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View Full Version : Hayulp! I feel like I'm at a crossroads with my hair and can't decide what to do



joflakes
December 17th, 2013, 05:30 AM
UPDATE ON P3 with pics!

Hi all :waving:

I need some help and opinions on what to do with my hair. I have been itching for a change for a while but I'm not sure what to do.

For the last around 9 or 10 months I've been keeping up my hair red (see my avatar!). My natural colour is a bit darker that that, a mid brown:

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q232/jobrookman/17thOctober2011_zps6feabb85.jpg

My hair is mostly in okay condition. There are more white dots than I would like at the ends, but only in certain 'problem' areas.

I'm torn. One the one hand my hair is never as red as I want it to be. I'd love to have a proper bright red. I'm okay with the upkeep, I just worry about my hair's condition as I want to grow it to about waist length.

One the other hand I think that I might be able to get away with dying most of it back to my natural colour and having some brighter red flashes in. It would enable most of my hair to be healthier and I'd still get the excitement of the red. Kind of like this but not in the bangs and more under the top layer rather than on top (to prevent having to lighten the roots as often):

http://advancedhairstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Raspberry-pink-highlights-for-brown-hair.jpg

Meh. I'm really not happy with the colour my hair is most of the time but I am so torn! I don't like the look of henna or its permanence so that's out.

Please, LHC, help me with my conundrum! What do you think? Maybe you have another idea?!

:flower:

Firefox7275
December 17th, 2013, 06:16 AM
What is your full haircare routine at present, including how you get your hair red (permanent or semi, what do you do to reduce fade/ touch up lengths)? Are you using proven ingredients to protect from or patch repair damage (coconut oil, hydrolysed protein, ceramides, 18-MEA, panthenol)? What do you mean by 'problem areas' and why are those different to the rest of your hair, are you playing with that hair or always dying that first?

I have been red for well over a decade, initially burgundy box dye now high pigment semi bright berry red. I'm only at BSL-ish but my ends are not significantly more damaged than the hair higher up. That is since completely overhauling my entire haircare regime with the help of LHC, Naturallycurly and some research into the science side. I also don't have much of an issue with fade, my hair is still strong/ bright after two to three months (but roots bad!), nor splits/ white dots.

I switched to roots only for the lightening step, work nape towards front, no more box dye 'refreshing' the lengths, conditioner only washing in cool water, leave in conditioner no rinse out to reduce water exposure, overnight coconut oil soaks on dry hair, coconut oil in the lightening mix, hydrolysed protein in my conditioner, quit rough brushing for finger detangling and very wide tooth comb, way less twirling my hair, no more 24/7 ponytails only occasional loose up dos with LHC approved secures. TBH there is plenty more I could do (eg good overnight routine, more protective styles) but even that has made a huge difference.

Firefox7275
December 17th, 2013, 06:26 AM
Also noted from your signature that you are vegan. The obvious question is are you sure your diet is balanced? Do you takes appropriate vitamin and mineral supplement, plus long chain omega-3s (marine algae extract for DHA and EPA) since you don't eat oily fish? Are you getting complete protein (food combining) little and often from breakfast?

Not asking through prejudice against the vegan lifestyle, nutrition is part of what I do for a living. I am well aware that is can be very healthy done right, certainly much more so than the average omnivore US/ UK diet.

BTW the two hydrolysed proteins proven to help protect from bleach damage are wheat and soy so no animals involved.

joflakes
December 17th, 2013, 07:39 AM
What is your full haircare routine at present, including how you get your hair red (permanent or semi, what do you do to reduce fade/ touch up lengths)? Are you using proven ingredients to protect from or patch repair damage (coconut oil, hydrolysed protein, ceramides, 18-MEA, panthenol)? What do you mean by 'problem areas' and why are those different to the rest of your hair, are you playing with that hair or always dying that first?

