Korean hair dyes

6 Best Korean Hair Dye In 2021 | Safe, Gentle Hair Colors To Try At Home

Life’s too short to have boring hair. And the best Korean hair dye can help you switch things up! Korean dyes come in many colors and they are gentle on your tresses too. 

If K-pop has taught us anything it’s how cool pink or electric blue hair looks!

Related: Best Japanese hair dye

Related: Best safe hair dye for pregnancy

Related: Best dry shampoo for colored hair

So if you want to go from your boring blonde or brunette shades to something more exciting, why not try korean hair dyes?

These hair colors, unlike other western dyes, are ammonia-free and do not contain harmful chemicals. 

Korean Hair DyesBest ForChief Ingredients
Etude House Two Tone Treatment Hair ColorTemporary DyeBaobab Seed Oil, Murumuru Butter, Cocoa Butter, Linseed Oil
Aprilskin Turn-up Color TreatmentPastel ShadesRosemary Extract, Lavender Extract, Sage Extract, Jojoba Seed Oil
Mise En Scene Hello Bubble Form ColorBubble Dye FormulaPolyquaternium-6, Lavender Flower, Madonna Lily Scaly Stem Extract, Chamomile Flower Extract
Somang Clinic Hair ColorGrey CoverageCeramides, Camellia Oil
Etude House Hot Style Bubble Hair ColoringDark ShadesChamomile Oil, Royal Jelly, Sunflower Seed Oil
1 Minute_Hi Speed Squid Ink Hair ColorBlack HairAloe Vera, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Olive Oil

In fact, it’s not all rainbow shades. You’ll find Korean hair dyes in shades of brown and black as well. And also if you want to cover your greys or keep your roots from showing. 

How I tested the best Korean hair dye?

I tried out several Korean hair dyes in the market and tested them myself with help from our hair care experts. I then rated them on a scale of 1-5 based on the following parameters.

  • Gentleness – The whole reason why Korean hair dyes are preferred over others is that they are ammonia-free and do not contain several harsh chemicals you’d usually find in a hair dye.
  • Longevity – The Korean hair dye has to be long-lasting and not wash off in just a few shampoo sessions.
  • Hair Care Benefits – The hair dye shouldn’t just color hair, it needs to help with other hair issues like dryness, damage, frizz, etc.
  • Price – Of course, the hair dye shouldn’t put a dent in your pocket and must be affordable.

Top Korean Hair Dye 2021

The best Korean hair dye is one that gives a bright vibrant color that lasts long and does not hurt your tresses in the meantime.

We’ve reviewed some of the top Korean hair dye brands below. Check them out!

Etude House Two Tone Treatment Hair Color

Best Temporary Korean Hair Dye

best korean hair dye

Etude House is one of the most popular Korean brands. And this their Two Tone treatment color promises to work in just 10 minutes. 

The vividness of the color depends on your original hair tone and how many times you retouch your hair.

If you have bleached hair or very light tones, the color shows up much darker.  You can even apply this hair color twice or thrice to increase the boldness. 

It doesn’t harm your tresses at all as the color is perfectly safe and free of ammonia. 

This product isn’t just a dye, it doubles as a hair treatment too. There’s ingredients like linseed oil, cocoa butter, and murumuru seed butter that nourish your strands.

So using this hair color can actually leave your tresses softer and shinier.

Another thing we liked about the hair color is that it didn’t transfer on our clothes while we were testing it. 

korean hair dye for grey coverage

This is a temporary hair dye and will last 1-2 weeks or even less if you wash hair everyday. 

So we suggest looking at Mise En Scene or Bubble B if you want something more long lasting.

Pros:

  • Doubles as hair conditioning treatment
  • Vivid colors
  • Takes just 5-10 minutes
  • Ammonia-free
  • Color doesn’t transfer
  • Smells good

Cons:

  • Lasts for short while
  • Contains artificial fragrance

Colors Available:

  • Purple
  • Red
  • Forest Green
  • Rose Pink
  • Ash Beige
  • Ash Grey
  • Color – 5/5
  • Staying Power – 3/5
  • Hair Benefits – 5/5

Aprilskin Turn-up Color Treatment

Best Hydrating Korean Hair Dye

korean hair color trends 2021

If your end goal isn’t grey coverage or getting a new look but simply having fun, then we suggest going for the AprilSkin Turn-up Color Treatment.

We had the most fun using this Korean hair dye as it’s commitment-free. It fades in just 10-12 washes. So if you wash everyday, that’s less than 2 weeks. 

But that’s the whole point of this AprilSkin dye. To try new hair colors. And they have a large variety of pastel shades for you to choose from.

The best part is that this dye formula doesn’t penetrate your hair cuticle. So the constant hair coloring isn’t going to have any adverse effects on your tresses. 

korean hair dye brands review

In fact, it contains jojoba seed oil, rosemary extract, lavender extract, among 20 protective natural ingredients that keep your hair healthy and soft. 

If you’ve got naturally darker hair, you can use the AprilSkin Turn-Up bleach on your hair first. 

