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9 Best Tried and True Japanese Hair Dyes in 2022 (Hair Stylist-Reviewed)

9 Best Tried and True Japanese Hair Dyes in 2022 (Hair Stylist-Reviewed)

Dyeing hair has been on-trend recently, but it can be expensive to do. Why not try an at-home kit instead of heading out to the salon? They're perfect for trying out different colors and getting a feel for dyeing hair in general. Japanese hair dyes, though formulated with dark, black Asian hair in mind, can also work great for other types of hair, but always make sure to conduct a patch test in case!

To figure out what's best to use, we evaluated and tested 9 of the most popular hair dyes found on popular e-commerce sites in Japan, like Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping.

We tested them based on three criteria:
  • Finish
  • How long the color lasted
  • How it felt after dying

Keep on reading to find out which was our top pick for best Japanese hair dye!
Last updated 2023/01/17
Yukihito Fujimaki
Hair stylist

After working as the manager of renowned hair salons in Tokyo, Yukihito Fujimaki started his own hair salon, romp. In addition to conducting seminars internationally on the art of cutting, coloring, and perming hair, he's also actively involved in developing hair coloring agents and hair photography, as well as participates in cutting and photo contests, in which he's won several awards. Follow him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/romp_fujimaki/ to keep up to date with the latest in Japanese hair trends.

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What's Special About Japanese Hair Dye?

What's Special About Japanese Hair Dye?

While there's not much concrete evidence out there to support this, some users claim that since Japanese hair dye is formulated for dark, Asian hair, it likely works best for those with similar hair color and textures. Moreover, other users report that Japanese hair dyes didn't dry out or damage their hair as much as Western products and that they didn't have as strong of a smell, but this seems to vary between the product.

Ultimately, hair dyes in general work in a similar fashion no matter where it's from, but Japanese hair dyes do indeed offer colors that are trendy and popular in Japan.

How to Choose a Japanese Hair Dye

Japanese Hair Dyesの選び方

For the most part, choosing a Japanese hair dye is no different than choosing a hair dye anywhere else. For details buying guides on hair dye, check out our articles below.

9 Best Japanese Hair Dyes

Based on our in-house testing, we ranked a couple of the best Japanese hair dyes you can find online. Keep in mind our overall scores are not a simple averaging out of each product’s test results; some tests were given more weight than others, which is reflected in our rankings.
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mandom corp.

LÚCIDO-L Milk Jam Hair Color

mandom corp. LÚCIDO-L Milk Jam Hair Color 1枚目

Brightens Even the Darkest of Hair, WIth a Clear and Light Finish


Henkel Japan

Freshlight Foam Type

Henkel Japan Freshlight Foam Type 1枚目

Best for Getting a Lovely, Clear, and Ashy Finish With Minimal Hair Damage



Every Hair Color

Dariya Every Hair Color 1枚目

Delivers a Glossy but Subtle Finish



Palty Coloring Milk

Dariya Palty Coloring Milk 1枚目

High Brightness and an Even Finish



Beautylabo Whip Hair Color

Hoyu Beautylabo Whip Hair Color 1枚目

Glossy and Light Finish With Minimal Hair Damage



Beautylabo Vanity Color

Hoyu Beautylabo Vanity Color 1枚目

Best for Darker Tones and a Subtle Finish


Henkel Japan

Freshlight Milky Hair Color

Henkel Japan Freshlight Milky Hair Color 1枚目

A Hair Dye That Looks Good Even When Fading



Beauteen Makeup Color

Hoyu Beauteen Makeup Color 1枚目

Best Hair Dye for Already Dyed Hair



Liese Foam Color

Kao Liese Foam Color 1枚目

A Low-Damage Hair Dye

Product details

mandom corp.LÚCIDO-L Milk Jam Hair ColorClassic Milk Tea


Brightens Even the Darkest of Hair, WIth a Clear and Light Finish

Mandom's Lucido-L Milk Jam Hair Color is formulated with four types of hair conditioning ingredients.

It was able to brighten up our test hair, turning dark hair to a brighter shade of brown. Its glossy finish made the hair look lighter, so we think it's best for those who want to add some lightness to their hair. Even after washing seven times, we didn't notice any color loss, meaning it was able to retain its color for well.

Right after coloring, we found that the hair wasn't exactly super smooth, so we recommend caring for your color-damaged hair with hair oil or a conditioner. This is a great hair dye to consider for those coloring their hair for the first time.

Best for Getting a Lovely, Clear, and Ashy Finish With Minimal Hair Damage

Henkel Japan's Freshlight Foam Type series is the foam version of the Freshlight Milky Hair Color series from the same manufacturer.

