To dye black hair red, you want to go through a process of highlighting your hair by applying a different colour – usually caramel – to the roots/ends for a couple weeks. For dying black hair red without bleach the first time I used 20 hydrogen peroxide and sat in for 8 hours; the second time I used henna dye and sat in for 4 hours.
I think the henna dye gives a more reddish-brown shade as opposed to a burgundy, but I guess it really depends on what you’re going for! This is also my first time dying my hair with Henna and it’s been about 5 months since then and no fading has occurred.
Instead of using bleach on your hair, you can simply dye black hair red with a 20 volume peroxide and letting the dye sit in your hair. Or, using a henna dye which is made from natural ingredients such as indigo (so its not 100% red).
Tools for dying black hair red with peroxide:
Here are the top products for “20 volume hydrogen peroxide”:
- Loreal Preference (Creme) hair color has 18% Liquide Peroxide and 1% Liquifill which is a filler.
- Clairol Natural Instincts has 20 Vol and costs about $20 for light Brown and dark brown, and usually runs on sale so you might find it cheaper.
- L’oreal Excellence Run about $10 with 20 volume peroxide and NO Ammonia or Liquifill!
- Garnier Nutrisse Hair color has 20 volume peroxide and usually runs on sale so you might find it cheaper, I have not found a price for this one recently, but it is around $10.
- Natural Instincts Radiant Highlights has 20 volume peroxide and will lighten hair about 2 levels lighter (a level or two). It is around $20, but usually on sale. hope this helps some of you! I use the Garnier Nutrisse Hair Color 🙂
Tools and products you need for using the 20 volume hydrogen peroxide are:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Developer bottle
- Mixing bowl for the hydrogen peroxide and developer and dyeing combs
- Applicator bottle, a.k.a your dyeing vessel! I use a disposable water bottle to mix up my mixture. Comb applicator bottles are also very effective.
- Set of plastic gloves
- Plastic shower cap
And just a tip: if you’re going to be dying your hair red or any other colour that you want to stay alive in your hair, don’t use a glass mixing bowl. Use something disposable so you can just throw it away after you’re done with it because the chemicals are acidic and they will evaporate over time but not before destroying your mixing vessel!
With 20 volume hydrogen peroxide, developer is required to dissolve the hydrogen peroxide into a form that can be absorbed by your hair. But developer is not required for the henna dye to dissolve, so I use regular drinking water to mix up my solution instead of using an applicator bottle.
How to dye black hair red using peroxide:
First, I measure out 100ml hydrogen peroxide then put it into a disposable mixing bowl. Then I use my applicator bottle to measure out 100ml water, put this into another disposable mixing bowl.
Add the required amount of developer (for 20 volume 6% developer is needed) to the hydrogen peroxide solution in order for it to dissolve. This is usually about 1 tablespoon of 6% developer for every 100ml solution, but make sure to check the mixing directions for your particular brand of developer.
Then take your applicator bottle and slowly poor the hydrogen peroxide solution into it while gently stirring (I like using chopsticks or a spoon for this). Try not to let too many bubbles form! Bubbles will cause streaking in your hair, not good. Then top off your applicator bottle with water to 100ml.
Now you have the dye solution ready to apply on your hair. To do this, part your hair into sections. I like to start at the back of my head and work my way forward section by section for ease of application. If you’re doing highlights or any other sectioning with this method then apply in that order instead. Note that the lighter your hair is, the more time it will take for the dye to work. And also, light hair also tends to stain more easily in general.
You’ll probably want to apply from root to tip, however I have found it works best for me when I apply from the back of my head and work towards the front. I think that it’s because you’re more aware of where your hair is when you’re applying the dye near your roots, so just do what works best for you.
When you’re finished applying the dye to your hair, make sure to cover it up with a shower cap or plastic bag! I cut open an old shopping bag and lay it over my head then use a ponytail holder wrapped around my neck to hold it in place. Then take two long pieces of fabric (I used two bandanas) and tie them around your neck so the dye won’t ruin your clothes.