It works well for most colors. We just felt the Greenblue variant wasn’t that visible but the rest came out great!

Pros:

  • Lots of pastel shades
  • Ammonia-free
  • Gentle and safe

Cons:

  • Temporary
  • Weak staying power

Colors Available:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Peach pink
  • Pink
  • Green Blue
  • Khaki
  • Color – 4.5/5
  • Staying Power – 3/5
  • Hair Benefits – 4/5

Mise En Scene Hello Bubble Form Color

Best Korean Bubble Hair Dye

korean hair dye review

This Mise En Scene Hair Dye is a form of bubble hair color. These dyes form large bubbles on application and coat your strands with it.  

Apparently, the foamy consistency makes it easier for the formulation to get absorbed into the strands. It also spreads through the hair better and more quickly than a cream-based dye.

Customer image
Customer image

We also found it lasts longer than more colors. If you use the right shampoo, then this color lasts for 6-8 weeks. 

It also contains a special ampoule containing raspberry extracts and other nourishing ingredients that you have to mix into the developer and cream.

So it left our hair softer and smoother after use.

We did notice that the color doesn’t show up that well on darker hair. And on bleached hair it leaves a slight greenish tinge. 

So you might have to use a hair toner to even out the color. But it’s still a good pick for its price range. 

Pros:

  • Ammonia free
  • Comes with nourishing ampoule
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Colors won’t show up well on dark hair
  • Lighter hair can get a greenish-blue tint

Colors Available:

  • Rose pink
  • Raspberry red
  • Chocolate brown
  • Vanilla Gold
  • Latte brown
  • Color – 4/5
  • Staying Power – 4.5/5
  • Hair Benefits – 4/5

Somang Clinic Hair Color

Best Korean Hair Dye For Grey Coverage

korean hair color 2021 female

If you’re looking for a good Korean hair dye to cover those pesky greys, then the Somang Clinic Hair Color is a good choice.

We selected this one for greys as it comes in very natural tones. You’ll find several shades of browns, blacks, and blondes. 

So if you want a very natural-looking tint. Or if you want to match your greys (or overgrown roots) to your original hair color.

It also has a good staying power and lasts for several washes (5-6 weeks). 

But we did notice that this dye’s staying power doesn’t hold up against sulfate shampoos. 

Apart from the color, the formula is good for sensitive scalps as well. We were happy to see it was hypoallergenic. 

And there are several ingredients like camellia oil, Glycyrrhiza extract, ceramides, and keratin protein to protect your hair from damage.  

Pros:

  • Natural colors
  • Good grey coverage
  • Lasts long

Cons:

  • Fades with sulfate shampoos
  • Color may change on previously-dyed strands

Colors Available:

  • Black
  • Light brown
  • Dark brown
  • Cherry red 
  • Dark blonde
  • Color – 3.5/5
  • Staying Power – 4/5
  • Hair Benefits – 4/5

Etude House Hot Style Bubble Hair Coloring 

Best Korean Hair Dye For Dark Hair

korean hair color for male

This semi-permanent hair dye is perfect if you want a new color for a short period. If you’re planning for a new look for a vacation or weekend wedding, it’s a good idea.

It lasts 4-6 weeks. And if you don’t wash it that often and use a color-safe shampoo and cold water, you can extend the life of this hair color upto 8 weeks too.

When we used this hair color on darker tones, it turned out very even. The Olive shade did fade out to a bluish tinge. But the other colors came out looking very natural. 

It’s also a bubble type Korean hair dye with micro bubble booster technology. So we weren’t surprised that it spread so evenly and quickly through the hair. 

We liked that there’s no ammonia or other harmful chemicals. Instead, there’s nourishing emollients to keep your hair soft. 

There’s also a strong floral fragrance in this dye. And while this is good for masking the chemical smell. It can dry out your hair a bit. 

Pros:

  • Lasts long
  • Shows up well on dark hair
  • Smells pleasant
  • No ammonia
  • Bubble formula

Cons:

  • Fades sooner with frequent washing
  • Can be drying 

Colors Available:

  • Black
  • Dark brown
  • Khaki brown
  • Red
  • Burgundy
  • Color – 4/5
  • Staying Power – 4/5
  • Hair Benefits – 3.5/5

1 Minute_Hi Speed Squid Ink Hair Color 

Best Korean Hair Dye For Black Hair

best korean hair dye for black hair

If you’re looking to just cover a few grey strands and do not want a fancy new color, this is the easiest and quickest way.

As the name suggests, the 1-minute Hi-Speed Squid Ink dye works in well… just one minute!

We just touched up a few greys on the top of our head using this dye and the results were pleasantly surprising.

There was no chemical smell or uneven hair color. In fact, it was a pretty good job considering we just kept in on for 60 seconds.

The botanical ingredients including olive oil, aloe vera, and Acorus Calamus extract keeps your hair soft too. 

korean hair dye bubble

And the weirdest and most potent ingredient is perhaps the squid ink. But that’s k-beauty for you! 

