Friday, 7 September 2012

How to Create Vibrant Red Florence Welch Hair

So many people want to display a vibrant permanent red shade but often find this particular colour a difficult one to achieve for a whole variety of reasons.

The biggest problem with red hair colourants (in my view) is a lack of understanding as to the level of depth in the actual colourant.  If a red shade uses a brown as its base (such as deep auburns and mahogany's) and is subsequently applied to hair that is already fairly brunette the result will be much darker than expected

Remember, red is a tone not a base – meaning the more base which is presented in the hair (or added to it) the darker it will become and the less the (red) tone will be displayed.

The Perfect Base for Red Hair Colouring

In order to achieve a true vibrant red shade (in a natural brunette) the base colour must (initially) be a medium blonde or copper.  This will allow for the red pigments to fill the inside of the hair and display the colour 100% accurately. 

The key to retaining a good redhead shade is to try to avoid pre lightening with traditional bleaches (designed for blonde results) and use only non-ammonia products to lift up the base.

In addition, very bleached or pale hair should always be pre-pigmented before applying a permanent red shade.  Pre Pigmenting will fill the empty hair with additional red colour molecules and these pigments can form a layer underneath the permanent shade (applied) which not only reduces fading but also add to the vibrancy of the overall shade.

The Florence Welch Red Shade

The Florence Welch shade is a really popular example of the ‘vibrant redhead’.  Florence’s colour is prone to changing in intensity from being a more muted auburn to a fiery pure red.  This demonstrates that Florence (herself) has issues with both getting the vibrancy right in her colour and finding a shade which doesn’t slip out too aggressively during washing.

I would imagine that Florence’s natural base is a medium blonde to auburn, for this reason she would be able to apply a colourant directly onto her hair without prior stripping.  However, for the purposes of this how-to I am explaining how to achieve the shade on darker light to mid brunette bases or for those with lighter (natural) bases who have been previously colouring to achieve the look.

You will need
  • ·         Decolour Remover or Stripper (depending on camouflaging shade desired)
  • ·         Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Colour Fiery Red  - 6.60
  • ·         Colour Restore Deep Red (if using Decolour Remover)

Step 1 – Removing or Stripping

Remember, this how to is designed for brunettes (who wish to achieve a vibrant red) or lighter bases who have overlaid previous red colourants and achieved a darker than expected result.

Step 1 - For natural and artificially coloured dark blondes to brunettes

The key is to firstly strip the hair of both base shade and artificial colour molecules.  In order to obtain a true vibrant blanket of red you must start with an even lighter canvas that will display the colour effectively. I've outlined my step by step instructions for stripping hair colour below, or you can watch my tutorial.

To strip the hair

·         Firstly wash several times and towel dry. Comb the hair smooth and make sure it’s parted correctly.

·         Now mix the Decolour Stripper as instructed and apply firstly to any areas which appear heavy or dark.  These will typically be the mid-lengths and ends.  Once you have applied to these darker areas leave for 10 minutes.

·        After 10 minutes, apply the remainder of the Decolour Stripper to the damp hair and comb through evenly from roots to tips, the hair should be damp as this will enable the stripper crème to work evenly throughout the hair.

·        Once the crème is combed through the damp hair (as you would a conditioner) leave to develop for a further 20 minutes and proceed to rinsing and applying the conclude balm.

·         After stripping you should notice your hair is a lightened coppery shade.  This is good as you now have a base on to which to apply the Fiery Red hair colour.

Step 1 - For natural but previously artificially coloured medium blonde shades

Repeat the above steps using Decolour Remover, but ensure you give a full development (once the crème is applied throughout the hair) of 60 minutes.  A full development of remover will ensure all the artificial colour molecules are eradicated and the natural (light) base is exposed.

After using Decolour Remover you cannot apply a peroxide based shade for 7 days.  Therefore, to achieve your desired ‘Redhead’ effect, follow the removal immediately with an application of Colour Restore Deep Red.  This will create a short term ‘redhead’ result and will also act as a pre-pigment.

After 7 days (or so) I would recommend applying a second Colour Restore Deep Red application (to further pre-pigment the hair) and then proceed to applying the permanent colourant as outlined below.

Step 2 – Applying your permanent redhead shade

Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Fiery Red 6.60 would be my recommendation for achieving the Florence Welch shade at home.

REMEMBER: If you have used Decolour Stripper to create your new canvas you can proceed to the colour step immediately, however if you have used Decolour Remover (to expose a natural lighter base), please ensure you immediately re-colour with Colour Restore Deep Red (as outlined above) and wait 7 days before applying this permanent colour.

I would recommend you apply the Fiery Red shade to slightly damp (non-dry) hair as this will ensure the colourant goes onto the hair smoothly.

When applying, use a tangle comb and work the colourant evenly into the hair and develop for the instructed development time.

Step 3 – Maintaining a vibrant red shade

It’s crucial to maintain red shades with appropriate haircare products.  Using a red enhancing shampoo will ensure the hair is cleansed but the artificial red colour molecule is not depleted in the hair by the regular washing.  I would recommend using ‘John Freida Radiant Red’ shampoo as your home care solution for this purpose.  It is also worth giving your hair a weekly (or bi monthly) ‘Colour Restore Deep Red’ infusion to retain the overall red shade and vibrancy.

Step 4 – Regrowth Application

If you are a natural brunette, I would recommend a monthly (to 5 weekly) re-growth application of the Garnier Ultra Colour Fiery Red 6.60, as soon as the hair demonstrates a very small amount of re-growth close to the scalp.  Scalp heat will accelerate the strength of peroxide and offer more of a lift in the base shade.  If the dark roots are allowed to grow through too much, this scalp heat will be less effective and not lift the overall base shade to a level which will display red vibrancy.  Therefore, subsequent red applications may start appearing too dark at the top sections as the hair grows.

Whenever you conduct the ‘redhead’ re-growth application, always apply with a tint bowl and brush to the new growth only.  This will ensure precision of application.  Try to keep your head as warm as possible and this will also aid lifting of the base shade and a good overall display of the red colour.

Do not pour the entire contents of the colourant over the head, as you will subject the previously coloured hair to unwanted chemical treatment.  However, 10 minutes before the end of the regrowth development, wet a tangle comb and begin working that root colour through to the mid-lengths and ends.  This will ensure the old hair colour is refreshed and the red shade remains fully vibrant. 

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