15 Best Red Hair Dyes For Dark Hair (That Won't Make It Look Brassy)

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15 Best Red Hair Dyes For Dark Hair (That Won't Make It Look Brassy)

True story: I used to have red hair for eight years. It was my trademark hair color, and it got brighter every single year I had it.

Having red hair when you’re not born with it isn’t easy. In fact, from what I’ve gathered, it’s one of the most high-maintenance hair colors known to man.

Getting red hair when you have dark hair is really difficult, and when I’d decide to get black or purple streaks in my hair, I’d occasionally have to do that.

RELATED: 20 Best Vegan And Cruelty-Free Hair Dyes

That being said, I’ve become a guru on the best red hair dye.

Here are my picks for the best red hair dye for dark hair, to avoid making it brassy.

1. Go Intense! Ultra Radiant Color Creme by Dark and Lovely

If you’ve got really dark hair that has been resistant to just about every kind of dye, ebony products might be the best way to go.

Dark and Lovely makes a really powerful hair dye that doesn’t require bleach and will bring out a beautiful red hue that just can’t be ignored. It’s gorgeous and works on the darkest hair shades out there.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

2. Vampire Red Hair Cream Color by Manic Panic

Manic Panic has long been known as the hair color company favored by punks, goths, and all denizens of the underground music world. This hair dye is bright enough to make a noticeable tinge of red happen in medium-brown hair.

Darker shades may need to lighten their hair a bit before they try it. Of course, if you’re looking for a bolder red color, using this after a bleach session can work wonders.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

3. Long-Lasting Bright Hair Color in Red Velvet from Sparks

If you’re looking for the best red hair dye that’s loud and proud, look no further than Sparks’ Red Velvet hue. Like other bold colors, using this dye on top of darker hair shades will give you a rich, multidimensional red hue.

If you’re looking for the full bonanza effect of a wild red hairdo, then you will need bleach. Either way, it definitely lasts longer than most other dyes, making it a great choice regardless of the look you want.

(Sparks Color, prices vary by location)

4. Ultîme Hair Color Cream in Wine Red by Schwarzkopf

Not really feeling the “cherry red” look? I totally understand — we all need to grow up once in a while.

Schwarzkopf makes a really good option for brunettes who want a more “adult” kind of red. Their wine red hair color works well with both warm and cool skin tones, and won't get you written up at work.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

5. Excellence HiColor Red by L'Oreal

When it comes to making pure red hair dyes that would make a fire hydrant blush, you really can’t go wrong with L’Oreal’s Excellence HiColor line. Formulated specially for dark hair, this dye lifts your hair’s color by 3 to 4 shades without bleach, but remains gentle enough for damaged hair to use.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

6. Feria Power Reds in Auburn/Cherry Crush by L’Oreal

Another good option for brunettes who want to add a fiery hue to their hair is the Feria Power Reds line, also from L’Oreal. Their Feria line really does come true-to-color, especially with people who have medium-brown shade of hair.

Of course, you can always use bleach if you want that extra “oomph,” but it’s really not necessary with something as bright as Cherry Crush.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

7. Midnight Ruby by Splat

When Splat came out with their Midnight collection, brunettes let out a collective sigh of relief. This super-gentle series offers dark haired people the chance to have beautiful (and slightly unnatural) colors of hair ranging from blue to purple to (you guessed it) red.

I’ve heard good things and no bleach is needed, so it’s definitely worth a try.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

8. Ruby Red Semi-Permanent Hair Color by Adore

People who have a little bit of experience with hair dye shouldn’t think they have to stick to drugstore names. Adore’s Ruby Red is a favorite among hair stylists, mixes well with other dyes for your own signature shade, and also lasts impressively long.

While it may require bleach, the results are pretty striking on dark hair and it sticks much better than most others.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: 12 Best Color-Correction Hair Products​

9. ColorSilk Luminista Hair Dye in Red by Revlon

For ladies who have a little bit of gray going on, the hardest part of finding good hair dye is finding something that works equally well on light and dark hues.

Revlon made a nice red dye that covers up gray well and still manages to keep your hair a beautiful rose hue. It’s also a “no bleach necessary” dye, so you can bet that it’s gentle on hair.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

10. Color Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Red by Joico

Joico is one of the relatively newer names hitting store shelves, and honestly, they’ve been toppling competition on almost every level.

This hair color adds a serious punch of red to darker hues, and turns into a nice, rich raspberry hue on most brunette shades. It also conditions while adding color, so your hair will thank you.

(Walmart, $18.98)

11. Balsam Hair Color in Medium Reddish Brown by Clairol

Red’s a dramatic color regardless, so there’s no real need to dial it up to a 10 all the time.

A good option for brunettes who want a natural, auburn hair color that has a little bit of “pop” without it being totally punk is Clairol’s Medium Reddish Brown from their Balsam Hair Color line. It looks so natural, you’d swear you were born a redhead.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

12. Nutrisse Ultra Color in Scarlett Ronze by Garnier

A slightly more warm-toned hair color that remains somewhat natural can be found in Garnier’s Scarlett Ronze hue. This “no bleach necessary” dye gives darker hair colors a beautiful ginger red tone that looks amazing at any age.

Since it’s part of Garnier’s Nutrisse line, you also can expect to enjoy the perks of added nutrients to help protect your hair’s glossy look.

(Available from Garnier)

13. Permanent Hair Color 9R Fire Red by Naturtint

As crazy as it may be to believe, there are some red hair dyes out there that work decently well on dark hair without too many chemicals.

This hair dye has no ammonia, no paragons, and is designed to be gentle on hair. It’s a great option for brunettes who want a ruby red hair color without the nastiness found in other dyes.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

14. dpHUE Gloss+ Semi-Permanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner

There’s something to be said about a shade of red that’s so intense, so bold, that it makes people turn their heads.

Back when I used to be a redhead, that striking statement was what got me to use this color and conditioner. This product doubles as a dye and conditioner, perfectfor the brunette who wants red hair with minimal upkeep. It gives you everything you need to get the hue you want.

(Sephora, $35)

15. Exotic Shine Hair Color in Intensive Red by Creme of Nature

Ethnic hair is never really easy to manage, and it’s even harder to find a dye that works on it without causing lasting damage.

Creme of Nature’s Exotic Shine dyes are made for people who have dry ethnic hair that want to add intense color to their locks. Their Intensive Red dye is one of the most vibrant on there, and, yes, it’s shockingly true-to-color.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: How To Dye Black Hair Red: A Step-By-Step Guide​

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. She writes primarily about lifestyle, food, finance, and relationships. You can follow her on Twitter.​

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