Dyed Hair Red but Want It Brighter?

Dyed my virgin hair red-but I want it brighter! I have dark brown hair and dyed my hair a deep red yesterday (Herbal Essences #44) and it is pretty, but not what I expected.

I know that it is because my hair is dark brown, but the shade still looked pretty bright on the color indicator on the box. Now, I used to dye my hair ALL THE TIME when I was a teenager (I'm 26 now) so I am a pro at messing up my hair. I remember the root situation.

How do I dye my hair a pretty bright red (think Titanic) with a home coloring box to where I can maintain it myself? I can wait 4-6 weeks before doing it again, but if I use a lighter shade, won't the roots be super bright and not match my whole head? Help!



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By Bekki (Guest Post)
September 21, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, if you make it lighter the roots will be brighter, I am a Professional Hairstylist, AND I am very frugal, but one thing I urge people to do is not to skimp when it comes to their hair. There is no substitute for professional haircolor or the professional application. Be frugal with groceries, be frugal with clothes, eat out less, be frugal with entertainment, make your hair your one splurge and have it professionally done so that when you present yourself to your mirror, and to the rest of the world you do it with pride and confidence.

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September 21, 20070 found this helpful

I'm a licensed cosmetologist and the only products that I use to color my own hair are purchased from a beauty supply store. Both products that I use are the hair color tint and 20 volume peroxide.

Since I'm older now my hair is starting to grey in certain areas. I was born with light blonde hair, but over the years it looks more ash blonde. I've been able to lighten my hair sufficiently to the way I like it by using 1 part color tint with 2 parts 20 volume peroxide developer. I'm able to get two treatments out of one bottle. I purchase the Miss Clairol Conditioning Color 2 oz. bottles. I mix 1 oz. hair color and 2 oz. of 20 volume perioxide in a tint bottle. Apply to my hair and leave it on for 45 minutes. Normal processing time is 30 minutes but for maximum lightening and gray coverage I allow the 15 extra minutes.

I'm guessing that probably the hair tints that are sold to the general public aren't as strong as the hair coloring that is sold to the professional stylists.

If you can't get the results that you want from the store bought product I suggest that you go to a beauty supply store and talk with the sales person who is usually a licensed cosmetologist. She will be able to help you pick out the right color, and tell you how to apply it for maximum results.

Marge from NY

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September 22, 20070 found this helpful

I forgot to mention in my post that the normal application of professional hair color is equal amounts of hair color and peroxide or 2 oz. of color tint + 2 oz. of peroxide. The reason why I use 1 oz. of color + 2 oz. peroxide is because I have to color gray hair. And gray hair can be very difficult to color.

Marge from NY

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September 22, 20070 found this helpful

Do you have a Sally's Beauty close to you? I finally started going there for my haircolor needs, the boxed ones at the stores are always wishy washy. For my first time I had really long roots which are grey already in some places, so I dyed those brown then did a auburn dye over that, whole head. The Ion Brilliance line is really dark, I used a 30 developer and the girl that I spoke with the other day said a 40 would have been better. When I was done the color was black inside for a week or so, you could a purple red tone in the sun light.
When I went back this last week someone showed me to the Loreal HiColor line, that stuff rocks! It's for dark haired people, who want red (some other colors) in their hair. I used the Sally brand of developer (in the purple bottle) still a 30. I also added a few drops of the Not red stuff (keeps it red and not orange, so why they call it not red {or something along those lines} is beyond me). I followed the directions on the HiColor box for ratios, I love it! It bled a little more this morning, but the color is great, you can really see a true deep red (I used the Dark auburn red, but they have all the way up to BRIGHT red). The smell is a little stronger than the Ion Brilliance line and my hair wasn't so soft (I used a deep conditioner today) but the colors rocks. I mixed it in an applicator bottle, but beware you must have paper towels on the counter and gloves on, this stuff is RED!

I recommend buying the Sally's Card, it's $5 and if you buy shampoos there (can find some great deals on salon shampoos WAY cheaper than drugstore brands!) and such, it pays for itself really quick. To get me started (with brush for my roots, etc) it didn't cost me more than $15, then each hair color box (for the HiColor it's $5.99) is around $4, less with your Sally's card, the developer lasts longer.

I have a shorter A-line cut, really thick hair, the Ion Brilliance, mixed at 50/50 as recommened was JUST enough, so if you have longer hair I would recommend two tubes (comes in creme {use a mixing bowl for the creme, you'll never get it in a app. tube} or liquid). The HiColor has a diff. ratio, so I had enough to put a little red streak under my daughters hair for fun.

