When it comes to my hair, I’m not the most daring when it comes to switching up my hue. A little background about my hair: I’ve been blonde for over a decade and aside from changing the tone every so often or getting a hair gloss, I’m pretty attached to keeping my hue in the blonde family. With the current stay at home orders, however, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands to think about changing up my look—including my hair color.
Luckily, smartphone technology has blessed me with tons of apps that allow me to transform my mane virtually without committing to the real thing. After a bit of research, I downloaded five of the best, most-user friendly apps and put them to the test. Keep scrolling to see my results!
The Best Hair Color Change Apps To Try Now
L'Oréal Professionnel Style My Hair
L'Oréal Professionnel’s Style My Hair app is like having a personal stylist in your pocket at all times—literally! When you first sign on to the app, you’re asked to create a hair profile about the current condition of your mane, your last color service, your hair length, how many grays you have, and more. From there, you’ll receive personalized style recommendations based on your choices.
After I created my profile, it was time to try different hair colors. This app offers everything from shades of red to fantasy colors. I was most impressed by how natural the red shades looked on my blonde hair. The best part? After you snap a pic, a link pops up to connect you with a L'Oréal Professionnel salon.
L'Oréal Professionnel Style My Hair, free to download
Matrix 3D Virtual Hair Try On
If there’s one thing Matrix is known for, it’s color (particularly bright, fantasy shades), so when I discovered that they offered a virtual way to try on hair color directly from their website, I was excited to try it out for myself. You can choose from a variety of shades from the Matrix portfolio, including fantasy shades and dusty pastels, as seen above.
If you want to see how different your pretend shade is compared to your real hue, the app has a split screen view so you can compare the two.
Matrix 3D Virtual Hair Try On, free on desktop.
Redken Virtual Hair Color Try On
A quick fact about me: I’m terrified of dying my hair dark. While my natural hue is somewhere in the light brown range, I swore off brunette hair after an unfortunate dye job back in high school. So, when I tried the dark brown shade on Redken’s Virtual Hair Color Try On, I was more than a little surprised that I actually liked the outcome. It looked so natural, you could barely tell that it was just a filter on an app. Needless to say, I sent this to everyone I know and told them I actually went dark.
This virtual tool lets you try a range of Redken shades from neutrals like blonde and brunette to vibrant colors and muted pastels. Love the results and want to make your faux shade a reality? Click the “Find The Salon” button to find a stylist in your area—it’s that simple!
Before you test this app, make sure you’re in good lighting. This will give you the best results (and the best photo quality to show all of your friends your potential new hue).
Redken Virtual Hair Color Try On, free on desktop.
Liming Zhang Hair Color Dye
Liming Zhang’s Hair Color Dye app is a bit more complex than the others I’ve tried. Here’s how it works: First, either upload an existing photo in your library or snap a new pic while you’re in the app. Then, use the hair selection tool to highlight your hair and scroll through all of the options until you find one you like. What I liked most about this app was that it allows you to play with color placements like ombre and balayage. While you have to purchase certain shades within the app, there are enough free options to find a commitment-free look that you love.
The hair selection tool takes a bit of trial and error at first, but I ultimately enjoyed the results. While I don’t think Id ever opt for a cotton candy ombre, it’s fun to play around with vibrant colors I’d never think of trying in real life!
Liming Zhang Hair Color Dye, free to download.
Not only does YouCam makeup let you test out hair colors, but it also does the same for makeup—and after a long night of scrolling through Tik Tok, I highly considered trying both features. I snapped a pic, uploaded it into the app, and starting testing various hair colors. Aside from all-over color, this app also features two-toned hues and ombre and lets you amp up the shine of your chosen hue.
Once you’ve found the perfect hair color, you can choose a virtual makeup look from some of the industry’s top brands, including L'Oréal or customize your own.
YouCam Makeup, free to download.