Hair Colors: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org tests 13 home hair-color kits for men and women. Testers follow box directions to dye tresses of gray human hair, then test the coverage with a colorimeter (trained panelists also judge the color visually). Tresses are shampooed and blow-dried 16 times, then tested again to see how much the color fades. Four kits are judged "excellent" for gray coverage; two of these are also "excellent" for ease of use and features.
ConsumerReports.org tests eight temporary root touch-up products -- sprays, markers, brush-on and lipstick-type products. Each is tested by at least five panelists and judged for color matching, gray coverage and ease of use. ConsumerReports.org doesn't provide its usual ratings table, but panelists do pick two root touch-up products that work better than the rest. This article is free to read without a subscription.
Good Housekeeping tests nine home hair color formulas for gray coverage and fade resistance. Testers dye swatches of graying hair, then wash, blow-dry and expose them to UV light to mimic a month of normal wear. Judges choose one best-for-all-shades kit, and others as best for brunettes, redheads and blondes, with runners-up in each category. Root touch-up products don't perform well in the test, so editors explain how to dye roots with regular hair color.
Brunette Stella Bugbee tests seven temporary root cover-up products on her gray roots for two weeks, "through rainstorms and bike rides, overnight, and with white dresses." Some of the sprays, powders and wands prove "downright awful," but Bugbee finds three worth recommending, including one overall winner. For each product, she explains what it's like to use, how effective it is, whether it's portable enough to keep in a purse, etc.
Prevention editors "tapped our panel of MDs and chemists, an independent lab, and real 40+ women for no-holds-barred feedback on more than 1,100 new beauty products" for their 2015 beauty awards. They pick one winner and one runner-up in the at-home hair dye category.
Registered users at MakeupAlley.com rate more than 600 hair colors of all types on a scale of 1 to 5. You can sort them by the number of reviews (some of them get hundreds) or score, so it's easy to find the best ones. Comments are extremely helpful, involving ease of use, the quality of the resulting color, odor and more.
Every year editors at InStyle magazine test hundreds of beauty products to find the very best in several categories. Here, you can see the best hair colors of 2015 -- single-process, root touch-up and highlight kits -- as well as prior years' winners.
Allure editors also test many products for their annual Best of Beauty list. Three products are listed for at-home hair color, including a color-refreshing gloss, a root coverage product and a single process kit. This review would rank higher if editors included any details about the testing results.
Users at TotalBeauty.com rate and review hundreds of hair color products. Their 12 favorites are listed here, each with an average rating and representative user comments. Most are permanent hair color kits, but the list also includes some demi-permanent kits, a natural henna and a root touch-up pen.
Ulta.com sells dozens of home hair color products, including permanent and semi-permanent dyes, highlighting kits and root touch-up products. You can sort the list to see the top-rated products first; some have amassed hundreds of user reviews.
Target.com sells a wide variety of popular hair color products, and some of them attract hundreds of reviews. You can sort the list by ratings, and the number of reviews is visible on the landing page, so it's easy to find the top picks.
Amazon.com sells thousands of hair color products, but it can be hard to find the best ones. You can sort the list by average customer review, but that puts obscure products with just a few 5-star reviews at the top of the list. However, if you dig, you can find popular hair color products with hundreds of reviews and outstanding scores.
Cosmetics expert Paula Begoun doesn't analyze home hair color kits the way she does makeup and skincare products. However, she does write a helpful article explaining when it is -- and isn't -- a good idea to color your own hair at home. She also names the root touch-up kit she personally uses.