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8 Best Semi-Permanent Hair Dyes to Try a Fun New Color

A woman with pink overtones dyed into her hair.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Between the rise in working from home and social distancing, there’s never been a better time to time to grab a hair dye and try a fun new color at home.

Dying your hair a bright color isn’t as difficult as doing your own highlights or even permanent color, like your standard browns or blondes. In fact, most bright hair dyes (think pink, blue, and teal), are really temporary—like, wash out in a few shampoos temporary. That means that not only can you easily play around with these even if you have no hair dye experience, but you can also stress less about making a mistake and doing something crazy to your hair.

Lots of options are out there if you want to try dying your hair something wild at home, but the following are some of the easiest and best. After all, even if it’s just for you at home, you want it to look good!

Best Overall: Manic Panic Classic High Voltage Hair Color

Manic Panic Classic High Voltage Hair Color is, well, a classic. This is the one that beginners, pros, and everyone in between reaches for when they’re looking for a truly great color. The shades are bright, bold, and there are over 40 to choose from, so there’s definitely something for everyone. All of the shades are also mixable, so you can create your own custom colors if you’re feeling creative.

This is a cruelty-free, vegan formula that is never tested on animals, made in the USA, and free of PPD, ammonia, parabens, gluten, and phthalates. It’s semi-permanent, so expect it to last for about 4-6 weeks, gradually fading over time.

Best For Lighter Hair: Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color has a great shade range of over 23 colors, all of which are bright and vibrant. But if you have brown or dark hair, it’s probably not going to come out that great—as highly pigmented as it is, Arctic Fox works best with lighter hair, like blonde, light brown, or bleached hair. You can still use it on dark hair, it just won’t look as bold.

These colors are all mixable, so you can create your own shades if you want, and they’re made of vegan ingredients with no harmful chemicals. They’re also super gentle, and they actually condition hair while coloring—and they smell great.

Best For Brunettes: Splat Midnight Hair Color

Splat Hair Dye for Brunettes
Splat

Made with brunettes in mind specifically, Splat Midnight Hair Color delivers bold shades even with darker strands. No bleach is needed, and it should last for about 30 washes before fading out. This is a unique formula that doesn’t involve bleach and is made with healthy ingredients for your hair.

A few different colors are available to choose from, although we love the midnight indigo blue shade. This is a great dye for those with darker hair to play around with.

Best For Healthy Looking Hair: Punky Colour Semi-Permanent Conditioning Hair Color

Punky Colour Semi-Permanent Conditioning Hair Color is another favorite, and it offers a whole bunch of different shades ranging from light pastels to bright neons. Colors are highly pigmented and very vibrant, so you’re definitely going for a change when you use this. It’s very easy to use (no peroxide needed), and it’s a lightweight and non-sticky formula that leaves your hair feeling healthier rather than damaged.

This one should last for about 25 washes (although that can vary), which is a pretty good amount of time. It’s made with a color-enhancing keratin complex that makes the color look even more vivid and last longer, and it conditions while dying.

Best Super Temporary: Good Dye Young Poser Paste

Good Dye Young Poser Paste
Good Dye Young

If you’re feeling super hesitant about dying your hair and you just want to play around with color, then you want something washable. Good Dye Young Poser Paste is super temporary and washes out after just one shower, so it’s great for a quick change, and could be a good way to get your feet wet.

This isn’t actually hair dye—it’s called “hair makeup.” The colors are really bright, although there’s not a huge shade range. It’s easy to use and can be applied however you want, whether that’s just the ends of your hair, the roots, or all over. It’s safe for all hair types and colors and is made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

Best Tint: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Tint

If you’re looking for a more subtle wash of color instead of something super vibrant and bold, then try Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Tint. This is a semi-permanent tint that is pastel, muted, and lighter than their full coverage dye, so the result is more of a light brush of color than anything too intense. It’s best for light or bleached hair since it’s such a subtle dye.

This tint is also super conditioning and leaves hair feeling softer while protecting strands and color (it also smells amazing). It’s made of a damage-free formula with no harsh ingredients and is super easy to use. It fades gracefully over time.

Best Conditioner: Overtone Color Conditioner

Overtone Color Conditioner
Overtone

A coloring conditioner like Overtone Color Conditioner could not be easier to use, and this one delivers excellent color. Unlike a lot of brands, it also has shades for blonde/light hair and shades for brown hair, which is really nice.

The biggest advantage of Overtone is how simple it is: like any other deep conditioner, you apply it to wet or dry hair (they recommend dry hair for the best results), leave it on for 10-15 minutes, rinse it out thoroughly, then style as usual. The product is plant-based, made without harsh chemicals, and are designed to help stimulate hair growth and prevent damage. Plus, there are lots of fun shades to choose from.

Best Drugstore: L’Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Looking for something inexpensive? Try L’Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color. It’s a fan favorite that is inexpensive and very effective, with a bunch of different fun shade options from light pastels to bright vivid colors. One thing to note: this one is best for platinum, light, or medium blondes, specifically bleached or highlighted hair.

It’s super easy to use and quick to apply (no mixing), and acts as a conditioning hair mask as well, leaving your hair looking shiny and feeling soft. The vegan formula is very gentle, and there’s no ammonia or peroxide. It’s semi-permanent and will gradually fade over time.

L'Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color for Light Bleached or Blondes, Blue

L'Oreal Colorista is best for blonde or light brown hair, but delivers great results.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for Review Geek. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »

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