Dark brown hair is one of the most passionate colors to try, and it’s fairly easy to DIY at home. We’ve found the best dark brown hair dyes in case you’d like to make the switch at home. We also explain how to pick the right shade of dark brown for your own skin tone and undertone below.
In this article:
- Our Picks for the Best Dark Brown Hair Dyes
- How to Choose the Best Dark Brown Hair Color for Your Skin Tone?
Best Dark Brown Hair Dyes Overview
- Best for Dark Hair: L’Oreal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying + Shine Permanent Hair Color in 3C Cool Darkest Brown
- Best for Cooling down Dark and Medium Hair: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Crème in 30 Darkest Brown (Sweet Cola)
- Best for Total Gray Coverage: Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color, Permanent Hair Dye with Keratin
- Best for No-Mess Application: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour in Dark Natural Brown 4N
- Best for Light Brown Hair or Gray Coverage: L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Color in 4 Dark Brown
- Best for Ultra-Long-Lasting Color: Schwarzkopf Color Ultime Permanent Hair Color Cream in 5.5 Medium Parisian Brown
- Best for Commitment-Phobes: Adore Semi-Permanent Haircolor in #107 Mocha
Our Picks for the Best Dark Brown Hair Dyes
It’s extremely important that you select a dark brown hair dye that will have an undertone you will love and that will also fit with the condition of your hair.
You cannot go wrong with the timeless Superior Preference formula. It’s a great choice if your hair’s starting condition is already on the dark side: medium brown or dark brown, for instance. What this color will do is transform your hair into a cool, non-brassy, and extremely deep color that is especially nice for cool skin tones.
This range can also help blend out and camouflage gray, though if you have a lot of gray hair, it won’t be a good fit. If your skin is warmer, you might prefer shade #4, which is a neutral dark brown. Order it on Amazon!
We’re obsessed with the depth and richness of this dark brown hair dye. This shade is best for those with cool undertones since it’s a little reddish, but it can also work for neutral and warm skin. The formula itself is very nourishing to the hair, and since it’s not too heavy on the lighteners, it might leave your hair feeling softer and healthier than it was before you dyed it. We like it best for transforming medium to dark brown hair, but it’ll also work if you have some grays that need covering. You can buy it on Amazon.
This neutral dark brown hair dye is our choice for those who are dealing with more than just a few gray hairs. It’ll work for all skin tones, and it could be nice in combination with ash highlights or balayage. This easy-to-apply gel dye is infused with proteins, so it leaves the hair strong and shiny. If you’d like a warmer color, deep rich brown is a great choice that’ll still hide grays. It’s available on Amazon.
If you’re newer to dyeing hair or if you have mobility issues, this dark brown hair dye makes the dyeing process surprisingly easy. This dye has the format of a colorless foam, so it doesn’t leave any mess or streaks, but it’s easy to apply and spread to cover every section of hair. The shade is a true chocolate brown that’s neutral but also very rich. It covers gray hair well and can work to darken even lighter hair colors. Get it from Amazon!
If you’re a fan of L’Oreal, then this is another great choice for gray coverage or for those with medium or light brown hair looking to go darker. The creme formula is easy to apply, and it leaves the hair soft and conditioned with a dose of collagen. This particular shade is a classy neutral brown that brings to mind dark chocolate, although we recommend dark ash brown if you’d prefer something more neutral without any red tones. Find it on Amazon!
If your hair doesn’t like hanging on to colors, then this is the dark brown hair dye to try. This formula is fade-resistant for up to 9 weeks, so you’ll probably have to touch up your roots before the ends get even a little dull. The set comes with a conditioner that offers the hair UV protection and also imparts a gorgeous gloss. You can’t go wrong with any of the colors from this range, but Parisian Brown is our favorite thanks to its truly neutral, ashy undertone. Shop for it on Amazon!
If you have naturally lighter hair, and you’d like to experiment with going darker, this dark mocha color is a great choice. It has a super gentle formula that enhances shine and adds pigment to the hair, with a bit of a reddish undertone that’s rich and lovely without being overly warm.
Remember that it might not be really dark on your hair if you start out blonde, and it won’t cover grays. If you’d like a more blue-based, neutral shade, pick the shade 100 Darkest Brown, and you can also pick up a few other shades to mix your own custom dark brown hair color. It starts fading after a few washes. It’s sold online via Amazon.
How to Choose the Best Dark Brown Hair Color for Your Skin Tone?
Brown is a neutral color composed of all of the main shades in the color spectrum, but different shades of dark brown hair can have different predominant undertones. It’s important to take your own skin tone and undertones into account when selecting the specific dark brown hair color for you.
Determining undertones is not always easy. The major ones are warm undertones (slightly yellow), cool undertones (slightly pink or red), neutral (skin is about equal-parts warm and cool, so it seems clear), and olive (skin that has a slight green-gray cast). It’s important to note that undertones exist on a spectrum and that they usually show up the most clearly on the neck and forearms, while the face is often a little redder.
There are all kinds of tricks to determining your undertones, like looking at your veins to see if they lean more towards green (which means you’re warm) or purple (which means you’re cool) or by comparing your skin to see if it looks better with cool colors or warm colors.
The best way is to train your eyes to see undertones, which is what makeup artists and hairdressers learn to do. Look at your friends or different celebrities and try to see if you can make out what makes the skin tone. Before you know it, determining your own skin tone will be easy!
Dark Brown Hair Colors for Warm Undertones
If you discover your skin leans towards warm, it’s important to choose shades of dark brown that have a bit of warmth to them as well. Brown touched by gold or caramel shades is perfect, for example.
A hint of red can work as well, but avoid browns that lean towards eggplant, which will make your skin look sallow. True neutral browns and even blue-based cool browns will work with your skin, as well, but they won’t bring it to life like richer brown shades – the same applies to neutral, ashy highlights.
Dark Brown Hair Colors for Cool Undertones
If your skin is cool, then those true neutral dark brown shades, as well as ones that lean a little towards blue, red, or even purple are going to look fantastic. If you want some highlights in your hair, ash tones are better, while golds, caramels, or anything overly orange or yellow is going to clash against your skin.
Dark Brown Hair Colors for Olive Undertones
For those with olive undertones, those reddish and purplish dark brown hair colors are very dangerous since they can bring out too much greenness in the skin. On the other hand, neutral chocolate brown or blue-based dark brown can work well, and if you’d like some highlights, opt for yellow-gold or ash tones.
Dark Brown Hair Colors for Neutral Undertones
Finally, we have those with neutral skin, who are lucky enough to look amazing in all shades of dark brown hair! If your skin is neutral, you pretty much owe it to yourself to really have fun and play with all of the possible shades of dark brown.
Photos via @ryabchik.moscow, Amazon