I have been red for well over a decade, initially burgundy box dye now high pigment semi bright berry red. I'm only at BSL-ish but my ends are not significantly more damaged than the hair higher up. That is since completely overhauling my entire haircare regime with the help of LHC, Naturallycurly and some research into the science side. I also don't have much of an issue with fade, my hair is still strong/ bright after two to three months (but roots bad!), nor splits/ white dots.

I switched to roots only for the lightening step, work nape towards front, no more box dye 'refreshing' the lengths, conditioner only washing in cool water, leave in conditioner no rinse out to reduce water exposure, overnight coconut oil soaks on dry hair, coconut oil in the lightening mix, hydrolysed protein in my conditioner, quit rough brushing for finger detangling and very wide tooth comb, way less twirling my hair, no more 24/7 ponytails only occasional loose up dos with LHC approved secures. TBH there is plenty more I could do (eg good overnight routine, more protective styles) but even that has made a huge difference.

At the moment I go to the salon. They usually put a perm tint on the roots to lift it (usually a cr*ppy browny red) then put a semi on my whole head. I've had that done twice now but it isn't what I want. In between I top up with Crazy Colour, Directions or the Ultra Brights from Schwarzkopf.

Here are links to what I use regularly (my conditioner changes):

DC:
http://www.superdrug.com/treatments/dark+lovely-ultra-cholesterol-conditioning-treatment-250ml/invt/235474&bklist=

Shampoo:
http://www.superdrug.com/superdrug/superdrug-pro-vitamin-thermal-protect-shampoo-400ml/invt/233156

Oil:
http://www.superdrug.com/this-one/this-one-light-hair-oil-100ml/invt/604757

I use the oil after (almost) every wash, then use it when my hair looks a bit frizzy between washes.

I use a Tangle Teezer to detangle my hair.

My problem areas are where I had a side section of my hair bleached when it was shorter, and I tend to fiddle with that area more, too.

Do you have any pics of your hair? It sounds like just about what I would like. I think the problem with me and the only reason why I don't DIY is because I am scared of doing my own roots!




Also noted from your signature that you are vegan. The obvious question is are you sure your diet is balanced? Do you takes appropriate vitamin and mineral supplement, plus long chain omega-3s (marine algae extract for DHA and EPA) since you don't eat oily fish? Are you getting complete protein (food combining) little and often from breakfast?

Not asking through prejudice against the vegan lifestyle, nutrition is part of what I do for a living. I am well aware that is can be very healthy done right, certainly much more so than the average omnivore US/ UK diet.

BTW the two hydrolysed proteins proven to help protect from bleach damage are wheat and soy so no animals involved.

Yeah it is fine, I've recently been checked for everything.

lapushka
December 17th, 2013, 10:39 AM
I think your natural color would look nice, with a streak of red in it. A pop of color is nice! I personally prefer it over an all over color, although your red is really pretty. Why not keep it like that?

rut.de.leu
December 17th, 2013, 10:40 AM
I'm at a pretty healthy hip/tailbone and have a similar history and routine as Firefox7275 (though I use Manic Panic Infra Red for my color). The damage in my hair is on part of my length from when I didn't care as much for my hair with my detangling and dyeing processes.
It's definitely doable! If you'd prefer going back to your natural color, go for it, but it's not the only healthy way to go.

If you are able to have your arms and hands do the work, doing your own roots should be just fine. You don't need to make them all that light (or for that matter, even) in order for a semi-permanent red to show up very bright.

lapushka
December 17th, 2013, 10:45 AM
I think your natural color would look nice, with a streak of red in it. A pop of color is nice! I personally prefer it over an all over color, although your red is really pretty. Why not keep it like that?

katiebeans
December 17th, 2013, 11:04 AM
Everytime someone on LHC talks about wanting red hair without the damage of lightening, I think of this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtS3WMJJvYs
She only uses lightning agents on the roots and touches up with Beyond the Zone semi-permanent. It may or may not be of help, figured I would share anyway :)

My hair is a really pretty magenta now, and it's been different hues of magenta/purple/pink since August. Instead of bleaching my (brown) roots every time it is time to touch up my color, I just apply the color straight over them and end up with tinted roots on top of my brighter length. It actually looks really nice and people compliment specifically on the contrast :) By doing it this way I figure once my roots grow in enough my hair will have an ombre effect and I can still color over the length different bright shades. Then when it's time for me to get a real job most of my hair will be natural, lol. But anyway, this satisfies my desire to change it up every so often without killing my hair.

