How To Dye Your Hair Black At Home – The Quick And Easy Guide.

If you’re looking for a hair color that goes with everything and lasts almost-forever, black is it.

Black hair is fierce, sexy, glossy and gorgeous and is on-trend all season, all year long. The best news is, it’s easy to get black hair at home. Here’s everything you need to know about how to dye your hair black at home!

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Can I Dye My Hair Black at Home?

Good news! Dyeing your own hair black is easy to do.

Make sure you cover all of your surfaces before you start – it can be messy! And ALWAYS do a strand test to make sure your new color will match the color on the box.

If your hair is light to dark brown/black– this will add shine and lustre to your locks. Make sure you have enough box dyes to get full coverage, it can take more than one if your hair is longer.

If your hair is blonde and lighter – It might take a couple of applications to get the depth of color.

This color is high maintenance if your roots grow out lighter, but our Best root touch-ups will get you through in between colorings.

Once you know how to get it right at home, you can dye your hair with confidence again and again.

Expert Insights

“Black dye penetrates deeply into your hair, making it so hard to remove. If you have lighter roots, be prepared for regular touch-ups, as the contrast will be noticeable. My advice? If you’re on the fence, consider gradually transitioning to black.”

Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
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Le’t get to it: Pre-Dye Preparation

Going black is bold, beautiful, and oh-so-dramatic in the best way possible.

But, just like prepping your canvas for a masterpiece, getting your hair ready is key to ensuring that stunning, even color we’re aiming for.

Trim and Condition

Start with a fresh trim to get rid of any split ends, and use a deep conditioner to nourish your hair. This helps ensure the dye goes on smoothly and evenly.

Allergy Patch Test

Before anything else, do an allergy patch test with the dye. Apply a small amount to your skin and wait 48 hours to make sure you don’t have a reaction.

Strand Test

Next, try the dye on a small section of your hair. This is a strand test. This lets you see the color and how your hair reacts to the dye before you commit to your whole head.

These steps will help you get the best results and make sure your journey to black hair is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Choosing Your Black Hair Dye: A Guide

When you decide to dye your hair black, the hair dye options might seem overwhelming at first. But don’t worry!

Whether you’re looking for a temporary change or something longer-lasting, there’s a type of dye that’s perfect for you.

Plus, picking the right shade to complement your skin tone can truly make your new color shine. Here are more about the types of hair dye you can get and how to choose the best one.

Understanding Dye Types

Permanent Dye
For a black that stays put, permanent dye is your go-to. It’s designed to last until your hair grows out or you decide to dye it again. This type can cover grays very effectively and is ideal if you’re looking for a long-term commitment to black hair.

Demi-Permanent Dye
If you’re not quite ready for a permanent change, demi-permanent dye is a great middle ground. It doesn’t penetrate the hair as deeply, which means it will gradually fade over 20 to 28 shampoos. It’s a good option if you want to darken your hair without the long-term commitment or if you’re exploring different shades of black.

Semi-Permanent Dye
For those who love to change their hair color as often as they change their mood, semi-permanent dye is perfect. It washes out in about 4 to 12 shampoos. This type is great for trying out black without any long-term effects or for adding a tint of color to your existing shade.

Natural Alternatives: Henna and Indigo
For a more natural route, there’s henna and indigo. This duo is wonderful for those avoiding harsh chemicals. Henna alone gives a reddish-brown color, but when mixed with indigo, it can achieve various shades of black. This method is not only gentle on your hair but also conditions it, leaving it soft and healthy.

Picking the Right Shade

Choosing the right shade of black to complement your skin tone is the best thing to do. Here’s a simple guide:

  • Fair Skin: If you have a lighter complexion, a softer, more natural black or a very dark brown might be the best fit. This prevents the color from overpowering your features.
  • Medium and Olive Skin: You have a bit more flexibility. Almost any shade of black can look stunning, from jet black to softer, more nuanced shades.
  • Darker Skin Tones: Rich, deep blacks look fantastic and can really enhance your natural beauty. Look for vibrant, deep shades to add a luxurious depth to your hair.

Choosing the right dye involves considering how long you want the color to last, how much maintenance you’re willing to do, and what shade will best highlight your natural beauty.

Remember, what it all comes down to really is how to get the look that most feels right for you.

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What do I need to dye my hair black at home?

