red hair

Going from Blonde to Red… and Back to Blonde Again

December 18, 2018

one year five hair colors

So you want to dye your hair red… Or maybe you’re trying to go back to blonde hair?

Experiencing a mid, mid-life crisis? Or in the flux of post-grad stress?  The only solution: Dye your hair. At least, that’s what I did. Going from blonde, to dark auburn, to Weasley red, and then back to blonde hair is no small journey!

In about a year, I went from this…

red hair

To this… (ignore my growing roots and stern face)

Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Being a redhead was super fun, but there’s a lot that comes along with red hair (and going back to blonde hair) that I definitely wish I had known before taking the plunge.

The funny part is, I met a lot of new people throughout the past year so everyone is “used to” a different hair color. Most of my friends know me as blonde, but there are a handful of people who met me as a redhead and were floored when I went back.

Here is everything you need to know about dyeing your hair red and going from red hair back to blonde hair –

In about one year, I went through 3-5 different hair colors. I started as blonde, then in an attempt to preserve my hair I went to a light brunette (because it’s closer to my natural color), then I went to a very dark burgundy (which I hated), then lightened to a copper which I had for around 6 months. After awhile, I was ready to go back to blonde.

Before we dive into the process of dyeing my hair back to blonde, let’s jump into everything you should know about dyeing your hair red!

1. Red is the hardest color to get out of your hair

I can’t stress this enough! A drop of red dye hasn’t touched my hair since June, and I still have remnants of red in my hair. That’s after 3 highlight sessions. Luckily, I don’t mind the hint of red.

The #1 thing you should know before you dyeing your hair red is that it’s a commitment. It will not lift easily. And when it does lift, it will lift to a lighter version of red at first.

2. Initially it will stain your towels

I still had red dye on my towels after 3 washes. This isn’t a big deal, but something to know beforehand.

3. It will take time to change your hair color

If you’re going for a darker red, it won’t take long. But if you’re going lighter, don’t expect it to completely change in one session. The integrity of your hair should be your first priority.

In order to keep your hair healthy, it’s going to take a few visits (which means a few months) before you can get to the color you want. Just be patient, and embrace the various colors.

My Blonde & Red Hair Journey –

Phase 1: Slight darkening to a more natural color (September 2017)

This is the official starting point – It’s pretty much my natural hair color. You can kind of see it in this photo, but my natural hair already has a slight auburn hue to it. Very subtle, but definitely noticeable at times.

Phase 2: Dark burgundy (November 2017)

I had such mixed feelings about this phase. The color itself looked amazing. It was one of the most beautiful colors I’d ever seen, and my hair felt incredibly soft… but it looked terrible on me.

I’m generally a little tan, even in the winter. This color completely washed me out. I felt extremely pale, and for this reason, I hated it and knew I needed something lighter.

The difficulty was the red. The stylists were hesitant to lift it too much for fear of turning my hair bright orange. I was aiming for a copper color, but there’s definitely a fine line between pretty copper and ugly orange that I didn’t want to cross.

burgundy hairburgundy hair


After 4.5 hours and an amazing colorist, we moved onto…

Phase 3: Call me Sansa Stark (December 2017-June 2018)

This is the same red hair color you saw in the photo at the beginning of the post. Aside from where I am right now, this was my favorite phase. I loved this color so much. It was easy to maintain, and it suited me.

red hair

red hair

Phase 4: Slowly ascending back to blonde (July 2018)

But even wonderful things start to get old, and with summer coming, I was ready to go back to blonde. Although red hair suits me, blonde hair suits me better.

I got my first round of highlights and loved it. My stylist was thankful that I was on board with a slow transition to blonde. It’s extremely unrealistic and unhealthy for your hair to demand anything faster. So like I said, just embrace it.

The longer you take to transition from red hair to blonde hair, the healthier your hair will be. The color matters, of course. But the integrity of your hair should be always be a top priority.

blonde and red

blonde and red

Phase 5: More highlights (September 2018)

After my second highlight session, this was the result. There is still some obvious hints of red in my hair… but if you saw me in person, you’d call me a blonde. This is the phase I was in when I took the blonde photo at the beginning of the post.


Phase 6: Back to blonde (December 2018)

After my third and final highlight session, I finally got back to blonde hair. You can’t see it too much in this photo, but there’s still some red in there. It’s very subtle, but that just shows how hard it is to life red hair color.

Weirdly enough, out of all the photos I have, this silly candid shows just how blonde my hair is the best…


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