How I Color My Hair: Auburn Red
My hair color has been all over the place since I was five and made my mom use Sun In on me I’ve been ultra dark, blondish, auburn, red and blonde, bright red, ombre red auburn, etc. etc. I’m currently doing dark warm red. It’s easy to maintain at this point, bright, and flattering (I think). Finally, I have gotten to a point where I am very happy with my hair color. It has taken a long time for me to get here!
I’m a big fan of DIY hair color, but that came with many years of trial and error. I would suggest that novices go to a professional. That also goes for anytime someone wants to lighten their hair. SAY NO TO DIY BLEACH. If you are just depositing color, it’s (relatively) simple. Something that really helped me color with less mistakes was learning what level of developer to use and about hair color levels. I have found that if I go higher than 20 near my scalp I end up with “hot roots”. Youtube videos are another helpful teaching tool. Below are the main products I use to go from brown to red/auburn/dark red.
L’oreal Mega Reds MR3, MR4, MR5, MR6, MR7, MR8 // They are all pretty interchangeable so I just pick and choose the base colors I want for my hair at that moment. Right now I go for golden, red, and orange tones. I used to love Loreal Mega Browns because they have some beautiful violet auburn colors, but I switched to warm tones based on the idea that- my hair wants to fade and go brassy warm orange, why fight it? I use Mega Reds on my roots and my brows with a 10 to 20 level developer. When I want to go darker auburn, I apply this to my whole head. If you are scared to do your roots at home, check out this video. it is a great reference guide and I use the same technique.
Goldwell Elumen KK, GK, RR // This product is how you get intense hair color without fading. My hairdresser used this on me once so I went on Amazon and ordered it myself to save some cash. It lasts about three months! If you color your hair red you know how unheard of that is. I only wash my hair one or two times per week with cold water so that also contributes to the staying power. Goldwell Elumen will not stick to “virgin hair” so I always have processed roots when I use this to avoid bright hair with mousey brown roots. My ideal combo is a lot of KK, a lot of GK, and a smidge of RR. RR alone looks bright pink on me. TIP: Buy the Goldwell Elumen Clean if you want to try the dye. It is the only way to remove it from skin.
Wella Color Charm 8RG Titan Red Blonde // When I have faded hair and am not ready to re- apply Goldwell but I want to amp up my faded red ends, I really like this strawberry blonde shade. It is almost like a nice glaze to make all the colors in my hair more seamless without darkening it. This post shows how it looks with a fresh dye job of Wella 8RG.
Loreal HiColor Highlights for Dark Hair in Red, Copper // Use this wisely. If you have dark hair, it will transform you to fire bright red. This will REALLY give you hot roots though. I no longer use this because I am more of a dark red now, but when I was going bright and needed to refresh my roots, this was the key.
If someone were to ask me how to get the current dark auburn shade of my hair, I would tell them to start with Loreal Mega Reds all over their head, then wait a few days/ week and go in with Goldwell Elumen.
Most days I use Kirkland Moisture shampoo. This is a color safe shampoo that is rumored to be a dupe for Pureology for only $12 (at Costco). The conditioner version of this is great too. Once or twice per month I go in with Jersey Bounce shampoo from Lush. This is not the most color safe, so I use it sparingly, but I love the shine and squeaky clean feeling it gives me. Paul Mitchell Strength is my all time favorite conditioner. It gives shine and strength to my ultra- dry ends. Whenever I start using this, I feel like I can go longer in between haircuts, which is helpful for my wallet. I pick this up at Ulta when the large bottles are on sale. After I get out of the shower and my hair is damp I coat it with a nice layer of Biolage Keratindose spray to add protection. I talked more about the hair products I love for styling my hair in a post from this summer.
If you have any questions I am certainly no expert, but am happy to share my hair coloring experience.