What the best hair color has

  • Numerous color options. Hair-color brands that offer plenty of color options are most likely to offer a desirable shade that works on existing hair color.
  • Excellent gray coverage. The best formulas provide complete coverage.
  • Easy to use applicator and/or tools. Since most hair-color kits are designed for use at home, ease of use is critical.

Know before you go

What is the current condition of your hair? Some hair types process color faster than others. Damaged and color-processed hair takes half the processing time of healthy, uncolored hair. This is one good reason you shouldn't skip the strand test.

What is your current hair color? Don't rely on the models on the front of the box to determine the hair color you'll get. Instead, match your current color to the chart on the side of the box to see what your results will be.

What do you want your hair color to be? Some changes aren't suited to box color. The most drastic changes are best left to the pros. The best bet is to stick with hues that are no more than two shades lighter or darker than your current color. Anything more dramatic warrants a trip to the hair salon.

Do you have a sensitive nose? All permanent hair dyes have a strong odor, but some use fragrance to mask it. Semi-permanent formulas generally don't smell as bad because they are ammonia-free.

Hair Color Runners Up:

Revlon ColorSilk Est. $3.50

5 picks including: Good Housekeeping, Redbook…

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Est. $7

4 picks by top review sites.

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Perfect 10 Est. $12

2 picks including: Amazon.com, Good Housekeeping…

ColorMark TouchBack Est. $30

2 picks including: Amazon.com, Redbook…

L'Oreal Paris Root Rescue Est. $7

2 picks including: Good Housekeeping, MakeupAlley.com…

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Revlon ColorSilk Beautiful Color 30 Dark Brown
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from Amazon.com
New: $12.27 $0.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-Up 003 Black 1 Kit
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from Amazon.com
New: $11.29 $2.33   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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L'Oreal Paris Feria Hair Color, M32 Violet Soft Black/Midnight Star
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from Amazon.com
New: $8.99 $7.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Clairol Nice 'n Easy Perfect 10
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from Amazon.com
New: $11.99   
Average Customer Review:  
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Touch Back by Colormark Temporary Hair Color Marker Medium Brown
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from Amazon.com
New: $35.00 $19.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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L'Oreal Paris Root Rescue Hair Color, 6.5 Light Golden Brown
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from Amazon.com
New: $5.99 $0.48   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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L'Oreal Paris Couleur Experte Express Hair Color, 6.4 Light Golden Copper Brown/Ginger Twist
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from Amazon.com
New: $44.60 $13.79   
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Average Customer Review:  

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