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The 8 Best Red Hair Dyes in the UK

Is there any hair color better than red? From sultry and deep to bold and bright, you have a variety of shades to choose from. No matter what look you’re after, or what color your hair is now, you have plenty of excellent options to choose from if you want to dye your hair red.

Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up the 8 best red hair dyes in the UK. Get ready for a whole new look!

1. L’Oreal Paris Colorista Bright Red Hair Dye Gel

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L’Oreal’s boldest, brightest red is sure to turn heads. It’s an all-in-one dye kit formulated for use on all hair types. Pure dyes create a vibrant shine that’s up to three times brighter than similar hues from competitors.

The application is simple. Combine the coloring gel with the developer cream, shake well, and then apply. For maintenance, you’ll want to apply a hazelnut color mask once a week for six weeks. It helps retain the color and keeps your hair silky and smooth.


  • Bright, bold color
  • The formula is easy to mix
  • Adds volume and shine


  • Thin consistency is messy to apply

2. Garnier Olia Permanent Hair Color

Garnier’s red dye is not only bold and vibrant, it’s also nourishing. It helps protect against dryness while increasing your hair’s shine by up to three levels.

Application is easy thanks to the non-drip texture that allows for precise control. Plus, it’s ammonia-free with a pleasant, subtle floral scent.

Sixty per cent of the formula consists of natural oils, including flower oils. It’s gentle on your scalp and adds shine to your hair.


  • Long-lasting, permanent dye
  • Contains 60% natural oils
  • Ammonia-free with a fresh scent


  • Not ideal for dark brown or black hair

3. La Riche Directions Pillarbox Red

If you want vibrant red, but only for a while, you’ll want to check out this semi-permanent option from La Riche Directions. It washes out within two to six weeks depending on how often you shampoo (although you can prolong it somewhat by using dry shampoo).

It’s a bold, ultrabright red. The dye contains no ammonia, peroxide, or paraphenylenediamines. For best results, you’ll want to use it on blonde or bleached hair instead of darker colors.


  • Bold, bright red
  • Washes out after six weeks
  • Contains no harsh chemicals


  • Works best on light colored hair
  • Not a permanent dye

4. Schwarzkopf Live Color – Red Passion

Turning dark hair into red doesn’t always work well, but Schwarzkopf makes it easy with their Red Passion dye. It’s formulated specifically to add a bright, full red hue to dark brown hair. It’s a vivid, full color with a radiant shine.

The color washes out after about 28 washes, making this a semi-permanent dye. It lightens while it colors, a combination which works well if you’re trying to cover grey.

One minor drawback is the amount you get in each box. If your hair is shoulder length or longer, you’ll probably need two boxes for full coverage. They’re sold in packages of three, so you can only dye your hair once per set.


  • Designed to work well with dark brown hair
  • Covers grey hair effectively
  • Lasts for about 28 washes


  • Two boxes required in many cases
  • Can look purple or pink as it fades

5. Renbow Crazy Color Fire No. 56

Renbow Crazy Color Semi Permanent Hair Color

If you want dazzling red, Crazy Color delivers. They’ve remained a trusted brand since 1977, making them a leader in colored hair. Fire No. 56 is their boldest, brightest red, although they also offer a wide variety of other striking colors.

It’s a semi-permanent dye that lasts about eight washes at most, so you’re not making a long-term commitment to any color. It’s ideal on light blonde hair. If your hair is darker, they recommended pre-lightening or bleaching for best results.

One important note is that this dye is strong, so you’ll want to be extra careful during the application process. It’ll stain skin, clothes and furnishings. You’ll also want to rinse and dry your hair thoroughly to avoid any colorful drips.


  • Fun, bright red
  • True color when applied to light or bleached hair
  • Trusted brand


  • Not ideal for dark hair
  • The dye can stain fabrics and skin

6. L’Oreal Preference Mango Copper

L'Oreal Preference Infinia 74 Mango Intense Copper Hair Dye

If you’re looking for a softer, copper red, L’Oreal has a fun, vibrant option. It’s fade-resistant and lasts about eight weeks with regular washes. With an orange and copper base, it works best on blonde, bleached blonde, and light brown hair.

The only minor downside is the smell. It has a heavily perfumed aroma that can feel slightly overwhelming in a small bathroom. However, aside from the smell, it’s a reliable and easy-to-use dye that creates a shiny, reddish-copper color.


  • Light, stylish copper red
  • Lasts for two months
  • Colors resist fading even in the sun


  • Strong scent
  • Doesn’t color dark brown hair very well

7. Manic Panic Vampire Red

Founded in 1977, Manic Panic has remained a leader in cosmetic hair coloring. Created by sisters Tish and Snooky Bellomo, their hair dyes are known for a bold, rock-and-roll vibrance that’s impossible to miss.

