Hair Products » Best Hair Dyes » Best Dark Brown Hair Dyes

7 Best Dark Brown Hair Dyes in 2023

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Are you tired of your same old hair color? Maybe you’re looking for a change with one of the many gorgeous, sultry brown shades available on the market. Hair dye options have improved significantly over the years, allowing you to achieve salon-quality results at home. Whether you want to enhance your fading brunette tones or completely transform your look with a darker shade, you can’t go wrong with a dark brunette. 

We’ve found hair products that provide vibrant colors and incredible shine, all while keeping your hair healthy. This list guarantees options for any coverage finish or shade you’re looking to achieve. These seven options will cover a variety of hair color products for every need, so say goodbye to dull strands and hello to vibrant, head-turning locks.

Best dark brown hair dyes overview:

How we chose the best dark brown hair dyes

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including ingredients that provide vibrant, hydrating, and long-lasting results, to create a list of the top dark brown hair colors. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best at-home hair dyes for each category.

Our picks for the best dark brown hair dyes

Best overall
IGK Permanent Color Kit

What we love

  • Professional-level kit
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-damaging

What we don’t love

  • More expensive

If you’re looking for salon-level hair color that’s also gentle on your scalp, IGK’s Permanent Color Kit is the perfect product for you. Their clean formula has been clinically proven to give you 15x more shine, 40% less breakage, and 88% softer and smoother strands (compared to untreated hair). IGK’s color kit is also vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and ammonia-free, so you can feel confident that your hair is getting the care it deserves with high-quality products. In addition to the color application, the kit provides a color block barrier gel, stain remover cleanser, and a post-color treatment mask for a luxurious result.

Type: Liquid | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Vibrant, high-shine | Benefits: Hydrating, shine, reduces breakage

Best touch-up
Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Permanent Root Touch-up

What we love

  • 100% gray coverage
  • Quick process
  • Blocks damage

What we don’t love

  • Only lasts up to three weeks

Clairol’s Nice’ N Easy Permanent Root Touch-up is a popular choice among consumers for those looking for a simple yet effective product to touch up their roots. Whether your hair is salon-colored or done at home, this root touch-up formula perfectly blends with the rest of your hair in a quick ten-minute application and lasts up to three weeks. Consumers love this touch-up product as a quick, 100% coverage for either gray roots or growth.

Type: Liquid | Finish: Natural | Coverage: Root coverage | Benefits: Moisturizing, prevents color-damage, gray coverage

Best for sensitive skin
Clairol Natural Instincts

What we love

  • Infused with blend of oils
  • Ammonia-free
  • Provides natural finish

What we don’t love

  • Semi-permanent

Clairol’s Natural Instincts hair color is everything you want it to be, infused with coconut oil and aloe vera for a healthy and natural finish. Plus, it’s vegan and ammonia-free. This formula is gentle on the scalp and provides a radiant color that won’t strip away the hair’s natural moisture. Natural Instincts is Clairol’s most gentle hair color (compared to their oxidative hair color products), making it the perfect choice for those looking to achieve a desirable hair color without worrying about damaging their hair.

Type: Liquid | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Natural shine | Benefits: Highly-moisturizing, natural ingredients

Best semi-permanent
Moroccanoil Cocoa Color Mask

What we love

  • Color combined with conditioning mask
  • Can be used on a range of brunette shades
  • Perfect for hair refresh

What we don’t love

  • May not be pigmented enough to all needs

Morocconoil’s Cocoa Deep Conditioning Mask is a great way to temporarily experiment with darker shades or enhance the vibrancy of your current hair color. Not only does it give you the ability to play around with different shades, but it also offers the nourishing benefits of a deep conditioning mask. Formulated with an amino acid blend, apricot kernel oil, and ArganIDTM technology, this mask helps restore the look and feel of healthy hair. With the cocoa shade, you can easily add a rich medium brown shade to light brown to dark brown hair, allowing you to enjoy salon-like results between visits.

Type: Mask | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Radiant hair refresh | Benefits: Deep moisturizer, shine, ‘refreshed’ look

Best permanent
L’Oréal Superior Preference

What we love

  • Lasts up to eight weeks
  • Resists fading
  • Provides color protection

What we don’t love

  • Formula is more ‘drippy’ than others

You can’t go wrong with the L’oréal brand, whether you are looking for a new go-to in cosmetics, skincare, or haircare. The brand’s Superior Preference color line offers a wide selection of radiant shades designed to provide long-lasting fade-defying color for up to eight weeks. Their shine system creates a rich and vibrant color spectrum for salon-quality formulas. It then finishes with a conditioner with camelina oil, Vitamin E, and a UV filter for a healthy finish. The only downside is that this formula is said to be more drippy than some of the other alternatives on this list. Despite this, it still offers a luxurious color experience and long-lasting results.

