I used to color my hair by bleaching it and then adding the color in after. Not only is this damaging to hair, but it tends to leave the texture dry and prone to breakage if the change is too drastic (dark to blonde). Luckily, my hair is naturally thick and there was no long-term damage. If your hair is finicky, I know some hairdressers would recommend going to salons with professional products rather than wasting time and money to fix a blotched boxed color job.
I prefer coloring my hair at home, and have had no major issues. I’ve used Ion permanent dye in ‘Black Cherry’ and have been using lower and lower developer strengths for each touch-up. Higher developers lift more and usually provide lighter colors. I prefer a darker shade of purplish red, but it also depends on your own preference.
Yesterday I used a 10v developer and this is how it turned out:
My roots are well hidden now and just as a disclaimer, red is the hardest color to sustain. It fades quickly and I can guarantee that this time next month it will be a completely different shade. Sally’s beauty stores only have one line of shampoos for red hair, but I’d recommend ordering Tressa Watercolors online for a shampoo that revives red shades after every wash.