10 best hair dyes for dark hair without bleach (2021)

Want to make a change? Start with your hair! Contrary to popular belief, hair dye for dark hair without bleach exists. You can change things up to something new and funky even if your natural hue is a rich and deep brown, all without causing excessive damage that bleaching can bring.

This post is devoted to those of you with lovely dark locks that want to dye your hair without bleaching it. You can have the best of both worlds! So, if you’re ready, keep reading to find out what to expect and which dyes will give you that change you’re looking for!

What to expect when you dye your dark hair without bleach

Before we begin, I feel it’s my duty to let you know a few things first.

– You can change to any color, but…

If you have black hair and you want dark brown or even dark red, that’s cool. But if you want to have blonde hair, there’s no other way around it. You’ll have to bleach it.

– In the name of all that is holy don’t use hair chalk

Please don’t! Color hair chalks don’t work well in dark hair unless you bleach it first. Plus, it’s just not an efficient way of coloring your hair.

– Know that hair dye is translucent

Be prepared that it might not give the exact hue that you want. It will be darker because your hair is dark. So if you want red hair and you have dark hair, you’ll get a dark red. It’s not that it will look bad, but you should know what it’s going to look like before you give it a try, so you’re disappointed with the results.

– Dye takes to hair types differently

We all have different types of hair and different textures. Some are better able to hold dyes while others are not. If you’re Asian and your bestie is African, and you both try to dye your hair the same color, it’s going to look quite different.

Now that I’ve covered that, I’m going into the hair dye for dark hair without bleach options that you can choose from!

10 ways to dye dark hair without bleach

If you want to dye your dark hair a new color without using bleach, the following options are your best bet to make that change!

1. Light Mountain NATURAL hair Color & Conditioner

Good news for those of you who want something different yet don’t want to expose yourself to gross chemicals. Light Mountain is a non-carcinogenic option that colors and conditions your hair.

I love this option because you just add water to this powder, and then it gets a nice creamy texture. There’s no peroxide, chemicals, or stripping involved. You can get in in red, rich brown, dark chestnut, or black. Plus, if grays are your problem, they also have a 2-step solution to get rid of it with henna-based colors that will adhere to the grays and make them vanish away.

It’s a kit too, so you get a hat and gloves along with those instructions to help you master your new look. Every kit is certified organic so you can confidently color without any aggressive ingredients that can harm your hair or scalp. It’s really cool stuff, so I’d definitely look into it if I were you!

2. Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye

Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
  • Apply on Pre-Lightened Hair for Vibrant Color
  • Conditions the Hair
  • Lasts up to 8 Weeks
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Arctic Fox gets rave reviews all the time. It’s easy to see why. This vegan product is kind to animals and kind to you too. They have long-lasting colors like Violet Dream that can bring out your spring and summer style. The color is highly-pigmented and gives a deep warmth to darker hair. You’ll love it!

You can also dilute the colors to get a more pastel color out of the shade you choose. The formula features zero harsh chemicals and won’t damage your hair. You can use it often, and it conditions your hair while giving it a more vibrant pop. The colors last longer, it smells good (and trust me, that is hard to say about hair dye!), and it’s semi-permanent, which means it just deposits color, so there’s no developer drama.

If you want an easy way to add color to your dark hair without harming it, Arctic Fox is a fabulous option. And if you need more convincing, Arctic Fox is designed to fade within its original color spectrum. So while it fades, the shades stay the same color. There’s no wonky, weird period here.

3. Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Dye

Lime Crime Unicorn Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
  • Full Coverage
  • Ultra-Conditioning Formula
  • Vegan
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Anything with ‘unicorn’ in it has to be good, right? Lime Crime gives you full coverage dye with rich pigments for vibrant color that saturates your hair. And not only does it deliver mega-color, but it also conditions your hair to leave it silky and smooth. Oh, and it smells good too. Perhaps it’s the unicorn?

All jokes aside, this hair dye is very gentle and only deposits color, so there’s no damage to be done. There’s no bleach, peroxide, or ammonia. It’s PETA-verified vegan and Leaping Bunny certified as a cruelty-free product.

And if you hate trying to mix and prepare dyes, then you’ll love this. It goes on your hair right from the jar. You don’t have to use developers or apply any heat. It washes out gradually over time, so the best way to keep the color hanging around longer is to wash with sulfate-free hair care products designed for color-treated hair.

Basically, it’s great stuff that’s super-natural and beneficial for adding color and softness to your hair. You’ll love it!

4. Mydentity Super Power Direct Dye

For intense pigmentation and your creative spirit, Mydentity gives you the power to combine colors to make your own style. Their whole drive is maximizing possibilities, so there’s no one-size-fits-all color here. I love that it speaks to individuality while crafting an easy-to-use product.

It’s long-lasting too, holding on for up to 30 washes. While it does perform best on pre-lightened hair, you can use it on darker shades and get a lovely glazed effect that will have you staring in adoration at yourself in the mirror.

5. Joico Color Butter

Joico developed this color-intense color butter to help you keep up those brilliant hues from your last salon trip with ease. If your color has started to fade, you can apply it to your hair, whether it’s dry or damp.

It’s ideal if you have no time to spare because you only leave it in a few minutes and then rinse. They tag it as “color without commitment” which is a nice idea for anyone that is on the fence about changing color. If you don’t like it, it’s relatively easy to change it again.