Firefox7275
December 17th, 2013, 11:23 AM
I use Directions Rose Red which i leave about two hours on the roots with a shower cap on (last fifteen minutes I pull it through to the ends with conditioner) following a blonde peroxide only box dye (Nutrisse Radiant Blondes). I am naturally dark mouse so might not be 'potent' enough to get light on your hair. I am scared of persulphate bleach both from the POV of damage and having sensitive skin!

My hair is slightly redder but it gives you an idea of the intensity of colour, my hair is naturally wavy but I don't have any photos of that, this is brushed out when wet hence the pouf.


http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd485/Firefox7275/035.jpg (http://s1222.photobucket.com/user/Firefox7275/media/035.jpg.html)

Hootenanny
December 17th, 2013, 03:30 PM
Sorry to go OT, but I just have to say: Firefox, I loooove your color! Okay, that is all. :D

joflakes
December 18th, 2013, 03:17 AM
I think your natural color would look nice, with a streak of red in it. A pop of color is nice! I personally prefer it over an all over color, although your red is really pretty. Why not keep it like that?

I don't want to keep it as it is because within about 10 days of that photo my hair is a muddy brown colour. It drives me mad!


I'm at a pretty healthy hip/tailbone and have a similar history and routine as Firefox7275 (though I use Manic Panic Infra Red for my color). The damage in my hair is on part of my length from when I didn't care as much for my hair with my detangling and dyeing processes.
It's definitely doable! If you'd prefer going back to your natural color, go for it, but it's not the only healthy way to go.

If you are able to have your arms and hands do the work, doing your own roots should be just fine. You don't need to make them all that light (or for that matter, even) in order for a semi-permanent red to show up very bright.

Can I see a photo of your hair, too? I really do want to go more red I'm just nervous! I know it only needs to be a gingery colour and I think if I do a couple of Colour B4's and then a weak bleach bath I'll get to the shade I want and then just be able to root touch up.

How do you do your roots? If there's a tutorial or anything you have I'd appreciate it!



Everytime someone on LHC talks about wanting red hair without the damage of lightening, I think of this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtS3WMJJvYs
She only uses lightning agents on the roots and touches up with Beyond the Zone semi-permanent. It may or may not be of help, figured I would share anyway :)

My hair is a really pretty magenta now, and it's been different hues of magenta/purple/pink since August. Instead of bleaching my (brown) roots every time it is time to touch up my color, I just apply the color straight over them and end up with tinted roots on top of my brighter length. It actually looks really nice and people compliment specifically on the contrast :) By doing it this way I figure once my roots grow in enough my hair will have an ombre effect and I can still color over the length different bright shades. Then when it's time for me to get a real job most of my hair will be natural, lol. But anyway, this satisfies my desire to change it up every so often without killing my hair.

Thanks for the link. The dye she uses has an inbuilt lightener, so it'd be the same as if I did a bleach bath then put on a Directions type colour :)

I know I have asked everyone this but can you share a pic of your hair? I used to keep my hair bright pink about 5 years ago. I loved it, I had a friend who would do my roots for me every once in a while!


I use Directions Rose Red which i leave about two hours on the roots with a shower cap on (last fifteen minutes I pull it through to the ends with conditioner) following a blonde peroxide only box dye (Nutrisse Radiant Blondes). I am naturally dark mouse so might not be 'potent' enough to get light on your hair. I am scared of persulphate bleach both from the POV of damage and having sensitive skin!

My hair is slightly redder but it gives you an idea of the intensity of colour, my hair is naturally wavy but I don't have any photos of that, this is brushed out when wet hence the pouf.