And your black hair dye of choice! Find out more about each one in our Best black hair dye reviews.

Best black hair dyes at a glance.

Hair DyeLooks likeBest forBuy it now
Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Colour Hair Colourant Black.

Total deep coverage.
Clairol Nice' n Easy Crème, Black.

No-mess dye for dark hair.
Arctic Fox 100% Vegan Transylvania semi-permanent hair dye colour

Testing out black hair colour.
Garnier Olia Black Hair Dye, Deep Black

Long lasting colour.
John Frieda Precision Foam Colour Hair Dye, Deep Brown Black

Easy application.
Schwarzkopf Color Ultime, Raven Black.

The blackest black.

How to Dye Your Hair Black at Home.

Set the scene.

24-48 hours before you plan to dye your hair, shampoo your hair TWICE to make sure all products and build up are free from your hair. As well as making sure the hair dye can really sink into your hair cuticle, it also gives you hair a chance to build up natural oils that will stop it from drying out.

Whatever dye you choose contains strong-smelling chemicals so make sure you apply it in a well ventilated room.

Set aside anywhere between 1-1.5 hours to color your hair at home from start to finish.

Put on your hairdresser’s cape to protect your clothes, crack out your hair dye kit and your chosen box of hair dye, cover any surface around you that might get dye on it and put newspapers on the floor.


Step one: Apply barrier cream.

Apply barrier cream to your hairline, ears and neck to make hair dye easier to rinse off when you’re done dyeing your hair.

Next, prepare the formula by mixing the color and developer together as instructed. Pour the mixture into your hair dye bowl for easy application.

Make sure your hair is clean and dry, not wet or damp, before applying the dye.

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Step two: Section your hair.

Use your comb to separate your hair into 4-8 sections, depending on how long and thick you hair is. Clip each section with using your clips to expose the roots and keep the sections away from each other so you can work on them one by one.

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Step three: Apply the hair dye.

Apply the hair dye according to the instructions on the hair dye box and depending on the condition of your hair when you begin.

  • For previously dyed hair – work the dye into your roots first to avoid getting a different colored band at your roots.
  • For hair that isn’t already dyed – work the dye into the whole of your hair, starting at the roots and painting down to the tips, making sure the hair is totally saturated. (You may find it easier to use two boxes and do away with sectioning your hair).
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Step four: Let it develop.

While the color is developing, you can put your hair in a shower cap to prevent it from touching and staining anything.

Leave the dye in for the amount of time specified on the box hair dye instructions. If you have particularly stubborn greys or different colored roots to cover, you can leave the hair dye in 10 minutes longer to ensure it really takes.

If you feel any burning or itching – rinse it off straight away!

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Step five: Rinse.

When the time is up, rinse your hair with warm water in the shower or over the sink. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.

Don’t panic if you see a lot of color rinsing out – it’s all part of the process!

Wash your hair twice with shampoo to remove all traces of the dye and then condition it really well.

Time to dry it!

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Step six: Style and dry!

Use your hair heat protection spray all over your head to protect your color before you use hot tools. Make sure you do this every time you dry your hair or use heated styling products from now on.

Dry and style your hair as usual, stand back and admire your color!

Watch and learn. How the professionals do it.

Top Tips for Black Hair Brilliance

1. Multi-Dimensional Color: When choosing your dye, opt for products that promise multi-dimensional color. These dyes reflect light differently at various angles, giving your hair a vibrant, rich look that’s full of depth.

2. Shine with Silicone: After coloring, apply a silicone-based serum to your hair. This helps lock in moisture, adds an instant shine, and makes your hair look healthier and more vibrant.

3. Deep Condition Regularly: Maintain the health and shine of your black hair with weekly deep conditioning treatments. This restores moisture and keeps your hair soft and manageable.

4. Cool Water Rinse: Always rinse your hair with cool water after shampooing and conditioning to seal the cuticles and enhance your hair’s shine.

Post-Dye Hair Care: Keeping Your Black Vibrant

After coloring your hair black, the way you care for it can make a big difference in how long your new color stays vibrant and how healthy your hair looks. Here’s how to keep your black hair looking its best.

Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

Sulfates are harsh detergents found in many shampoos that can strip the color from your hair and leave it feeling dry.

