Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Red or Pink Streaks in Black Hair

Q: Could you help me here? My partner wants to put red or pink streaks in black hair. Should she dye all her hair black first or after she has done the red streaks? Her natural color is some sort of brown. We would be grateful for any help as we don't see eye to eye on how is the best way to do it. Like, if you do the black first will the red show up over the black?
A: It's good that you ask about this, as so many people make mistakes in this area. When applying haircolor it's always easier to darken the color than to lighten it. In your situation this means that if you applied the black color all over the hair first, you would have to subsequently pre-lighten (or re-lighten) the streaks you want to make red before you could apply the red color. And depending on the shade of red you desire, you could need to lift the color level significantly.
Hair with red or pink streaks - Michelle Forbes
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Such extreme coloring and bleaching in one procedure can seriously damage the hair and I would not recommend it.
Your best course of action would be to isolate the locks of hair that you want to have red using a foiling technique. Take strips of foil approximately 4 inches wide and use them to protect this hair from the black color. You can separate the hair before adding the red, dye the other hair black and then do the red streaks, or create the red streaks as you desire them and use the foils to protect them while you dye the rest of your hair black.
You'll want to be very careful to avoid color bleed at the scalp area when doing the color. For this process, you'll want to use a mixing bowl and color applicator brush to apply the haircolor. It gives you better control over where the color is placed. Also, be sure you use a cream developer to make sure the color mix is a thick as possible (also for control purposes).
As mentioned earlier, depending on the red or pink color you want for the streaks, you may have to lighten the hair first before applying the red color. You can use the foiling technique to accomplish this as well. Just be sure not to drip any of the hair bleach on the already dyed hair.
Related posts:
How to apply hair color
Hair coloring and damage to the hair
Technique to apply foils for highlights
Bleeding hair color