Type: Liquid | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Highly-pigmented and long-lasting | Benefits: Moisturizing, fade-defying, high-shine

Best for damaged hair
Garnier Olia

What we love

  • Long-lasting
  • Preserves hair strength
  • Ammonia-free

What we don’t love

  • Some shades fade more quickly

Garnier Olia Oil Hair Color is the perfect choice for those with badly damaged hair who want salon-quality results while preventing further damage. Unlike many other hair coloring products that cause harm, Olia uses a blend of 60% flower oils to color and protect the hair, visibly improving your hair’s strength and condition during application. Additionally, this is one of the few formulas on the market that doesn’t contain ammonia, and its non-drip formula works on all hair textures. Olia provides the ultimate combination of professional-level results and will set your mind at ease, knowing that this formula only promises healthy results.

Type: Liquid | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Sheer | Benefits: Prevents damage, highly-moisturizing, repairing

Best mess-free
John Frieda Foam Color

What we love

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Drip-free formula
  • Easy to use

What we don’t love

  • Color can be darker than expected

If you’re one to get messy during an at-home hair coloring, you need to try this product. John Frieda’s Foam Color features a unique foam formula that penetrates strands for deep saturation. It’s a non-drip foam that spreads easily into roots and hard-to-reach areas, ensuring complete coverage and results while providing a vibrant, fade-resistant color. After application, the nourishing after-color conditioner further seals in color for long-lasting, rich tones. Plus, it’s also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, so you can color your hair without guilt. Because this formula deeply penetrates, some consumers have mentioned their results are darker than expected. However, because you’re going for a darker shade, you won’t have to worry as much as you would with lighter shades.

Type: Foam | Finish: Radiant | Coverage: Vibrant color | Benefits: Non-messy, saturating, high-pigment colors

Finding your ‘perfect match’

Finding the perfect type of at-home hair color can be difficult, especially if you have never colored your hair before and don’t know where to start. It’s best to do your research first and find what will work best for you based on your current hair and specific needs. If you’ve never had dark hair, You may want to start with a temporary color to see how a darker shade will look before fully committing. If you’re ready to make the switch and are looking for an all-in-one experience at home, we highly recommend IGK, as its color kit takes care of your needs from start to finish. Despite many dye formulas being damaging, there are certain products with conditioners and oils that can help minimize damage for your healthiest hair.

How to pick the right dark brown hair dye for you

Picking the right dark brown hair dye that compliments your personality and style can be based on several factors. It can be as simple as deciding what type of formula you prefer to more complicated choices, such as finding the right tones, shades, and ingredients to compliment your look.

Current hair color

  • Light. The good thing about having blonde or light-colored hair is that it’s always easier to go from light to dark hair than dark to light. You won’t have to deal with bleaching and stripping, which can badly damage your hair. To achieve your best results, it may take a few sessions to get the perfect shades and tones of dark brown you’re looking for.
  • Dark. Since you’re looking for a dark brown dye and already have a hair color similar to your desired shade, it shouldn’t make the process much more difficult. The only issue you might encounter is if you have darker hair than what you want your end result to look like. If this is the case, it might take a few extra sessions and months to achieve your desirable shade fully.

Skin tone

  • Warm (golden, yellow, or peachy undertones). Those with a warmer complexion might want to opt for dark browns with an added touch of warmth, such as those with caramel shades.
  • Cool (pink, red, or bluish undertones). Those with cool skin tones could opt for dark brown hues that are either neutral or have subtle undertones of blue, red, or even purple.
  • Neutral (a mixture of warm and cool). People with neutral complexions have the flexibility to choose from pretty much any shade or tone to go with their dark brown hair.

Dye type

  • Temporary. Temporary hair color will typically fade after just a few washes. This formula is meant for a one (maybe two) day event to liven up your current hair.
  • Semi-permanent. Semi-permanent formulas last longer than just overnight but usually not longer than four to six weeks. Like temporary dyes, your hair color will also fade a little more each time you wash with shampoo, but many semi-permanent products can help with fade resistance.
  • Permanent. The most potent method of the three, permanent hair color, penetrates the hair shaft for complete coverage and will last approximately six to eight weeks. Permanent hair dye also is resistant to fading with washes.


Which kind of hair dye is the least damaging?

If you’re worried about potential damage to your hair, you might want to stick with semi-permanent hair dyes. These formulas don’t contain any bleach or ammonia, so they’re automatically less damaging. Additionally, they’re not as penetrating as permanent dyes; therefore, they won’t cause as much damage to the hair shaft.

Can I dye my hair from blonde to dark brown at home?

Yes! Dying your hair from a light to dark color is the most effortless process (compared to lightening dark hair) at home. Be sure to take necessary precautions and post-application care in order to avoid as much damage as possible.

What kind of dye will cover gray hair?

Permanent hair dye is going to be your best option when looking to cover up any gray hair. The hair color is more penetrating, providing full coverage and, in addition, resistant to any fades that come from washing. We recommend Clairol’s Nice’ N Easy Root Touch-up for your best results and 100% gray coverage.