best blue hair dyes for dark hair

The 7 Best Blue Hair Dyes For Dark Hair

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by Claire Epting

Even if you have dark hair, there are plenty of options to help you transform your locks into a magical ocean-inspired hue. The best blue hair dyes for dark hair have highly pigmented formulas that are either temporary or permanent, and they’re available in cream and spray formulas.

When it comes to blue dye for dark hair, you have two options: bleach your hair for bright, vibrant color, or skip bleaching in favor of subtle results that are more akin to a dark blue tint. How light does hair have to be to dye it blue? If it’s a bright shade you’re after, it’s recommended that you lift your hair to a light blonde shade — or even bleach it platinum — for optimal results. In this case, lightening your hair will be an essential part of the dyeing process. There are ways to safely bleach your hair at home, but keep in mind that any bleaching will damage your hair more than just using regular dye, so you’ll want to commit to a deep-conditioning routine.

However, if you don’t want to bleach your hair, it is still possible to add some blue hues to your strands. A permanent dye that includes ammonia will elevate the pH of your hair, which allows the pigment to better penetrate strands, transforming them into a vivid color. Semi-permanent blue hair dye will create a subtle tint on brown or black hair, but it’ll be most noticeable in the sunlight. Or, if you’re not ready to commit to weeks of full-on blue hair, you can opt for a temporary spray-on formula that sits directly on your strands without chemically altering their pigment — and you’ll get a fair bit of brightness.

Before you dye your whole head any color, it’s a good idea to perform a strand test on a small section of hair to make sure you’re happy with the shade. With all that in mind, I’ve rounded up plenty of hair dye options on Amazon that will help you achieve your dream shade of blue hair, whether it’s a rich cobalt or an oceanic teal. There’s also a color-depositing conditioner that will help you keep those locks looking vibrant for months to come.

1. The Best Semi-Permanent Dye

With over 43,000 perfect five-star ratings on Amazon, Arctic Fox is the clear fan-favorite of semi-permanent blue hair dyes. For the most vibrant results, you should use this dye on pre-lightened hair, but it can be applied to naturally dark hair — just expect a more subtle blue tint (especially since it’s a non-permanent formula). Peroxide-free and moisturizing, this dye works to condition your hair as it colors your strands, and many reviewers even noticed softer hair after using it. The ammonia- and cruelty-free dye washes out gradually, but should last about 30 to 40 washes, depending on what products you use and how often you’re in sunlight. Arctic Fox has several blue shades: a navy blue called Blue Jean Baby, a medium blue named Poseidon, and a teal blue called Aquamarine.

According to a reviewer: “I LOVE Arctic Fox anything! This color is beautiful - I used it over my natural dark brown hair and it darkened the tone, and has blue shimmers in the light - perfect for my professional office situation! It smells like grapes to me, and leaves your hair smelling amazing after! My hair was also noticeably softer - like a colored deep conditioner!”

  • Available blue shades: 3

2. The Runner-Up: A Highly Pigmented Semi-Permanent Dye

Manic Panic is a brand that’s been around since the late 1970s, specializing in bold hair color in vibrant shades, and the brand’s Amplified line has three times the pigment than the Classic Voltage hair dye, resulting in brighter, longer-lasting color. This semi-permanent dye is ammonia-, paraben-, and cruelty-free, and designed to wash out after six to eight weeks. Pre-lightening your hair is suggested for achieving rich blue hues, but certain shades — specifically Shocking Blue, Rockabilly Blue, or Voodoo Blue — can even add a decent tint to brown hair. There are seven blue shades to pick from, offering plenty of variety, from a midnight blue hair color to a lighter bluish-green. You can even mix different shades together to create your own custom color.

According to a reviewer: “If blue could be natural that's what this would look like. Highlights and lowlights and very beautiful! I have hair like a peacock! Dark blue, electric blue, aqua, and some green in certain light. It was simple to use and as an added fun factor since it's demi-permanent, it changes with every wash. You have to try this stuff.”

