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How To Dye Damaged Hair Bright Magenta Red DIY

How to Dye Damaged Hair Bright Magenta Red DIY

How to Dye Damaged Hair Bright Magenta Red DIY

How To Dye Damaged Hair Magenta Red.

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Disclaimer: I am not a licensed hair stylist. This is just what I did to get my own hair red.  Please see my full disclaimer at the bottom of this post, and my terms and conditions page for more information. 

I am here to tell you that yes, it is possible.  You can dye extremely damaged hair bright red. You just have to know the right way to do it to prevent your hair from falling out.  If you have had a million colors in your hair, and stripped those hair colors another million times, and now wish to go bright red, this post is for you!

I want to share with you my journey to bright red magenta hair.   During this journey not only did I learn a lot about how to dye damaged hair, I also learned to a lot about caring for damaged hair, as well as learning a lot about red hair dye and red hair colors in general.

I will try to share everything I learned with you guys while keeping this post as short as possible.
Disclaimer:  I am not a licensed hair stylist or a professional in this regard.  This is just what I did to my hair.  Please be aware that red is very hard to remove.  If you decide you don't like the color anymore and want to strip it, you will be left with ginger color hair. If your hair is still relatively healthy, you will need to go dark or blonde to remove the orange.  If your hair is very damaged, you may be stuck with the ginger stuff. Luckily for me, I loved my ginger just as much as I loved my magenta red. 

First, lets start off with what I had.  A year and a half ago, I had platinum, white, silver, granny hair and I had this type of hair for a few years.  Here's a picture of what my hair looked liked.

I dyed my hair myself by bleaching my hair first and then covering it in Wella Color Charm Toner - T18.  See this post  if you are interested in learning how to do this:

DIY Recipe for Platinum White Hair

As much as I loved my granny hair, I started noticing that some of my baby hair around my face was starting to break off in the summer because of all the sun - we had recently moved to a new house and it was much sunnier in our new location.  I was also feeling like I was ready for a change and just not interested in keeping the white color any longer.

So, I grew my light brown roots out for a year and my once white hair turned a banana yellow as I was not toning it with purple shampoo anymore.  After about a year, I took a strawberry blondish red box color and dyed over the yellow.   The results were a very light brown. See the picture below of what I had going on after doing this:

As much as I enjoyed this color, it quickly faded into a brassy yellow mess.  So, I stripped the color using a product I have used many times before, Color Oops Hair Color Remover.  This product does not contain bleach or ammonia, but does contain hydrogen peroxide.  It is somewhat damaging to your hair because as it strips the color out of the hair strands, it also removes the lipids in your hair, making it dry and porous.  That being said, I still prefer Color Oops to Sally Beauty's product Color Zap because Color Zap contains bleach, whereas Oops does not.  For this reason I think Oops is less damaging on the hair than Color Zap is.  See picture below for what Color Oops looks like, you can also just click on image:
picture of color oops product

After stripping the yellow ends, which was the majority of my hair, I decided to throw on a darker red box color.  (I was gradually liking the red without even knowing it.)  This time I grabbed a medium brown red.   My very big mistake here is that I grabbed a box color with ammonia.  HUGE Mistake.  After applying this medium brown red box color to my damaged ends and washing it out, my hair started falling out in clumps!  I was getting clumps coming out of my brush and in my hands.  I immediately covered my hair in jojoba oil, coconut oil, and leave in conditioner.  To top off this terrible experience, my hair turned black, not medium brown.   See the picture below to see what my hair now looked like:

After getting over the initial shock of my hair falling out and it turning black, I realized I actually really liked having black hair.  However, I also realized that what I really wanted was red, and bright red, and magenta red!  I know, I am a lost cause when it comes to leaving my hair alone.

Now my biggest concern became finding a product that would not have ammonia in it because I didn't want my ends be further damaged and fall out more.  I read that Clairol Natural Instincts had no ammonia in it and had some pretty nice red hair shades.  So, you guessed it, I stripped my black hair with Color Oops Hair Color Remover again, and then dyed my entire hair, roots and ends, with Clairol Natural Instincts Medium Red.

To my shock, my ends turned black, again after using Clairol's red shade!!  My natural hair, which went about to my ears, also didn't pick up a lot of red color.  I now realize the reason my ends turned black was because of the violet in the shade of red dye I was using.  My ends were so porous and weak that they were grabbing the darkest pigments in the red.  I also think my natural hair roots stayed dark because the Clairol Natural Instincts was too "soft".  By this I mean, it only contained hydrogen peroxide, which was not enough to lift my natural dark root color.  Here is what my hair looked like after using Clairol Natural Instincts in Medium Red:

At this point, I needed help, and naturally, I turned to Youtube.  I knew I needed something stronger than just hydrogen peroxide so that my roots would turn bright magenta red, yet I also had no idea how I was going to lighten my fragile ends and get them magenta red without loosing all my hair.

After watching a lot of videos, I learned the following extremely useful information :

For my healthy roots: I used: L'OREAL Excellence HiColor HiLights Red with a 10 Volume Creme Developer.

