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The 7 Best Box Hair Dyes to Buy in 2022

The 7 Best Box Hair Dyes to Buy in 2022

Box hair dye is popular among many people for its accessibility and affordability. It is not recommended you use this as your only form of hair color. However, it is a helpful tool for those who need a light touch-up or need to fix a major hair mistake quickly.

What’s the Best Box Hair Dye?

Many companies make box hair dye on the market. Some specialize in providing formulas for each natural hair color, others specialize in unnatural colors like purple or blue, and others corner the market in covering up grays. 

In this list, we will show you the top 8 box hair dyes that you can get your hands on today!

Our Top Picks for the Best Box Hair Dye
  1. Best Overall: Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color
  2. Best for Blondes: Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse
  3. Best for Brunettes: John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Color
  4. Best for Redheads: L’Oreal Paris Feria Permanent Hair Color
  5. Best for Covering Gray Hair: Clairol Nice N Easy Root Touch Up
  6. Best for Highlights: L’Oreal Paris Touch On Highlights 
  7. Best for Unnatural Hair Colors: L’Oreal Paris Colorista Hair Color 

Keep reading for more information on each product and the pros and cons of each box dye we’ve selected! 

Why You Need a Box Hair Dye

Box hair dye next to a bowl with the product in it pictured on a table

Alexander Teplyakov/Shutterstock

Box hair dye is perfect for those in-between coloring session touch-ups. People who spot unwanted gray hairs can also use one of these dyes. Others who want to experiment with unnatural colors like pink or blue can make use of an at-home box of hair dye too. 

If you find yourself in any of these situations, having a box of dye on hand is a great idea. Choose a brand that best fits your needs and keep it at home, for when you need it most. 

Best Box Hair Dye: Our Top 7 Picks 

Read on for the top seven best boxed hair dyes on the market! 

1. Best Overall: Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color

Best Overall
Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color
Pros:
  • Works in only 10 minutes
  • It contains 80% naturally derived vegan ingredients
  • No ammonia or added parabens
Cons:
  • Demi-permanent color that washes out in about 28 washes
  • A limited number of red and black shades
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This dye is our best choice overall because of the lack of synthetic ingredients. We also love that it works in about 10 minutes. It has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on the customer reviews section of Amazon.

Most reviews are positive, but the criticism comes from the fact that it does not cover the hair for very long, which is fair since it is a demi-permanent dye. Positive reviews state they like the color options, that it works quickly, and they appreciate the commitment to using less harmful ingredients. 

2. Best for Blondes: Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse

Best for Blondes
Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse
Pros:
  • Has color boost technology with a triple fruit oil blend
  • It has a rich, non-drip cream formula
  • 100% gray coverage
Cons:
  • A more permanent product does not allow for mistakes
  • It contains many non-vegan ingredients
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The Garnier Nutrisse line provides nourishing color products since it is infused with three fruit oils. The avocado oil, olive oil, and shea oil work to protect and nourish your hair throughout the coloring process. 

It has 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon customer reviews. Customers are pleased with the efficacy of the dye, the ease of application, and the blend of the three oils, which protect the hair and provide shiny results. 

Customers do not like that some shades have more brassy tones than intended, so be sure to research the particular shade you want before you buy it. Some say the developer in the product is not strong enough as well. 

3. Best for Brunettes: John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Color 

Best for Brunettes
John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Color 
Pros:
  • Thick foam consistency with a non-drip formula
  • 100% gray coverage
  • Natural looking results
Cons:
  • Non-vegan formula
  • It does not offer as many shades as other brands
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The John Frieda Precision Foam Hair Color is a popular choice for brunettes because the brown colors in the line cover a wide range of tones. You can expect salon-quality dye jobs with this drugstore product. It has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon customer reviews.

Customers say they like that the product works as advertised and that is easy to use without making a mess. They also appreciate that the conditioner and the dye are not too damaging. Most negative reviews come from people receiving faulty products or missing components. 

4. Best for Redheads: L’Oreal Paris Feria Permanent Hair Color

Best for Redheads
L’Oreal Paris Feria Permanent Hair Color
Pros:
  • Permanent hair color that lasts 6-8 weeks
  • Gel consistency for easy use
  • Has a large range of red colors
Cons:
  • Very intense color does not allow for mistakes
  • Not recommended for originally dark hair
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Finding a hair color that works for redheads can be challenging. L’Oreal Paris Feria is a line that supports striking colors across the spectrum. Their red line offers a wider range than most companies, with nine color options! 

There is a helpline for those who are dying their hair with these products at home, which is a plus especially if you have not done it before. It is permanent and lasts for 6-8 weeks depending on the wear and tear on your hair. 

Customers gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon customer reviews. Many praised the strength of the red colors, but warn that it is intense, so you should be ready for that. 

