If you’re wary of bleaching your hair, you’re not alone. From tales of bleaching disasters to warnings over how bleach breaks down hair’s protective coating, there are plenty of reasons to stay clear of it. But bleach does allow for better color transfer when dyeing your hair, so if you’re looking for a temporary hair dye for dark hair without bleaching, you’ll want to do some research first.
Before you buy, it’s important to be real about your expectations. A vibrant teal won’t show up as well on dark hair without bleach, but that’s no reason not to use it! In fact, there are tons of semi-permanent hair dyes that use special formulas to help brown hair cling to color for longer. If you’re looking for a pop of color that will last for at least a few weeks, you may want to consider a box dye or “putty” that stains hair fibers.
On the other hand, if you’re searching for something even more temporary, there are a lot of eye-popping temporary hair dyes for brunettes that you can choose from. You can go for a wax, spray, or even chalk that adds in really fun bursts of color just for the day. They’re easy to wash out and you can change them up again the next day.
Ready to rainbow up your hair? Check out these awesome temporary dyes for dark hair to help you find your perfect match.
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1. Best Box Dye: L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color For Brunettes
Not only is this box dye made just for brunettes, but it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals to amp up your color. There’s no ammonia, peroxide, bleach, or other color-lifting agents in this formula. It goes on silky smooth and actually conditions your hair while it goes to work. Depending how long you let the color set, this box dye can last for up to 10 shampoos, which is the perfect amount of time to color up temporarily. Even professional stylists absolutely love this dye. This is available in seven different vibrant colors that reviewers love.
According to one reviewer: “I love this stuff. I have been coloring my hair with “unnatural” colors for over 20 years now. I started with Manic Panic at 13 and now in my 30’s I have yet to go back to my natural color. I am also a former hairdresser/colorist so I have a LOT of experience with pretty much every brand of these semi-permanent colors. THIS IS MY HOLY GRAIL, RIDE OR DIE, BAE of the semi-perms for me.”
2. Best Spray: L’Oreal Paris Colorista 1-Day Temporary Hair Color Spray
For a one-day fix, this temporary color spray is really effective and tons of fun. This formula is made to color hair in a variety of vibrant colors without any bleach, making it suitable for even the darkest shades. Just spray anywhere to create highlights or all-over color, give it a few minutes to set, and you’re good to go. This formula is super lightweight and never sticky, and it’s really easy to wash out at the end of the day. This hair spray dye comes in 11 different colors so you can pick up a few for multiple different styles.
According to one reviewer: “This is a very good product, offering good coverage and color even on very dark hair. To use, wash and style your hair as you want it, then use this spray to finish your look and add color to your hair. It dries fast, holds the color perfectly, and is non-transferring if you brush against clothing, etc.”
3. Best Wax: MOFAJANG Hair Coloring Dye Wax
You can style and dye your tresses at the same time with this genius hair dye wax. Made with environmentally safe and gentle ingredients, this wax works similarly to other waxes and pomades by holding your hair into place without hardening. Yet it also features highly pigmented colors that add a vibrant burst to your hair as you style it. This wax works great for a one-day transformation and is really simple to wash out when you’re ready to go back to your original color. This pick comes in five bright colors, and since it’s under $10, you can pick up a few.
According to one reviewer: “This stuff is amazing! I got it for my daughter. We were initially skeptical because it appeared to be magenta or hot pink, but as it dried it got darker and truly is the wine red. It is beautiful and she got so many compliments and application was simple enough. I will definitely be ordering additional colors.”
4. Best Chalk: LDREAMAM Temporary Hair Chalk
Using these hair chalks is just like painting your hair for the day. They come as a set with 12 neon-bright colors that you can mix and match all over your hair for a super fun effect. You can even blend multiple colors together to create an ombre effect, or chalk your whole head in every color to create a vibrant rainbow. Plus, these chalks easily wash out with your regular shampoo when you’re finished, and reviewers noted that they don’t create too much of a mess.
According to one reviewer: “I have no problem dyeing my hair fun and funky colors. However, sometimes I just want a quick change that doesn’t last long. I decided to give hair chalk a try. [I]t’s like coloring. You put more product you get darker shades. Totally fun for everyone. It’s not overly messy, washes out, doesn’t damage your hair, and the looks you can create are endless.”
5. Best Fade-Resistant Option: Punky Cotton Candy Semi Permanent Conditioning Hair Color
If you’d rather keep your color for a bit longer, this semi-permanent conditioner dye is the perfect solution. It works like a luxe cream conditioner that you smooth into your hair after shampooing to add softness and flexibility to your locks. But this conditioner also temporarily stains even the darkest hair to reveal vivid shades. And the best part is your fun new hair color lasts anywhere from 25 to 40 shampoos before it needs a touch-up. Thousands of reviewers couldn’t say enough good things about this dye. Bonus: It comes in the most color options, with a whopping 18 different shades.
According to one reviewer: “As a professional hair stylist let me just say, hello color! This is the most amazing product I’ve ever used and I have been doing hair for over 9 years. As a stylist who has used pravana, redden, matrix and hennas and manic panic, this product is the best. I will be buying again.”