Now just ignore what you look like for a few hours! I usually lay down on my bed and read or watch TV until the time is up. After you’ve waited long enough, rinse out the dye with water first then shampoo as usual to remove any excess residue of chemicals. Make sure not to over-process it because if you do you will end up with a brassy-orangey shade. Finally, rinse and shampoo your hair to remove all remaining dye from your hair. Here’s my finished result!
My roots are slightly lighter than the rest of my hair because I hadn’t dyed them for a few months before applying the dye, so once again ask your colourist if you can have your roots coloured darker to avoid this problem. I also didn’t get the dye on my ears or neck, so if you can see any of your hair when applying this method then you should be fine!
To achieve a more natural red hair colour without damage, but remember that results will vary depending on how resistant your hair is to colour change.
I’ve noticed that if you go over your hair too much with either 20 hydrogen peroxide, your hair can get brassy. If that happens to you, use a purple shampoo to tone out the brassiness! I use “Garnier Fructis Colour Shield Shampoo.” If you use it frequently, your hair will stay reddish-brown for longer than usual. For the best results, I recommend a purple shampoo that has a conditioner built into it. That way, you can skip the step of applying conditioner afterwards and just rinse!
I have been using it for months to maintain my hair at its reddish-brown shade and it works amazingly well to keep your hair from turning orange! Garnier also has a conditioner in their purple shampoo so it’s totally win-win.
Tools for dying black hair red with Henna:
Here are some the top rated organic Henna dye brands and their websites that you can use for dying hair red:
- Lush Henna hair dye – very good for healthy, shiny hair. the website offers 4 different henna dyeshttps://www.lush.ca/en/hair/henna-hair-dyes/
- Jamaican Mango & Lime Henna Hair Dye- Made in USA, a little bit pricier :http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002KH8UAO
- Ginger Blonde Henna Hair Dye: https://www.hennacolorlab.com/shop/ginger-blonde-henna-hair-dye/
Tools you need for using the Henna dye for black hair:
- Henna powder
- A bowl for mixing the solution
- Cotton balls or pads (cute ones) or whatever you like to use to apply the dye on your hair.
- Regular conditioner (I use Pantene – it helps to keep the hair soft and slippery so that you don’t get those pesky hairs breaking off and flying around. It also makes them easy to slide out of the skin next time you’re really bored and just happen to be picking at your skin like I do.
How to dye black hair red with Henna:
Now let’s get to process on how to dye black hair red with Henna; in a bowl, add about a half cup of boiled water and mix in your henna powder. You want to make a paste-like consistency. Add a few more tablespoons of water if the mixture is too thick, apply it to your hair, going from what you want to dye to what you don’t want to dye. Cover your head with plastic wrap and let the henna sit for at least an hour or two before washing it out. Wash out the excess henna with water and shampoo.
If you want a lighter color, you can use lemon juice too. Just mix it with the henna and apply directly to your hair before putting the plastic cap over your head for an hour or so. Rinse out well after using this method though, as lemon juice tends to dry your hair out if not washed away properly. Don’t from adding any more henna on top of the wet henna
The resulting colour will depend on how long you leave the henna in your hair and how often you mix in warm water while leaving it on for extended periods of time. For example, leaving it on overnight will produce darker colour than leaving it on for only 2 to 3 hours. The longer you leave it in, the deeper red your hair can get! Also, refrain from adding any more henna on top of the wet henna.
Henna is a natural way of dying black hair red at home safely and affordably. There are no harsh chemicals or side effects so henna is good for all hair types.
Do this every week or so for a month and you will see that the colour has gotten significantly darker and the new growth is not as noticeable. Also, henna is naturally conditioning and can be used as a deep conditioner if left in for longer than an hour. You can leave it on overnight if you run out of time in the morning.
Don’t expect a dramatic change as henna takes a long time to work, but do this every week for a month and you will see that the colour has gotten significantly darker and new growth isn’t as noticeable anymore .