Switching to sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners helps protect your color and keeps your hair moisturized. These gentler products clean your hair without removing the dye, helping your black stay bold and beautiful for longer.

Reduce Shampoo Frequency

Washing your hair too often can fade your color quickly. Try to reduce the frequency of your shampoos to maintain your black dye.

Washing your hair 2-3 times a week is usually enough to keep it clean without stripping away the color. This not only helps preserve your color but also allows your hair’s natural oils to nourish and condition your strands.

Cool Water Rinses

Hot water can open up the hair cuticle, causing the color to wash out faster. Instead, rinse your hair with cool water.

This helps close the cuticle and lock in the color, keeping your black hair looking shiny and vibrant. It also adds an extra shine to your hair, giving it a healthy appearance.

Regular Deep Conditioning Treatments

Colored hair needs extra hydration to stay healthy and maintain its shine. Regular deep conditioning treatments can replenish the moisture lost during the dyeing process.

These treatments help strengthen your hair, reduce breakage, and keep your color looking fresh. Incorporate a deep conditioning treatment into your hair care routine once a week for the best results.

Avoid Heat Styling

Heat styling tools like straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers can be tough on dyed hair, leading to color fading and hair damage.

To maintain the health and vibrancy of your black hair, try to minimize the use of these tools. When you do use them, always apply a heat protectant to shield your hair from the heat.

Or explore no-heat styling methods to achieve your desired look without compromising your hair’s condition.

By following these post-dye care tips, you can extend the life of your black hair color and keep your locks looking lush and radiant. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in maintaining the health and beauty of your colored hair.

FAQs on Dyeing Your Hair Black

Do I need to pre-lighten my hair before going black?

No, you generally do not need to pre-lighten (bleach) your hair before dyeing it black.

Black dye is formulated to cover lighter shades effectively, so whether you’re starting with blonde, brown, or red hair, you can usually go straight to black without a bleaching step. This makes the process simpler and less damaging to your hair.

How can I remove black dye from my hair if I change my mind?

Removing black hair dye can be challenging because it’s one of the most pigmented colors.

A color remover can be the first step in attempting to lift the black dye. These products work by shrinking the dye molecules in the hair, allowing them to be washed out.

We’ve tried them and results can vary, and it may not remove all the dye, especially if it’s a permanent formula.

For significant color changes, especially going from black to a much lighter color, it might be necessary to visit a professional stylist. They can use bleach or other professional techniques to lighten your hair more effectively and safely.

Remember, maintaining the health of your hair is crucial, so always follow up with deep conditioning treatments, especially after using color removers or bleach.

Also, consider waiting a few days between these chemical processes to give your hair a break.

For more detailed guidance tailored to your specific hair type and history, consulting with a professional hairstylist is always a good idea. They can provide personalized advice based on your hair’s condition, previous color treatments, and your desired outcome.

Parting words

And there we have it! Stepping into the world of black hair is like picking out the perfect little black dress—it’s a classic choice that never goes out of style. But just like that dress, you want to make sure it fits just right.

Going black with your hair is a bit of a commitment, true, but it’s also a chance to show off a bold, new side of you.

Remember, it’s all about taking care of those locks to keep them looking glossy and gorgeous. Treat your hair to some TLC with those deep conditions and cool rinses, and you’ll have a head-turning shade that stays looking fresh.

And hey, if you’re thinking about it but not quite sure, there’s no rush. You can always start slow and build up to that deep, dreamy black.

Found your perfect shade? We’d love to see it! Tag us on Instagram @coloredhaircare or Facebook and share your hair dye success stories. Looking for more hair care tips? Check out How to Look After Colored Hair: 11 Expert Secrets For Long-Lasting Color.

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Our Research & Review Process

To ensure our recommendations are as comprehensive and reliable as possible, we’ve undertaken an extensive research effort.

We cite scientific evidence and journals, collect real user reviews and gather impartial perspectives from hair stylists, users, and experts in the field.

Additionally, we conduct hands-on testing by using products and applying hair dyes not only on our own locks but also on real human hair extensions and hair pieces of different hair type, textures and lengths.

This rigorous approach allows us to provide you with insights into which products genuinely live up to their promises.

As always – please consult with a professional hair colorist or stylist for advice on how to color your own hair at home. It’s different for everyone!


  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
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    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
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    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.