Best Red Hair Dye

Red is a color that never goes out of fashion. Especially with hair, you can go so many ways with red.

Whether you prefer a more vintage glam look, an electric bright color, or even a more natural brown-red, there’s a shade out there just for you. 

There are different formulas as well — ones that wash out easier for the beginners, or for people who prefer to change their looks more often. 

Then, there are more permanent ones for the types who like sticking to one signature color. 

In this list, we’ve narrowed down the search for your best red hair dye brand with everything from the best drugstore red hair dye, to the best options for natural hair, and even some fun ones in the mix too. 


L'Oreal Paris Feria Power Red Permanent Hair Color

best box red hair dye

L’oreal Paris is known for being a reliable staple for at-home dyes. You’d often think about their neutrals and basic colors. But when it comes to brighter, more vibrant shades, the Feria line is a great option if you’re looking for an easy permanent color. 

This red isn’t going to fade fast. Being a permanent dye, it can withstand up to 2 months of washes and also gives you shiny, dimensional colors. 

The Feria in Cherry Crush is also the best red hair dye for grey coverage 

Pros: 

  • Long-lasting color 
  • Bright and dimensional effect 
  • Good gray coverage 

Cons: 

  • Permanent hair color is generally more damaging
  • Liquid gel formula may be a bit harder to work with 

Manic Panic Vampire Red

best dark red hair dye

Manic Panic has been one of the trendiest hair dye brands for decades now. And this is for pretty good reason! 

They’re most well-known for how intensely pigmented their colors are. Vampire red is no exception.  

This shade is a true deep blood red and can give even the darkest hair a nice burgundy wine red hue. 

It’s also a vegan formula, free of a lot of nasty chemicals that cause intense drying and damage in hair. 

Pros: 

  • Intense color 
  • Vegan, gentle formula

Cons:

  • Semi-permanent dye can wash away after a few weeks of shampooing 

Schwarzkopf Color Ultime Hair Color creme in Ruby Red

best at home red hair dye  

If you want a box dye that gives salon-quality color, then the Schwarzkopf Color Ultime is a great option. This line specifically gives an extra shiny color that is perfect for showing off the red in your hair. 

They also come in a wide variety of shades, with different tones from deep brownish-red mahogany, to a true old Hollywood vintage red and even the best copper red hair dye that you can get at home!

Pros: 

  • Intense red colors with lots of variety 
  • Long-lasting 
  • Creme formula is more manageable than liquid gels 

Cons: 

  • Permanent hair color is generally more damaging

Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Flaming Red 

best bright red hair dye

If you’re looking for a popping bright red, then look no further than Lime Crime. They’re no stranger to bright, loud, and fun colors, so you bet they know how to do a fiery red just right.

While enjoying this true bright red, you don’t have to worry about damage either. Being a semi-permanent formula, it means that it doesn’t cause any unnecessary damage by deeply penetrating your hair. 

Instead, what you can look forward to is a gentler vegan formula that’s PETA-verified and free from harsh chemicals.

But if you want an even brighter bolder shade, you can bleach your hair before using this dye, and get no additional damage from the color itself. That’s what makes this the best red hair dye for bleached hair too!

Pros: 

  • Intense colors 
  • Bleach, ammonia, and peroxide-free formula 

Cons: 

  • Washes out easily 

Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Nourishing Color Creme  

best permanent red hair dye

The Garner Nutrisse is definitely nothing new, but it’s been around, and a favorite for a reason. 

Its biggest claim to fame is how it nourishes your hair while you color it by including avocado oil, olive oil, and shea. Red hair can definitely benefit from the oils as it makes hair healthier, shinier, and more vibrant from the inside out. 

The permanent formula is great for people who DIY their own colors, as it takes a long while to fade between retouches. 

It’s a creamy formula that’s more convenient for at-home use too as it prevents dripping and bleeding. Plus, it’s ready to use out of the box with no need for mix-ins or developers. 

Pros: 

  • Nourishing formula 
  • Easy-to-use creme consistency 

Cons: 

  • Permanent dyes are generally more damaging, especially with frequent use. 

Adore Ruby Red Semi-permanent Hair Color  

best ruby red hair dye

For a lot of DIY kits, you’ll need some lightening products, and a few sessions of bleaching on very dark hair to get the results. But not all colors are created equal, some of them work just as well for providing a nice deep but vibrant tint to dark hair. 


