Spring/Summer Color: My New Copper Red Natural Hair

Hello, lovelies! So things have changed a bit since we last saw each other…I’m a redhead again! But this time we went for a bright copper for spring and summer rather than my burgundy from last year. My inspiration was SZA, who is BAE in all things music and fashion. She rocked some copper red hair awhile back that gave me LIFE and I eventually decided I needed some version of that color on my head. It was a long day, but I loved the results and I’m happy with my choice.

Wanna see how I got this look? Keep reading!

My inspo for my new do! Pretty spot on, isn’t it?

I practice what I preach. I always recommend going to a stylist for any serious chemical alterations to your hair — relaxer, bleach, etc. ESPECIALLY if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m great at styling my curls, but I am fully aware I’m all thumbs when it comes to doing anything drastic to them at home, and unlike some brave souls, I’m not willing to risk the health of my hair to experiment and figure everything out. I’d rather get it right the first time, with my stylist who has built years of trust with me.

So I went back to Jasmine, the same stylist who did my burgundy back in the day and who has been caring for me and my mom’s hair for years. Mom and I decided to go the Friday before Mother’s Day and make a mother/daughter girls day out of it. I had been keeping my hair in a bun to get it out of the way, so when we got there I took that bun down and attempted to separate my dry, stretched hair. When I got it somewhat presentable, I asked my mom to help me do a length check shot, which could also function as a “before” pic.

That thickness though…

As you can see, I’ve made a lot of progress with my length journey! My hair is not too far from hitting bra strap length, which I’m very, very excited about! I’ve been taking good care of it and babying the ends, particularly in the last couple of months, so it was wonderful to see my hard work pay off.

Next, my stylist gently brushed my hair out with a paddle brush, blow dried it semi straight, and then flat ironed it on low heat with very few passes to give my hair the stretch it needed so she could give me a MUCH needed trim. I trim my hair at home with my own shears, but I still believe it is necessary to have professional trims done by a stylist at least twice a year. Why? Because stylist shears are far more expensive (think $200-$300) than the $12 shears I got from Amazon, and as a result they are more precise. Stylists are also able to cut your hair into a shape as they trim, ensuring your hair falls nicely around your face when you wear it curly. My hair looks best with a few layers up top, so she cut those in and left the bottom layers of my hair long. As a result, I lost very little hair, less than half an inch in most areas. But despite the very small length change, my hair felt noticeably better than it had when we started. Having recently washed my hair, I can tell you detangling was a breeze and I lost a lot less shed hair during the process because my ends were no longer splitting.

My hair after the trim — it was split in two sections and clipped away to prepare for bleaching!

After that was all done, it was time to start the long double process to get my color. My stylist started with bleach first, applying it to my hair and rubbing it into the sections until my hair started to lighten. She didn’t use any foils, and despite this my hair started to lighten within about 10-15 minutes. I’m not 100% sure, since the tests for these sort of things never work for me, but I believe my hair was high porosity even before being bleached, so it took to the process really well.

After having lightened my hair a few levels (it was not a bright blonde, and was not in very long), she rinsed the bleach out and applied a permanent dye to create our base red. The permanent dye was able to simultaneously lift my hair a bit more and deposit color onto my strands. This sat in my hair for about 30-45 minutes. The permanent dye was then rinsed out, and a mixture of several semi-permanent colors (which contained no bleach or peroxide), were added onto my wet hair in the sink to create the perfect copper red that we wanted.

Chillin in the sink, trying to sneak a peek at my color with my phone.

That sat for another 40 minutes or so (told you this was a long process), and was then rinsed out. You’ll notice from the photo above that I did not bleach my roots. This was intentional and requested on my part, because it lowers the risk of the bleach thinning out my hair, and it also creates a more natural transition between my brown skin and this bright red color. I thought if I had the color at my roots as well, it would look a little too unnatural and drastic. Keep in mind I work in a corporate environment and I can’t go too crazy!

After the color had been in for what seemed like forever, it was rinsed with cold water and then styled in a very fluffy wash and go. It’s not the way I normally style my hair, but I enjoyed it at the time and it worked well in the initial photos I took of the color.

A Mother’s Day shot of my mom and me after our hair was done. ❤

Later, I dampened my hair with my spray bottle (I didn’t want to wash it too soon after having it done for fear of stripping the freshly applied color), and applied some EcoStyler Olive Oil Gel on top of the styling products that had been applied in the salon to give my girls more definition and elongation.

 

As you can see from all the pics, this red looks very different depending on what lighting I’m in. At home, it looks like a dark fiery red. In sunlight/bright white electric lights, it looks like more of on orangey copper shade. I love it no matter what angle i see it in and am so happy I made the choice to go back to color. It absolutely comes with risks and it does need to be cared for more thoroughly than virgin hair, but because I’ve done all this before (see my previous experiences with color HERE), I feel confident that I can care for it without much trouble.

Since red colors in general tend to fade and run much faster, I’m taking care to wash with gentler products and to not wash too often. I’ve recently repurchased the DevaCurl Decadence line, which featured in my routine when I last colored my hair, and will be doing a review following my Camille Rose series so that you can see how the products work and decide if they’re right for you!

I hope hearing about my process was helpful to you, and that this helps those of you considering dyeing your hair for the summer!

Have you colored your natural hair before? Did you find your hair became extremely damaged, or harder to care for? Would you do it again? Let me know in the comments!

 

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