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Which brand is best for hair color?

Changing your hair color can be a fun and exciting way to update your look. With so many hair color brands on the market, it can be tricky to figure out which one will give you the best results. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the top hair color brands to help you determine which is right for you.

Permanent vs Semi-Permanent Hair Color

The first decision you’ll need to make is whether you want a permanent or semi-permanent hair color. Permanent hair dye penetrates the hair shaft and lasts until your hair grows out. It provides long-lasting gray coverage and can make significant color changes. Semi-permanent hair color coats the outside of the hair strand and washes out over several weeks. It’s great for trying a new color without a long-term commitment.

Top Professional Hair Color Brands

Salon hair color brands used by professional stylists tend to provide predictable, consistent results. Here are some of the top salon hair color lines:

Wella Professionals

Wella is a salon favorite with a wide range of permanent, demi-permanent, and semi-permanent hair colors. Some of its most popular offerings include:

  • Koleston Perfect: A permanent cream hair color with long-lasting results.
  • Color Touch: A demi-permanent hair color with conditioners to leave hair feeling healthy.
  • Color Charm: A semi-permanent hair color line with lots of vibrant shade options.


Redken offers salon-quality hair color infused with ceramides and proteins to condition and strengthen hair. Some top products include:

  • Shades EQ: A permanent demi-color with an oil delivery system for smooth application.
  • Color Extend: A permanent hair color that fades gradually for longer-lasting vibrancy.
  • Color Gels: Semi-permanent hair gels that can be mixed to create custom shades.


Schwarzkopf is an innovative German brand used in top salons. Some standout hair color lines include:

  • IGORA Royal: A permanent hair color formulated with hyaluronic acid to protect hair.
  • BRILLANCE: A permanent liquid gel color with radiant, luminous results.
  • LIVE Color: Vibrant semi-permanent hair colors in over 150 shades.


Matrix offers a complete range of permanent, demi-permanent, and semi-permanent hair colors. Some popular options include:

  • SOCOLOR: A customizable permanent color with fluid consistency for easy application.
  • COLORSYNC: An ammonia-free demi-permanent hair color.
  • VIVIDS: Intense semi-permanent fashion shades.

Top Drugstore Hair Color Brands

If you color your hair at home, you’ll have plenty of affordable options at your local drugstore or beauty supply retailer. Here are some of the top drugstore hair color brands:

L’Oréal Paris

L’Oréal Paris is one of the most recognized drugstore hair color brands. They offer excellent gray coverage and natural-looking results. Top products include:

  • Excellence Creme: A permanent, ammonia-free hair color.
  • Ferria: A multi-tonal permanent hair color with dimension.
  • Colorista: Semi-permanent fashion shades.


Clairol is another leading drugstore brand with user-friendly permanent and semi-permanent hair colors like:

  • Natural Instincts: Permanent color formulated without ammonia or pPD.
  • Nice’n Easy: A permanent cream hair color.
  • Color Crave: Semi-permanent hair makeup in over 20 colors.


Revlon offers excellent permanent and temporary color options including:

  • Colorsilk: Permanent, ammonia-free hair dye with keratin and soy proteins.
  • Color Effects Frost & Glow: Temporary highlighting product.
  • Colorsilk Vivids: Vibrant semi-permanent hair color.


Garnier is an affordable drugstore brand with a wide selection of hair colors including:

  • Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme: Permanent, ammonia-free hair color.
  • Olia Oil Powered Color: Ammonia-free permanent hair dye.
  • Color Sensation: Vivids Collection of semi-permanent colors.

Comparing the Top Hair Color Brands

Now that you know some of the top brands, let’s compare them across a few key factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a hair color.

Permanent Hair Color

Brand Key Features Price Range
Wella Professionals Koleston Perfect Cream formula, long-lasting color, salon brand $$$
Redken Shades EQ Oil delivery system, fades gradually, conditioning $$$
L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme Ammonia-free, multi-tonal results, drugstore brand $
Clairol Natural Instincts No ammonia or PPD, natural looking, permanent $

Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Brand Key Features Price Range
Wella Professionals Color Charm Vibrant fashion shades, conditioning formula, salon brand $$
Redken Color Gels Can mix custom shades, easy to apply $$$
L’Oréal Paris Colorista Long lasting, vibrant colors, drugstore brand $
Clairol Color Crave Hair makeup, easy to apply, conditioning $

How to Choose the Best Hair Color Brand for You

When deciding which hair color brand is right for you, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Choose permanent dye for long-lasting grays coverage and major color changes or semi-permanent for a subtle shift or temporary color.
  • Consider your base color and desired shade – some brands offer better results for blondes, brunettes, reds, etc.
  • Look for hair-nourishing ingredients if you have dry or damaged hair.
  • Read online reviews to learn about real customer experiences with different dyes.
  • Compare prices between salon brands and drugstore options to find one in your budget.
  • Ask your stylist for a recommendation based on your hair type and needs.
  • Do a patch test before coloring your whole head to check for skin sensitivities.


When it comes to hair color, you have a wealth of excellent salon and drugstore brand options. Heavy-hitters like Wella, Redken, L’Oréal and Clairol offer predictable results in both permanent and semi-permanent shades. Read up on product reviews, do patch tests, and consider your hair type and budget to determine the best brand for your needs. With the right formula and application, you can achieve beautiful, vibrant hair color results.