Woman With Black Hair

Do you have naturally black hair and want to dye it without bleach? Then the first thing you may ask yourself is, “What color can I dye my black hair without bleaching?”.

You may also start wondering if it is possible to dye your hair without using bleach, which is undoubtedly very damaging to your locks.

We will try to answer all your questions about this topic through this article.

Why Is Black Hair Hard to Dye

It is challenging to dye black hair because of its natural components and characteristics. In most cases, Asian hair, where the natural black color is typically found, comes with a stronger and thicker cuticle layer.

The problem with having thicker and stronger cuticles is that they tend to resist more hair products than others.

In other words, the thicker and stronger cuticles in your naturally black hair are why hair coloring products have difficulty penetrating your hair shaft and giving it color.

Your hair texture can also contribute to difficulty dyeing your black hair. If your hair is coarse, non-porous, and thick, coloring would be more challenging.

In addition, your hair’s base color contributes a lot to the color you will gain after dyeing your strands. If your hair is dark or black, expect the base color to be darker, too. Your hair dye may also strip off your natural hair color’s first tones.

However, the fact that your base color is dark means that the resulting shade will not be as vibrant as those with a lighter base. You must keep this in mind when you are still checking out the best hair color ideas to consider.

Bleach-Free Hair Dye Alternatives

Do you plan to lighten your hair without bleach or give it a new color without finding and using the best hair bleach?

Then there are some of the most effective and safest bleach-free hair dye alternatives:

Temporary Dyes

One bleach-free option when dyeing black hair is the temporary hair dye spray. It refers to a spray explicitly formulated to bond to the cuticle, meaning it can fully cover it based on your chosen new color or shade.

Temporary hair dye sprays are available in various colors, including neon, pastel, and wearable blondes and browns. This means you will have several options in terms of colors, making choosing your new hair color easier.

Regardless of how dark or black the natural color of your hair is, the color of this spray will show up once applied. It would be visible even if you have dark brown or black hair.

You can expect your chosen color to be either vibrant or subtle, depending on your preferences, without bleach.

Semi-Permanent Hair Dyes

You can also choose the semi-permanent dye, especially if you intend to avoid most chemicals that can harm your strands. This option allows you to select a gloss that will shine brightly and nicely under the sun.

One thing to note is that your hair may need pre-lightening if you wish the final color to be more eye-catching and bolder. If you don’t, the color will only be visible outdoors or once your strands are exposed to the sun.

In most cases, semi-permanent hair dyes are gentler and more natural than other hair coloring products. Note, though, that the results are not permanent.

It is highly likely that the color to fade every time you wash your hair. If you wash frequently, the color will only stay for a few weeks.

Permanent Hair Dyes

You can also find bleach-free hair dyes that can provide permanent results. One thing to note about these permanent dyes is that they may still cause damage.

However, you still have an assurance that they are gentler on your hair than harsh chemicals, particularly those that are part of bleach. You should combine your chosen permanent dye and a hair developer.

This should help eliminate the existing pigment derived from natural hair. You can then expect the hair color molecules to be deposited within your shaft.

What’s excellent about permanent hair dyes is that they are available in almost all colors, including elegant ones and natural-looking, vibrant, and bold colors.

To ensure these dyes will not cause major damage, you should avoid dyeing your hair while it’s wetLearn about proper hair washing after coloring too.

Permanent Dye For Black Hair

Things to Consider Before Dyeing Black Hair

Whether or Not Your Hair Color Is Natural

Note that your natural hair color differs from when you dye already compromised or damaged hair. For virgin hair strands, expect to have a more challenging time applying the hair dye.

The reason is that virgin hair has a lower porosity than lightened hair. Note that you can still apply hair dye to virgin hair. Just make sure to do it correctly.

Your Hair Level

The specific hair level we discuss here can be defined as how light or dark your hair is. Level 10, a high level, is classified as the lightest color, usually called bleach blonde.

Levels 1 to 4 are considered the low hair levels – the incredibly dark ones. You may have difficulty putting on a dye on lighter hair, even without a high lift.

The challenge may happen when you are dyeing black or dark brown hair. It will be challenging to give your dark or black hair your preferred color without bleach application.

It is still possible, but you must ensure that you are picking the right color. Find out the answer to will hair dye expire, too, so you will know whether your chosen product has an expiration date.

Your Preferred Color

Consider the specific color you would like to achieve after dyeing, too. Dark or black hair may be unable to make pastel and light colors visible. Lightening hair may be necessary to get a real pastel shade.