  • Available blue shades: 7

3. The Best Permanent Blue Hair Dye

Ready to take the plunge with blue hair? Then you should go for Got2b’s permanent hair dye. It creates a multi-dimensional, metallic effect, resulting in a shimmering dark blue shade. It contains ammonia, which allows the formula to permanently alter the pigment in your strands, which, in general, should result in a more vibrant shade than a semi-permanent option. That being said, if you have unbleached dark hair, the result will be a deep navy color, and on pre-lightened hair, the shade will be a lighter denim blue. For those who are ready to commit to blue hair for the foreseeable future, this is the best option.

According to a reviewer: “Love love love the color. I lightened my brown hair and waited 14 days as recommended. The blue is bright in the sun and darker in low light.”

  • Available blue shades: 1

4. Another Semi-Permanent Option With A Cult Following

Lime Crime is the only hair dye brand that claims to give you “unicorn hair,” and the results speak for themselves. The brand specializes in bright, candy-colored shades that pop. Over 6,000 reviewers have given Lime Crime’s semi-permanent dye a perfect five-star rating on Amazon, with many raving about the highly pigmented formula and full coverage effect. Choose from a cartoon-like blue shade called Anime, a royal blue hair dye named Mystic, and a deep teal known as Sea Witch. Pre-lighten your hair if you’re going for a brighter shade, or stick with your natural hair if all you’re looking for is a subtle tint. Not to mention, the ammonia-free and cruelty-free formula smells amazing — nothing like the harsh chemical smell of traditional hair dyes. And this is a great option if you’re looking for something temporary — reviewers have reported it lasts about a month, depending on how often you wash.

According to a reviewer: “I used the color anime for the top and purple for the bottom and I love it. It smells amazing and last long ,as long as you minimize shampooing and wetting your hair since it is semi permanent, but I'd recommend to anyone who wants a bold color, I would also recommend lightening your hair as much as possible to get the maximum effect. Update: about a year later I used the mystic blue [...] love the outcome.”

  • Available blue shades: 3

5. A Color Spray Option That Washes Out

Sometimes, your love affair with blue hair is only supposed to last for 24 hours. L’Oréal’s Colorista temporary hair dye spray is your best bet, and it works on natural, bleached or unbleached hair of any shade. Rather than altering the color, the ammonia-free formula sits on top of your strands, allowing those with darker hair to achieve a bright blue shade without pre-lightening their hair. Use it to create blue streaks and highlights throughout your hair, then simply wash it out in the shower. This spray is fantastic for Halloween costumes, music festivals, and parties, because you don’t have to make any long-term changes to your hair, and it’s also a great way to experiment with a vibrant shade before committing to bleaching. Mind you, application is a bit messy — so it’s best to drape a towel over your shoulders while applying.

According to a reviewer: “Color sits perfectly on top of my dark black hair! I love that I could try a hair color without having to bleach my own. [...] I was so happy to see how well it came off in the shower after a couple of shampoos and rinsing.”

  • Available blue shades: 2

7. A Color-Depositing Conditioner That Dyes Gradually & Maintains Vibrancy

You can extend the life of your permanent (or even semi-permanent) dye job by using this color-depositing conditioner, and it’s also a great way to add pigment to hair gradually — just use the conditioner after shampooing until you reach your desired shade. The ammonia- and cruelty-free formula is deeply moisturizing and fortified with plant-based sugars, making your hair feel softer and healthier. Like the other options on the list, it’ll result in a navy blue hair color on dark strands, with a more vibrant appearance on pre-lightened hair. While it’s on the pricier side, it can help increase the amount of time between salon visits or at-home dye jobs, saving you money in the long run.

According to a reviewer: “I purchased this to pump up the blue portions of my hair. I have dark hair that was bleached before applying blue dye, but the regular dye fades out pretty quickly for me. It has kept my blue looking great for 2 months now! I was also pleasantly surprised at the nice scent (not a strong, dye-scented conditioner) and that it is not super drying to the hair.”

  • Available blue shades: 2