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Hair Color Techniques

Bold, Bright Reds by Amanda Lenz

I’ve discussed red hair color in the past, specifically auburn hair. (Auburn Transformations for Autumn) In a previous blog, I mentioned how redheads have more fun, and I still stand by that statement! Nailing an incredible red hair color for a client is not only satisfying as a colorist, but creates loyalty from your client and a reputation for you as a red colorist - which can be rather lucrative. Bold and bright reds are achievable with a variety of formulas, techniques, and placements. I love to create a dimensional bold red. Utilizing permanent color, lightener, and fantasy shades, the options and combinations are infinite.

Achieving Your Bright Red Goals

When choosing the best method to create bright red hair color, it is important to base it on the client’s existing color and the desired result. Often, the brightest red results aren’t achieved solely by using permanent red color to lift and deposit. In order to really brighten the mid-length to the ends of a client’s hair and to prepare it properly, there must be a lightening process involved.

Permanent colors typically lift and deposit with a level; meaning there is a brown base undertone of some type to create the look of depth. When lightening a client’s hair with lightener, a clean canvas is created to accept various levels of red without darkening the hair. Just getting to a level 8 is high enough to accept any shade in the red family at that point. Then, using a permanent color as deposit-only; a demi-permanent or fantasy color will create a brighter and purer final tone.

This method can be performed as a global double process, balayage, color melt, or traditional highlight while a base color is processing. See the techniques that can be used and some inspiration for color below.

Technique Glossary:

Color Melt – A technique which merges or blends one color into the next.
Double Process – A technique requiring two separate hair processes. The hair is first decolorized or prelightened with a lightener before the final depositing/toning color is applied


I have included some photos of clients with a bold, red hair color result. Keep in mind that the interpretation of “bold” and “bright” can change, depending on the overall base color of the client’s hair and the placement of the red color. Use the guide below for inspiration on how to recreate these types of looks.

Client A
Client B
Client C
Client D

Whatever shade of red you choose to conquer, careful planning and proper hair prep are key to creating bright, bold red hair that will draw maximum attention!

Favorite Tools and Accessories:

The world’s best black gloves! Jet black disposable gloves have an extended length cuff so you and your jewelry/clothes stay clean.

Disposable capes are a staple in my salon suite. I like everything to stay neat and clean, including my client! These protect your chair and client from the mess of color, especially those reds that leave a stain behind.

Universal Brush Duo Great for red color melts, this multifunctional duo includes two brushes with crimped and straight bristles for maximum color distribution and precise applications.

Amanda Lenz, Product Club Educator

Follow Amanda (@hairstorybyamanda) and Product Club (@productclub) for more expert tips on social media, salon ownership, and hair color education!

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