I've always toyed with the idea of having red hair. I know the maintenance is a pain in the butt but I've always had really dark hair so it gets kind of boring. Except that one year, many years ago, when I had blonde hair ... Hmm.

I've always had massive hair envy for Hayley Williams and this was the sort of red I wanted to aim for to start with. This has been my red-spo (if you will) for ages now:


Being so dark, no colours work on my hair and I didn't want to pay the crazy salon prices every 6 weeks to keep my colour fresh.

For the last 3 or so months I've been religiously researching on the best ways to get a good colour on darker hair, which of course means pre-lightening. After Colour B4-ing at the end of May, my hair ended up quite a lot lighter but no where near enough. I bit the bullet and decided I was going to try it for myself.

Supplies:




Superdrug Coconut Oil.

Other things not pictured:
Tint brushes.
Tinting bowl.
Sectioning clips.
Happy Hair Days Coconut & Marshmallow Colour Shampoo.
Colour B4 Buffer.
Gloves.
Jug.
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I forgot to take before photos but you can see how my hair was at the end of my Colour B4 post.

The first step was to bleach bath it. I didn't bleach it outright as I didn't need it to be white blonde. Just a lot lighter than it was.

I used this guide to bleach bath it.

I used the 30% perxoide, the bleach powder and my Happy Hair Days SLS free shampoo.

I followed everything in that post bar the time as my hair is thick at the front and super short at the back so I was just rinsing it and reapplying where I needed it so as not to frazzle the shorter parts.

The result:


At this point I conditioned the hell out of my hair with coconut oil that I picked up from Superdrug as the bleach, as expected, left my hair feeling dry and horrible.

I was looking into Manic Panic dyes but the one I wanted was sold out everywhere in the UK because the NY supplier was being slow.

It was a little coppery on the ends so I nipped to Sally's to get a toner and ended up buying an XP 100 dye on the recommandation of my friend.

I mixed half a tube with the same amount of 20% peroxide, like the packet told me to.

It came out kind of meh:


It ended up washing most the red tones out within 2 washes. 

I picked up a pot of Poppy Red Directions in town because I know a bunch of people that have always sworn by it and it's only a few quid.

Today I actually had time to sit down and do it. As Directions is a vege based dye, whilst they are semi permanent, it means they don't damage your hair and you can leave them on for as long as you like. I've read that some people even sleep with it in! I'm too much of a fidget to do that but I wanted to leave it on for as long as I possibly could.

I applied it at just after 10 this morning, covered it with cling film and left it on for 6 hours.

Here's the result, do excuse the stained scalp and the semi wet hair:


All hair photos are taken without flash.
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It's quite a lot brighter than I thought it would be. This is the reason I didn't need my hair to me bleached within an inch of it's life. Work would string me up if I walked in with bright red hair straight off the bat. But I plan on getting brighter gradually as my roots come through, that way hopefully it won't be as noticeable and it won't be such a shock.

I can't vouch for the longevity of Directions but I love the colour and at less than £4 for a pot I really don't mind if I have to use a fair amount because it's cheap and easily accessible, unlike my original plan of using Manic Panic.

 Obviously my hair isn't in the same league of health as virgin hair but it's feeling really good and not at all dry or brittle considering what I've put it through the last fortnight.

I am honestly in love with it though! I can't stop staring at it because I've never had such wonderfully bright hair.

Have you ever lusted after brightly coloured hair?

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