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These Dyes Are Easy on Your Hair

Color your cut with one of these at-home kits.

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Many men are now opting to dye their locks, choosing between bleached, pretty-much-platinum tones or technicolor hues. But coloring your hair can be costly and time-consuming, potentially even damage-inducing if done the wrong way.

Why to Dye Your Hair

Whatever your reasoning for desiring a dye — maybe you've been met, either prematurely or at long last, by a few grays; perhaps you've always wanted to try blonde for a summer; maybe you're just an adventurous person in search of their next statement — doing so in 2022 proves far easier than even a few years ago. Kits abound and handy guides, like this one, are a dime a dozen. (Cautionary tales are, too.)

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 in and how to wash it out or whether you wash it out at all. The best post-dye treatment is always to condition your hair. It needs hydrated, I promise.

It's also important to remember while none of these are permanent, they will last — so be smart about it. Sure, dyed hair is by no means illegal or even rare anymore, it'll be a stark change for you and your look.

What Not to Do

What not to do: leave the dye in for longer than the box tells you to; let your dye touch everything in sight (dye is so damn messy); forget to moisturize or condition your hair afterward; freak out if the tone turns out a tad brassy (purple shampoos can fix this); and, most importantly, pick some sub-$10 kit at your local convenience store. These kits come from newer and 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
Overtone Coloring Conditioner
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Overtone offers its hydrating Coloring Conditioner in a number of hues. There are basics like Espresso Brown but also Pastel Pink and Purple. For best results, though, the brand recommends starting with light blonde or platinum hair, which means you'll have to do that dye first. (Try the bleaching kit we recommend below.)

Overtone's 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free formula works within 10-15 minutes on dry hair. And it does so without damaging the hair. It does not contain ammonia, parabens or sulfates, making it safe for all hair types. Plus, it's effective, and the brand sells everything you need to touch it up as needed.

Best Hair Dye for Grays
True Sons Hair Dye (Dark Brown)

The process for applying True Sons' coverup dye proves to be the most natural — by far. Simply pump the foaming agent in your hands (while wearing gloves) and massage it into your mane, beard or mustache. Leave it in for 15-25 minutes, wipe off your edges with the dye removal wipe and then wash it out. The kit also comes with a dye booster for touch-ups between sessions. That process remains the same, but you only leave it in for 5 minutes instead. For the newbies or the "I would 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
Cleverman Customized Coloring Kit

Cleverman is another DTC brand proclaiming to be a cure-all for incoming, and already arrived, grays. "Rewind the clock in less than 10 minutes," their newest campaign explains, as if dyeing your hair equates to insuring your car. The four-step process promises to cover grays from root to tip, all with instructions personalized to your particular... situation. A consultation prior to purchasing informs your custom color, coverage percentage, included tools, timing and technique.

Best Colored Hair Dye
Good Dye Young Semi-Permanent Hair Color
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Founded by Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams and her longtime makeup artist, Brian O'Connor, Good Dye Young does an array of colors inspired by the singer's signature looks. There's Riot named after her red days; the Lighter Daze line that references how they'd fade; and a few others. If you're feeling ambitious — be warned: these are bold — pick a shade and send it. However, they're safe for all hair textures and tones and are both vegan and cruelty-free. A conditioning sunflower extract base prevents damage, too.

Best Custom Hair Dye
Colorsmith Custom Hair Color

Colorsmith customizes your chosen color to best cover any grays. The brand promises natural-looking coverage ranging from grays blended into grays fully covered. One can use the kit to address fleeting tones up top or in facial hair, and a single session lasts through 24 washes. This is the go-to, at-home kit for those (rightfully) fearful of looking downright dreadful after a store-bought box dye experiment.

Best Hair Bleaching Kit
Lime Crime Unicorn Bleach Party Kit
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If you have darker hair but are trying to go blonde, or have recently dyed hair you want to redo, bleach is your best bet for landing your desired look. But you can't just any kind; 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. Also, it does so without PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates and product testing on animals. Infused Aloe vera aids in moisture retention, too.

How to Get Healthier Hair in Just 90 Days
how to significantly improve your hair in 90 days gear patrol lead full
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Lots of things can damage your hair: your environment, your diet and even the products that claim to clean and protect it. Here's how to fast-track its recovery.

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