5. Best for Covering Gray Hair: Clairol Nice N Easy Root Touch Up

Best for Covering Gray Hair
Clairol Nice N Easy Root Touch Up
Pros:
  • Easy-to-use tool included
  • 100% gray coverage
  • Inexpensive, natural-looking color
Cons:
  • It might not work on every hair color
  • The brush handle is small
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For many people, covering gray hair is top of mind. If you have just begun going gray, you might only have a few grays in the area or at the root. If this is the case, the Clairol Nice N Easy Root Touch Up might be for you! 

It has 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon customer reviews and is a tried and true staple in the covering grays department. People also love that the tools included make it easy to use.

6. Best for Highlights: L’Oreal Paris Touch On Highlights

Best for Highlights
Touch On Highlights Iced Champagne
Pros:
  • Easy-to-use tool included
  • Delivers light highlights as promised
  • Controllable and customizable
Cons:
  • One box might not be long enough for long hair
  • Harsh on hair
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Highlights are often a style you should have your stylist do. However, if you need to touch up your highlights or want to try it out, this L’Oreal Paris Touch On Highlights product might be for you! 

The unique fingertip tool ensures that the highlights are perfectly placed and that the customer can place them easily. It is an easy-to-use tool that makes a world of difference! 

This product has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating, and many customers like that it is easy to use and effective. Some people had issues in the past with the color oxidizing and becoming more orange than intended, but others do not have this problem at all. 

7. Best for Unnatural Hair Colors: L’Oreal Paris Colorista Hair Color

Best for Unnatural Hair Colors
L’Oreal Paris Colorista Hair Color
Pros:
  • Easy to use bold colors
  • Lasts 5-15 shampoos
  • Liquid formula
Cons:
  • Semi-permanent
  • Color transfer is an issue
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L’Oreal Paris Colorista Hair Color comes in many shades, from pink to blue to gray. It is one of the best unnatural hair color box dyes on the market due to its variety of colors, easy application, and vegan formula.

It has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. Customers like the color range and that it is a fun way to switch up their hair. It is also useful on lighter and darker hair tones, but be aware the lighter base color will make the box dye stand out more. 

Some people say the pastel colors fade quicker than the bold colors. Other customers cite color transfer as being a large issue even after multiple washes. 

Box Hair Dye Buying Guide

Woman looking at the best box hair dyes in a store

Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

You need to know what you’re doing when you buy boxed hair dye. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

Consider the Ingredients

You must research the best hair dye for your hair type, your hair goals, and your skin type. There is evidence that hair color commonly leads to contact allergic reactions for people who use the products and are unaware of their contents or how they will react to their skin. Be sure to read the label! 

Consider Your Hair Goals 

When buying a hair dye, you should consider whether or not the product will meet your specific hair goals. If you want a more permanent color, go for something that meets that qualification.

If you prefer to use more natural ingredients, choose a dye that adheres to that. Not every dye meets every goal, so that is why it is important to do research on the product before purchasing. 

Consider Your Hair Type 

Some dyes work better on straight hair, while others are formulated for curly textures. Find the dye that works best on your specific hair type before using it! The best way to do this is by looking at customer reviews. 

Consider the Dye Strength 

As mentioned, some dyes are demi-permanent while others are semi-permanent. You will likely not run into hair dye that is truly permanent for at-home use because of the chemical compounds that it contains. 

If you want something that will last for as long as possible, purchase a semi-permanent hair dye. These are usually stronger than the demi-permanent dyes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman using the best box hair dye in her house

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Below are the most frequently asked questions about boxed hair dye. 

Are At-Home Box Dyes Permanent?

Most at-home hair dyes are demi-permanent or semi-permanent meaning they will wash out eventually. It must have this quality so that it will wash off of your skin or other items you might get at home.

Do Box Dyes Damage Your Hair?

Box dyes are usually ammonia-free, which makes them less harmful to your hair. However, every time you use a coloring agent on your hair, you cause a small amount of damage that can build up over time.

Are At-Home Dyes as Good as the Salon?

At home, dyes are generally lower quality than salon-quality hair dye. This is largely due to the type of chemicals you can sell to consumers in the store.

What Color Hair Dyes Last the Longest?

Brown hair color often lasts the longest. You may notice that many box hair dye companies sell many more shades of brown than any other color.

Why is My Hair Dye Fading So Quickly?

One thing to watch out for when using at-home box hair dye is that you follow the suggestions and instructions closely. If you frequently wash your hair with hot water, the color will fade faster than if you wash less often. Being out in the sun with exposure to ultraviolet rays can also cause the color to fade faster.

So, Which Boxed Hair Dye Will You Pick?

We love the Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color! It is easily accessible, affordable, and far less damaging than many other dyes on the market. 

Best Overall
Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color
Pros:
  • Works in only 10 minutes
  • It contains 80% naturally derived vegan ingredients
  • No ammonia or added parabens
Cons:
  • Demi-permanent color that washes out in about 28 washes
  • A limited number of red and black shades
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It is a demi-permanent hair dye, so it will not last as long as other semi-permanent hair dyes on the market, but we love the more natural ingredients and the color range with those ingredients. 

Other dyes on our list are great for certain hair goals, so be sure to check them out the next time you want to dye your hair at home. Happy coloring!