After using the product, it brightened the hair to a reddish-brown when a light was shone on it. Even after washing the hair seven times, it managed to maintain exactly the same hue as after coloring, indicating that this hair dye will last for a while.

While immediately after use, it left our hair a bit dry, but still smooth enough to allow our fingers to run through it. Although there wasn't that much hair damage, it's still a good idea to use a conditioner or oil after dyeing.

Delivers a Glossy but Subtle Finish

Dariya's Every Hair Color has an impressive range of colors such as pink, blue, and khaki which are all compatible with gray hair, too.

After application, we found the color we tested resulted in a darker brown finish, but when light bounced off the hair, we found it to be glossy and attractive. However, if you seek brighter hair colors, then this may be a bit lacking. After 7 washes, we found the color had washed out just a bit, but its overall brightness stayed the same.

While there was some dryness, we found the hair we tested to be relatively damage-free, running through the fingers well. After dyeing your hair, we recommend using hair oil or hair milk to reduce dryness.

High Brightness and an Even Finish

Palty Coloring Milk is a cream-type hair dye, and the cream is thick and rich. Compared to previous iterations, the volume of the product was increased by 1.5-fold, allowing you to use plenty of the product.

Even naturally dark Asian hair turned bright with no unevenness. Unfortunately, after 7 washes, we found the color faded overall and increased in brightness. This is a hair dye that's best for those who like bright colored hair and want to enjoy slightly faded colors.

We liked how the feel of the hair was silky-smooth after dyeing. However, our fingers did get stuck a bit while running them through the hair, so it's best to add moisture to your hair with hair oil or milk and brush thoroughly.


Glossy and Light Finish With Minimal Hair Damage

Hoyu's Beautylabo Whip Hair Color is a foam-style hair dye where you mix two liquids in a provided shaker bottle. What makes Beautylabo Whip Hair Color stand out is its immense lineup of colors, ranging from natural colors to more subtle tones.

With the color we tested, we found the hair we dyed became a deep and dark brown. It also added a glossy and light finish, making it best for those with lots of hair or those who have thick hair. Since it only got slightly brighter in color after washing seven times, it earned high scores in the color retention finish.

We were able to comb the hair with no effort and felt there was minimal hair damage.

Best for Darker Tones and a Subtle Finish

Hoyu's Beautylabo Vanity Hair Color is a cream version of the Beautylabo series of products best known for its whipped foam hair dye. They have a wide range of on-trend dusty colors, making this hair dye great for those who want the latest hair color.

When applied, we found that our test hair only became slightly dyed to a dark brown. However, the same color tone lasted after washing the hair seven times, and we didn't feel like the color faded.

After use, we found that the hair became moist and smooth, with no notable dryness.


A Hair Dye That Looks Good Even When Fading

Henkel Japan's Freshlight Milky Hair Color claims to make hair shine thanks to its double-oil formula.

After dyeing our test hair, we found it became a bright brown, but it wasn't as yellow-toned as the image on the package would suggest. After washing seven times, we found that the tips of the hair became reddish while the roots became more of a greige color. While the color doesn't fade evenly, this is best for those who want to enjoy a gradient of different tones.

After dyeing, we found the hair to be lacking in smoothness. We highly recommend using a conditioner or hair mask to take care of the damage caused by this hair dye.


Best Hair Dye for Already Dyed Hair

Hoyu's Beauteen Makeup Color comes as a unique bubbling creamy lotion. The hair dye is a creamy lotion at the beginning but over time, it eventually changes into foam after massaging it into the hair.

Hoyu claims that the dye is not as effective on dark hair, and we agree - we only saw a slight change in color. On top of that, after we washed it seven times, we found that the color we tested, Monotone Greige, became a light brown color.

We were particularly fond of the fact that after use, it made the hair smooth and soft, but no matter how many times we tried to comb it, the comb got caught near the tips. Unfortunately, it seems like damaged hair can't be fully avoided with this product, so be sure to conduct adequate haircare afterward.


A Low-Damage Hair Dye

Kao's Liese Foam Color can be massaged into the hair thanks to its pump-style container.

After we dyed our test hair, it became a slightly dark reddish-brown. While it's best for those who want to only slightly change the tone of their hair, if you have dark hair and want to greatly increase the brightness of it, you may find this to be lacking. The hair turned slightly yellow in color after washing it seven times, so if this isn't what you're after, be warned.

On the other hand, we found that there was minimal damage, with just the slightest tug after dyeing, but this was remedied after a few passes with a comb. However, some may not like the strong smell this hair dye has, so if you are sensitive to smells, keep this in mind.

