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The Best Permanent Hair Colors of 2024

Kaitlyn Neese
Written by Ashley Neese
best permanent hair color

Whether you’re looking to cover up your grays or just want to switch up your look entirely, dyeing your hair is a fun opportunity to change your appearance! Instead of temporary dyes, which can fade away after a handful of washes, permanent hair dyes are the key to completely penetrating your hair follicles and replacing the natural pigmentation! 

We’ve reviewed some of the best permanent hair colors, looking at dye colors, hydration levels, and formula quality. Our favorite dye is the Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Creme Hair Dye because of its hydrating formula, highly pigmented colors, and adaptation to all hair types!

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Buying Guide: The Best Permanent Hair Color

Permanent hair dye is known for completely penetrating the hair follicles and altering their color. These dyes are available in hundreds of shades, so you can pick one that you believe flatters you the most! With so many available products, deciding which is right for you can be tricky. This is why we’ve created this buying guide, which covers everything you need to know to choose an ideal product. Let’s take a look!

What You Should Consider When Buying a Permanent Hair Color


First, what color are you looking for? Do you want a subtle shade, a color close to your natural color, or something more bright and colorful? Regardless of your choice, different colors can instantly change your look. Since permanent hair color is a long-lasting product, we recommend choosing a color you’ll be happy with daily.


Next, consider the quantity of hair color you’ll need. Most permanent dyes come in pairs of two, so you’ll have some extra dye if the product runs out (or you have a lot of hair). Make sure to buy enough to achieve the look you’re going for. From the thickness of your hair to its length, we recommend keeping these factors in mind when choosing the hair color you plan to use.


One of the most critical aspects is the ingredients used to make the hair dye. Always buy from a reputable brand to ensure the dye has high-quality, safe ingredients. Make sure it’s a blend of color chemicals, natural hydrating agents, softeners, and hair health boosters so your hair is evenly dyed but remains healthy. Buying permanent hair colors from substandard brands may harm your hair or make your hair dye appear patchy and inconsistent.

5 Ways to Use Hair Coloring


Lightening your hair means applying bleach before applying a color. If the dye you choose doesn’t already include a lifting agent (like bleach or a developer), you may need to lighten your hair before dyeing it. This process may fry and damage your hair, so following the bleaching directions is essential. Those who bleach their hair usually go for a lighter shade, like blonde. You can also seek professional help regarding this process and then dye your hair independently.

Going darker

While it may seem straightforward just to dye your hair darker if you want it to be darker, there are a few things to consider before you do. If you’re applying a darker color to already color-treated hair (especially with vibrant colors like orange or pink), you may need multiple rounds of dye to cover it completely. In this case, we recommend getting a professional to look at your hair before you dye it! 

Enhance natural color

Not everyone uses permanent hair dye to change their natural hair color. Some people prefer enhancing their natural pigments, especially the roots. If you want to boost your dull hair color, pick a permanent dye that matches your current hair color.

Covering grays

You can also cover your gray hair with permanent hair color. To do this, you don’t need any lightning agents or toners, as the hair is already in its lightest form. Just pick the shade you want, and you’re good to go.


Many hair experts disagree about whether someone can apply evenly distributed highlights to their own hair; however, if you have someone helping you (especially with the back), it’s definitely doable! Highlights are usually of a lighter shade than your current hue and you may need two different colors to blend your highlights with your pre-exisiting hair color.

How to Apply Permanent Hair Color

Cover the skin

We don’t want you to get frustrated when the dye comes in contact with your skin or clothing. Wear an old shirt and cover your ears, forehead, back, head, neck, and other exposed parts of your body with petroleum jelly so the dye doesn’t stain your skin. 


Sectioning is a critical step in dyeing your hair, as you can miss huge sections of hair when you don’t section properly. Smaller sections ensure better color concentration, while bigger sections allow you to do the job more quickly. The way you section it ultimately depends on your hair type and thickness!

Mix the color

Mix the colors by following the instructions in the product’s manual. Remember never to mix two different shades together in the same bowl.

Apply a test strand

A test strand gives you a good idea of how the dye will interact with your hair and will tip you off to any sensitivities or allergies you may have to the dye. Pick a small section of hair that's not too visible, maybe from the underside of your hair. Coat the chosen strand evenly with the dye (make sure it's saturated but not dripping) and wait for the recommended time frame suggested by the dye manufacturer. Then, rinse the dye out. 

If you're happy with the color and how it turned out on your hair, great! You can proceed with confidence. If not, adjust either the application process or the color choice accordingly. 

Apply to desired areas

Use a brush to apply color from the tips to the roots. The roots process the color faster because of the heat generated from your scalp. Start from the tips and work your way up to avoid premature color processing on your roots. You can also use gloves and work the dye into your hair using your hands. This application method is messier, but it’s faster than using the brush.


Wait for the specified time on the box, then rinse your hair with cold water to avoid any unwanted color bleeding. You can follow the dye’s instructions for washing; some dyes say to wash with shampoo, and others say to rinse until the water runs clear– just follow directions, and you’re all set!

