Getting creative and expressing yourself through a vibrant hair color has never been easier. From your very own home, you can get your hair as brightly multicolored as you’d like. But with so many easy-to-use at-home dye kits, you want to be selective about the hair color and brand you pick so you don’t end up regretting dyeing it yourself.
Whether you’re striving for a striking magenta, vibrant green or a streak of purple, the key to getting beautiful colored hair is choosing a brand that won’t cause damage while still achieving colorful results. When it comes to home colorful dyes, there are two brands that offer a range of rainbow colors and also strive to protect your strands — Arctic Fox and Splat. Here’s everything you need to know about both brands to help narrow down your choice.
Founded in 2013, Arctic Fox aims to provide accessible, long-lasting hair dye that is simple to apply at home. Aside from offering beautiful shades, Arctic Fox products last 4-8 weeks, have a pleasant scent (not your usual smell of ammonia) and are made of natural ingredients that contain no drying agents or harsh chemicals. In fact, all of its hair dyes are vegan and cruelty-free.
Aside from being vegan-friendly, semi-permanent pre-mixed dyes that are not harsh on your hair, all of Arctic Fox’s dyes offer highly pigmented color that won’t stain so long as it is properly rinsed out at the appropriate time. Arctic Fox also ensures that its dyes will fade differently than most. Rather than fading to a washed-out hue, Arctic Fox dyes fade to a lighter pigment of the original shade, allowing your hair to hold onto its creative color so you can enjoy it even during the fading process.
Additionally, Arctic Fox has its very own, plant-based bleach for those who choose to pre-lighten their hair before applying their creative color.
As with most hair colors, there is always the potential for bleeding or staining of the color if it’s not rinsed thoroughly. Make sure you leave your color in for the required amount of time and rinse until the water runs completely clear. Another drawback is that there are no gloves included, so you’ll need to purchase some separately to avoid stained hands.
If you plan on using Arctic Fox hair dye, keep in mind that in order to get vibrant colors, you’ll have to bleach your hair first for it to show up. If you don’t already have light hair then it might be a time-consuming and damaging process to lighten it. Without lightening your hair first, some shades won’t be as bright as they’re advertised on the box.
Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Dye in Electric Paradise: available at Amazon
This shade is a brilliant, bright pink that is UV-reactive (meaning it will change colors in sunlight or under black lights). Because this is such a vibrant shade, it requires your hair to be pre-lightened or naturally light prior to application.
Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Dye in Ritual: available at Amazon
Ritual is a sultry, jewel-toned burgundy shade that is perfect if you’re seeking a striking-yet-deep hair color. This shade will appear redder over blonde hair but will result in a darker burgundy for those with a brunette base.
Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye in Cosmic Sunshine: available at Amazon
Cosmic sunshine is a unique, vibrant shade of yellow. For naturally warm hair tones, brassiness is possible, so pre-lightening to your lightest shade is recommended. Additionally, you can experiment and mix this shade with others, such as a bright green, for a custom neon look.
Splat is a cruelty-free, vegan hair dye that is free of harsh chemicals. Introduced in 1991, Splat’s goal is to provide cost-effective, high-quality hair color for anyone; whether you’re looking to be expressive, make a statement or discover a new long-term hair color that uniquely suits you.
Splat is generally gentle and effective on most hair types. Depending on how light your base color is, you’ll get a vibrant, unique shade without experiencing damaged strands. Splat is inexpensive and each hair dye kit comes with gloves.
As with most creative hair dyes, the lighter your base color, the brighter the results. However, Splat does have shades that will still provide subtle results on brunette hair. If you’re looking for hair dye that lasts longer, you’ll need to opt for permanent hair color.
Splat hair dye, though equally priced with Arctic Fox, contains 3 ounces of product, however, Arctic Fox and other similar dyes typically contain 4 ounces in larger bottles. If your hair is longer than your shoulders, you’ll need at least two boxes of Splat dye to ensure your strands are saturated.
Splat Rebellious Fantasy Complete Hair Color Kit in Lusty Lavender: available at Amazon
This kit includes bleach, gloves, conditioner and long-lasting hair dye in an exotic lavender purple shade. This will give vibrant results on bleached hair, as it is a light shade and may show more subtle results on darker blondes.
Splat Purple Desire Original Complete Purple Hair Dye Kit: available at Amazon
Another great option for a bright statement look is Purple Desire, which is a deeper, intense shade of purple that appears even on darker hair. If you’re looking to bleach your hair prior to going purple, the bleach is already included in this kit.
Splat Midnight Magenta Semi-Permanent Hair Color available at Amazon
This hair color does not include bleach in the box; rather, it’s actually intended for brunettes. While blondes can still use this shade, the Midnight Magenta was designed to provide radiant and bold results that last on darker hair colors — making it perfect for those looking to skip the bleach.
While both products have benefits over the other, we recommend Arctic Fox. Its dyes are available in larger quantities (for a similar price), tend to last longer and offer more creative flexibility with shades.
Courtney Love is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Copyright © 2021, Chicago Tribune