We do suggest doing a patch test before using this product as some ingredients might cause irritation on very sensitive skin or if you have conditions like eczema or psoriasis

Pros:

  • One minute application
  • Odorless
  • Ammonia-free
  • Good for black hair

Cons:

  • Can fade with frequent washing
  • Not good for sensitive scalps

Colors Available:

  • Black
  • Natural brown
  • Dark brown
  • Wine brown
  • Color – 4/5
  • Staying Power – 3.5/4
  • Hair Benefits -3.5/4

What ingredients to avoid while buying a Korean hair dye?

Before you get to buying a Korean hair dye, make sure they are free from these toxic ingredients.

Ammonia – The first thing to check is the ingredients list. Anything with ammonia is out of the question. This ingredient is usually absent from Korean hair colors, but it’s better to check.

Ammonia is usually added in hair dyes to improve the color retention and longevity. It opens your hair cuticles helping the dye penetrate better into the strands.

However, this also damages the cuticles of your hair, leaving them fried and frizzy.

Hydrogen Peroxide – Another ingredient to avoid is Hydrogen Peroxide. It functions as bleach and strips away your existing hair color to let the new dye appear better on your strands.

A lot of Asian hair dyes use this for their lighter hair color products as Asian hair tends to be naturally dark, and would require bleach before taking on blonde, silver, or jewel-toned colors.

Hydrogen peroxide can damage the hair cuticle and make hair frizzier. It can also break down the structural proteins of your strands, making them vulnerable to breakage.

PPD – PPD is short for para-phenylenediamine, a chemical derived from coal tar. It’s used a preservative and a coloring agent for darker shades of hair color.

It’s known trigger inflammation on sensitive scalps. Some studies also establish PPD to be a carinogenic (cancer-causing) agent.

And in combination with hydrogen peroxide, it’s most definitely toxic.

Resorcinol – This is another hair coloring agent commonly found in hair dyes. It’s known to cause irritation on your scalp and cause allergies as well. Resorcinol can also effect your endocrine system (hormones).

What are the korean hair color trends 2021?

Some of the top Korean hair color trends in 2021 are:

  • Cherry Blossom Hair
  • Multi Tonal Highlights
  • Ash Toned Hair
  • Shades of Brown
  • Coral-Colored Hair

What is the most common hair color in Korea?

Korean’s like most Asians have naturally black hair. So darker shades of colors or various tones of brown are most preferred as a hair color in Korea. 

Some of these include:

  • Dark Brown
  • Sand Beige
  • Black with Midnight Blue Shades
  • Copper
  • Pale Honey Blonde
  • Chestnut Brown
  • Tangerine Brown (Auburn)
  • Wine or Burgundy

Are Korean hair dyes safe?

Korean hair dyes are one of the safest products to use as they are free of ammonia, peroxide, bleach, and other harsh chemicals you’d usually find in regular hair dyes.

Most Korean hair colors also come with ingredients like argan oil, aloe vera, keratin, etc. that double as hair treatments and nourish your hair.

So with Korean hair dyes you get the benefit of a hair care product with the color of a dye.

How to use Asian or Korean hair dyes?

If you’re using a regular, semi-permanent or permanent Korean hair dye and not a color-depositing shampoo or conditioner, you can apply it the same way you would any other hair color.

  • Start off by shampooing your locks and then towel dry to get rid of excess water
  • By doing this, you ensure there’s no oils or greasiness that can prevent hair dye from being absorbed
  • It also helps open the hair cuticle which makes it easier for the dye to penetrate the hair shaft.
  • Mix the color and developer in a bowl using hair dye brush
  • Section your hair if its too long and wear your disposable gloves
  • Apply the hair dye to the hair sections one by one, from root to tip.
  • I usually use hair clips like alligator clips to hold the sections in place when I’m working on the others.
  • Leave the hair dye on for the stipulated time. This is usually between 20-40 minutes.
  • Rinse your hair and don’t forget to condition!

And voila! You’ve locks have now be been transformed into your fave color.

Note: If you’re going from dark hair to blonde/silver/light pastel shades, you’ll probably need to bleach your hair first. Or else the color won’t show up.

But in recent times, thanks to the popularity of K-pop groups like BTS, Koreans are getting used to unconventional colors like lavender, baby pink, coral, among others. 

Your hair color isn’t just something ordinary. It can be the extension of your personality or an expression of creativity.

And using the top Korean hair dye, you can experiment with various stylish and colorful tones. 

These Korean dyes are gentle and sensitive on your scalp. Plus, they leave your tresses with a bright, vibrant color, whether it’s black, brown, pink, or red!

Also Read:

Best color depositing shampoo for gray hair

Will overtone cover grey hair

Best shampoo for blue hair

How to color beard at home

Etude House Two Tone Treatment Hair Color

Korean hair dyes are gentle, ammonia-free, and come in exciting shades. The Etude House Two Tone Treatment Hair Color is best for temporary hair coloring.

Product SKU: HLJ2970N

Product Brand: Etude House

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: $14.47

Price Valid Until: 2022-01-15

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
5