Whoah, your hair is SO bright! I love it! It does look a little pinker than I would like but it is certainly the right brightness. :) Awesome. My hair is wurly, too!

What is persulphate bleach? I thought there was only one kind of bleach :laugh:



Thanks for all your replies everyone. I'm feeling like I can do this without messing my hair up! And honestly, if I have to cut off 1/2 inches, so what. It'll grow back. My hair will still be longer than it has ever been AND an awesome red! Which is really what I have always wanted.

ErinLeigh
December 18th, 2013, 07:30 AM
I think going back to natural color and doing the underside a bold raspberry or some other color you prefer would be beautiful actually. I like that idea a lot. You could keep it up with Manic Panic so it is not as damaging.

Zebra Fish
December 18th, 2013, 08:09 AM
I used to dye my hair red, but it would wash out in 3 weeks. As my hair is ultrafine, i would re-dye every 2,5 months (but even that would damage it). I tried henna - Lush caca rouge - as much as I loved it, it would wash out in 3 weeks also (I was reading 2 months about how to do it before doing it, so yes, it was done properly. Same way on a friend would hold strongly). Unfortunately, here is very expensive to get shipping for baq henna, so I haven't tried that one. After henna I havent been dying my hair for over 1,5 years with anything. 6 weeks ago I tried Manic Panic for the 1st time (vampire red) and is still in my hair, the colour maybe lost some minimum intensity, but still holding nice on both virgin, before hennaed or dyed hair. So I would recommend you to try it before doing a lot of chemical dyeing and redyeing.

joflakes
December 18th, 2013, 12:57 PM
Thank you both, I decided to go for the red. I did a colour b4 tonight and am sat with a deep conditioner on my hair to help prevent the inevitable dryness. I looks so much lighter! I'll post a before and after if I get a chance.

After it is dry I'm going to assess it and see if it needs a weak bleach bath, and I have my Directions hair colour in the post. I went for fire and poppy red with the thinking that one is pink based and one orange so if I mix I'll get a more true bright red. :)

starlamelissa
December 18th, 2013, 01:10 PM
Just wanted to add-you may be having a case of "red-orexia"

My hair is never red enough for me either

joflakes
December 18th, 2013, 01:13 PM
Just wanted to add-you may be having a case of "red-orexia"

My hair is never red enough for me either

Haha, yes definitely! :spitting:

oktobergoud
December 18th, 2013, 02:55 PM
Mmmm.. just a thought.. Can't you just let it be and turn it into some sort of awesome ombre and keep the red red by using something like Manic Panic or Directions? Or wouldn't that work?

I feel you though, I just lighten my henna-ed hair every 6 months or so and even that makes me feel bad/guilty :/

joflakes
December 18th, 2013, 03:18 PM
Mmmm.. just a thought.. Can't you just let it be and turn it into some sort of awesome ombre and keep the red red by using something like Manic Panic or Directions? Or wouldn't that work?

I feel you though, I just lighten my henna-ed hair every 6 months or so and even that makes me feel bad/guilty :/

It isn't red enough right now! Ahhhh! Otherwise yes I would. Maybe. Haha.... I think I need together it to a brighter red like I want first, then decide :)

Firefox7275
December 18th, 2013, 08:03 PM
Whoah, your hair is SO bright! I love it! It does look a little pinker than I would like but it is certainly the right brightness. :) Awesome. My hair is wurly, too!

What is persulphate bleach? I thought there was only one kind of bleach

Persulphate is powder bleach, tho it sometimes come as a cream lightener! The weaker way of lightening is peroxide only which is in all permanent box dyes from blondes to darks because it lifts the cuticle helping the colour penetrate/ acts as the developer. Many people say 'bleaching' when they actually peroxide only lighten just a couple of shades, which makes others think persulphate bleach is the only way to lighten.

Yes Rose Red is absolutely on the pink end which I wanted as I just do not suit henna/ auburn or orangey/ fire reds much as I love them on others.

