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!
Best Hair Dyes for 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!
- Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Dye
- Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye
- Clairol Professional Flare Me Dark
- L’Oréal Paris Hair Color Colorista Semi-Permanent for Brunette Hair
- Splat Midnight Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye
- Light Mountain NATURAL hair Color & Conditioner
- Mydentity Super Power Direct Dye
- Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Nourishing Permanent Hair Color Cream
- Dark and Lovely Go Intense Color Sprays
- Joico Color Butter
1. Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Dye
- Full Coverage
- Ultra-Conditioning Formula
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 onto your hair, there are no harsh chemicals to damage your locks or potentially mess up your scalp.
You can use Unicorn dye if you already have chemically processed locks; it will not harm them. Unicorn hair dye will do its magic without the harsh chemicals that are usually in other dyes.
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!
2. Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye
- Apply on Pre-Lightened Hair for Vibrant Color
- Conditions the Hair
- Lasts up to 8 Weeks
Whether you want to add some color to your hair or just cover up the gray, you’ve probably considered using a hair dye. But if your roots are showing and you’re looking for something more than temporary, you should know about Arctic Fox Hair Color Dye.
This vegan product is kind to animals and kind to you too. It’s also easy to use, whether you are experienced with dye or are new to the process.
The Arctic Fox Hair Color Dye line includes Violet Dream, Hot Pink, Blue Moon, Indigo Night and Sunset Orange colors.
These semi-permanent hair dyes are free of harsh chemicals. They contain no ammonia or peroxide that can damage your hair.
The product works on both men’s and women’s hair to bring out your inner flair. It can also be diluted if you want a more pastel shade.
You can choose from more than 70 different shades that will last up to two months with proper upkeep.
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. Clairol Professional Flare Me Dark
- Adds Vivid hues to Dark Hair
- Fades Beautifully
- Lasts up to 6 Weeks
Clairol Professional Flare Me Dark is a new range of permanent cream hair color that offers brilliant, long-lasting color results.
The new True2Tone technology results in color that goes deep into the hair to help you achieve shiny, hydrated and long-lasting vibrant color results. The product’s unique formula is designed to suit all skin tones for a flattering look.
Clairol Professional’s Flare Me Dark range offers you a choice of 5 natural looking shades that gently blend into hair to give a custom color finish.
It enhances your natural highlights to give you rich depth while creating an intense, multi-dimensional look. It is suitable for use with rich results in just 15 minutes.
On dark hair, Flare works fantastically for rich brilliance and hydrated, soft hair for up to 5 weeks. This product contains no ammonia or peroxide and is gentle enough to use on chemically treated hair.
The lasting, color-rich results of Flare makes it the perfect choice for anyone looking to go bold with their hair color. Your hair is the canvas, and you are the artist. Enjoy!
4. L’Oréal Paris Hair Color Colorista Semi-Permanent for Brunette Hair
- No Bleach Required
- Without Ammonia, or Peroxide
- Vegan & Cruelty Free
L’Oréal Paris Hair Color is the ultimate in-salon fantasy for brunettes who want to change up their colorist routine and add some temporary face-flattering highlights.
This is a semi-permanent color solution that’ll give you glossy and complex color without the commitment, so you can play with it over time to achieve subtle highlights or dramatically bold streaks.
Unlike similar hair coloring products, L’Oréal Paris Hair Color doesn’t have ammonia or peroxide to dry out your hair, so you can color as frequently as you’d like without making your locks brittle.
The best thing about This conditioning formula is that it doesn’t require developer, which means you won’t have to worry about the scent of a strong ammonia wafting in the air.
It has a pleasant berry fragrance that isn’t overpowering, and it works well with brunette hair to add a little dimension to dull locks. You can control how subtle or dramatic you want your tint by applying more caps.
It washes out gradually and can be done again and again if you don’t like the color, but the conditioner leaves hair smooth and shiny.
L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color is available in multiple shades, so you can experiment to your heart’s content—and it won’t wreak havoc on your strands.
Finally, L’Oréal Paris Hair Color is vegan, cruelty-free, and comes with a Leaping Bunny seal of approval.
5. Splat Midnight Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye
- Damage-Free Hair Dye
- Lasts up to 30 Washes
- Vegan & Cruelty-Free
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.
6. Light Mountain NATURAL Hair Color & Conditioner
- Free of Chemicals
- 100% Pure Botanical Hair Color
- Cruelty Free
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!
7. Mydentity Super Power Direct Dye
- Extremely pigmented
- Lasts up to 30 shampoos
- No Developer Required
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.
8. Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Nourishing Permanent Hair Color Cream
- Formulated with Color Boost
- Technology Nourishes with Grape Seed and Avocado Oil
- Non Drip Creme Formula
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!
9. Dark and Lovely Go Intense Color Sprays
- For Natural and Relaxed Hair
- Instant Temporary Hair Color Spray
- Ultra-Vibrant Color
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!
10. 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.
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!