Many men now choose to dye their locks, choosing between bleached, almost platinum or technicolor hues. But coloring your hair can be expensive and time-consuming, and can even cause damage if done incorrectly.
Why dye your hair
Whatever your reasoning for desiring a dye – maybe you’ve been met, prematurely or finally, by a few greys; maybe you always wanted to try blonde for a summer; maybe you’re just an adventurous person looking for your next statement – doing it in 2021 is proving much easier than it was a few years ago. Kits abound and how-to guides, like this one, cost a penny by the dozen. (So are cautionary tales.)
How to dye your hair
Our best advice is to trust yourself – after spot testing, of course. Most kits come with their own set of instructions that explain how to apply the dye, how long it should soak, and how to wash it off or whether to wash it off at all. The best post-color treatment is always to condition your hair. He needs to be hydrated, I promise.
It’s also important to remember that while none of these are permanent, they will last – so be smart about that. Of course, dyed hair is no longer illegal or even rare, it will be a game changer for you and your look.
What you should not do
What not to do: Leave the dye on longer than the box tells you; let your dye touch everything in sight (dye is so messy); forget to moisturize or condition your hair afterwards; panic if the tone becomes a little brassy (purple shampoos can solve this problem); and, most importantly, pick up a kit under $10 at your local convenience store. These kits are from newer, smaller brands that care about the health of your hair. Traditional dyes are harsh – these are not.
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Best Overall Hair Dye
Harmonic coloring conditioner
Overtone offers its hydrating color conditioner in a number of shades. There are basics like Espresso Brown but also Pastel Pink and Purple. For best results, however, the brand recommends starting with light blonde or platinum hair, which means you’ll need to do this dye first. (Try the whitening kit we recommend below.)
Overtone’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free formula works in 10-15 minutes on dry hair. And it does it without damaging the hair. It contains no ammonia, parabens or sulfates, making it safe for all hair types. In addition, it is effective, and the brand sells everything you need to touch up as needed.
Best hair dye for grays
True Sons Hair Dye (Dark Brown)
True Sons’ camouflage dye application process turns out to be the most natural – by far. Simply pump the foaming agent into your hands (while wearing gloves) and massage it into your mane, beard or mustache. Leave on for 15-25 minutes, wipe your edges with the bleaching wipe, then rinse. The kit also comes with a tint booster for touch-ups between sessions. This process remains the same, but you only leave it for 5 minutes instead. For beginners or “I’d never dye my hair” camp, this kit is quick and discreet – albeit less personalized, though. Colors range from dark brown to dusty blonde.
Best Routine Hair Dye
Custom Cleverman Coloring Kit
Cleverman is another DTC brand claiming to be a panacea for incoming and already arrived greys. “Rewind time in less than 10 minutes,” their new campaign says, as if dyeing your hair is like insuring your car. The four-step process promises to cover grays from root to tip, all with instructions personalized to your unique situation. A pre-purchase consultation informs your custom color, percent coverage, included tools, timing, and technique.
Best Dye for Colored Hair
Semi-permanent hair color Good Dye Young
Founded by Paramore singer Hayley Williams and her longtime makeup artist, Brian O’Connor, Good Dye Young offers a range of colors inspired by the singer’s iconic looks. There’s Riot named after its red days; the Lighter Daze line which references how they would fade; and a few others. If you’re feeling ambitious – be warned: these are bold colors – pick a shade and send it. However, they are safe for all hair textures and tones and are both vegan and cruelty-free. A base of conditioning sunflower extract also prevents damage.
Best Custom Hair Dye
Colorsmith Custom Hair Color
Colorsmith customizes the chosen color to best cover all grays. The brand promises natural-looking coverage ranging from blended grays to full-coverage grays. One can use the kit to treat fleeting tones up top or in the facial hair, and a single session lasts 24 washes. This is the perfect at-home kit for those (rightly) concerned about looking downright terrible after a store-bought can dye experience.
best hair bleaching kit
Lime Crime Unicorn Bleach Party Kit
If you have darker hair but are trying to go blonde, or have recently dyed hair that you want to redo, bleach is your best bet for achieving the look you want. But you can’t do anything; there are dozens of options ranging from archaic to ammonia overload, but Lime Crime’s kit – cleverly called Bleach Party – lifts up to six levels. Plus, it does so without PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, and product testing on animals. The infused aloe vera also helps with moisture retention.
How to have healthier hair in just 90 days
Many things can damage your hair: your environment, your diet, and even products that claim to clean and protect it. Here’s how to speed up your recovery.
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