My first attempt was a four hour soak and I had a major magenta almost luminous pink halo .... Not ideal a few days before my sibling's very posh wedding!!! You would want another Directions shade that is more 'true' red, but that is at least the intensity without the brown undertones of a permanent dye. My hair is darker in evening or dull light, plenty of guys call my hair 'purple'.

I just love the intensity, it really makes me smile in winter (I have SAD) and I receive plenty of compliments, which is particularly great when having a low confidence day.

ErinLeigh
December 18th, 2013, 08:45 PM
yea congrats on deciding what your want to do with the color. Cant wait to see pics of how it turns out.
Are you going to lighten the base?

ErinLeigh
December 18th, 2013, 08:46 PM
Firefox your hair is a really cool color by the way. Nice and pinky red!

joflakes
December 19th, 2013, 03:21 AM
Persulphate is powder bleach, tho it sometimes come as a cream lightener! The weaker way of lightening is peroxide only which is in all permanent box dyes from blondes to darks because it lifts the cuticle helping the colour penetrate/ acts as the developer. Many people say 'bleaching' when they actually peroxide only lighten just a couple of shades, which makes others think persulphate bleach is the only way to lighten.

Yes Rose Red is absolutely on the pink end which I wanted as I just do not suit henna/ auburn or orangey/ fire reds much as I love them on others.

My first attempt was a four hour soak and I had a major magenta almost luminous pink halo .... Not ideal a few days before my sibling's very posh wedding!!! You would want another Directions shade that is more 'true' red, but that is at least the intensity without the brown undertones of a permanent dye. My hair is darker in evening or dull light, plenty of guys call my hair 'purple'.

I just love the intensity, it really makes me smile in winter (I have SAD) and I receive plenty of compliments, which is particularly great when having a low confidence day.

Oh no! Haha. That's quite funny though. Is peroxide only as damaging as a bleach bath?


yea congrats on deciding what your want to do with the color. Cant wait to see pics of how it turns out.
Are you going to lighten the base?

Thanks! Yep I am, have just done a Colour B4, about to post the results:

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q232/jobrookman/image_zpsfb9e5e91.jpg

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q232/jobrookman/image_zpsd4cc8803.jpg

Firefox do you think this is light enough for a bright red or not? I'm happy to do another colour b4 or a weak bleach bath if needed!

ravenreed
December 19th, 2013, 04:48 AM
My hair is a slightly lighter auburn than yours with a lot of grey in it. I use Elumen without lifting my natural color, and the dye still shows up quite well on my hair. I am using red violet, but I bet the red would show up just as well. Elumen doesn't damage my hair at all. Not even a little bit. The only down side besides the cost is that I do have to heat set it. I like it even better than the dem- I used for several years.

Firefox7275
December 19th, 2013, 06:51 AM
The damage done is down to a number of factors, from how many shades you lift to length of time of exposure to number of exposures - lightening damages both the cortex (increased porosity, visible loss of melanin pigments, weakening of core structure) but also the cuticle (raising the cuticle, dissolving the lipid layer that protects and glues them together). A bleach bath or peroxide only box dye has the advantage of being more controllable that a high strength persulphate bleach- peroxide mix. But ultimately lifting say three shades is lifting three shades in terms of damage.

I'd do another Colour B4 Extra, I found it took one to get my technique right as you must follow the instructions to the letter from room temperature to time spent agitating the hair. I had build up that shifted to leave a strawberry blonde but you might not get that light and do need to lift out some more of your natural Brown pigments with peroxide/ bleach.

You may find a bleach bath simply reactivates old dye molecules left in the hair so does not visibly lighten. Strand tests, strand tests, strand tests at every stage, do these at the same time as your skin patch tests to save time. Consider resting your hair for a week or two (several washes) between shampoo and bleach bath to get old dye molecules out.

joflakes
December 19th, 2013, 08:43 AM
I've just begun another Colour B4 treatment, your message must've reached me somehow before I read this!

