• 10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair in 2022 (Licensed Cosmetologist-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair in 2022 (Licensed Cosmetologist-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair in 2022 (Licensed Cosmetologist-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair in 2022 (Licensed Cosmetologist-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair in 2022 (Licensed Cosmetologist-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair in 2022 (Licensed Cosmetologist-Reviewed)

Have you been itching to try out new hair colors for a while now, but just couldn't commit? Luckily, there are temporary hair dyes that fade within a few washes. Though everyone thinks that temporary hair dye doesn’t work well on dark hair, this isn't entirely true. While temporary hair dyes don’t show up as vividly as they do for naturally lighter colored hair, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find yourself a rocking new (subdued) color. 

Our favorite temporary hair dye was Arctic Fox's Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye. It's long-lasting, free from ammonia and peroxide, and 100% vegan and cruelty-free - meaning you won't feel guilty for purchasing it! Take a look below for more of our top picks, and check out our buying guide reviewed by a licensed cosmetologist for tips on how to choose a dye on your own.

Featured in this article

Denise Campbell
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 06-23-2022
Table of Contents

Compare the 10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair

Image
1
Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye 1

Arctic Fox

2
Joico Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color 1

Joico

3
Biotera Sheer Illuminator 1

Biotera

4
Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Dye 1

Lime Crime

5
High Ridge High Beams Intense Temporary Spray on Hair Color 1

High Ridge

6
Punky Semi Permanent Conditioning Hair Color 1

Punky

7
MS.DEAR Temporary Hair Color Mascara 1

MS.DEAR

8
MS.DEAR Hair Color Wax 1

MS.DEAR

9
Epic Art Supplies Hair Chalk Set 1

Epic

10
Color X-Change Semi-Permanent Hair Color 1

Color X-Change

Name

Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye

Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Sheer Illuminator

Unicorn Hair Dye

High Beams Intense Temporary Spray on Hair Color

Semi Permanent Conditioning Hair Color

Temporary Hair Color Mascara

Hair Color Wax

Art Supplies Hair Chalk Set

Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Features

A Dye That's Cruelty-Free and Comes in Bright Colors

Subtly Colored Semi-Permanent Dye With Long-Lasting Effects

Enhance and Condition Your Natural Hair Color

For Color That’s Just as Fun to Apply as It Is to Wear

A Temporary Solution Perfect for Costuming or Cosplay

21 Hair Colors That Are Non-Toxic and Chemical-Free

Creative Application for Shiny, Metallic Streaks

A Hair Wax That Styles and Colors Your Hair

Experiment to Your Heart's Content With These Hair Chalks

A Dye for Tinting Your Light Brown Hair

Price$14.99$14.89$24.60$16.00$7.89$7.99$19.99$9.99$14.99$7.00
Brunettes OnlyNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
TypeSemi-permanent dyeSemi-permanent dyeSemi-permanent dyeSemi-permanent dyeHair sprayDemi-permanent dyeHair mascaraHair waxHair chalkSemi-permanent dye
DurationAbout 30 washesAbout 12 washesAbout 5 washesAbout 5 washes1 wash25 washes1 wash1 wash1 washAbout 5 washes
Volume4 oz.4 oz.4 oz.6.76 oz.2.7 oz.3.5 oz.3.42 oz. per piece4.23 oz.0.2 oz per piece4 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYesYesYesYesNot providedYesYesYesYesYes
Link

10 Best Temporary Hair Dyes for Dark Hair

Here are our 10 favorite temporary hair dyes to start your search. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Denise Campbell.

1

Arctic FoxSemi-Permanent Hair Color Dye

$14.99

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeSemi-permanent dye
DurationAbout 30 washes
Volume4 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
2

JoicoIntensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color

$14.89

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeSemi-permanent dye
DurationAbout 12 washes
Volume4 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
3

BioteraSheer Illuminator

$24.60

Brunettes OnlyYes
TypeSemi-permanent dye
DurationAbout 5 washes
Volume4 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
4

Lime CrimeUnicorn Hair Dye

$16.00

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeSemi-permanent dye
DurationAbout 5 washes
Volume6.76 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
5

High RidgeHigh Beams Intense Temporary Spray on Hair Color

$7.89

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeHair spray
Duration1 wash
Volume2.7 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeNot provided
6

PunkySemi Permanent Conditioning Hair Color

$7.99

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeDemi-permanent dye
Duration25 washes
Volume3.5 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
7

MS.DEARTemporary Hair Color Mascara

$19.99

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeHair mascara
Duration1 wash
Volume3.42 oz. per piece
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
8

MS.DEARHair Color Wax

$9.99

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeHair wax
Duration1 wash
Volume4.23 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
9

EpicArt Supplies Hair Chalk Set

$14.99

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeHair chalk
Duration1 wash
Volume0.2 oz per piece
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes
10

Color X-ChangeSemi-Permanent Hair Color

$7.00

Brunettes OnlyNo
TypeSemi-permanent dye
DurationAbout 5 washes
Volume4 oz.
Ammonia and Peroxide FreeYes

How to Choose a Temporary Hair Dye for Dark Hair – Buying Guide

While experience is really the best way to know what works for you, there are a few things you can check before purchasing to give you an idea of how a hair dye is going to work. Check out our pointers below!

