Best Red Hair Dye Reviews – Permanent and Semi Permanent Products

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Whether you’re in for a crazy punk get-up or want to try out how you look in red hair, it is important to choose your hair dye in the most careful manner. According to an article from The Washington Times, 75% of American women dye their hair. Modern fashion has introduced bolder hair colours that were once a taboo for the more conservative generations of the past. Over the decades, dying one’s hair has become a fad among women who want to style themselves. DIY hair dyes have flooded the market ever since.

When used correctly, hair dyes bring out a youthful glow to anyone’s dull crown. It gives it a rich hue that blends with or accents different types and colours of skin and eyes. Whenever you want to get a new look or simply want to try a bolder guise, dying your hair can be an easy option to choose.

However, without good knowledge about hair dyes and which ones to buy, you can end up with unwanted side effects. These can range from as mild as hair loss and allergic reactions, to as serious as getting cancer in the long run.

Choosing the Right Hair Dye

When you say “choosing the right hair dye”, it does not only pertain to the colour that will suit your hair, skin, and eyes. It also means knowing which ones will give you value for your money. It entails a good amount of research regarding which ones are easiest to apply, since you will be doing it at home. Some hair dyes can be very messy, while others are a breeze to use.

Because you do not want to experience annoying allergic reactions and the like, you should know which brand carries hair dyes without harmful chemicals. With so much to choose from in the market, it can be confusing to settle for a name when almost everyone claims that they’re natural or ammonia-free.

Apart from staying away from ammonia, a quick guide to follow is to look at the ingredients and check for harmful chemicals, such as peroxide, benzene, coal tar, propylene glycol and resorcinol, and lead acetate. Hair dyes with low levels of PPD or pigment is also a good indication of a safer choice.

If you are unsure about which one to buy, it is best to ask around and settle for more popular names rather than cheap unfamiliar ones. Remember, dying your hair involves ‘tweaking’ your hair colour, which is a part of your body. It can either make or break your fashionable move. It may mean feeling more confident afterwards or losing a whole lot of self-esteem if you lose your locks and get itchy all over.

Types of Hair Dyes

You can narrow down your options by deciding on which type of hair dye to use. There are basically three types being sold today, and choosing between them would depend on the reason for dying your hair.

1.       Temporary hair dye – For those who are new to dying their hair and want to try it out first, temporary hair dyes are the perfect choice to go to. This type of hair dye does not penetrate the hair shaft or the part of the hair that is seen above your skin. It only coats the hair with its colour, and gets removed by a few washes.

2.       Semi-permanent hair dye – This type of hair dye is for people who want to keep their hair colour for a longer period of time, but do not want them permanently. Semi-permanent hair dyes can last for weeks or months, depending on how you take care of your hair and the type of hair that you have. Using shampoos that are sulphate-free can also lengthen the lifespan of this type of hair dye. According to experts, semi-permanent dyes may cause hair damage due to the fact that they need to be reapplied more often.

3.       Permanent hair dye – Most permanent hair dyes contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. They are both added to the colouring agent before application, to oxidize the hair and let the dye penetrate the hair shaft. For decades now, numerous brands have taken the extra length to try and create permanent dyes that cause minimal damage to the hair. While permanent hair dyes are only applied every once in awhile, the chemicals found in them are much stronger and potent, and are therefore more damaging.

The Top 5 Red Hair Dyes

Going red is a tough yet bold decision when it comes to dying your hair. Since it is a bright colour that comes out differently depending on the shade of your natural hair colour, it goes without saying that doing a spot test is essential.

Our Average Review:

4.0 Out Of 5 Stars

The Pros:

Offers good variety: When it comes to bright colours, including bright and bloody red, Manic Panic is a go-to brand. They have temporary and semi-permanent dyes that you can choose from. They also have different varieties of red hair dyes that are just as good as the Vampire Red. They also offer their hair dye in jars and squeeze bottles, so as to provide their users with options, depending on which one they will find more convenient to use.

