If you're looking to ditch your lighter strands and go dark — or simply refresh your current raven shade — we understand that the idea of pulling off a DIY black hair dye job can be intimidating. But it shouldn't be! Nowadays, at-home hair color is easier than ever to use, and it allows you to experiment with different hair color trends, like black, for a fraction of the price of a salon visit. Most drugstore dyes are now designed to keep color vibrant for weeks — through heat styling and multiple washes — and also come with a conditioner to keep your hair nourished and shiny.
But how to choose which black hair dye is for you? There are a variety of black shades and undertones out there to consider, including blue-black (which has cooler undertones), warm black, full-on jet black (if you want the darkest black) and more. But no matter which shade you decide to try, you don't have to go all in the first time: If you aren't ready to commit to a permanent color, opt for a demi-permanent option, which fades after several washes.
How we test at-home hair color
The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab uses both consumer testers and controlled Lab tests to test at-home hair dye. In the Lab, our scientists dye swatches with all different shades of color, and evaluate them for a multitude of factors, including gray hair coverage, color stability, shine and fade resistance. GH Beauty Lab scientists conduct their evaluations over a four-week period, running a series of tests, including 20 wash and dry cycles and 10 hours of UV light exposure. Boxed dyes are also tested on a panel of real women all over the country who evaluate the hair color on ease of use, gray coverage, color richness, color performance, uniformity and accuracy (as compared to the image on the box). They also share real-life feedback on how shiny, soft and smooth their hair is after coloring, plus how the shade fades over four weeks.
Based on the GH Beauty Lab's extensive evaluations of the best at-home hair color products, these are the best black hair dyes you can buy for deep, dark color that lasts: