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How to dye your hair black at home

Black is a mysterious shade. Magical when done right. Borderline scary if it goes wrong. Here’s some tips to help make it work for you.


Sometimes, bold and beautiful black hair is all you need to make a show-stopping statement

Looking to switch up your hair color and add some drama to your look? Whether you're going for a daring and edgy style or a sleek and sophisticated look, black hair can be a timeless and versatile choice.

Luckily, dyeing your hair black at home is easier than you might think, and we're here to show you how. Follow our guide as we walk you through the steps to dye your hair like a pro! So grab your box of hair dye, and let's get started! 

First things first, should I dye my hair black?

Dyeing hair black can be a bold move for some, especially if you have lighter-colored hair. So, before you hit the store to pick up your black hair dye, it might be worth considering why you're doing it in the first place. 

Are you looking to cover those pesky gray hair? Want to try something new and adventurous? Or maybe you're just in the mood for a change?

Here are a few things you should consider before you reach for that box of hair dye. 

1. Black hair color is difficult to lighten afterwards

Start slow! Lightening black hair can be difficult and damaging for the hair, especially if you're someone who likes to change their hair frequently. You'll have to go through multiple coloring sessions (often using harsh chemicals) to get the light hair color you want which can leave your hair feeling dry and damaged.

If you’re hesitant to take the plunge, consider doing a strand test. It’s a safe and easy way to check that you love your new hair color before you commit to dyeing your entire head.

So, if you plan to dye your hair pastel pink at some point, you might want to give dyeing your hair black a second thought.

2. Poor coloring attempts often lead to brittle, damaged hair

Just like any other hair dye, you need to know how to apply it properly to get the best result. Dyeing your hair poorly can make it prone to breakage, leaving it feeling dry and damaged.

For example, leaving the hair dye on your hair for a long time can make it over-processed, resulting in over-porous hair. In other instances, incorrect hair dye application could also result in uneven hair color.

To avoid these issues, use high-quality hair care products, and follow proper application techniques to take good care of your hair after coloring. Following the hair dyeing instructions in your box hair dye kit is the easiest way to avoid any hair disasters!

3. Consider your skin tone to pick the best black hair dye shade


Black or a darker brown shade of hair dye complements each skin tone differently. When you think of black hair color, you may not realize that it comes in a wide spectrum of shades beyond the typical plain and simple black.

From blue-black and cherry-black shades to brown-black and plum-black – no matter your style, we have a shade for you!

If you have fair skin with cool undertones, consider going natural black, blue-black and plum-black shades, which have the same cool undertones.

If you plan to dye your hair darker and have a warm skin tone, natural and soft black shades will look great on you. In case you're curious to know how your hair color will turn out to be after dyeing, you can always refer to the before and after hair color chart that's usually included in the package. A great way to get a better idea of what to expect while choosing the perfect shade for your hair. 

For dark skin tones, jet-black hair color can look amazing. Just remember to pick a multidimensional shade, like our Nice‘n Easy blackest black shade, to avoid your hair and skin tone from looking too flat. 

4. If you have blonde, colored or bleached hair and want to go black

If you have blonde or pre-colored hair, dyeing your hair black (especially if you’re doing it for the first time) can be tricky. We don’t recommend doing this on your own. Instead, leave this in the hands of a professional. Then if you like it, it will be easy to maintain on your own by following the instructions for a root application in your color kit.

If you’re looking to dye your hair but unsure where to start, our experts are ready at hand to provide you with professional guidance and help you achieve the shade of your dreams. Just reach out to us on Clairol Hotline at 1-800-CLAIROL and we’ll be happy to help you.

5. If you have brown hair and want to dye it black

If your natural hair color falls on the darker side, then you're in luck! Compared to other types of hair transformations, changing your hair color from brown to black is quite a simple process. As you add color to your hair rather than lifting it, your hair is less prone to damage. Try our Natural Instincts midnight black shade to get the desired color while adding shine and luster to your locks.

What are the steps to dyeing my hair black at home?

So you've chosen your shade of black hair dye and know exactly what style you're going for – great, you're off to a good start!

But before we get to the fun part, you'll need to do an allergy patch test and a strand test just to be on the safe side.

Step 1. Do an allergy patch test

Whether you're dyeing your hair for the first time or are a seasoned hair-coloring guru, doing an allergy test is crucial to keeping yourself safe. The test is a super quick and easy way to help determine if you're allergic to certain substances. Although rare, allergic reactions can be severe, so try not to skip this step.