Henna is naturally conditioning and can be used as a deep conditioner if left in for longer than an hour. You can leave it on overnight if you run out of time in the morning.
With this method of using henna, however, your colour will last longer because you are only dyeing the roots of your hair instead of applying it all over. You’ll also save money in the long run because you won’t have to keep going back to the salon to get your roots coloured.
If you need faster results…you can consider getting chemical dye after henna for the last 1/3rd of your roots or so. This way, there will still be red visible among your blonde hair and it won’t look so harsh and fake.
To make the colourizing last even longer, make sure you don’t wash your hair everyday if possible and avoid heat styling for about a week before and after colouring your roots. Keep in mind that this colour is meant to fade over time, so keep up with the weekly henna until then.
Final Thoughts on dying black hair red
So in summary, for dying black hair red using henna dye vs. 20 volume hydrogen peroxide means: less damage to your hair and scalp (in fact, you probably won’t damage your hair at all), it will be safer for chemically-sensitive people, and it’s way cheaper in the long run. It also means that when you dye your roots every week or two, the color will last much longer and fade out more gently (and not with a weird orangey pigment). Nourishing your hair with henna in the meantime also means it will be healthier and less prone to damage.
Dis-advantages of using henna dye instead of 20 volume hydrogen peroxide: it takes several hours for the dye to do its thing, and therefore is best done overnight (and you will probably still need to rinse your hair in the morning if it’s still wet); it’s not as effective on skin-coloured roots; it doesn’t work at all unless you leave it for an hour or more, so be prepared to wait; since it takes so long to work, you might want to do this only every other week, instead of once a week.
FAQ and More Tips on dying Black Hair red without bleach
How Do I Know When My Hair Is Dyed Enough?
You will know when the hair has been dyed enough when you can no longer see any of the natural pigment from your hair. Hair dye colours best in a light environment, so look down or close your eyes if it’s hard to tell. You can wait for a while and open them again, but give at least five minutes before judging how dark it is.
What are the best boxes of dye for dying brunettes hair red?
Kerastase Creme Bain Ultra Dense Brunettes Hair Color Kit. Specifically for a vegan-friendly option as well.
This kit comes with everything you need to dye your hair, perfect for people who want to keep their locks healthy. Comes with shampoo, conditioner, cream rinse for 30 minutes after the chemical treatment is completed, two 100ml cremes for application during the treatment process and a specially formulated ear protection cream so you can go about your day while ensuring that it is protected from exposure. Paraben free formulas are also available which make this box of dye great for those who like to use more natural ingredients and if you’re looking to dye your hair a lighter shade or dye black hair red without bleach, there are variations for blonde or brown shades to make it easier.
Do you have to leave in conditioner when dying your hair?
No, you don’t need to leave conditioner in when dying black hair red for your hair. You only want to use it before you dye your hair or after conditioning, conditioning after shampooing is enough.
Can I go from blond to red with box dye?
If you wanna dye your hair red, yes ,it can be done in about an hour and a half, but I would recommend using a natural box dye like Clairol Nice and Easy instead. If you’re too impatient to wait that long, you don’t love your hair enough to change the color completely! Any salon should be able to do it if that’s what you want. You could even sign up for one of those monthly packages that let you choose when it starts – the end of summer may not only mean humidity! And if anything goes wrong, contact their customer service line: they’ll either fix it or send you new color and a free box of shampoo.
When we started dating, my boyfriend was blond and now looks like he has black hair. How did that happen?
He must have been using a box dye to change his color. He’s not changing it too often, so he may be using one of the all-natural ones so I wouldn’t worry about it. He probably likes the change and may go back to blond eventually, but maybe he’ll start experimenting with red or orange instead!
Any good cold-weather box dyes? I’m hoping to find one that will make my hair nice and thick for winter.
Winter is a harsh time for hair as well as skin, so it’s important to take good care of them! I’d recommend ReCoil’s shampoo and conditioner, or if you can afford it, Keratin Complex’s products work well too. You could also try Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo – it should make your hair thicker and shinier.
