Although I’m a natural redhead I often dye my hair red or ginger to make it even brighter, as my natural ginger has quite a lot of dull brown tones. I started off with bright red Florence Welch hair colour at the hairdressers, then went bright ginger and used semi-permanant tints at home.
My hairdresser friend Steph dyed my hair a lovely deep copper colour yesterday so I picked her brains about how to dye hair red, from blonde, brown, ginger or black, and how to know which shade of red to pick. I’m not a hairdresser so this is just to help you choose/understand red hair dyes – you should speak to a hairdresser about your own hair.
Your base hair colour
I’ve used the L’Oreal Majeril colour chart here but other professional dyes will follow similar principles. First you need to pick the closest match to your base colour from the chart below and note the number.
Usually blondes = shades 10-7, Ginger = 8-6, Brunettes = shades 6-3, Black = 2-1 My natural red hair has lots of brown so my base colour is 7. You have two choices – either add copper tones (to dye it ginger) or red tones (to dye it red).
Dying hair ginger
Using your base colour, you can then look what shades to dye it. The chart below shows how the base colours look with copper colours. For example if your hair is dark blonde (shade 9) you can dye it to look like 9.04.
The copper and red shades range from 4-9 so if your hair is really dark e.g. 1-4 jet black you’ll probably want to lighten it and then dye it one of these shades to get a bright copper, if it’s really light e.g. 9-10 light blonde you’ll need to semi- permanent dye it a bit darker then dye it a permanent copper shade.
- My base colour is 7, so I could’ve chosen 7.4, 7.43, 7.44, 7.45 or 7.46 etc. My colour this time was 7.44.
Red hair dyes
Alternatively you can go for one of the reds – see the bottom of this chart.
How to dye light blonde hair red / ginger
- Your hairdresser will probably dye it a semi-permanent copper first to darken the hair/add warmth and then dye it a permanent copper, depending on your hair condition.
How to dye ginger hair
- You can go for shades 6-9 depending on your base hair colour.
How to dye brown hair ginger
- You base colour will probably be 4-6 so you can go for any of the 5.XX or 6.XX colours on the Loreal majeril colour chart.
How to dye black hair red / ginger
- Red hair is a lot lighter so you’ll need to lighten the hair to an orange shade before dying it red. If you have natural black hair your hairdresser will probably bleach it a few shades lighter, then dye it a copper or red. If you have dyed black hair they’ll probably use a colour remover first depending on the condition of your hair. You don’t have to bleach it unless you want a bright copper. Otherwise it’ll be more subtle.
I hope this was useful! Any questions, please ask! x
*update: I’m currently off travelling for a few months – see my rtw travel blog so feel free to post a question but I may not have time to answer it, sorry!*