You must be sure of the color you are after, so you can pick the best bleach-free alternative to dye hair to help you achieve that.

Hair Colors That Go Well Over Black Hair

Chestnut Brown

This deep brown shade is an excellent choice if you are not up for an adventure when coloring your black hair.

It displays a reddish undertone, giving it more vibrance and brightness than dark brown. What’s excellent about chestnut brown is that it looks great no matter your skin tone or hair length.

Dark Brown

Dark brown also works excellent for those with naturally black hair. It is a good choice if you prefer making your natural hair color just a couple of shades lighter. It is subtle while still making your hair strands look more defined.

As it is only a couple of shades lighter compared to your naturally dark or black hair, there is a chance for it to reflect additional light, giving your hair strands more volume.


This is a dark shade that results from combining deep purple and brown. It can appear in an attractive wine-red shade, becoming even more prominent and noticeable if you go out under the sun. It also has a nice deep purple undertone.

Warm Purple

The kind of purple that you should use here is the cooler and lighter one as it is more compatible with dark or black hair. Using this color for your black hair can provide you with fantastic results.

Highlight or color your hair ends using a warm purple shade. While the output is not visible, it will still give your hair an attractive purple tint.


This reddish-brown shade is also very suitable for black hair. It features a highly striking red that can also showcase a hint of purple. It can give you an output similar to the mahogany wood’s deep brown color.

Woman With Mahogany Hair


Auburn is the best choice if you prefer to make a significant and noticeable change to your black hair. The color is very attractive as a deeper ginger or bright reddish-brown shade characterizes it.

It also has a bright orange-red hue, but this color may not be that visible on your black hair if you do not bleach it first. Despite that, you will still get a noticeable red shade, which can be derived from its vibrant brown tones.

Hair Care Tips for Dyed Hair

Apply Oil Regularly

Do this once every week to prevent your dyed hair from becoming too dry or frizzy. Coconut oil works for some as it can restore the health of your hair after dyeing it with your preferred color.

Argan oil and other essential oils are also effective in reviving dull and lifeless hair, preventing scalp irritation, frizz, brittleness, and split ends and keeping your hair more nourished.

Avoid Brushing Dyed Hair When Wet

The reason is that your strands will be weaker when wet, causing them to break. When drying your hair, pat it gently with a towel. Do not use rough wiping motions to prevent further damage.

Invest in a Mild and Organic Shampoo

Do not use harsh shampoo filled with chemicals as such may only cause your hair color to fade faster and trigger damage. Retain the color you have chosen for a longer period by using organic and mild shampoo with natural active ingredients.

Apply a Nourishing Hair Mask

The goal here is to keep your hair hydrated. Combine the use of a hair mask with a leave-in conditioner, too. Ensure that both products contain mild and gentle ingredients incapable of reacting negatively with the color of your hair.

The ingredients should also be all-natural, allowing them to keep your hair smooth, revitalize and hydrate any damaged strands.

Avoid Over-Washing to Prevent the Faster Fading of the Hair Color

You also have to lessen the frequency of shampooing your hair to maintain its vibrant color. A wise tip is to invest in a dry shampoo, which you can apply on your hair in between each wash, instead of daily washing and shampooing.

The dry shampoo can help in absorbing grease and keeping your hair color looking new.


Can you dye your hair blonde without bleaching it?

Yes, provided your hair color is already light enough. In several cases, you must use a regular permanent or high-lift dye. You may find it hard to dye hair blonde without using bleach, though, if it is not light.

What happens if you dye your hair without bleaching?

It may give you different results. However, if you have dark hair and the hair dye you use is lighter than your natural hair color, expect the result to be minimal.

How effective is box hair dye on black hair?

Box hair dye may not be that effective when it comes to coloring black hair. These products are not bad, but most of them can produce unpredictable outcomes in terms of hair color. They may also cause a lot of damage to your hair.

How long does hair dye last on black hair?

The hair dye may stay on your black hair for around 4 to 6 weeks. This period may change, though, depending on a few factors, like the frequency of washing your hair, the quality of your chosen hair dye and how often you apply dye to your hair.

Michele Antunes

About the author: Michele Antunes

Michele Meesh Antunes is the lady of the Beardoholic writers team and a genius when it comes to hair and beard styles that suit any face shape. She’s been a barber for years now and, no matter your personal style, she knows exactly what beard, hairstyle and length suit you. She brings the women’s perspective on beards, beard care, haircuts and hairstyles and male grooming.

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