The Adore semi-permanent color doesn’t need any alcohol, peroxide, or ammonia, to pack a whole lot of color. 

Being a semi-permanent formula, it acts as a bright red gloss, coating the hair to give it a nice shiny red tone, even on the darkest hair.  

Pros:

  • Alcohol, peroxide, and ammonia-free 
  • Glossy, vibrant color 

Cons: 

  • Will wash away more easily than a permanent color

Loreal Excellence Hicolor Red Hot Permanent Hair Color

best red hair dye for dark hair

If you have coarser, dark hair, you’d know that it’s a pain to dye without bleaching, a lot of times.

But this time around, you have a product made with just those two hair concerns in mind! 

Curly girls rejoice because the L’oreal Hicolor in red hot is made just for you. 

It’s specifically made for this hair texture and can also lift black hair to 3-4 levels lighter in just one step. The formula has built-in toner so you won’t have any nasty brassiness in your perfect red hair. 

This makes it the best red hair dye for black hair.

Plus the permanent formula should last a lot longer in your hair. 

Pros: 

  • Eliminates the need to pre-lighten dark hair 
  • Good for coarse hair type 
  • Has toner to cancel out orange tones 

Cons:

  • Permanent formulas can be more damaging, especially to coarse hair

Clairol Professional Texture and Tones Permanent Hair Color

best natural red hair dye  

When coloring, it’s seldom that you see a product that’s meant to complement textured hair. So it’s great to see Clairol step up to bring that kind of dye to the market. 

Like its name suggests the Clairol Professional Textures and Tones line is meant to bring out the best in textured hair while giving more dimension and depth to bring out every natural wave and curl. 

This product is a vibrant but wearable red that nourishes natural hair with oils and extracts while staying ammonia-free. 

Pros:

  • Great for textured hair  
  • Easy-to-use creme formula 

Cons:

  • Reds are mostly more natural tones, without brighter options

INH Insert Color Here Ruby Red Hair Semi Permanent Conditioning Hair Color 

best red hair dye for blondes

INH is probably the most first-timer friendly color on this list. It’s a semi-permanent hair color that’s meant to wash out more quickly than others. So, if you’re meaning to just experiment with colors for the first time, or if you’d like something you can switch out in a matter of a few weeks then this is a great option.

But don’t let that make you think that they skimp on the color in this one because the pigment packs a punch! It’s a vibrant formula that is nourishing as well as it comes with deep conditioning oils and is free of ammonia, bleach, and peroxide. 

For blondes, this color is absolutely perfect to get a nice bright red.

If you want to stay vegan — which is often generally tougher to get with reds — then this might be the one for you!

Pros:

  • Nourishing vegan formula 
  • Beginner-friendly 

Cons: 

  • Washes out more quickly

MOLLAY Wash Out Temporary Hair Coloring Wax

best temporary red hair dye

If you’re looking for an extra quick fix that you can just wash out at the end of the day, then a color wax just like MOLLAY is a great option. 

It coats the outside of your hair, without any deep penetration so it’s definitely the least damaging option in the bunch.

It contains castor oil which conditions the hair too! Then, once you’re done with your pop of color for the day, you can easily wash it out with regular shampoo.

Pros: 

  • Easy to apply 
  • Virtually no damage to your hair 

Cons

  • Can get rubbed off 

FAQs

Is red hair dye damaging?

Red dye in itself isn’t damaging. Usually, the damage comes in the formula of the dye you’re using. 

If you find that your hair is on the dry side, is already damaged by chemicals, or is easily stripped of moisture, it’s best to avoid dyes with ammonia, peroxide, and bleach. 

Permanent dyes, while they last longer, are also more prone to damage your hair. 

The color in permanent dyes comes from chemicals deeply penetrating the hair and altering the make-up of the shaft, thus bring around some damage along the way. 

READ NEXT: How Often Can You Dye Hair Without Damage

How do I choose the right red hair color?

Reds come in so many different tones, intensities, and color. Some people like to match their color with the natural undertone of their skin. 

So, people with warmer skin tones can opt for coppers, mahogany reds, and maroons while people with cooler tones can go for more blue-based or berry tones.


Red is an intense color, but it’s one that’s so versatile too!

So whether you prefer something light, deep, cool, warm, or extra intense, hopefully, this list helps you find the one. 

Don’t forget to rock that red with the right formula, nourishment and longevity your hair needs too!

Last Updated: September 28, 2021

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