Sorry so long, but I am passionate about saving people money on "luxury" items. I will still pay for a good haircut, but coloring at the salon is over for me, next I'll tackle my own highlights!

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September 24, 20070 found this helpful

I'm a dark brunette (with too many white hairs) and have had great success with the L'Oreal and Garnier brands--can't remember the specific names of the colors, but I've been complimented over and over again. BUT prepare to do it every 4 weeks, cuz the red fades fast! Have fun, and NO FEAR!
PS--it's really fun to be a redhead. Some folks don't remember me any other way. :o)

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October 17, 20070 found this helpful

Hey, I'm a hairdresser from MA. If you had virgin hair, and you color it a darker red than what you expected, you can not lift it up without bleaching it out first. Color, no matter if it's professional color or not, will not lift up the color you deposited on your hair. The problem with most box colors is that the developer that it comes with is 20 volume (only lifting your hair 2 levels out of 10). If you try to go over it again with a lighter color, you'll not only have hot (lighter) roots, you will also start to create a buildup on the colored hair.

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October 25, 20070 found this helpful

I know it's been a month & you've probably remedied your situation or followed the professional's advise previously posted, but years ago, my hairdresser recommended one of those 'stripping' shampoos that's supposed to cut thru styling product build-up when my dyd job came out too dark. It did lift the color just a bit! Also, I hesitate to say it but baking soda also strips hair of buildup, so if you were to mix a spoonful into your shampoo immediately after your bad dye-job, I'd think it could possibly remove any excess dye...?

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By Lori (Guest Post)
May 9, 20080 found this helpful

It came out way too dark. Cannot afford a salon. I have been medium blonde for years. Can I go back with and ION produce or do I have to remove the color myself first.

Thanks for your help.

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By Diana (Guest Post)
October 2, 20080 found this helpful

Have you tried using Garnier #68 Brilliant Copper/Luscious Mango? It comes out awesome. Now my hair was a dark ash blond but I still come out looking the color of bright copper or a carrot top as kids used to call it back when I was a little girl. If you want to keep your hair a bright red as in copper, you may need to bleach it first, then add the color 24 hours later but that is just a suggestion. I'm not recommending you do this cause I would hate to be the reason it comes out wrong but to get my bright copper color I have to bleach my hair then it last me almost 3 months before I have to color again. But at that time I don't need the bleach I just use Garnier #68 and the bleach is Garnier Bleach Creme #D01 or you can ask the consultant at the drug store for assistance that is what I did my first time. I hope this helps.

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February 17, 2012

I am trying to get my hair cherry red. I know the upkeep is hard, but am not looking for opinions on the matter. About two weeks ago I dyed my hair with a box dye. It was supposed to be red, but the color was wrong. So yesterday I dyed it again, but only the roots turned red and from about two inches down it is a very dark reddish brown.


What should I do to get it red? I have thought about lightening products and such, but I really don't know what to do. I prefer not to bleach it as last time I bleached it and then dyed it red my hair turned pink. Please help.

By Jamie


February 19, 20120 found this helpful

Go to a professional colorist and have her/him dye it. If you keep trying home products on it now after trying twice in a row, you may end up damaging your hair.

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February 19, 20120 found this helpful

I was a high end hairstylist for 35 years and chemical applications were my specialty. I can't even count how many dozens and dozens and dozens of home botched coloring I repaired over the years.


Unless you want to end up having hair that looks like the colors of the rainbow or striped like a zebra I suggest you go to a professional and have them even out what you've already done and then, since you want cherry red, talk to them about possibly using a color brand such as Clairol Jazzing. What brand to use and what color to choose is all going to depend on your natural hair color, the tones of your natural color, hair texture and what you've already applied to your hair. That is where it's best to ask a professional.

Any humane and honorable hairstylist will tell you what brand and color you can use at home after they've straightened out what you've already done if you can't afford regular visits to a salon in the future.

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February 19, 20120 found this helpful

My son had good luck dying his hair odd colors (red, green, blue) when he was a teen by using the dye he purchased at skateboard shops. His hair was dark blond/ light brown to begin with. I have no idea of the brand of hair dye that he used. At this point, however, after you have dyed your hair twice in two weeks, I would give it a rest for awhile, as repeated attempts can damage your hair.


If you insist on dying again soon, I agree with the previous poster that you should go to a professional colorist, and since you are interested in cherry red, look for one who has experience with these non-natural colors.

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