From Redhead to Strawberry Blond

Long red hair
Photo: Nikolay Moroz/Shutterstock
Q: Hi, I'm a natural redhead (kind of auburn with orange-red undertones). I'm a "winter" or silver skin tone. I would like to go strawberry blonde, but there are a lot of variations of that color. I need to know if I should go a paler yellow red/blond or a warm red/blonde?
I know this is a hard question to answer when you can't see my hair/skin tone, I don't expect miracles from your site. I'd also like to know if I will have to strip or bleach my hair to get the desired look, seeing as my hair is so dark. Any info is greatly appreciated. I did look through the Q&A section but am still at a loss for answers. Thanks for your time.

A: Well, given that your hair is dark (as you describe it) and that most strawberry blonde shades are light, you will need to lighten your hair before you can achieve the color you desire. How much lightening is needed depends on the exact differences between your starting and desired shades.
Usually, I would recommend that you seek a professional's skills rather than attempting lightening your hair so dramatically on your own. If it is at all possible, this is what you should do. If, however, it is not possible, you are going to need the assistance of someone who can help you perform the needed color applications, in order to ensure even application and careful watch of the processing.
You will need a scalp-safe bleaching agent, and then color and developer. Be sure to make certain the bleaching agent is safe for use on the scalp since most lighteners are not designed to come in contact with the skin and can cause chemical burns.
This could also be an issue if you have sensitive skin, so be sure to do a patch test of any product at least 24-hours prior to using the product. (Dab a dot of the products on the inside of your elbow and leave them for 20 minutes before washing off, then keep an eye on the area for the next 24-hours to watch for signs of irritation. If there's irritation, then don't use the product.)
As for selecting the color, at your beauty supply shop there will be color swatches to correspond with the color formulas. Select a color swatch for the color that is the shade-range you want, but that compliments your skin tone.
See also:
How to color hair
How bleaching hair works
Hair color and skin tone
Cool and warm hair colors