Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Benita Blocker's TEN Tips for Achieving Red Haircolor

Hair by Benita Blocker

Tip #1 Determine your current level of haircoloring.

Are you 100% gray?  Are you 50% or more gray? Are you above or below a Level 6 in the haircolor chart?  A professional hair colorist can assist with this evaluation.

Tip #2 Determine if you have all natural pigment or is there some artificial pigment from a previous haircoloring visit already present.

Haircoloring is like "wall painting."  A wall that has layers of paint on it is more complicated than a new white wall.

Tip #3 Determine your maintenance cost.

If your natural haircolor does not match your new haircolor, then your roots will always grow revealing your true natural haircolor.  How often do you want to touchup your new growth?  Every four weeks? Every 8 weeks?  Do you want to incorporate a "red shampoo" with your weekly shampoo service?

Tip #4 Determine your maintenance routine to maintain healthy hair.

Do you use you a lot of hot tools or do you roller set?  Do you get relaxer services or are you relaxer-free?

Tip #5 Determine your styling preference.

If you have over 50% gray in any one area (versus a "salt and pepper" blend), then the gray/white hair is going to be more sheer and/or "flaming."  Can you part your hair to mask any areas that are brighter in color than what you desire?

Tip #6 Determine if your hair is strong enough to stand a lightener or  hair bleaching service.

If you have natural black hair, then a highlift permanent color in the blonde family can lift you into the red family and you can use an additional red toner to glaze over it.

If you have artificial colored black hair, then a color remover service or a hair bleaching service will be required to pre-lighten the hair.

If you have all gray or white hair like my client pictured above, a semi-permanent color like the Design Essentials Semi-permanent haircolor called "Passion" is all you need.  It goes on wet.  No mixing. Deposit only.  No harshness to the hair because you are naturally pre-lightened.

Tip #7 Determine if you plan to relax your hair in the future.

Relaxers are permanent, and they change the integrity of the hair.  If you are considering permanent haircolor or demi-permanent haircolor plus relaxer services, then two different chemicals on the same hair makes the hair extremely vulnerable to breakage regardless of race.

Tip #8 Determine long term haircolor goals as well as short term haircolor goals.

You can go many places to achieve the "red" look that you want short-term.  You can leave the salon looking fabulous, but that is the short term/impulse decision making.  Long term, in a month from that fabulous red haircolor visit, you will be faced with the challenge of how to keep that red fabulous.

Tip #9 Let professional haircolorists advise you on whether to use a Semi-permanent, Demi-permanent, or a Permanent Haircolor.

Tip #10 Don't be afraid to get a second or third opinion on your customized haircolor plan.

I charge $15 for "creative color" consultations.  The $15 payment can be credited toward a future color service.


  1. Thanks for this, very thorough. I didn't listen to you once on corrective relaxers but I will listen this time when you say a relaxer and this colour will compromise the hair :( My hair is relaxed, underneath my colour it's all grey that I cover using Bigen in Oriental Black (never had issues with it thank goodness) I would like to lighten it but other than going natural I don't see how.

    1. Hi danysedai!!! I responded to you on Facebook, but others will benefit from my repeat of the suggestion. Consider coloring the grey roots with the Design Essentials Passion semi-permanent hair color next root touchup to see how you like the deep red. The semi-permanent colors are no mix and are gentle. If you do not like it then you can cover it up with the Bigen Black color. If you do like it, then maybe continue using the red for the future and grow it out two toned or a keep it camouflaged until you are ready to lift the Bigen layer back out. If I think of something else, then I will let you know! Thanks for your support!