Want to rethink your image without actually doing the real-life work? Don't head to the salon. Become your own virtual stylist using a hair color app.
Hair color apps have come a long way since first hitting the scene. Today, they can do everything from simple color changes to complete style tryouts. Even better, these changes are much easier to undo if you decide you dislike the results.
Follow these pointers to find the best hair color apps for your next editing session or glow-up.
What Makes a Good Hair Color App?
Hair color apps let you try different hairstyles before committing. But they're rarely just about hair color. These apps do more than simply add a tint — they can also include a whole range of cool added features.
When ranking the top hair color apps, we decided to focus on the basics. The following product functions can totally change your experience:
1. Virtual Hair Color Try-On: This is the bare minimum. You should be able to upload a photo or use your device's camera to test how different hair colors would look. Many quick try-on apps also let you do this in real time, but they don’t all have live video support.
2. Color Palette: The best apps don't limit you, but there are only so many hair color products out there. Look for a wide range of hair color options, including natural shades and trendy colors. If you’re using a branded app, you may have to settle for the predefined product line.
3. Adjustment Tools: The same color filter won't look equally good with all images. Find apps that let you adjust things like the intensity, saturation, and tone of the chosen hair color. This offers a more realistic representation, especially if you're creating a photo for something like a professional headshot or social media profile.
4. Face Detection: Apps that can detect and map your face are easiest to use. On the flip side, they can be less accurate and may miss spots.
5. Cultural Sensitivity: It sucks, but we have to say it. Not all apps do a good job of handling cultural differences or recognizing different types of facial features. This can be particularly problematic with apps that use AI datasets that only represent a single ethnic group or nationality.
6. Multiple Hairstyle Options: Color is only half the style battle. Some apps go above and beyond by letting you try different hairstyles along with the color change.
7. Save and Share: You should be able to save and share your virtual makeover images. After all, how else will you ask your friends how amazing you look? This feature should be free.
8. Trendy Color Suggestions: Some apps act like personal stylists, recommending popular or trending hair colors based on your preferences. Others use the latest fashion trends to make suggestions.
9. Realistic Rendering: Hair colors can change under different lighting conditions. Some apps work around this with higher-quality graphics and more realistic rendering. Branded apps might also be more accurate at representing how specific products will look in real life.
10. Hair Care Tips: Stylist apps often include tips on how to care for your chosen hair color. One thing to watch out for is that specific hair care product recommendations might essentially be ads. Don't blindly trust that you need to buy a bunch of products because the app said so.
These features should give you a good mental idea of what to expect from free apps to change hair colors. But remember that there are a bunch of different options out there. Just like with hairstyles, you might not find a good fit until you try a few on for size!
Without further ado (and in no particular order), here's our list of...
The Best 7 Hair Apps for 2024
YouCam Makeup is a popular AI makeup camera app that works by letting you take a pic and upload it. From there, it's pretty simple — you just choose one of the color options, and the app applies your selection to your hair.
YouCam includes two-toned and other hues in addition to standard monotone styles. You can also adjust features like the shine and highlights. When it comes to your makeup, you can apply face filters, remove blemishes, and really go to town.
Overall, YouCam Makeup provides a user-friendly platform to experiment with different looks. It comes with about 20 AI-simulated hairstyles and more than 100 hair colors. It also lets you transform your photos with different fashion styles, outfits, avatars, and even cartoon and age-progression filters.
You can also use this app to edit your facial features, such as shaping your eyes and nose or adjusting your forehead, jawline, cheek, and chin shape. There are similar filters for your body shape. One thing to look out for is that these edits don't always look super realistic or professional — no guarantees!
This app might be a good choice if you want to try out a full makeover. On top of hair colors, it supports makeup styles from major brands, lets you track your skin condition, and can help you build a skincare routine. This includes real-time information about spots, wrinkles, blemishes, and dark circles.
This app is available on Android and iPhone.
Redken Virtual Hair Color Tryon
Redken Virtual Hair Color Tryon is a tool that focuses exclusively on hair — which makes sense considering that Redken is a hair care brand. It claims to use an advanced algorithm to provide professional-grade hair routine recommendations. It also recommends products based on customized formulas for keeping your hair as healthy as possible.
To get started, visit the web link above. Upload a selfie to try your preferred shade, or use one of the existing models to compare different products. You can also take a quiz to get a custom hair analysis.
One standout feature of this app is that unlike many, it actually caters to diverse users. In other words, it's not just for people with a few types of hair or tones — it covers all textures and types. The app also walks you through a handy little tutorial to get you used to the layout.
Reviewers say they like the fact that this app is so natural-looking. Just be sure you take your photo in good lighting for the best results! Also, be aware that this app pretty much exclusively recommends Redken products.
Redken's app includes a feature for booking salon appointments in case you decide you want to make the results more permanent. The hair color preview window also has a slider you can use to see a before/after comparison.
If there are downsides to this app, they lie in its simplicity. For instance, you'll have to take a screenshot to save — which isn't a problem since it's just in a browser. You also only get a limited range of color choices. The graphics aren't as realistic as some other options, but they're passable.
This app works in the browser, which is nice because you don't need to install anything, but it will require a data connection.
