Highly requested; How I got BRIGHT red hair!

"Laugh at the men who tell you you're pretty. You are more than that." 

Hey dolls! The question I get asked the most often is how I achieved my hair color.. Before I start, I will say that I am NOT a cosmetologist. I don't do hair, only my own - I took a huge risk in doing this myself because red is not an easy color to achieve. Patchiness is common and red is extremely hard to keep maintained. This will be a fairly lengthy post because I want to touch on every aspect of this and really let you guys know that this is a big decision if you decide to go with it.

As difficult as red is to keep in your hair, ironically it's even more difficult to remove it! If you go red, know that for a very long time, you will continue to have red pigment/tones in your hair even after you dye it another color.

**** Do your research! Make sure you'll have the time and money to dedicate. I researched dying my hair red for MONTHS before I finally took the plunge.

The products I use are affordable but you'll need to touch up every month, maybe more often than that depending on your hair and how well it takes and holds the color.

Aside from maintenance and cost, let me tell you how much red stains EVERYTHING. The bathroom when you dye it, the tub every time you rinse/wash your hair (yes, say goodbye to the water ever running clear again), every piece of clothing and towel your hair touches when wet, even light colored shirts, your sheets and pillowcases - sometimes even when your hair is dry, things slowly get stained pink. When it rains? Run, because your hair may start dripping pink too! Also, more than likely your neck and ears will be stained pink quite often.. Even when you are super careful with dying somehow, just like your clothes, your skin will stain pink as well..... My ears are always pink. Always. Every time your hair is wet, more than likely you'll find stains somewhere on your skin.

When I tell you this is a lifestyle change, I am not joking. It's a pain in the ass, to put it lightly. 98% of people who go bright red will get rid of it within a few months... Only the truly dedicated will stick with it lol so dramatic but it's the truth!


Now that I've lectured you (with love! haha), let me explain my hair... I am naturally a dirty blonde, extremely straight and it takes color, and keeps it, very well. Before I went red, my hair was black. Blue black. As dark as can be. Previous to deciding to make that dramatic of a change, I went to a salon and got a bleach cap for a short time, just to lighten it a bit. It was lifted to a dark brown:

1098060_10153066035565392_530753804_nSee a slight red hint? BEFORE my hair was black, I had a reddish dye that I was using - that STILL was in my hair even after I had been dying my hair black for months!!! Red pigment is no joke!!!

Now, when I did decide to go red - I didn't want to totally fry my hair off. So I took it in stages, and slowly over the course of a year lightened it more and more. I prefer doing it this way because you can do a bunch of deep conditioning hair treatments in-between - as well as judge how bright you actually want to go.

To achieve the red, I used:

IMG_3603Loreal HiColor HiLights in the shade Red. This can be purchased at Sally's and needs to be used with a developer. No higher than 30! This is meant for virgin hair and can be extremely damaging if you do not use it carefully. This is why I used it in stages, to ensure that I maintained as healthy of hair as possible.

SBS-636305Another product you'll want to pick up is a protein filler. This is great for protecting your hair a little more and it also helps preventing patchiness. Dump half of this bottle in with your dye the first time, and then you can use the rest of the bottle a month or so later either as a touch-up or in your dye when lifting color again. This is also available at Sally's; you can get the neutral one or Red Red, I prefer the red!

1017497_10153062275125392_2145103201_nThe first time I used this dye, it added a nice red tint and lifted a level or two.

img_7168About a month later it lifted to this... I loved it at this shade, it was a beautiful red velvet!

Typically, I would just do this process every time I needed to touch up my roots. I'd use 30 on my hair and 20 on my roots (some may only need 10vol on roots - again, DO YOUR RESEARCH!).. and slowly but surely, it would lift more and more each time.


10176262_10154736030935392_3640265987823679322_nHere is the final look - I absolutely love this red. Ariel, bright as hell, catch everyone and everyones attention - red. I get at least two complements every single time I leave the house. I can't go anywhere without someone commenting!

Something BIG to remember is that this dye is NOT meant for monthly touch-ups!!!! This dye is incredibly strong and damaging so you have to find something else for refreshing color. Pravana has amazing reds, some use Manic Panic or Splat... What I use?

IMG_3604Ion Color Brilliance Brights in Red. This right here is what stains EVERYTHING. Perfect example, last night I fell asleep with my hand up by my head... Woke up with pink all over my hand. And my hair was dry. This is a stain, quite literally. A good and a bad thing but this is by far the best product I have used for touch-ups and the color is absolutely perfect!

Now, when using this you do NOT use a developer. However, it's an incredibly thick consistency, like you'd go through three bottles trying to cover your entire head it's so thick, so I mix it with a ton of conditioner (make sure it's an oil-free conditioner). It doesn't lighten the red or alter the color at all so don't worry about diluting it. Also, when I use this with conditioner, my hair is SO soft and healthy after because it's pretty much like doing a deep conditioning treatment. This dye is not damaging to your hair because you aren't adding a developer and you can leave it on for an hour or so without it destroying your hair. I typically will leave this on for an hour and then wash it out like regular.


Last month a stylist at my salon added some purple to my hair:


A few days ago I needed to touch up but had to just quickly get it done at home so I threw the Ion Color Brilliance on for about an hour:

559546_10154736023755392_8174357768975737918_nNow I have a bit of a darker red but even that purple became more vibrant with this dye even though it was faded down to a grey-ish tone. It's really a fabulous product!


So there is how I got my hair bright red! I can't rave enough about each of the products I've used. I hope I'm not forgetting anything (but I probably am) so I may add more to this later on.. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below or via my social media - links at the bottom of this post.

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