Skip to Content

What Color Can I Dye My Black Hair Without Bleaching?

Have you been asking yourself, “what color can I dye my black hair without bleaching?” You may have been wanting to get your black hair to a shade closer to red! Statistics say you’ve thought about it.

After all, experts say that roughly 2% of the world’s population has red hair! Black, on the other hand, is about 70%. We’ll show you our top picks for colors to dye your black hair without using bleach. Read on to learn more.

What Are Some Great No-Bleach Hair Colors?

Auburn is one of the best colors, especially if you want to hint towards red. You can use similar darker colors like mahogany and burgundy without too much trouble. The shade of your black hair will help make this a more unique color.

If you want something lighter than these colors, consider going for a cinnamon tone. It’ll keep the same red hue but have a brighter, more Autumnal shade.

You could also use a mushroom brown for an earthy tone that isn’t as muted or dark as others. Using bleach can help lighten your hair for plenty of colors, but that doesn’t mean that you want to put bleach in your hair!

Some of the best colors you can put in your hair will instead use a darker base. If your hair is already naturally black, you can use plenty of warm or earthen tones without bleach.

You Might Also Like:

Why No Bleach?

Woman with hair damaged from bleach for a piece on what color can you dye your black hair without using bleach


There are plenty of reasons why someone may not want to use bleach on their hair. First and foremost, bleach is heavily damaging to hair. By damaging the cuticle and follicle, your hair can develop split ends and break away.

You also will make your hair rougher and less soft to the touch. Bleach also can penetrate the hair shaft. When this occurs, it can cause natural fatty acids to break down.

Similar to damaging the follicle, this can lead to your hair breaking or falling away and severely damage your hair’s health. Whatever damage may occur to your hair, bleach makes it more susceptible to them.

From UV rays, to wind or dirt, it can make your hair dull and frizzy. It also makes it more difficult to maintain the moisture levels necessary for your hair to stay soft. Past the hair, bleach can also harm your skin.

Sensitive skin is especially vulnerable to having bleach on it. If left on the skin, the bleach can cause rashes, blisters, and worse. Bleach is completely safe to use if used properly, but many feel the risks outweigh the benefits.

Many others simply don’t want to use bleach so that their hair can keep a darker tone. Repeatedly bleaching your hair is particularly harmful, as it gives your hair less time to heal.

Read Next: Does Bleaching Your Hair Damage It Forever?

How Does Bleaching Make Dyeing Hair Easier?

Bleaching your hair will give you a lighter color to work with. In such a way, it makes dyeing your hair with brighter colors significantly easier. In darker hair colors, it can even be outright impossible to dye your hair from one color to another.

For example, if you have deep brown hair, it’s incredibly difficult to get it to blonde outright. Bleaching your hair first can make it a much less significant color change.

However, how bleaching accomplishes this is by damaging your hair. Bleach works by breaking through your hair shaft and oxidizing the melanin in your hair. This melanin gives your hair its color, but oxidizing it can create many health issues.

Great No-Bleach Colors for Black Hair

Photo of a woman choosing the best hair dye colors without needing bleach


Now that we know the reasons (and risks) for bleaching, we can look into some of the great colors that you can get without bleaching! Here are some of the best colors you can dye your black hair without having to resort to bleaching.

1. Auburn

Auburn is an excellent color to move to if your hair is a shade of black bordering on a dark brown. The reddish, bronze hues of auburn are easily picked up by most shades of black.

Unfortunately, the upkeep on auburn hair makes it difficult to keep the color. Compared to other colors, auburn will fade rather quickly, making it important for you to continue dyeing the hair if you want to keep the color.

Without re dyeing the hair, it can turn to a dim, somewhat earthen orange. While far from unpleasant, this shade lacks the glamor of auburn.

2. Mahogany

Mahogany is a slightly darker version of auburn that your hair may favor. It also comes with plenty of options, such as more coppery mahogany or chocolatey shades.

Mahogany is easily one of the most popular options for a bleach-less dye. Pick the shade closest to your desired coloration and try it out!

3. Burgundy

Burgundy offers a coloration that dips more towards a dark crimson. Most burgundy shades are darker than a bulk of other options.

Burgundy is beautiful by itself but truly shines in direct light. This stunning shade can help you stay at the center of everyone’s desire in any setting.

4. Chestnut

Chestnut shades are great for black hair that has a brighter hint of brown to it. The caramel undertones make this a fantastic wintery holiday color. Few colors that can match a beautifully done chestnut.

5. Earthy Tones

If you want something that isn’t quite as bright as many of the other options here, you can aim for some earthy tones. Many of these tones are great for autumn and winter.

One of the most popular earthy tones is mushroom brown. This deep ashy tone evokes the feeling of the forest floor deep in winter. However, mushroom brown is also a notoriously difficult DIY project.

It’s unlikely you’ll find a great, lustrous color out of a box. Instead, this is a great style to bring to your favorite hair stylist as the seasons begin to turn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman dyeing her black hair a natural color without using bleach

Vladimka Production/Shutterstock

With everything we’ve discussed, there are still some questions remaining. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding coloring your black hair without bleaching.

How Bad Is Bleaching Damage?

Bleaching damage can become severe, especially with repeated applications. Continuously exposing your hair to harmful chemicals can drastically lower the health of your hair overall.

That said, a single bleaching session is unlikely to cause severe damage. Do your best to be safe. If you’re nervous or unsure about how to bleach your hair, let a professional handle it for the best results!

How Often Can I Bleach?

The numbers vary depending on hair health, type, color, and many more factors. Generally speaking, it’s suggested you do not bleach your hair more than once every ten weeks. Others will say that you can bleach it much more often.

It’s always better to sit on the side of caution instead of risking the health of your hair! Where you’re bleaching your hair also matters. Damaging your roots can have severe impacts on the health of your hair, for example.

Can I Have Bright Hair Without Bleach?

Absolutely! There are many natural ways to brighten your hair. You can do natural remedies such as sea salt, lemon juice, or sunlight. Even chamomile tea is great for brightening your hair, though these may not be powerful enough for your desired results.

Some dyed hair colors can stick to dark hair just fine. A golden brown is a great way to try out lighter hair colors and edge towards blonde without having to dye your hair.

Read Next: How to Lighten Hair Without Bleaching

What Are Some Natural Hair Dyeing Alternatives?

If you want your hair darker, you can try to darken it with natural alternatives. Coffee and black tea are two natural options that can help darken your hair towards a deeper black.

For lighter hair, there are countless natural alternatives. Chamomile, lemon juice, and even honey are all commonly used to brighten hair.

These options can also add undertones of color, but use them carefully! Some of these alternatives have risks associated. For example, lemon juice was popular in the 70s and 80s for hair highlights, but it eventually came to be seen as risky.

When exposed to high heat, lemon juice can heavily damage your hair. Use low heat and keep tabs on your hair in case the lemon juice begins to cause damage.

How Do I Keep My New Hair Color?

You can care for your newly-dyed hair the way you would care for any dyed hair! Most colors will fade and wash out over time, which can lead to reapplying.

Since you don’t need to bleach your hair, reapplying isn’t as damaging as it sometimes is. Other than this, practice proper hair care and enjoy your stunning new look!

So, What Color Can You Dye Your Hair Without Bleaching?

If you were asking yourself, “what color can I dye my black hair without bleaching?” then we’ve hopefully answered that for you! You have a massive array of options from autumnal auburn to deep forest mushroom shades.

No matter what you pick, you’re certain to enjoy your gorgeous new look without having to damage your hair with bleaching. To learn more about hair care, browse our extensive blog for more information. Happy coloring!