Comparing the Best Permanent Hair Colors of 2024


Garnier Permanent Hair Color


  • Formulated with color boost technology
  • Comes with all necessary tools
  • Contains avocado, olive, and shea oil


  • Colors may come out differently

The Garnier permanent hair color is a nourishing formula that includes a blend of fruit oils, leaving your hair feeling nourished and healthy after each use. This product boasts a multipurpose use whether you’re looking for a complete color change, a root touch-up, or highlights. The creamy, non-drip formula ensures you can apply the color without staining your clothes or skin.

This pick is available in a variety of neutral shades, allowing people of different skin tones to find their perfect match. It comes in a complete kit, so you don’t need any additional accessories to apply the dye. Those with gray hair will experience quick and intense coverage that makes them look immediately younger. We chose this permanent hair color as our best overall pick because of the wide variety of color options and the high-quality ingredients.


L’Oreal Paris Permanent Hair Color


  • Comes with hair care products
  • Leaves hair shinier with more volume
  • Completely covers gray hair


  • One package may not be enough

The L’Oreal Paris permanent hair color is enriched with top-quality ingredients that offer maximum coverage, particularly for gray hair. This dye boasts a triple protection system, ensuring a healthier and shinier finish to your hair. You can apply this product for all your hair coloring needs, from complete coverage to simple highlights or just a root touch-up.

This hair color comes in a complete kit, so you don’t have to purchase separate accessories for blending and application. It’s available in several shades of brown, black, and blonde, providing a wide variety for different skin types. This hair dye comes in three sizes, allowing you to pick the one according to your hair thickness and length. The kit includes conditioning agents and color care that elongates the lifespan of your hair color.


Got2B Permanent Hair Color


  • Leaves your hair shiny and vibrant
  • Includes after-treatment to protect hair color
  • Offers metallic colors


  • May not work on darker hair

The Got2B permanent hair color is ideal for those looking for a glossy finish. It comes in various color choices like purple and blue, so you can bring that spunky, sparkling look to life. It's formulated with nourishing ingredients, making your hair look healthier and more voluminous. Plus, the creamy texture enables you to apply it easily without staining your skin and clothes.

The box contains all the hair dye essentials you’ll need—a developer, color, after treatment, and gloves—so you can enjoy a complete experience. As an added bonus, this hair dye has an aftercare solution that ensures the color lasts longer.


Schwarzkopf Permanent Hair Color


  • Comes with multiple packs of dye
  • Removes tangles and softens hair
  • Provides hair with a boost of nutrition


  • Not suitable for those with sensitive skin

The Schwarzkopf premium hair color features intense gray coverage properties, allowing users to experience maximum coverage. This hair dye contains a protective serum that smooths and conditions your hair, leaving it healthy and tangle-free after dyeing. This product allows you to color your hair from root to tip, giving you a fresh new look.

This permanent dye boasts a creamy texture that covers your hair thoroughly, ensuring all the color penetrates your follicles and strands. It incorporates a bond plex that repairs damaged hair and gives it a boost with much-needed nutrition. Each box contains two packs of dye, allowing those of different hair types to color as needed. You can buy this dye in different colors to match your skin tone and complete your overall look.


SoftSheen-Carson Permanent Hair Color


  • Easy and quick to apply
  • Lasts for a long time without fading
  • Brings moisture to your hair


  • Spray might not be very accurate

The Soft-Sheen Carson permanent hair color is created for those looking for a bright and vivid look. This hair dye includes moisturizing oils like shea, olive, and avocado, and fruit extracts that strengthen your hair follicles and leave a stunning shine on your hair. It’s available as a spray foam that eliminates the struggle of mixing and blending the product.

As an added bonus, this hair dye covers gray hair fully. Its formulated with premium-quality ingredients and ensures your dye lasts for a long time without fading or losing its sheen. You can find it in gorgeous and attractive colors that will bring a bright and popping touch to your image.

People Also Ask

  • Q: How long does permanent hair color last?

    A:Permanent hair color generally lasts for six to eight weeks. But this depends on the application method, hair type, and the number of washes in between.

  • Q: How long will my permanent hair color take to process?

    A:The process should take 40 minutes to an hour, but always follow the instructions on the box for optimal results.

  • Q: Can a permanent hair color irritate my scalp?

    A:Yes, if the ingredients do not have hydrating agents or if they contain harsh chemicals, it might irritate your scalp. Try performing a strand test before applying to your entire head to see if you’re sensitive or have an allergy.

  • Q: Can you bleach over permanent hair dye?

    A:Yes, you can bleach over permanent hair dye to lighten your hair, but it's essential to proceed cautiously, as bleach can cause damage, especially if your hair is already processed.

  • Q: Can you remove permanent hair dye?

    A:To remove permanent hair dye, use color-removing products or seek professional help. Keep in mind that removing permanent dye can be challenging and may require multiple treatments.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Kaitlyn Neese

By Ashley Neese

Hi, I'm Ashley Neese and I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.  I'm passionate about all things beauty, fashion, and wellness — specifically skin care, makeup, and natural health. I love writing about things that help people feel like their best selves, whether it's finding their perfect lip color or a supplement to alleviate anxiety. In my free time, I am usually reading a romantic comedy or playing with my two dogs.

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