All you need to do is:

  1. 1. Mix small, equal amounts of color and activator into a non-metallic bowl with a plastic spoon.
  2. 2. Apply a small amount of the mixture with a cotton ball or swab to the inside of your arm near the bend of your elbow.
  3. 3. Allow to dry and do not wash off over the next 48 hours.
  4. 4. If a rash, redness, swelling, burning or itching occurs, you may be having an allergic reaction. Stop using the product.

You can proceed with the next step if your test is negative (no signs of redness or itchiness). But if you feel a burning sensation or have redness and itchiness, wash the dye off immediately and avoid putting the product on your hair.

Step 2. Don't skip the strand test

Unless you like to live on the edge, we highly recommend doing a strand test. It's a safe and easy way to check that you love your new hair color before you dye your entire head. 

To do a strand test:

  1. 1. Choose a small section of hair that is hidden, such as underneath the top layer of your hair.
  2. 2. Next, apply a small amount of hair dye to the section of hair, following the instructions (which usually come with the box hair dye kit). Remember to wear gloves to protect your skin.
  3. 3. After the recommended processing time, rinse the product and observe the color change. If you're happy with the results, you're all set to dye your hair! If not, you can adjust the color formula or processing time to get the perfect shade.

Step 3. Color your hair – it's show time!

If your allergy test came negative and you are happy with the strand test result, you're ready to proceed to the final step - coloring your hair!

To color your hair: 

  1. 1. Choose suitable hair dye: Grab your box of black hair dye with the preferred shade and prepare space to dye your hair. Consider choosing a hair dye ideal for your hair type and texture.
  2. • Top tip: Shorter hair can usually get by with a box of hair dye, but if you have longer hair (below shoulder length), we recommend getting two boxes of hair dye to ensure your hair is covered completely.
  3. 2. Apply the hair dye: The fun part! To begin, start by mixing the hair dye according to the instructions on the package. Divide your hair into sections and apply the dye to your hair, making sure that it's completely saturated. Remember to wear rubber gloves to avoid staining your hands!
  4. 3. Wait for the processing time: Once you've applied the hair dye, it's time to kick back and relax for a bit. Wait for the recommended processing time, the perfect moment to enjoy a cup of coffee! After that, rinse the dye off with cool water and apply the conditioner that comes with the kit or a deep conditioner to boost your hair's moisture. Your hair will thank you for the extra TLC.
  5. 4. Rinse and style: Lastly, rinse your hair again and style it as desired. You're now ready to rock your new hair!

How can I care for my hair after dyeing it black?

Taking care of your hair after dyeing is a crucial step to keep your hair healthy and vibrant – one which should not be neglected. Here are some tips and tricks that you can follow to help maximize your color and maintain your hair health.

1. Use the right hair care products

To maintain the longevity of your black hair color, it's important to use hair care products that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair. Opt for color-safe shampoos and conditioners and consider using a color-depositing shampoo to enhance vibrancy.

2. Avoid frequent shampooing

Try not to wash your hair too often to prevent the black color from fading and moisture from being stripped away. If needed, you can use dry shampoo in between washes to keep your hair looking fresh.

3. Condition your hair

Conditioning your hair is crucial for colored hair as it creates a protective layer that locks in the color and prevents it from escaping. You can try using a deep conditioner or leave-in conditioner for added protection.

4. Avoid exposing your hair to excessive heat

When it comes to keeping your colored hair color looking its best, heat can be your hair's worst enemy. To prevent damage and fading, it's best to let your hair air dry naturally or use a blow dryer in a low or warm setting. And if you do need to use hot styling tools, always remember to apply a heat protectant first to keep your hair protected. Remember to shield your hair from the sun's harsh rays too, either by limiting your exposure or by wearing a cute hat. Your hair will thank you for it!

5. Go for a gloss

Keep your black hair looking oh-so-gorgeous with a hair gloss! A gloss treatment is a fantastic way to add shine and vibrancy to your locks, and our Color Gloss Up range is designed to do just that. Not only will it give your hair a salon-inspired boost of color, but it will also condition your hair to keep it feeling healthy and nourished.

The best part? It's super easy to use! Just squeeze the color out of the tube and apply it to your hair and you’re ready to go.

And that’s it – with these simple tips, you can keep your hair looking beautiful for weeks!

Congratulations, you've now learned how to dye your hair black at home like a salon pro. While you're at it, why not check out our blog for more tips and tricks? Level up your hair game and create stunning new looks that will turn some heads!

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