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Belting out "Misery Business" and "That's What You Get" in her popular music videos, Hayley Williams rocks as the fiery redheaded singer of Paramore. However, you don't have to be a star to rock her fierce red-do. If you have naturally dark hair, you can't go straight to an unnatural red. First, you have to step into Gwen Stefani's shoes as a platinum blond. Yes, you have to bleach your hair. We're not talking about a crude mixture from your laundry cabinet, but a salon-quality bleach kit, sold at a professional beauty supply store, or included with your red hair dye. Going punky-red is not for the yellow-bellied. If you're up for the challenge, get ready to stop traffic with the flip of your hair.
Going Platinum Blond
Strip down to only your underwear; wrap an old towel around your neck.
Apply a border of petroleum jelly on your skin, along your hairline. This border keeps you from accidentally bleaching your skin. If you get bleach or any hair dye product where it doesn't belong, simply wipe away with a tissue. Protect your hands with plastic or latex gloves.
Mix the bleach powder with the hair developer liquid in a squeeze bottle or in a plastic container. If you mix the bleach in a plastic container, you will need to apply the bleach with a tint brush.
Cover every last strand on your hair with the bleach mixture, but don't rub the bleach into your scalp. Let the bleach set for the specified time on the bottle or per your test strand test.
Rinse your hair under warm water. Wash and condition your hair, per the bleach kit's instructions. Your hair may feel rougher than normal after bleaching, but you can repair it after your dye-job.
Wait at least two days before adding your bold new color to your tresses. Resist the urge to wash your hair during this time. You need your hair's natural oils to prevent scalp irritation, advises Nathaniel Hawkins, a hair stylist for Tresemme.
Prep your bathroom for a blood bath. Red hair dye is messy and it stains. Cover your bathroom with plastic and newspaper.
Spray a light mist of water on the ends of your hair to keep your dryer hair from soaking up too much dye, recommends Jason Backe, the color director for Clairol.
Divide your hair into four or more even sections and secure with dark-colored clips, or at least clips you don't mind turning red.
Protect your skin with petroleum jelly, as before. That gross, greasy feeling is better than blotchy, red stains on your skin. Pull on those gloves and mix your hair dye per the kit's instructions.
Remove one clip and apply your hair dye, either by squeezing from the bottle or by painting on your hair with a tint brush. Even if you squeeze the dye from a bottle, a tint brush can help you apply it more evenly.
Move onto the next section of hair to continue your rock star transformation. Once you've covered your hair in red dye, let the dye sit according to the time revealed by your strand test.
Turn on your favorite tunes. Get ready to take the longest shower of your life. Red hair dye can take over an hour to rinse, depending on the length of your hair. Stay under the warm water until the water runs clear.
Apply your hair kit's conditioning treatment or apply your own deep conditioner. Let the conditioner sit for at least three minutes before you rinse. Do not shampoo. Dry your hair to reveal the new you.
For longer hair, you may need more than one kit of bleach and more than one box of red dye.
Although it may feel a little gross, wait as long as you can to wash your hair after dying; you should then only wash your hair every two to three days. Red hair dye is notorious for washing out. Use an old towel after each shower.
Sleep with an old towel over your pillow. Otherwise, the red may run if you sweat, and ruin your pillowcase.
Pick your wardrobe carefully your first week as a redhead. Go for dark colors as rain or sweat may cause your dye to run and ruin a light-colored collar.
Dye a small strand of your hair with the bleach and red dye to test for possible reactions. If you have the slightest allergic reaction within 24 hours of bleaching or dying that strand, step away from the bottle! That slight reaction becomes magnified once the product is all over your hair. A test strand also allows you to see how long the dye takes to work on your hair.
Throw away any unused bleach or hair dye. You cannot reuse the product, and resealing a bleach mixture may cause it to explode.