Very important to note:  L'OREAL Excellence HiColor HiLights Red HAS AMMONIA IN IT!!!! This is how it is able to lift dark roots and impart a bright red magenta color.  It does not have bleach however.

loreal hi color highlights hair color product
For my super fragile damaged ends: I used a product called Ion Color Brilliance Brights Red.

I mixed Ion Ion Color Brilliance MagentaIon Color Brilliance Brights Red; This product contains no ammonia,  no peroxide, and no bleach - i.e.- its PERFECT for damaged and fragile ends that are on their last day of life!  You also do not mix it with a developer.  The only kick to using Ion Color Brilliance Brights is this - your hair must have been bleached before for this product to lighten and apply color.  In my case, since my damaged ends had originally been platinum blonde, all I would need to do is strip the dark black red out of them, and then I could apply the Ion Color Brilliance Brights products.   If your ends have not been bleached, I would recommend getting them bleached just a little bit - think highlights - before you apply this product or else it will not do too much since it contains no ammonia, no peroxide, and no bleach and you don't mix with developer.  
ion color brights in magenta

ion color brights in red

Okay, so you can probably guess what I did next - Yup,  I stripped my poor pathetic ends again, third times a charm right?   Then I applied L'OREAL Excellence HiColor HiLights Red on my roots only, and I mixed the two Ion Color Brilliance Brights Red creams and put them on my fragile ends.

Here are some pictures of the process:
Here is my sink full of Loreal hicolor hilights and ion color brilliance brights.  Please be warned, this stuff will stain everything so be very careful.
Here I am with Loreal HiColor HiLights in Magenta on my roots and Ion Color Brilliance Brights on my ends.
Here is my hair day one of dying it.  Wear some old shirts the day you dye it because your wet hair will stain everything!
I left the Ion Color Brilliance Brights on for 40 minutes (I applied it first), and I left the L'OREAL Excellence HiColor HiLights Red on for 30 minutes, again using only a 10 volume developer.  I was careful not to get the L'OREAL Excellence HiColor HiLights Red, which contains ammonia, anywhere near my damaged ends.  I washed everything out when the time was up and finally, thankfully!, I had arrived at the beautiful magenta red hair color I was dreaming for.
Here is what my hair looks like on me with light makeup. Still LOVING it!
Here I am again admiring my hair :)
My ends still had more black in them than my roots did and I believe this is because I mixed Ion Color Brilliance Brights  Magenta with the Ion Color Brilliance Brights Red.  The magenta has purple, dark undertones.  If I could go back in time, I would have used very little Ion Color Brilliance Magenta, and mostly just Ion Color Brilliance Red, on my ends.  Then after the first dye I would have mixed the two equally.  But during the the initial imparting of red color, I wished I had used mostly just the red shade of Ion Brights.

What other things did I lean during my journey to bright red magenta hair?

1.  If your hair is very fragile - ie if you have been platinum before - please, please, please never eve use a hair dye that contains ammonia in it.  Chances are your hair will fall out and shed a lot if you do.  

2.  If you have very porous stripped hair, you want to stay away from dark shades, unless you want black hair.  Your porous hair will grab the darkest pigments in a hair dye and show them.  So, if your hair has been stripped and you want a bright red, do not use any medium red or violet shades.

3.  If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have died your hair or stripped your hair and you feel that it is falling out or breaking more than usual, you need to saturate your hair in natural oils and very good leave in conditioner.  This will stop the chemical process that is occurring in your hair and bring the breakage to a halt or at least slow it down dramatically.  Also, please be gentle when you brush wet hair, especially porous fragile hair, as hair is much more fragile when it is wet and dried out.    

4.  Freshly dyed wet red hair will stain your towel, your shirt, your tub, and just about anything else it touches.  Make sure to use old towels and wear old shirts you don't care about when your hair is wet and has been freshly dyed.
5.  Every time you wash red hair, the red color will bleed out.  To help mitigate this, you can use a shampoo and conditioner that has red dye in it.  I used Quantum Riveting Reds Color Refreshing Conditioner.

There is also a Riveting Red Shampoo, however I didn't buy this because it contains sulfates which can be harsh on hair, especially damaged hair.  I therefore only use their conditioner. 

I really hope that this post was useful for anyone who is longing to dye their damaged hair a bright red color and not sure how to do it.  It is possible, as you see in my case, you just have to know what products to use.
I hope you learned a few good tips on taking care of damaged hair in general also.

If you enjoyed what you read, will you please share it and help others?  If you are interested in my other hair articles, you can view them under my page, Hair.  To get coupon codes, and free stuff, for the brands I work with, see my page, Coupon Codes.

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Disclaimer:  All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner of this site will not be liable for any errors or omissions of this information, nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. The owner of this site is not a licensed hair stylist and makes no claim to act in any professional capacity.  Please see my Terms & Conditions Page for my full terms and conditions.   


Just a makeup mama who loves to play, and slay, with her makeup.  Learn my beauty secrets and explore my world at: The Makeup Equation

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