The rumors are true, naturally red hair does tend to go either orange or yellow when lightened. This is because when you lighten your hair, the underlying tones are exposed, even people with brown hair will find this happens, but to less of a degree. However it does depend on how dark your hair is naturally as to the degree of yellow or orange tones that appear when lightening. The lighter your hair to begin with the less it will do this.
So if your thinking of lightening your hair, be realistic in what you are trying to achieve i.e. you are never going to be ash blonde baby! If your hopes and dreams were set on this then you can console yourself with the fact that it probably wouldn’t suit you anyway. This is because your natural skin tone plays a large part in what will or won’t work colour wise for your hair. Check out our section on finding a colour to suit you.
When considering a solid colour as opposed to streaks or highlights, be warned that all over colour’s tend to look more gold/orange if your hair is going to reflect these tones. So stick to partial colouring rather than the all over colour’s, even if you have so many highlights you can’t work out why you don’t just go the whole hog and get the full head colour.
If you really hate your red hair (sad fact for someone who has spent most of her life colouring her own hair red!) then the easier way is to go darker rather than lighter. Depending on the strength of redness, you may still get some remaining warmth but the result will be far more concealing. Watch out again for suitability with skin tones as many red heads have pale skin and going too dark will make you look ill (or Gothic, but that’s up to you). Again check out finding a colour to suit you.
Try intermingling a bright red as in “pillar box” streaks with the rest of your hair. This combination is only for the adventurous but we love it.
For a lighter look, go for a strawberry blonde highlight rather than a white blonde. The strawberry with enhance your natural colour whilst lightening and brightening your whole look.
For you fair-skinned and light eye coloured red heads, go for something totally different and use a dark warm brown to bring out those eyes. This also looks great in combination with an impish crop if you have the face shape for it (small features).