Choose Your Dye Type

The type of dye you go for can largely determine the longevity and vibrancy of the color. There are various kinds of temporary hair dye solutions, and we'll go over the pros and cons of each. Take note that we've defined the longevity of temporary hair dyes to be measured in hair washes, so use your own hair washing schedule to come up with a more accurate time measurement.

Go with Hair Mascara, Hair Chalk, or Hair Spray for Up to a Week of Use

Go with Hair Mascara, Hair Chalk, or Hair Spray for Up to a Week of Use
If you’re looking to change up your locks for a party or event but don’t necessarily want it to become your new look, go for a hair mascara, hair chalk, or hair spray. Spray dye is sprayed on to dry hair, hair chalk is scrubbed on wet hair, and color wax is used like normal styling wax, making all three types simple to apply. These will simply sit on top of your hair and wash out right away (though some may last up to four washes). 

The simple application process and short-term use make these types of dyes good for first-timers and people who want to experiment with their hair. These also tend to give you the most vivid colors.


Pick Semi-Permanent Hair Dye for Up to a Month of Color

Pick Semi-Permanent Hair Dye for Up to a Month of Color
If you’re looking for something that lasts a little longer, go with a semi-permanent dye. Unlike permanent dyes, semi-permanents contain no ammonia or peroxide. Ammonia is used to open the hair cuticle to allow pigments to easily attach to the cortex, or the interior of the strands, while peroxide lightens the hair, taking out the base color and creating a clean slate for dye to set. 

Without ammonia or peroxide, semi-permanent dyes won’t penetrate deeply into hair strands but will act as a stain instead. They last between 4 to 12 washes and aren’t very vivid.

Choose a Demi-Permanent Hair Dye to Last Up to 24 Washes

Choose a Demi-Permanent Hair Dye to Last Up to 24 Washes

Demi-permanent dyes are stronger than semi-permanent dyes but not as strong as permanent ones. Like semi-permanent dyes, these do not contain ammonia; however, they do have the addition of peroxide, which helps to take color out of hair.


The peroxide makes demi-permanent dyes ideal for darker hair colors, as it will lighten the tone to allow more permanency in the coloring process. Demi-permanent dyes will last between 12 to 28 shampoos and, like semi-permanents, won’t be as vivid as dyes with bleach.

Keep in Mind How Much Hair You Want to Color

There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a color job and realizing you don’t have enough to finish. So be sure to take your hair length as well as how much of it you want to color into consideration when you make your purchase.

Make Sure You Have Enough Before Buying

Make Sure You Have Enough Before Buying

It’s hard to say exactly how much dye you’ll need since each brand has different consistencies and requirements, but generally speaking, if you’re looking to do a full head dye, go with 1 container (4 to 6 ounces) of semi- or demi-permanent dye for shoulder-length and shorter hair and 2 or more containers for longer hair lengths.

Take note that hair spray works well for both long and short hair since you’re not necessarily trying to color all your hair—just the outer layer.

Choose Hair Mascara, Chalk or Wax for Streaks or Highlights

Choose Hair Mascara, Chalk or Wax for Streaks or Highlights

For streaks, highlights, and other small patches, hair mascaras, chalk, and wax are your best choices. These dyes all come in smaller sizes, making them packaged for covering a small area of hair. 


However, they're extremely easy to use, often wash off in one shampoo, and highly effective - especially if you're using them for costuming or just to add a pop of color for a night out. They also cause virtually no damage, as they color only the outer layer of the hair. 

Check the Label Before You Buy

Check the Label Before You Buy
The stronger the dye, the more damage it does. Ingredients that strip color away from your hair such as ammonia, PPD, and peroxide are the most damaging.

If you keep dyeing your hair, ammonia and hydrogen peroxide can dry it out and damage its structure, creating brittle, unhealthy looking hair. Paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a chemical that is used because of its natural finish and long-lasting effects on color, can irritate skin and cause serious side effects, such as dermatitis where the skin may turn red, look cracked, or blister.


Check the Label Before You Buy

These chemicals tend not to be used much in temporary dyes, but you'll want to check the labels just in case - especially with semi- and demi-permanent dyes. Also, if you have colored your hair before, they're likely to be more open to taking in trace chemicals, so temporary dyes can still be damaging. To be on the safe side, go with dyes labelled non-toxic or chemical-free.


You might also be tempted to try henna as an all-natural dye. However, it will stain your hair so if you do want to bleach it or recolor it in the future, it’ll be hard to get the color out.

Set Yourself Up for Success–Things to Do Before You Dye

Set Yourself Up for Success–Things to Do Before You Dye

No matter if you want the color to last for just a night or a couple months, there are a few things to do to ensure the application process goes smoothly. Make sure to do a patch test on a small area of skin one day before you plan on dyeing your hair. If there’s any irritation, such as a developing rash or irritation of the skin, do not continue using the dye.

To prevent staining skin, put petroleum jelly or hair conditioner around your hairline on your forehead, ears, and neck. Cover everything else, such as furniture or clothing, that you don’t want to get stained as well. Also, be aware the things around you, especially if you’re using hair chalk or spray.

Take Care of that Colored Hair

Now that you've chosen your perfect temporary dye for dark hair, what about taking care of your color? Take a look at these other guides for more information on keeping your hair healthy and beautiful!

In Collaboration With Licensed Cosmetologist Denise Campbell

Denise Campbell
Cosmetologist/Beauty Advisor
Denise Campbell

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

Author: Jacqueline Oshiro

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