Changing colored hair from red to blonde can be challenging because red, along with black, is one of the two most difficult colors to remove from hair. Seeing a professional colorist will increase your chances of success. However, if you’re daring or have had some coloring experience of your own, there are a few steps you can take to remove red color from your hair and replace it with blonde.
Strip the color out of your hair using the color stripper. When dying your hair blonde, you risk ending up with orange tones, but this is especially true when you start with red hair. It is best to remove as much of the red dye as possible before starting the coloring process. Color stripper is sold in most hair salons and is used much like hair dye. Consult the manufacturer's guide for specific instructions. A lot of the red dye will have been removed after you strip your hair. Your hair will probably look blotchy and contain a mixture of red and your natural color. This is normal, so don’t worry.
Condition your hair. Color stripper is very harsh on your hair, so use a conditioning treatment to rejuvenate it. It will add moisture back into your hair follicles and better protect your hair during the next steps. Leave the conditioning treatment on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse.
Bleach your hair. stripping hair color takes a majority of the hair dye out of your hair, but usually there will be some residual color remaining. You cannot just dye over the remaining red, or you will end up with red or orange streaks. To eliminate the rest of the red color and to give your hair a more even-toned base, you will need to use bleach. Use 20 volume developer and powdered hair bleach. Mix them following the measurements on the back of the bleach packet. Apply generously through all of your hair and let it sit for 20 to 45 minutes. Rinse the bleach from your hair.
Dye your hair blonde. Now that you have created an even tone throughout your hair, you can cover slight variations of color that may remain using blonde hair dye. Use any shade of blonde except ash tones, which may create a greenish tint. After using blonde hair dye, your hair should be your desired color. Apply another conditioning treatment.
Wash your hair with purple shampoo. It is very common whenever dying your hair blonde that orange or red tints appear at first. Minor tints can be corrected by using purple shampoo. Purple shampoo actually looks purple, and its color counteracts red tints in your blonde hair. You can purchase purple shampoo in almost any hair salon.
H.C. Hisel has worked for the past nine years as a professional writer, dancer, musician, painter and photographer. Hisel had her own weekly newspaper column in the Banana 411, a newspaper for kids. Her articles have been published in various print markets and online, including Trails.com and Golflink.com.