How to Dye Your Hair Bright Red

August 31, 2010 by Jennifer Belleau  
Published in Hair

Bright red hair is dynamic, sexy, and unique. But it can be hard to achieve without ending up with a muddy burgundy or brown.

I’m sure you’ve seen someone with shocking, bright red hair–think fire engine, or cranberry red.  And you probably wondered, “How did they do that?”  If you yourself have been trying to dye your hair bright red, you might be frustrated that it can be hard to achieve.  Just dying your hair red might make it reddish, or a dark red, but it seems impossible to get a bright red.

First of all, the good news is that if you have blonde hair, a bright red is easy.  Bright red relies on not having very much pigment in the hair to begin with, so if your hair is medium or light blonde especially, bright red is very possible.  You might be able to use a regular red dye, instead of a special high-lift one.  Something like Garnier Nutrisse in “hot tamale” might get you the color that you need.

However, if you’re like most people and your hair is naturally brown or darker, you will need to lighten it first.  Bleach is a possibility, but if your hair is previously dyed, try using a hair color remover with a bleach ingredient, like colorzap.  Color Oops, or other non-bleachy ones, is a no-no.  When you re-dye, it will end up darker than expected, and your bright red will not be happening.  You will most likely have dark red hair if you do this.

If you use colorzap, you will have orange hair after the application.  This means the application has worked!  Your bright orange hair will perfectly pick up bright red when you re-dye.  If you just bleach your hair, it will end up yellow or white.  This is even better for picking up bright red.  Using a bright “punky” dye will help here–don’t go and use something from the drugstore because it’s not meant to be that bright with the exclusion of a few shades. 

If your hair is dark, but not previously dyed, you have two choices–bleach it and then dye it red, or use L’Oreal Hicolor, which you can find online or at Sally’s or Ricky’s.  This high-lift dye takes dark hair up to 4 levels lighter, and it comes in a wide variety of different-toned reds, from copper to magenta.

But most importantly, once you have bright red hair, it’s important to maintain it.  A color glosser or some sort of color glaze will be helpful to do between colorings.  Use a shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair–red is the fastest-fading hair color!


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One Response to “How to Dye Your Hair Bright Red”
  1. susie Says:

    my hair is already dyed red.. but not bright red like i wanted..
    im not aloud to bleach my hair..
    is there any other way to make my hair really bright red without bleach?

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