*** PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A COSMETOLOGIST. This is based on my experience for the past 6 years dyeing my hair red, knowledge through my stylist, and research. I do not feel comfortable answering questions beyond what I know, therefore if you are blonde/brunette trying to achieve this color, please consult a professional hair stylist. I personally get my hair done professionally (aside from my touch up routine, such as this post) and can’t answer much beyond what I blog about. Thank you. ***
Having naturally dark brown hair and wanting bright and intense red hair may seem like you really need to contact a professional for this achievement, but not necessarily. It may be easier than you imagine and I will explain how to simply lift your color without the mess of bleach and many different products.
Keep in mind, I already have red pigment in my hair and in this specific tutorial, I am in the end going for a more violet based red then a true hot red. Be sure to skip the last product if you are going for a true red. I will name a few alternatives towards the end with the same brand if that is your desired look.
1) Hi-Color Loreal in Magenta (or it comes in Red if you prefer)
2) Manic Panic Dye in Hot Hot Pink
3) 30 Volume Developer
4) A bowl, brush, and a measuring cup
6) Shower cap (not mandatory but it helps!) and hair ties/clips/brush
Step 1: Have your bowl out. Squeeze out the 1.2 ounce Loreal Hi-Color in Magenta into the bowl. You then double up the ounce to know how much developer you need to pour in. Use a measuring cup to pour 2.4 ounces of 30 Volume Developer.
Step 2: Be sure to use your brush and mix the two together very well and evenly. It takes a while to stir around, but keep at it to reach a certain creamy texture.
Step 3: I don’t recommend using this dye throughout your entire hair unless its your first time bleaching/lifting your color or anything of the sort. Using this dye as a regular monthly method shouldn’t be recommended. I was guilty of this unknowingly and it resulted in damaging my hair and completely drying it out. The products to harsh. Instead, I use it to lighten my roots since I have naturally dark brown hair and love intense bright reds. Run the color through with a brush and be sure to split your hair into sections to make it easier to get through all your hair. The box says to keep on for 30 minutes. I left mine for 40 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse your hair after 30-40 minutes. The result should show lifted hair color in a red toned color. The first photo is my roots after being lifted in this process. The second photo is when I had used the dye all over my hair and it was taken in natural lighting outside.
This next step is completely optional. However, it will intensify your color and make it much more vibrant and long lasting.
Step 5: Dry your hair with a towel really well. Let it air dry for a while. Next is to use Manic Panic on top of that color. (Keep in mind, Manic Panic is a vegetable based hair dye and contains no harsh chemicals, doing this extra step will in no way damage or be too much for your hair. Instead it is actually quite conditioning!) Manic Panic will not catch onto the hair if it is wet so be sure to make sure your hair is as dry as possible. Use the cool air setting on your hair dryer if necessary.
I mixed Hot Hot Pink and a very tiny little bit of Purple Haze by Manic Panic, where I purchased it from Sally’s Beauty Supply. If you are going for more of a true red tone, I recommend using Rock n Roll Red or Pillarbox Red by Manic Panic.
Step 6: Run the color throughout your entire hair, focusing on the ends especially. This dye is very messy, be sure to always wear gloves when handling or mixing with this product. It easily stains. It is not uncommon to have a dyed scalp for the first few washes or to have color transfer onto your skin. You can easily take rubbing alcohol and wipe it off wherever needed. The jar recommends (I believe) 15-30 minutes. I keep the color in for 2-3 hours. Remember, this dye has NO CHEMICALS! It cannot harm your hair! No matter how long you keep it in. The longer its in, the higher chance of your color lasting. So throw on a shower cap and hang out for a while!
Step 7: Be careful when showering, this can easily stain tubs and showers. Comet will remove the dye. Rinse as much as you can out of your hair. When first washing my hair dye out, I prefer to go against the rules and wash it in hot water to rinse as much as I can out because dye tends to be so much darker when you first do it and then gradually lightens up. I prefer to speed the process up a bit the first time. The color shown in the photo isnt the true color. It is a very violet based color, I will post a picture in sunlight when I have the time to photograph!
**Keep in mind, prior to dyeing my hair with the Hot Hot Pink, I already had red pigment in my hair so it is not a true hot pink (nor was I going for that!). It pretty much gave my hair that extra tint to what my color already was. For a true hot pink, look into bleaching your hair. **
- EDIT. My final hair product in regular lighting