Their Vampire Red is a deep, rich red. Although it delivers strong color, the formula is surprisingly gentle. You can leave the dye in for hours or even overnight for maximum brightness. Once applied, the color will last for about four to six weeks.

It’s a vegan-friendly and cruelty-free formula. Additionally, it contains no paraphenylenediamine, a chemical compound frequently found in hair dyes. The classic Manic Panic canister keeps the formula fresh and free from mould.


  • Classic NYC brand
  • Produces deep, lush red
  • Animal-free formula
  • Gentle on hair


  • Can stain skin and clothing
  • The cream can run and be difficult to control

8. L’Oreal Preference Infinia Brooklyn Intense

L’Oreal Preference Infinia Brooklyn Intense

Brooklyn Intense is a lighter, softer red hair dye that adds shine and volume. Aside from coloring hair, it also nourishes and protects. Vitamin E and a UV filter help strengthen follicles and protect against sun damage.

Add the unique High Shine Elixir to help boost color radiance. With added high-shine conditioner, you can safely use the dye repeatedly. Each application lasts about two months.


  • Light, vibrant red creates a soft look
  • Covers grey
  • Resistant to fading and sun damage


  • Can sting sensitive skin
  • May make hair feel sticky

Final Thoughts

Don’t get stuck with unexpected hair color. When searching for the best red hair dyes in the United Kingdom, make sure to consider the following factors:

  • Brand. Only choose a trusted brand with a reputation for high quality, because how the dye is made is often just as important as the ingredients used.
  • Permanency. Some dyes are designed to wash out after only a few weeks, while others will last for up to two months.
  • Safety. Many people prefer dyes without ammonia or other harsh chemicals that have strong smells and can irritate skin.
  • Consistency. Avoid any dye that’s too runny, as it’s difficult to apply and can easily stain your skin and clothes.

Dye your hair red to add some fun, passion and vibrancy to your style. More than simply changing the color, the right dye can increase your hair’s strength, shine, and volume.

Whether you’re looking to cover gray, highlight your existing red hair, or change the color of your locks entirely, use the list above to find the best red hair dye in the UK. Say hello to a new you!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best brand of red hair dye?

It depends on whether you want a permanent shade, semi-permanent red hair dye, boxed color, or professional dye.

For a permanent dye, Nutrisse Ultra Color is the best selection. In the 1990s, auburn hair was made fashionable by Julia Roberts in Pretty Women. Now, more customers are turning towards vibrant shades of red.

Nutrisse carries these vibrant shades. They are also a very high intensity of red and can be effectively used on dark hair. 

What makes this product extraordinary (aside from the vibrancy) is the conditioner. Many boxed colors will dry out your hair. Nutrisse has a conditioner that will keep your hair moisturized for weeks to come. 
This product does not drip while in use and doesn’t fade as easily- even if you wash your hair daily.

Bleach London is the best semi-permanent hair dye and is nice and vibrant. This color is vegan and cruelty-free. This hair color will allow you to use it two to three times per bottle for long hair. It fades within two to ten weeks.

For professional color, Matrix tends to be the best. It has a wide selection of shades, doesn’t fade as quickly, and has head-turning results. It will keep your hair moisturized and lasts for about six to eight weeks of solid color.

The only drawback is that you may want to place a towel on your pillow as the dye can run for 24 hours after application and rinse. It does tend to wash out easily, though.

What brand of red hair dye lasts the longest?

It is a toss-up between Manic Panic (semi-permanent) and Garnier Nutrisse.

Manic Panic provides a dimensional finish to your hair by giving it high and low lights. It contains healthy ingredients for hair such as keratin to strengthen it. This allows the dye to last longer without facing. This dye lasts about four to six weeks on average.

Garnier Nutrisse doesn’t fade as easily due to the conditioners. Users can expect a vibrant shade for about six weeks easily.

What is the best red hair dye for dark hair?

SoftSheen Carson Dark and Lovely Go Intense is the most recommended for dark hair. It has high pigmentation and has a non-drip formula. It covers grey hair and was designed specifically for dark (natural hair) colors.

How to remove red hair dye from my skin?

While it is best to use petroleum jelly around the hairline before coloring, it can be used to remove stains left from coloring as well. Ensure that it does not encounter the eyes, and completely rinse it off with a wet, clean washcloth.

Liquid dish soap also works for removing the stains from red hair color on the skin, as does make-up remover.