Exceptional outcome for different shades of hair: The Vampire Red works great on lighter shades, coming out as a bright pinkish red once done. It makes an equally amazing deep red hue for darker hair shades. For many people, Manic Panic gives them the best and most vibrant red out of all red hair dyes out there, no matter what their original hair colour is. A lot of Manic Panic users combine different shades of their red dyes to get a more ‘natural’ red head look, since Vampire Red is more of a vibrant, crazy red that’s best for the adventurous soul.

Softer locks after treatment: Despite the irony, colouring your hair with Manic Panic Vampire Red won’t make you feel guilty about damaging it. Some people leave it on overnight without washing, just to try to make it last longer than the usual. Surprisingly, they get softer hair after rinsing the dye out of their hair. According to first-hand experiences, colouring their hair even felt like they just conditioned it.

Fades nicely: One of the challenges commonly encountered by people who are fond of colouring their hair red is when the once-vibrant hue fades into a dull colour. Most of the time, this becomes a nightmare to them and make them regret coloring their hair in the first place. Manic Panic Vampire Red has resolved this issue as it softly fades into a nice pink.

The Cons:

Messy bleeding: While many people are astonished by how they achieve what they aim for using Manic Panic Vampire Red, there are also quite a number of negative feedback due to the ‘endless’ bleeding that you’ll experience after dying your hair. And although this may seem like a legitimate concern, this issue is probably common among red hair dyes—that it will take you rather some time to take off all the residue. You can expect to see some bleeding when you shower the third, fourth, or fifth time, or even some time after that. Other people complain about getting red stains on their skin and on their clothes weeks after applying the hair dye.

Contains some harmful chemicals: Let’s just say, there’s a downside to all the good that this brand brings. Manic Panic contains methylparaben, which is among those mentioned above to cause unwanted side effects such as allergic reactions, irritation to the eyes, skin, and lungs, and more serious by-products such as organ toxicity.


Sparks Long Lasting Bright Hair Color

Our Average Review:

4.0 Out Of 5 Stars

The Pros:

Permanent and long-lasting: As the name suggests, the Sparks Long Lasting Bright Hair Colour is a superb choice for those who want a longer lasting hair colour compared to other brands. It won’t require you to repeat the process too often, and that means less mess and stains on your tub.

Bright and extremely loud hue fades beautifully: If you’re up for some screaming red get-up, then this hair dye is definitely for you. It speaks of brightness and life, and is a favourite brand for those who are audacious enough to permanently dye their hair red. However, as with any hair dye, the colour fades over time, so you will need to do some retouch every once in awhile, if you want to maintain its cherry hue. And as with the previous brand that was reviewed, Sparks made sure you won’t regret colouring your hair even when it’s wearing out and fading into a cute pink shade.

Ammonia-free and animal-friendly: Putting aside the other chemicals that are best avoided, Sparks deserves a star when it comes to being ammonia-free and not being tested on animals.

No skin stains: This is a truly positive advantage of this hair dye. It’s a gold medal for those who are too lazy to apply petroleum jelly on the skin surrounding their hairline. It is an absolute plus for those who want to avoid the trouble of having stains on your skin, especially when you have important appointments and date nights coming up


Our Average Review:

4.0 Out Of 5 Stars

The Pros:

Gentle semi-permanent hair dye: Arctic Fox does not use damaging chemicals, so it is relatively safe to use for frequent touch-ups. If you have sensitive scalp and you do not want to risk drying your hair and making it brittle through rounds of hair colouring, then this is the best fit for you. Many people say that it lasts longer than Manic Panic’s semi-permanent dyes, while others say it fades quite quickly. Nevertheless, it does not turn into an ugly orange hue once the colour begins to fade. Instead, it transforms into awesome pastel shades of the original hue.

Animal-friendly, human-friendly: For this brand, you won’t see any ingredient that is harmful to animals. It is also not tested on animals. It does not contain ammonia, alcohol, peroxide, and PPD. In short, it’s a gentle treat to your valued locks that will give you softer hair, as if it was conditioned. If you are an animal-lover, then you should know that Artic Fox donates 15% of its revenue to anti-animal cruelty campaigns. Quite a number of users are also thrilled about it being vegan.

