The best black hair dyes for the ultimate transformation

Live out your darkest dreams a lá Wednesday Addams.

best black hair dyes uk 2023 pictures of dyes on black background

by Caitlin Casey |
Updated on

Black hair dye has always been the go-to for a dramatic personal transformation and. With a shimmery finish, black can be a total statement - and you could even say a breath of fresh hair. However, it is a bit of a task to browse through the internet to find the best hair dyes, and whether they'll work for you, so luckily we've done the hard work for you.

If you're thinking about taking the plunge and going dark, there are some things to think about before you really go for it. The one thing you should consider is future growth and changing your hair. Black is quite hard to remove from your hair and will require a professional's help so it may be a problem for your next hairdressing appointment.

According to the expert stylists at CLOUD NINE, "If you’re planning on re-creating this look as a non-professional it’s important to be aware of the restrictions that come with having jet-black hair. Black is a notoriously difficult colour to remove from hair as the dye has strong pigmentation and locks onto hair strands. It then becomes a challenge to then lift this colour without damage."

Closer's best black hair dyes at a glance:

Editor's Choice, best black hair dye pack: Schwarzkopf Live Intense Colour Permanent Hair Dye in Deep Black, 3-Pack, 19.40 - Buy now on Amazon

Best black hair dye range: Garnier Olia Midnight 1.0 Deep Black, 7.99 - Buy now on LookFantastic

Best black hair dye with essential oils: Garnier Nutrisse 1 Black Permanent Hair Dye, 8 - Buy now on Boots

Live out your Wednesday Addams fantasy with jet-black hair. Credit: Netflix

They added, "Black is also known for fading quickly. To prevent this, ensure the shampoo and conditioner you’re using is sulphate-free, or you risk stripping the colour from your hair, leaving it dull.We would always recommend to anyone changing their hair to do a nourishing treatment once a week using hair oil, for example, to preserve the condition of your hair as much as possible."

Not sure whether to commit or not? You can always try out semi-permanent dyes to dip your toes in. We've collated all the best black hair dyes on the market right now - online, on the high street and beyond, and keep reading for more all-important advice on dying your hair black.

Remember, safety comes first - always do a patch test before you put any dye on your hair.

The best black hair dyes UK 2023

Schwarzkopf Live Intense Colour Permanent Hair Dye in Deep Black, 3-Pack

Editor's Choice

On Sale

Schwarzkopf Live Intense Colour Permanent Hair Dye in Deep Black, 3-PackAmazon
Price: 5.50 (was 7)

www.boots.com

View offer

With thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon, you know you can trust the Schwarzkopf Live Intense Colour Permanent Hair Dye to have your hair looking on fleek in no time. Some reviews suggest picking up two bottles for thicker or longer hair, but luckily this product comes in a three-pack, so you won't have to worry about re-buying it in six weeks' time.

Amazon review: "Overall a great hair dye. I dyed over my fairly dark brown hair and it worked perfectly on the first try! Very easy to use but I think I did leave it on for longer than recommended. The dye actually smells nice and the conditioner which comes in the box smells so good and left my hair feeling very soft."

Other darker shades:
089 Bittersweet Chocolate
M01 Twilight Black

Pros

  • Has total colour coverage with a built-in vibrancy serum.
  • This is a great offer with three in the multipack for under 20.

Cons

  • Can fade within two to three weeks.

Garnier Olia Midnight 1.0 Deep Black

Best black hair dye range

Garnier Olia Midnight 1.0 Deep Black No Ammonia Permanent Hair Dyelook fantastic
Price: 7.99

www.lookfantastic.com

View offer

Reviewers rave about the Garnier Olia Midnight 1.0 Deep Black hair dye because of its depth and ultra-smooth look. With no ammonia and a non-drip applicator, this is perfect for any person looking to get total coverage with ease. This Midnight range focuses on the best dye for dark hair, tailored to keep those locks looking good.

Look Fantastic review: "Easy to use, blends well and covers greys. Does come out a lot when washing but the colour seems to hold. The conditioner is really good my hair is really shiny and healthy. Would buy again."

Other darker shades:
2.0 Black Diamond
3.0 Soft Black
3.23 Black Amber

Pros

  • Easy application that produces intense coverage.
  • There are four different black shades to choose from, each with a unique tone.

Cons

  • Be sure to be ready to clean up thoroughly after yourself when dyeing and washing as it's a strong dye.

Garnier Nutrisse 1 Black Permanent Hair Dye

Best black hair dye with essential oils

Garnier Nutrisse 1 Black Permanent Hair DyeBoots
Price: 7.99

www.superdrug.com

View offer

With five different oils in this hair dye, the Garnier Nutrisse 1 Black Permanent Hair Dye is perfect for any person looking to get the ultimate nourishing hair dye, protecting hair for up to eight weeks. Reviewers say that the application is super easy to follow for any hair dye beginners.

Boots review: "This colour is one of my top picks. There’s such a big variety of colours and colour stays put even on greys. The conditioner in the pack leaves hair feeling soft and shiny that even my husband has bought a pack to use!"

Other darker shades:
1.10 Infinite Black
3.10 Midnight Blue
3 Darkest Brown

Pros

  • Full moisture protection with a colour conditioner
  • enriched with 5 oils for silky and three times shinier hair
  • protects hair up to 8 weeks

Cons

  • The dye smells quite strong.

L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Dye 1 Natural Darkest Black

Best hair dye with aftercare protection

L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Dye 1 Natural Darkest BlackBoots
Price: 9.99

www.boots.com

View offer

This L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Dye gives you a great aftercare pack included inside the box. As well as full coverage across your hair dye with cream and developer, it includes a shampoo and hair mask to ensure longevity for that dark hair. Great if you want a bit extra for your money.

