Outgrown roots, faded color, and lackluster strands might be tempting you to grab the dye and color your own hair right about now. While you know you probably shouldn’t, sometimes curiosity and frustration wins against logic — plus, those roots aren’t gonna do themselves in quarantine. So if you're determined to color your own hair, the best box dyes will ensure you get the most fail-proof color and end up with a dye job you actually like, according to reviewers.
But before you grab a bowl and start mixing your formula, there are a few things worth keeping in mind. It’s common knowledge that dye isn’t the best thing for your hair, so you’ll want to ensure you have something like a deep conditioning mask or a reparative treatment ready for the days and weeks following. Products like this will also help keep your hair healthy up until you can go to the salon again, which any colorist or stylist will appreciate.
You'll also want to look into the types of hair dye available, since you have multiple options (e.g. semi-, demi-, permanent, and temporary color). The difference between them lies in how they work to color your hair and how long they last. Demi- and semi-permanent are related, but according to Madison Reed, demi-permanent is better at covering roots and grays while the latter is better suited for a refresh. The other two types of hair dyes — permanent and temporary — work exactly how they sound: The former penetrates the hair and stays that way while the latter comes out within one to two washes.
But the most highly suggested tip of all when it comes to dyeing your own hair is to avoid doing something too drastic. "One of the biggest mistakes you can make when dyeing your hair at home is trying to make a big change without understanding the way hair processes and what it actually takes to get to that color," Garnier celebrity colorist Nikki Lee told TZR in 2020. "It’s best to leave big color changes to the professionals." In other words, giving yourself balayage, bleaching and toning your strands, or going from super dark hair to super light (or vice versa) should probably be on hold until quarantine is over.
Ready to let your inner colorist take the reins? Ahead, see the best permanent and semi-permanent box dyes, according to reviewers, for DIY-ing a new color at home.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Permanent Hair Dye
This line from Garnier has received 1,508 five-star reviews from users, many who say the color is long-lasting and easy to apply. The formula comes in 43 different colors and features avocado, olive, and shea oils to protect hair follicles. It also comes with a small ampoule of grapeseed fruit oil to pour into the mix for extra nourishment.
The coolest part about this brand is its quiz that customizes your dye package for you based on the color you want and benefits you'd like for your hair. You can also save money by signing up for a subscription. While this particular hair color has 400+ five-star reviews, if brown isn't the shade you're going for Madison Reed's other colors have hundreds of five-star reviews too.