Want to stop box dying red and need help (have done my whole head for 15 years!)Posted 11 months ago
So yeah, I've been box dying my whole hair red once a month for the last 15 years. Which sounds utterly ridiculous now I type it. I used mainly schwarzkopf no 35 real red until the last 6 months or so. For some reason I thought I'd try something new and have also tried a loreal London red and garnier nutreisse type. But that loreal made my hair like straw after ? I was honestly scared to brush it. My hair has gotten so thin. I saw a pic of myself recently from when I was younger and my hair used to be so thick. I've gone through some real hair disasters including a serious protein overload from all the products I bought to try and make it better. Nowadays it just seems to fall out so easily. I'm wondering if I'm gonna lose all my hair at this rate. I did have a bit of success improving the condition in the last year applying oils and olaplex before bed the nights before I washed. But then I started straightening my hair again after my latest hair cut and I'm back to square 1 ??♀️ I was thinking about buying a salon quality dye and my own developer and maybe hopefully just get away with doing my roots instead of my whole head each month but I'm so overwhelmed with all the info caus I've never done this before and I dont wanna end up needing to shave my head! Believe me some times I am tempted! I want it to be as bright red as possible WITHOUT BLEACHING. My hair won't take that shit. Think I've decided on wella koleston 8/45 colour. But was wondering whether to use a 20 or 30 developer? I will buy the welloxon to go with it, just unsure on the strength I need to do the job without wrecking my hair even further. Should I do my whole head to start to get an even colour and then could I just do the roots from then? My natural hair is a 4/5 (medium brown - I think - it's been 20 years). It's so dry and split and the ends and even breaking part way up these days. Not surprising considering it must have had close to 20 dyes put on those ends ??♀️ I've also told my boyfriend to hide my straighteners. It's so hard not to do it though caus my hair is like a bush if I don't. I'm so sick of having thin, dry, frazzled and split hair but I'm not ready to give up my red hair. It's feels like I'd be giving up a part of myself! So yeah... Will 20 developer be better for my hair but strong enough to get me a decently bright red without bleaching? Or do I go for 30 and risk my hair being even more damaged? Help me lol
by vivienne StaffPosted 11 months ago
If I were in your situation, I'd probably let my hair grow out with no dyeing or heat-styling before going back to the red. I know it can be quite a lot wait with some awkward phases, but I think it would really be the best path forward for the health of your hair.
That said, if that's not feasible for you, you can still benefit from some basic tips to help preserve the health of your hair. The most important thing is to strand test before you try anything new that you haven't done before. This will help you determine if the colour and level of damage is acceptable to you before committing to your full head.
So generally, I don't necessarily think professional dyes are significantly better for your hair than box dyes. It just varies from person to person and by technique. If you want a bright colour, there's some level of lifting happening, which means you have some level of damage. That said, I don't think it's a bad idea to try the Koleston Perfect if you feel like what you've been using has been too harsh. For my black hair, I really need a 30 volume on any high-lift to actually get a red to show up, but you might have some more leeway since your hair is quite a lot lighter. I'd definitely start with 20 volume to start. Some people find mixing Olaplex into the dye to help, but I haven't seen a lot of results from that. It may be worth a try, but just remember that you may need to bump up the developer if you do this. Again, strand tests are your friends here.
As you stated, trying to limit the amount of overlap and heat-styling is definitely really important from a maintenance perspective. Personally, I find roots to be too much upkeep, so I just grow out my hair and re-bleach it, but my hair is quite short, so it generally takes less than a year. However, if you want to do roots, I personally think it's easiest to either do them every time they get to about 1cm or after they are longer than 3cm. The reason is that the bit closest to your head tends to lift faster than the rest of your hair, so you usually want to let them process for less time. If you're between 1-3cm, it can be difficult to avoid hot roots while also minimizing overlap. Also, for touch-ups on previously coloured regions, I highly, highly recommend using semi-permanent dyes (no developer) or coloured conditioners. They don't do any damage and you can leave them on as long as you'd like to maximize colour absorption. In order for the red to be bright, you still need a relatively light base, but they can help boost a faded colour. Adore makes a lot of great red shades that don't bleed very much, but there's loads of options out there.
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