Boots review: "L'Oreal Paris Excellence Crème Hair Color, Shade 4 Dark Brown was excellent permanent colour to colour my greys. My hair looked natural post-application. Loved the pro-keratin cream colour, it was gentle yet effective. I loved the new shampoo and conditioner routine. I loved the hair colour and the no frizz. It felt manageable and shiny and gorgeous. Will buy it again."

Other darker shades:
5 Natural Brown

Pros

  • Comes with shampoo and a hair mask.
  • Full coverage

Cons

  • The conditioner packaging is very flimsy.

L'Oreal Paris Colorista Permanent Gel Hair Dye in Deep Black

Best black gel hair dye

L'Oru00e9al Paris Colorista Permanent Gel Hair Dye in Deep BlackAmazon
Price: 8.99

www.superdrug.com

View offer

Blended with pure dyes, the L'Oreal Paris Colorista Permanent Gel Hair Dye gives the brightest and boldest of colours, keeping your black hair dye full. It's perfect for any hair type and you also get a hair mask for up to six applications, keeping your hair full with this formula.

Amazon review: "This was just what I was looking for. I usually use semi-permanent hair dyes because they don't damage the hair but I was having a real problem getting the blacks to take on my previously bleached hair. It kept coming out a murky green. This came out a perfect deep black the first time. I have past shoulder-length hair which is fine but there is a lot of it and one box was plenty. It spread through my hair really easily too. The only downside was the dye is very runny and I have a bleached strip of hair at the front and the black ran into it. I had to bleach it again which was not ideal. Other than that I'm very happy with the colour result. It came out a lovely deep healthy looking shiny black and there was minimal damage even though my hair was previously bleached/coloured. Also, the conditioner that comes with it is fantastic."

Other darker shades:
Blue Black
Dark Purple
Read our full guide on the best purple hair dye here.

Pros

  • Very vibrant black that makes a statement.
  • The formula has full coverage on any hair type.

Cons

  • The smell is very strong and can make your eyes water, so make sure to apply it in a well-ventilated area.

Clairol Nice' n Easy Creme Natural Looking Oil Infused Permanent Hair Dye in 2 Black

Best black hair dye for salon results

Clairol Nice' n Easy Cru00e8me Natural Looking Oil Infused Permanent Hair Dye in 2 Blackboots
Price: 7.99

www.boots.com

View offer

Blended through three different colours, the Clairol Nice' n Easy Creme Natural Looking Oil Infused Permanent Hair Dye is perfect for anyone looking for that professional hair finish without the stress. Total coverage with a non-drip applicator, this is a great option with different black shades.

Boots review: "This permanent hair colour was very nice and easy to use. It was gentle on my scalp and the best thing it didn't irritate my eyes as others do. I normally get watery eyes due to some of the strong smells. This was quite good and had no tears for me. My hair turned out shiny and it was soft to the touch. I am very happy with the shimmering effects on my newly dark hair. And it covered my greys."

Other darker shades:
2BB Blue Black
2GB Burgundy Black
3 Brown Black
3.5BG Dark Burgundy Brown

Pros

  • A wide range of black shades, so you can find your ideal shade.
  • Each shade has three salon tones running through the formula for an ultra-natural look.

Cons

  • Mixing the ingredients together can be a bit of a faff.

Black hair dye FAQs

Is dying your hair black bad?

Unlike blonde hair dye or lighter colours, you don't have to bleach your hair before you dye it black, so it's keeping your hair away from those harsher chemicals.

Dyed black hair tends to look very healthy because it's adding colour to the hair molecule and naturally makes your hair look thicker and fuller, as well as reflecting light off for ultra-smooth looking hair. You can also search for the best hair toners to keep your colour looking bright and glossy.

How to dye your hair at home

It can be daunting dying your hair at home. With patchy results and complex instructions, sometimes it can be totally overwhelming. Here are our top tips for ensuring that a box job doesn't have to be such a blowout:

Get your towels ready

Grab some cheap, dark (yes, very dark) towels that you’re going to use specifically for dyeing or any other colouring job. You don’t want to ruin your bathroom and sometimes accidents do happen, so you can use these towels to clean up. If you spill anywhere or even go over your skin a little bit, just wet a hand towel and clean up with some warm damp water.

Safety comes first

This isn’t a drill; you should always do a patch test at least 48 hours before dying all over your head. Everyone wants to jump straight into it, but it’s not worth the risk if you do have a bad reaction to any dye. Keep your skin safe with a quick patch test behind your ear.

Read the instructions carefully

It’s chemicals and all sorts we’re using here. Not all of us are professionals so just make sure to give your instructions a good read before you start. All dyes are different, so make sure you know exactly what you're doing before you dive in.

How to get hair dye off your skin

Make sure you wear gloves and clothing that covers your skin (and you don't mind getting covered in dye). If you do get dye on your skin don't worry, but act quickly.

One of the best options to remove hair dye from your skin is to use a non-soap cleanser and water, such as a Dove beauty bar. It is important that you try and do this as soon as possible after your skin gets stained, so you have a better chance of removing it and don't have to resort to harsher methods. Oils, such as coconut oil, Argan oil or baby oil can also work as a cleanser to remove the dye.

If you don't have any luck with soap and need a quick fix, there are some AMAZING wipes that are made for removing hair dye from your skin. Find out all the goss on how to remove dye from skin, here.

Caitlin Caseyis a Senior Beauty & Fashion Products Writer for heat, Closer, and Grazia. She covers shopping, women’s lifestyle, popular culture as well as all things trending.

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