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Is Schwarzkopf color good for hair?

With so many hair color brands on the market, it can be tough to know which one to choose. Schwarzkopf is a popular drugstore hair color that makes some bold claims about gently coloring hair while keeping it healthy. But does it live up to the hype? Let’s take a closer look at Schwarzkopf hair color and whether it’s a good option for your hair.

About Schwarzkopf

Schwarzkopf is a German brand that’s been around since 1898. They make a wide range of hair care products including shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and hair color. Their hair dyes come in permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary formulas. Some of their most popular hair color lines include:

  • Brilliance: Permanent cream hair dye
  • Color Ultime: Ammonia-free permanent hair dye
  • Keratin Color: Permanent hair dye infused with keratin
  • Live Color: Semi-permanent hair dye
  • Color Freeze: Temporary, washout hair dye

Schwarzkopf uses ingredients like keratin, silk, and coconut oil in their hair dyes. They claim these nourish hair and offset damage from the coloring process. Their permanent hair colors also contain a ‘3D Color Gel Technology’ that’s supposed to provide rich, luminous color.

The Pros of Schwarzkopf Hair Color

There are a few benefits that Schwarzkopf hair dyes offer:

1. Wide range of colors and formulas

Schwarzkopf makes permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary hair dyes in both vibrant fashion shades and natural-looking hues. No matter what type of color you want or how long you want it to last, they’ve likely got an option for you.

2. Ammonia-free colors available

Some of their hair dyes, like Color Ultime, are ammonia-free. Ammonia is an ingredient often used to open the cuticle and allow dye to penetrate. However, it can be damaging, especially for already fragile hair. Schwarzkopf’s ammonia-free options offer vivid color with less damage.

3. Serum-infused for added conditioning

Many of their permanent hair colors contain a color serum meant to smooth and soften hair. This serum seals the cuticle after coloring for extra conditioning.

4. Fade-defying formulas

Schwarzkopf claims their hair dyes contain innovative fade-fighting technology to keep color vibrant for longer. Reviews suggest their permanent hair colors typically last 6-8 weeks before roots become noticeable.

5. Easy to find

Since Schwarzkopf is sold at most drugstores, it’s very easy to find. You can conveniently pick it up any time you need a color boost.

The Cons of Schwarzkopf Hair Color

However, there are a few downsides to consider as well:

1. Can still cause damage

Even their “gentle” ammonia-free formulas still open the cuticle and affect hair structure. Repeated dyeing can lead to dryness and breakage over time.

2. Doesn’t work well on unpigmented hair

Schwarzkopf hair colors tend to work best on darker bases. The dyes have trouble fully covering grey or light blonde hair.

3. Risk of skin irritation

Some users report skin irritation, itching, or burning from the ammonia and other chemicals in Schwarzkopf dye. Do an allergy test before use.

4. Mixed reviews on keratin, silk, and coconut oil claims

While Schwarzkopf says these ingredients help nourish hair, some reviews state they seem more like marketing claims than anything substantiated. The dyes still feel drying to some.

Schwarzkopf Hair Color Reviews

Schwarzkopf hair dyes get mixed reviews online and among professional stylists. Here’s what users praise and complain about:

Positive Feedback

  • Long-lasting, vivid color
  • Good gray coverage
  • Wide color selection
  • Easy to apply at home
  • “Gentler” than other drugstore brands

Negative Feedback

  • Can still be drying and damaging
  • Ammonia still irritates some scalps
  • Doesn’t work well on light hair
  • Color fades faster on porous or damaged hair
  • Keratin and oils seem more like marketing than real protection

Overall, feedback suggests Schwarzkopf provides rich, lasting color when used correctly but isn’t necessarily more nourishing than competitors. Results seem best on healthy, conditioned hair.

How to Use Schwarzkopf Hair Color

If you do opt to use Schwarzkopf hair dye, follow these tips to get the best results:

  • Do an allergy test 48 hours before regular use.
  • Start with clean, dry hair for maximum dye absorption.
  • Color your roots first, ends last to balance development time.
  • Use petroleum jelly around hairline to protect skin.
  • Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear.
  • Use a good conditioner right after coloring.
  • Wait 48-72 hours before shampooing.

Also, limit use to every 6-8 weeks at most to avoid excessive damage. Always do a strand test before using color, especially if you have bleached or chemically treated hair.

How Does It Compare to Other Brands?

Schwarzkopf is a mid-range drugstore hair color brand. Here’s how it compares to some competitors:

Brand Price Range Best For
Schwarzkopf $$ Damaged or fragile hair needing an ammonia-free formula
Revlon $ Those on a budget looking for reliable gray coverage
Madison Reed $$$ Women seeking salon-quality color at home
Surya Brasil $$ People wanting a natural, plant-based hair dye
Overtone $$ Fun, semi-permanent fashion shades

Schwarzkopf is priced similarly to other salon brands like L’Oreal or Clairol. It’s more expensive than basic Garnier or Revlon dyes but not as pricey as high-end options like Madison Reed.

Is Schwarzkopf Cruelty-Free?

Schwarzkopf does not claim to be a cruelty-free brand. While they state they don’t test on animals for cosmetics, they seem to allow animal testing where required by law. For example, PETA notes they test on animals when mandated in China.

For a cruelty-free drugstore option, try brands like e.l.f. or Wet N Wild. Surya Brasil is a good cruelty-free salon alternative.


Overall, Schwarzkopf hair color provides vibrant, lasting dye results and can be less damaging for fragile hair than some competitors. However, all chemical hair dyes involve some level of damage, so moderation is key. Schwarzkopf likely won’t “nourish” hair but can provide a richer conditioning base than budget brands.

For best results, opt for ammonia-free formulas, do allergy tests, and limit use to 6-8 weeks. Pre-condition hair before coloring and use a good conditioner afterward. Schwarzkopf works best on brunette or black hair and may not cover light hair well. Take care to avoid skin irritation and follow all instructions.

While not the most natural or gentle option, Schwarzkopf is a quality drugstore brand that produces nice looking color when used properly. If you’re willing to accept some dryness and damage for dramatic dye results, it can be a good occasional option for healthy hair.