Sweet-smelling formula: One of the things that people love about the Arctic Fox is its sweet smell. It is totally different from other hair colouring agents with a strong chemical odour.

No bleeding: Plenty of customer reviews say that this hair dye does not bleed, unlike most red hair dyes in the market.

Our Average Review:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

The Pros:

Awesome shade of red: The Infiniti Professional Permanent Hair Dye does not give you an orange-based red. Instead, it strongly shines as a bright red hue. Once it fades, it gloriously turns into a wonderful pink shade—something you can live with if you’re too lazy to touch it up.

Not tested on animals: If you do your research on the company, you’ll find out that the Infiniti Professional Permanent Hair Dye is not tested on animals.

Brilliant coverage: Whether you have thick or thin hair, long or short hairstyle, this brand is proven to have exceptional coverage, so you can save on buying a second pack.

Long-lasting: With its permanent colouring that doesn't fade in an instant, the Infiniti Professional Permanent Hair Dye makes sporting vibrant red hair a breeze.

Admirable finish: Many people are inspired by how this hair dye comes out even better once you have showered and shampooed your hair. Not only does it radiate a vivacious red that can be applied by itself or combined with other hues to achieve a more natural shade—your hair also comes out wonderfully soft, as if it was conditioned. Just make sure to use their developer, so as not to leave your hair dry and brittle after colouring it.

The Cons:

Strong chemical odour: Unlike the previous brand that was mentioned above, the Infiniti Professional hair dye has a strong chemical odour that can irritate your nose and throat. Probably due to the chemicals present in the dye in the brand’s effort to make it last longer, this is perhaps the biggest downside to this hair dye.

Fades a bit faster than the others: Some customers complain about this hair dye fading on the second wash. Nevertheless, many users say that washing with cold water minimizes fading and bleeding, and therefore makes it last longer than what is criticized.


Our Average Review:

4.0 Out Of 5 Stars

The Pros:

Great outcome for the small price: It gives out a beautiful natural red hue that would make it an excellent choice for those who prefers to have red hair the subtle way. It is not for the adventurous and crazy red goers, but for those who want shiny auburn hair that you can sport for both casual and formal occasions.

Safe and ammonia-free: L’Oréal is known to carry hair dyes without ammonia. For so long, this brand has grown popularly among those who want to dye their hair and get salon-like results, without the harmful ingredients and awful strong odour.

Lasts for weeks: Since it’s permanent, it’s supposed to stay on your hair for a long time. Thankfully, colouring your hair using L’Oréal’s Ferie Power will make you feel satisfied for weeks before it begins to fade. After a wide range of products, this brand has probably mastered its product line. In fact, the Feria Power Reds hair colour is perfect for grey hair. While other hair dyes are not made to fully cover grey hair, this one has the unique ability to do so.

Complete with a kit: This hair dye comes with a kit that makes it easy to apply on your hair. That would mean fewer stains on your sink and tub, and more colours on your hair and not on your scalp. L’Oréal also gives a free conditioner that was formulated to further soften your hair and give it a lustrous finish after colouring it.

The Cons:

Unwanted results: While this hair dye has an enormous following and a huge number of positive reviews, it also has a good amount of negative feedback that basically revolve around inconsistent outcomes as compared to what the packaging states. Some customers complain about getting zero to almost no results with this hair dye, which possibly depends on the kind of hair that you have.


The Verdict

Although every brand has its pros and cons, finding the best red hair dye all depends on your preferences. Some people want bright red hair, while others prefer dark auburn hair. Other people can live with some bleeding, while there are those who do not want to see a drop of stain on their tub each time they shower. And while many people want their hair dye to smell sweet, there are those who would rather endure the foul chemical odor in exchange of longer-lasting results.

(Last Updated On: April 22, 2018)

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