I'll see how I get on with this, and will certainly leave my hair a couple of washes at least to reduce the risk of re-oxidation, although I am very paranoid about this so triple the rinsing time usually! I'm a bit of a water baby anyway so it is just an excuse for an extra long shower, haha.

I'm naughty and never skin test, I've used Colour B4 and bleach/peroxide loads of times before and I know I'm not allergic, same with Directions. I'm hoping that this Colour B4 treatment lifts it enough to dye straight over, I'd be really really happy if I don't have to bleach or peroxide!

In terms of peroxide only lightening, how do you do it? Do you just buy the peroxide part from Sally's and use that?


The damage done is down to a number of factors, from how many shades you lift to length of time of exposure to number of exposures - lightening damages both the cortex (increased porosity, visible loss of melanin pigments, weakening of core structure) but also the cuticle (raising the cuticle, dissolving the lipid layer that protects and glues them together). A bleach bath or peroxide only box dye has the advantage of being more controllable that a high strength persulphate bleach- peroxide mix. But ultimately lifting say three shades is lifting three shades in terms of damage.

I'd do another Colour B4 Extra, I found it took one to get my technique right as you must follow the instructions to the letter from room temperature to time spent agitating the hair. I had build up that shifted to leave a strawberry blonde but you might not get that light and do need to lift out some more of your natural Brown pigments with peroxide/ bleach.

You may find a bleach bath simply reactivates old dye molecules left in the hair so does not visibly lighten. Strand tests, strand tests, strand tests at every stage, do these at the same time as your skin patch tests to save time. Consider resting your hair for a week or two (several washes) between shampoo and bleach bath to get old dye molecules out.

joflakes
December 19th, 2013, 08:44 AM
My hair is a slightly lighter auburn than yours with a lot of grey in it. I use Elumen without lifting my natural color, and the dye still shows up quite well on my hair. I am using red violet, but I bet the red would show up just as well. Elumen doesn't damage my hair at all. Not even a little bit. The only down side besides the cost is that I do have to heat set it. I like it even better than the dem- I used for several years.

I have used Elumen before and found it damaged my hair a lot, so I'll be avoiding it but thanks for your input! I'm glad you found something that works for you, too! :D

ErinLeigh
December 19th, 2013, 01:12 PM
I cannot wait to see finished result. I think it is going to take well and you will have some great Red Holiday hair!
Oh question..Do you have to use a protein filler with deposit dyes such a MP? Does it help or no? I always wondered if these dyes grab differently on more porous part of hair.

ositarosita
December 19th, 2013, 01:35 PM
Manic panic

joflakes
December 20th, 2013, 04:19 AM
I cannot wait to see finished result. I think it is going to take well and you will have some great Red Holiday hair!
Oh question..Do you have to use a protein filler with deposit dyes such a MP? Does it help or no? I always wondered if these dyes grab differently on more porous part of hair.

I honestly have no idea, I don't think so! Yes well here is my hair after the second colour b4:

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q232/jobrookman/image_zps01d72a80.jpg

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q232/jobrookman/image_zps279ceee6.jpg

it is more like the second picture IRL. Firefox, what do you reckon? Am I good to Directions yet or shall I peroxide? I bought some 6% yesterday to use just in case. I'm really pleased with how to has come out though without any bleach this far!

lapushka
December 20th, 2013, 07:12 AM
It's a pretty nice color just by itself, joflakes. :)

Firefox7275
December 20th, 2013, 07:24 AM
Definitely lifted more of the brown build up with the second Colour B4!

I think you could do red over that, maybe choosing a *slightly* pinker shade than you want, since the auburn tones will come through somewhat. IMO strand test your Directions on shed plughole hair to see if it has the intensity you want with the process time you are thinking of.

joflakes
December 20th, 2013, 07:49 AM
Thanks firefox! Yeah it worked really well. I'm pleased!

I'll do a strand test for sure but I chucked out all my plug hole hair last night! Ah! It'll have to be on my head. =)