One word of advice: always wear gloves when using it, and when rinsing too. While I’d say you should never skip gloves with any dye, it’s especially important with this brand. Blondes get more color out of this one, but even dark-haired gals will be pleased with the brilliant results.

6. Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Nourishing Permanent Hair Color Cream

Garnier does it again with its Nutrisse line. It boosts with color and a unique blend of nourishing fruit oils that lock in permanent hair color, even on dark hair. With avocado, olive, and shea oils, hair is intensely pampered to look rich and shiny after coloring.

It’s a complete kit that is great for those of you that might be shy about coloring your own hair. The formula is nice and thick, too, designed not to drip. And while it does stay put very well, it’s never a bad idea to put old towels down to keep from making a mess.

I have used this one before and really liked it though my testimony isn’t as strong as my friend Pam who literally freaked out when she found gray hairs coming in. Stupid pandemic. She couldn’t get to her hairstylist, and the only thing she found available was Garnier Nutrisse.

She called me from the store panicking, and I told her I’d used it before, so she decided to buy it. A few hours later, she texted me a photo of her newly-colored hair and then called me to thank me. She sent the before photo too, showing me how her hair had started graying and hence why she was so upset. Her grays were gone. It’s great stuff.

Garnier Nutrisse comes in loads of great colors from red to burgundy to brown to black. Choose the one you want and enjoy it!

7. L’Oréal Paris Hair Color Colorista Semi-Permanent for Brunette Hair

L'Oreal Paris Hair Color Colorista Semi-Permanent
  • No Bleach Required
  • Without Ammonia, or Peroxide
  • Vegan & Cruelty Free
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L’Oréal is another top brand that deserves all the accolades it gets. They really have a lot of offerings for brunettes, especially in the way of semi-permanent color, all that comes in the form of a deep conditioning mask.

It’s vegan and contains no peroxide or ammonia, so it’s very gentle on hair. For brunettes, you’ll get a nice tint of color that looks glossy and complex. It will fade gradually with each shampoo you do, but since it’s so gentle, you can do it again and again (and again!).

8. Clairol Professional Flare Me Dark

Clairol Professional Flare Me Dark
  • Adds Vivid hues to Dark Hair
  • Fades Beautifully
  • Lasts up to 6 Weeks 
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Do you want to show your flare? Clairol’s version of Flare comes in the form of permanent cream colors with True2Tone technology. So you get bright colors that go deep into your hair and leave you with rich brilliance and hydrated, soft hair.

It works fantastically on dark hair too for up to 5 weeks of bright and vibrant hair color. If you’re looking to go bold, this is the one that will do it for you. Your hair is the canvas, and you are the artist. Enjoy!

9. Splat Midnight Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye

Splat Midnight Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
  • Damage-Free Hair Dye
  • Lasts up to 30 Washes
  • Vegan & Cruelty-Free
View on Amazon

As if the name isn’t fun enough, Splat Midnight is a hair dye for dark hair without bleach that is vegan and cruelty-free. There’s no peroxide here or long time to wait for lifting. It’s a unique formula that uses micro-pigments that bond to your hair to give you mega-color.

Without the bleach, it’s gentle and nourishing for hair. Apply it, and 45 minutes later, you’ll have color that lasts as long as 8 weeks. What’s extra special about it is that it is fantastic for brunettes. Many vibrant colors and designed with light or bleached hair in mind and Splat Midnight has thoughtfully remembered those with dark hair.

There are 7 different colors, each one free of parabens and GMOs. Rosy undertones work great with something like the deep red while if you have a tan or olive complexion, you will totally rock indigo or amethyst.

10. Dark and Lovely Go Intense Color Sprays

Dark and Lovely Temporary Hair Color
  • For Natural and Relaxed Hair
  • Instant Temporary Hair Color Spray
  • Ultra-Vibrant Color
View on Amazon

Don’t have time to color? Or perhaps you don’t want a commitment. Either way, Dark and Lovely has you covered with the Go Intense color sprays. The brand has always had a focus on African American hair with products that focus on the unique texture and dark color of strands.

With a spray, you get intense color instantly, even on dark hair, all without bleaching. There’s no commitment to the color, so you can have fun on the weekends and then wash it out with one shampoo to go back to a professional look. It also allows you to try out different colors to see what you like best. There’s nothing worse than coloring your hair and hating the color, am I right?

If you have that curly, wavy, or ultra-thick texture of hair, this spray is a great way to add color without bleaching your hair for a new look anytime the mood strikes!


While it’s certainly true that if you have dark hair and want to go blonde, you need to bleach it several times to get to your perfect shade, that’s not the case for adding color. Dark hair can be colored beautifully to a different shade with certain hair dyes that require no bleaching whatsoever.

If you want to change up your hair, perhaps add a different hint of color or color up gray hairs, then the dyes I’ve talked about above will be your best options. Many of them are vegan and don’t have chemicals, so they will wind up leaving your hair in even better condition than before you dyed it, a win-win situation if you ask me!


My name is Hajer and welcome to my site. This is my little haven, my outlet, where I can express myself, and show you everything I've learned about makeup, skincare, hair tips, and so much more, as well as the different beauty mistakes I've made so that you can avoid them.

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