undertones can go for lighter red colors. Medium-toned women with olive skin can flaunt darker shades like auburn or burgundy hair, which are both reddish-brown. Darker shades of red, including burgundy and mahogany, are ideal for people with dark skin tones with warm undertones.

  • Darker Shade

Since fading can occur, think about dying your hair a shade or two darker than you actually want to keep the color for longer. The color of your natural hair should also be taken into consideration when choosing a hair dye, as the dye’s final appearance is greatly influenced by the color of your existing hair. This procedure shouldn’t be too challenging because the majority of dyes come with a color chart that you can use as a guide.

  • Lasting Power

The simplest option is to choose a permanent color and cut back on washing your hair to a few times per week because semi-permanent colors will fade more quickly and washing your hair frequently will also cause the dye to bleed more.

Choosing the right red shade requires lots of research and selection of a quality brand that delivers lasting results without fading easily. Here are some points to consider while buying one. 

Things To Look Out For When Buying A Red Hair Dye

  • Skin Tone

It is essential to understand your skin tone before applying any hair color. For fair to medium skin tones, metallic shades of red and copper look good. For dark skin tones, darker hues of red, such as burgundy and mahogany, are perfect.

  • Permanent Vs. Semi-permanent

Permanent hair colors open your hair shafts to provide deep color, while semi-permanent hair colors do not open your hair shafts and offer a more natural color to your strands. They also do not contain bleach and will not lighten your natural hair color. However, they fade quickly and require frequent retouching, which can cause dryness and damage to your hair.

  • Ammonia-free

Lindsay Loo, a cosmetologist says, “Go for an ammonia-free hair color to reduce the chances of allergic reactions and foul smell.” If you want your red hair color to last longer, scroll down for a few helpful tips.

How To Make Your Red Hair Color Last Longer

  • Wash Your Hair With Cool Water: Wash your colored hair with cool water. This is because warm water swells up the hair cuticles and causes the hair color to fade faster by seeping out.
  • Apply UV Protective Serums: Sun exposure can fade your hair color. Hence, use a sun-protective serum or lotion to protect your hair. You can also consider using a shine-boosting serum to keep the color bright and vibrant.
  • Dry Shampoo: Avoid washing your red hair with shampoo regularly as it will wash away the color faster. Instead, opt for a dry shampoo between washes to keep your hair smelling fresh.
  • Avoid Heating Tools: Avoid frequent use of heating tools while hair styling. Such devices cause the red color to wear out quickly due to the excessive heat transfer to your strands. Also, always use a heat protectant before using any heating device.

Infographic: How To Care For Red-Dyed Hair

As lovely as the idea of being a redhead sounds, keeping up with such a vibrant color is challenging. Red is a tricky hair color to maintain and manage. Many hair dyes can be damaging, and the color fades away faster. Several factors contribute to the longevity of hair color, including post-coloring hair care. Check out this infographic on post-coloring hair maintenance tips to help retain the color longer and avoid hair damage.

How To Care For Red-Dyed Hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

The natural shade of dark hair looks lovely, but at the same time, it may be challenging to color such hair. So invest in the best red hair dyes that provide intense shade to the hair, minimize color fade, and offer a vibrant look. The red hair dyes listed above cover the grays, prevent damage and dry hair, and eliminate the brassiness. Some red hair dyes also add shine and nourishment to the hair. To keep your hair hydrated and retain its shine, go for this SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely go intense! – Radiant Coppe. You can choose the Manic Panic – Vampire Red for a chemical-free option that also helps soften your hair, and to minimize brassiness and long-lasting color, use the Revlon ColorSilkLuminista – Red. Lindsay Loo says, “Even when red is your hair goal, please note that some of these shades can be considered high maintenance. Best at-home advice, use a toning shampoo and conditioner in the red family you reside in. These products help to maintain vibrancy and tone while in-between color touch-ups.” Also ensure to invest in high-quality hair dyes or the ones that are suggested by hair experts, as they are sure to give promising results. You can also try dyes suggested by celebrity hair colorists if you want but be sure to read their reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best natural red hair dyes for dark hair?

Pure henna powder is organic and perfect for getting rich red hair color. You can also opt for the Manic Panic Vampire Red shade or the Revlon ColorSilk Luminista Red for your dark hair. These colors are chemical-free and non-drying, and minimize brassiness.

What is a suitable, temporary red hair dye for dark hair?

Several temporary red hair dyes like the L’Oréal Excellence Hicolor Hilights
and the Splat Midnight Ruby are available online for instant results.

If we use red hair dye on dark hair, do we need to bleach it first for the moderately dark results?

No. It is possible to achieve red hair without bleaching only if you have the advantage of virgin hair. However, if your hair is resistant or previously colored, you need to bleach it before dyeing to achieve the suitable shade of red.

How do you get red hair dye off your scalp?

There are several methods to remove the dye from your scalp, and the most popular are vinegar and baking soda. First, massage your scalp with equal proportions of vinegar and baking soda and let it sit for 5 mins. Then rinse the scalp thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skin care coach who enjoys all things related to hair, keeping a close eye on the newest hair trends. She advises that the right dye can give you dark, rich, and luxurious red tresses. She compiled this list of the best red hair dye for dark hair after extensive research and analysis of online reviews.


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