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I was a redhead for about four years--unnaturally, of course--and I found that it was almost impossible to get that perfect red. I wanted a vibrant, coppery red with warm copper tones and yet, no matter what I did, my hair was either a slightly redder shade of brown, a dull purplish-burgundy shade, or bright orange at the roots. I'm sure many aspiring redheads agree--going red at home is hard! This doesn't mean that we need to give up on drugstore box colors altogether. People will tell you that going to a salon is the only feasible way to get a good color, and that's just not true. So here are the main tips for going red without a disaster:
- Identify the tone you want. Reds are not created equal. If you want a Coppery red, like that of actress Christina Hendricks, make sure that the shade you're using has those orange tones. Some reds are devoid of copper, and some actually have purple tones, which counteract copper tones.
- Identify how dark your hair is. Dark hair is really difficult to lighten using drugstore dyes. You might need to bleach it first, and trust me, this is not as scary as it sounds. The lighter your hair is, the more vibrant your red color will be. If you want a deeper red, this step isn't necessary.
- Use a good conditoner. The annoying thing about red hair is that it fades fast, but it also takes forever to fade entirely. If you dye your hair red, you might notice that your hair will stay at the reddish-brown stage forever, after it has faded most of the way. Using a color-depositing conditioner for red hair will help stop this from happening. Red hair is a lot of work for this reason.
So there we have it--if you follow these three tips, you're likely to find your perfect red. Plus, take a look at the Reds page on the Haircolor Wiki and get links to reviews and places to buy red color.