Hair Color Changer
Hair Color Changer - Mobile App for Hair Color Transformation is a mobile app with a lot going for it. Unlike some alternatives, it offers a paintbrush-style editing workflow that delivers advanced precision.
With this app, you can zoom in on specific areas to apply color and even change the opacity of your strokes for a softer touch. Best of all, you can step back and undo mistakes. This app includes a huge palette of shades and colors. Compared to other apps, it's not as much of a one-click solution, but if you really want to get creative, it’s a great choice.
When it comes to problems, users say it may be hard to edit smoothly. The device you use will probably make a difference, but with bigger images, Hair Color Changer might get slow or jumpy. As a rule of thumb, check out the included model files to see what might be appropriate (and practice editing).
Some users also report that the color wheel doesn't always work and that it can be hard to see what they're painting because their fingers block the view. One major issue is that since you're just painting on a photo, you have to be careful not to tint the skin areas. Also, the default free version of the app only supports a few color swatches.
Hair Color Changer is available for iOS devices only.
L'Oréal Professionnel Style My Hair
Style My Hair is an app by the well-known cosmetics brand L'Oréal. It claims to use 3-dimensional hair color technology to detect how your hair flows and falls. Doing this lets the app make accurate live color changes.
As you might expect, this tool comes with lots of swatches representing L'Oréal colors. This makes it a smart choice if you're already a fan of the brand, but you should look elsewhere if you prefer other products.
Style My Hair also lets you build a "hair profile" about yourself. While this is meant to improve the quality of the recommendations, it's important to remember that it asks for a lot of information about your consumer habits, appearance, and preferences. As always, make sure you're comfortable with the permissions the app requests and know that you have the right to request that your data be deleted.
One thing this app does well compared to others is that it makes it easy to develop a personal style over time. You can build mood boards for inspiration and swatch books to store your favorite hair color filter shades.
Style My Hair includes tips and trend advice too — for instance, you can read technical guides on how to use your favorite dyes and products. Online users also seem to like the real-time views, how natural the results look, and the straightforward swipe-to-apply effects.
You can use Style My Hair for free on iOS or Android.
Hair Color Booth
With Hair Color Booth, you get a nice blend of the one-click workflow with freeform creativity. Many apps limit you to using a specific color swatch or a predefined combination swatch. This one lets you mix and match colors to create something unique, like rainbows, ombré, balayage, or multi-colored highlights.
You also enjoy a good deal of fine-tuned control. For example, you can adjust the clarity and overall texture of a style to make it fit your face better. Once you decide to try a new style out for real, you'll even get specific instructions for applying the dye.
Now for the big downside. This app is free to try, but the basic version has a crucial limitation.
You're limited to just a few of the overall colors with the default, and paying to unlock them isn't permanent. Since this is a subscription-based app, you'll have to keep paying the yearly fee. Considering all you're paying for is colors, it might not be worth the upgrade.
Hair Color Booth works on iOS devices.
Hair Color Dye
Hair Color Dye is another unique contender. Like Hair Color Changer, it gives you full editing control, but it also requires you to outline your hair. This might not be your cup of tea if you want quick results, but if you want precision, it's unbeatable.
This app lets you create fades, rainbows, and a range of other effects. It includes a helpful color wheel that might be a bit easier to work with than the standard swatches. The only drawback of this approach is that replicating your creative colors at a real salon might be trickier.
Hair Color Dye includes multiple coloring tools as well as an eraser. But it’s not all easy editing — one thing to consider with this style of app is that the results you create depend on how hard you’re willing to work for them. Simple things like adding a couple of highlights are usually easy, but completing a full dual-tone makeover will take way more time.
This app creates shareable, realistic photos that you can use on your favorite social sites, and it even lets youdo a bit of retouching. What it lacks, however, is the ability to change hairstyles — you're stuck with whatever hairdo you had on photo day!
Even though this is a free app, you'll have to pay extras for additional hues. If your hairstyle includes a lot of feathering or curls, this might not be the one for you since selecting the hair area will be tougher.
Hair Color Dye is available on iOS.
Matrix 3D Virtual Hair Color Try On
Matrix 3D Virtual Hair Color Try On is another L'Oréal offering that lets you play with colors from its professional Matrix line. It's a super straightforward way to try different hair colors since all you need to do is choose a file and pick a color. The app automatically detects where your hair is and colors it accordingly.
After you upload a photo into this app, you can adjust a split-screen slider to see how things look with and without the color you've picked. The app also tells you exactly which product you've chosen so that you can use it or let a stylist know. Finally, you can share your results as a downloadable photo.
Matrix 3D is one of the simplest apps we've reviewed, but it gets the job done. If you just want to try out some styles fast, this is the best bet. It also helps that you can upload your preferred photo or watch a live view from your webcam's input.
Matrix 3D Virtual Hair Color Try On is 100 percent free. It also works in a web browser, meaning it's suitable for any device or desktop.
Hair color apps come with a range of cool features. Although some let you achieve way more than simply adjusting your hair color, remember that lots of bells and whistles aren't always necessary. You can do something new — or make an impression — with minimal features, and there are enough free options that you shouldn't feel obligated to pay a lot of money.
Your favorite hair color app may work better when you provide a high-resolution photo. Find out how to improve your input images by checking out the ImageWith.ai or trying Overscale in your browser now.