How often should I dye my Black hair Red?
You should wait until your hair starts to show signs of damage before you dye it. As long as your roots are showing, you should be okay. If they’re not, then you could save up until next month and get a salon dye job – at least once every 2 months.
How often do I need to replace my box dye?
Box dyes last about 4-6 weeks if you’re using a natural dye and just as long if you’re using one that contains ammonia. If your hair starts to show signs of damage after those times, go ahead and change it!
Is there any easy way to touch up my roots without bleaching the rest of my hair again?
You could use their hair primer to change the color, but if you need to darken your hair instead of lightening it, you should try using a permanent product like ReCoil’s. It will let you take out all your color and add your new shade in one step – no damage!
Any tips for lighter hair colors for dying red?
If you’re after platinum blonde, try Clairol’s Excellence instead – it works really well and it’s cheaper than most box dyes! Other than that, you should follow ReCoil’s advice for light shades – if your hair is naturally dark, you could buy their black dye and mix it with a lighter color to dye black hair red without bleach.
Which dye is best for covering grey hair? The red box dyes cover it better than the rest, right?
dye will definitely cover your grey hairs better than anything else! If you’re looking for something that doesn’t look fake though, I’d say Clairol’s Product 9, 13, or 18 works well. You could also try using ReCoil to cover your grey hairs – it won’t be as bright and will fade better, which is good if you want to go back to your natural color later on.
My red box dye turned my hair orange instead. What went wrong?
The trick to using red dye is to use a developer that’s as dark as you can find – the darker it is, the better. If your hair’s naturally dark, then try Clairol’s Product 69 for really intense color. If not, I suggest checking out ReCoil first since their dyes and developers are much lighter than other brands. If you still need a red dye, try mixing your box color with the developer from ReCoil to get a toned-down version of their vibrant reds.
How come black hair dye always looks so fake?
If it’s full coverage and doesn’t fade after a couple weeks, then it’s fake. I’d recommend using ReCoil for a more subtle color – it works on all hair colors too! If you want something more intense, I suggest looking at Clairol or the other brands that specialize in black hair dye.
How long can you keep Henna paste when dying black hair red?
Henna will eventually lose its vibrancy and fade, but you can keep it for years – just make sure to store it in a cool place. It’s best to use paste that isn’t dried out though, so if your henna doesn’t seem fresh after a week or two, you should mix it with some conditioner and add it to your hair to revive it!
If I dye my black Hair with henna, will it turn green?
It might – if you keep dying it over and over again. Henna only turns your hair red the first time you use it, so if your hair stays black after that, then there’s no risk of any color other than red. If it’s been dyed multiple times though, then you’ll probably get dark brown hair – since henna turns your hair its natural color first and then adds the red dye on top of that.
What dyes are best for dying black hair eyebrows red?
rows are naturally black, then I suggest using Clairol’s Product 24A for burgundy brows. If they’re already dark brown or red, then you should use their Product 6G instead! Both of these dyes work great on any hair color and won’t fade after a few days – it’ll take a couple weeks to fade out though, so you should probably update your brows every couple months.
Can I use henna to dye black hair eyebrow red?
Henna doesn’t work well on eyebrows since it’s too messy and can easily stain your skin. If you’re looking for a more natural alternative, then try Clairol or L’Oreal eyebrow tint instead! Both of these dyes will fade after a couple weeks, but they’ll make your brows look darker and more defined at the same time.
How long do henna dyes last for dying black hair red?
Using henna, then the color will only fade after a couple months – it won’t be noticeable though! If you want to change up your color or get rid of any red tones left in your hair, then you should re-dye when your roots start to grow back.
How long does henna last on black hair?
Henna lasts for a few weeks on black hair, so you should re-dye when your roots start to show up again! If your hair is black and it doesn’t fade out after a couple months, then the dye probably isn’t working – henna only changes your hair color the first time you’re it, so if you can’t see any difference, then try another kind of dye.