My Hair History (Part 1 – RED)

Hello all, so I have over the years many questions about my hair. For anyone who doesn’t know, I have dyed hair – firstly I dyed it black when I was about 12 (I was a goth, ha) I let it grow out to my normal colour, then when I was 16, in 2009, I dyed it red, BRIGHT RED, for about 3/4 years? Then I’ve had ginger/orange hair for about 2 or 3. So I thought I’d go through my red hair history with you all, share some of my favourite and least favourite dyes!

So before I start I want to state something, there are TWO stages of dying hair – first is DYE that means there’s bleach or chemicals that turns my roots from brown to red/ginger. The second is REFRESHER, red is the MOST annoying hair dye, it never stays in your hair long, so you need to REFRESH it, the dyes are just pigments – no bleach. It stains your hair. So if you’re thinking of dying your hair a odd colour that’s not “natural” think about this first.

Later I’ll go over my tips about keeping your hair more vibrant for longer. (In another blog post! Coming soon!) But for now, here’s the products I’ve used.


SO, when I was 16 I got my hair dyed red. I first started this by trying to dye my hair with Schwarzkopf Livecolor XXL in a red colour. (DYE)  As oh today its’ called “Real Red 035” but since it’s been 8 years, I don’t remember what.


So I did this with my friend and we tried and it didn’t work. Yeah, go figure. I washed it out and it left this light orange ginger tone to my hair – but not enough for my parents to notice. That night after dying I told my parents, I cried and then my mum booked me an appointment at the hair-dressers a week later.

So I don’t 100% know what the process of my hair was getting it from brown to red, but here’s what I remember.

The product they used for the red was called  “Affinage” and by the look of it – the “INFINITI® b:RED® Series” in RED or RED COPPER. I think it was Red. (DYE)



For this I just let my hair dresser get on with it – she just dyed my hair and it turned out like this:


Oh look, it’s 16 year old spotty Laura. Trying to be cool. Ha!

This photo was taken ON THE DAY of dying, cannot get any fresher than that. So that’s the results and that lasted me for ages. But for the rest of my red hair life I used that product at the hair dresser – from what I know, if she used anything else, I have no idea, I never went to anyone else during my red hair time.

I then started to REFRESH my hair with the same brand “Affinage” but using their RED REFRESHER instead. I used this for a while, but it then began getting too expensive – REFRESHING hair is done about once a month – sometimes more or less depending on how well you care for your hair.


Taken in March 2010


Taken just after another hair appointment.


Good example of it in the light

I then started to experiment with products – I can remember what I used but photos will be not available because I don’t know what I used when and photos that matched.

But over the years I used products such as Manic Panic, Directions, Crazy Colour ect for REFRESHERS – these are semi and demi-permanent dyes, they wash out, they fade but you CANNOT use them to turn darker hair to those colours – if your hair is blonde, then you’ll get the results in the bottle/tub.

First lets start with the most popular – Manic Panic:51C-zicHEsL

Manic Panic is a popular brand, however I didn’t like them at all – the colour pay off wasn’t bright and it washed out too fast. Even following my routine I felt like it faded after a few weeks. Boring. I think using on blonde bleached hair would have been better, but over the top of red hair already, it was too dark and not as vibrant for my liking.

It could have been that Pillar Box was too dark and I should have used either Vampire Kiss Red or Rock N Roll Red -but after I think it’s just not best used on already red hair. But after one failed attempt, I didn’t bother again.

Also I’ve tried La Riche Directions, I have used two of their products, firstly, Pillarbox Red (there’s a theme here) And then when transitioning too ginger/orange, I used Mandarin Orange. 619pdBx2BeL._SL1280_

In red hair dye/fresher and most cosmetic products, red has either warm or cool undertones – they either have a base of orange or blue. So if you’re pale, warm tones work best, but if you’re not and have some warmth to your skin, then warm is better for you. I tried to stick with mostly blue/pink undertones in my hair dye (and lip stick) but it’s not always easy to see.

The best way to know is when you wash your hair – you’ll NEVER see red in the shower unless you’ve just dyed it, you’ll either see orange-y water or pink-y water. It is still red but not RED RED! If that makes sense. 

For example, Directions have 3 red hair freshers – Fire (orange) Pillarbox (pink) and Poppy Red (Pink) So most red dyes are pink, but some do have orange undertones. Sometimes you can see the undertone in the bottle/tub, and rubbing it between your fingers, it shows the undertone. But experimenting isn’t too bad! =]


This photo is strange – because my hair looks faded, muted and pink – despite in other photos of that day, it looks red and vibrant. Also not like me to NOT refresh my hair before a wedding! But this is a good example of how the dye for my roots was pink in undertone. Since they look magenta!

But for me these test where probably over a few months, so I don’t really know when – so photos won’t happen, but I swear I fell in love with my favourite early on.

Back to refreshers. So I don’t think I used anything else – there’s StarGazer, Special Effects and non-popular brans, but MY FAVOURITE RED HAIR DYE AND WHAT I USED FOR YEARS AND YEARS WAS

*Drum Roll*



Crazy colour is hands down my favourite, it is HIGHLY pigmented, it smells AMAZING (it smells NICE artificial, like sweets) it stains EVERYTHING which is good, it lasts and it is CHEAP!

So they do have other red colours, but fire is the best, it (ironically) has pink undertones and yet at the same time, in the sunlight, it shone with orange and yellow tones too – strange for a pink undertone, but still amazing.

Best photos I can use are those from Disneyland, of course!


August 2010


July 2011


October 2011 – Since this trip was spontaneous, I believe this would have been when my hair was slightly faded


Disneyland Cal 2012


May 2012 – Could have been a told cover DYE so not FIRE or any other refresher!

JackSkellington (2).jpg

October 2012

So when 2013 hit, I was nearing the end of my second year at university and I was getting tired of the red hair. I needed a change, even in 2012, in the Halloween photo, you can see my hair has a slight orange hue, this was when I wanted to go orange – however I didn’t like that idea and I wanted to go “normal” so I decided to dye my hair ginger.

However for now I want to do that another day – so here ends my red hair journey – I hope you didn’t think it was going to be full of too many products and all that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed part one of my hair journey! I hope it’s not over yet!

Love Laura, x


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