How We Tested the Hair Dyes

After picking up the nine popular hair dyes from popular e-commerce sites in Japan like Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping, we tested each for each of the following:

  • Finish
  • Color retention
  • Feel

Then we gave them a score from 0.5 to 5 and ranked all the products based on their scores.

Please note that the products listed in the ranking were independently scored after our editorial staff tested them. In addition, we do not guarantee you will see the exact results we did.

Test ① Finish

Test ① Finish
First off, we tested the finish of each hair dye.

We dyed black hair samples following the instructions which come with the products to check out the tone, brightness, and evenness of the color. We gave high reviews to the products which could dye the hair evenly and significantly increase brightness from the original hair color.

Test ② Color Retention

Test ② Color Retention

Next, we tested how long the color lasted.

We shampooed and dried the dyed hair samples seven times in a row to see how much of the color changes. Then, we compared it to images of the hair taken immediately after it was dyed, and gave higher scores to products that had fewer changes in color.

Test ③ Feel

Test ③ Feel

Finally, we tested how the dye made the hair feel in the hand.

We touched the dyed hair samples to check the feel of the hair and how smooth our fingers ran through them. Products that offered a smooth feel and allowed us to easily run our fingers through them were rated highly.

More Tips and Extra Info

How to Keep Your Hair Color for Longer

How to Keep Your Hair Color for Longer

You've obviously dyed your hair since you want it to look a certain way, so you'll probably want to keep it to that color for as long as possible. By taking care of your hair, the color will last longer. Use a conditioner or hair oil to moisturize your dried-out hair.

Moreover, using a shampoo that isn't overly cleansing, like a colored shampoo or shampoo for colored hair, will help minimize color fading.

Check out the links below for more on hair conditioners and masks!

Yukihito Fujimaki
Hair stylist
Yukihito Fujimaki's Comment

Keep your hair away from high heat right after dyeing, such as using a hair straightener or curling iron. 

Furthermore, washing your hair using warm water with a temperature of around 98 to 100°F (37 to 38°C) can help your hair retain its color for longer.

Is it Safe to Dye Your Hair While Menstruating or When Pregnant?

Is it Safe to Dye Your Hair While Menstruating or When Pregnant?

Dying your hair during menstruation is not advised, since the skin is quite sensitive, and hair dye can add stress to your skin. It's best to avoid dying your hair when your skin or your body doesn't feel at its best.

If you're pregnant, always check with your doctor and ask if it's safe for you to dye your hair. During pregnancy, women can be particularly sensitive to smells, and the strong smells found in hair dye can make you feel sick, so be careful if you decide to dye your hair.

※None of the content on this website is intended to act as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner or other qualified healthcare providers for healthcare concerns.

Gradually Change Colors Rather than Jumping from Warmer to Cooler Colors

Gradually Change Colors Rather than Jumping from Warmer to Cooler Colors

If you plan on dyeing your hair into a bright color, like pink or purple, it's best to choose a color that's similar to the last hair color you used.

Since it's difficult to suddenly dye your hair from a warmer color to a colder color, to get the best results, you'll have to gradually shift colors if you plan on making such a drastic change.

Yukihito Fujimaki
Hair stylist
Yukihito Fujimaki's Comment

The lighter the color of the hair you start out with, the more vivid the color will come through. The higher your hair color is on the color level scale, the closer it'll turn out to the color you want.

If you have darker hair, it might be difficult to achieve the color you want, since darker hair tends to turn reddish when dyed. Ash colors, for example, are difficult to achieve in one go, so it's best to layer the colors.

Will These Dyes Work on My Naturally Black Hair?

Will These Dyes Work on My Naturally Black Hair?
Hair dyes do contain hair lightening agents, which work to remove some of the melanin from your hair and replace them with new pigments. But, generally speaking, if you treat hair while it’s still dark, it won’t turn out like whatever you see on the box. Most of those models are wearing the color you’d get if you were to treat bleached hair.

However, most packages of hair dye will give you three before-and-after images, one for light-colored hair, one for slightly darker colored hair, and one for dark colored hair, so you can get an idea of how a color will turn out on you. If you figure that you want to go for the lighter color and you have darker brown or black hair, then you’ll have to bleach your hair beforehand.

We also purchased and tried out the most popular boxes of Japanese bleach online, so check out the article below if you know you'll be needing to lighten your hair first!

Japanese Hair Treatments for Colored Hair

Top 5 Japanese Hair Dyes

No. 1mandom corp.LÚCIDO-L Milk Jam Hair ColorClassic Milk Tea

No. 2Henkel JapanFreshlight Foam Type

No. 3DariyaEvery Hair Color

No. 4DariyaPalty Coloring Milk

No. 5HoyuBeautylabo Whip Hair ColorMisty Ash

View Full Ranking

When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.

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