Hair Blog: Can You Get Instagram Hair in a Day? How to go From Red to Purple Hair

dye hair purple from red

When I first told someone that I wanted to take my 15 years of dark red hair and make it pastel pink, they told me it wasn’t possible.

When I told my hairdresser that someone told me it wasn’t possible, he knew it was.

Only by doing it properly. And only by getting a professional to do it.

It’s not recommended to have your hair bleached twice in a day – then to be dyed over with a range of colours.

But by using Smartbond by L’oreal Professional and going to Toni & Guy, who are experts in this shit, I knew I was in safe hands. I mean, look what a great job they did before of my hair in this blog post


That’s when I was playing it safe though. And stuck to my red/orange tones.


This time we were going wild.

We took my hair from over-processed, deep red, to a beautiful purple creation in no less than 9 hours.

As I’d booked the day off work we knew we had to make the most of the time. But it’s worth noting that if you want to do this yourself, it is recommended to leave the hair at least a few days in-between bleaching to truly ensure minimal damage.


How we dyed my hair from red to purple in day.

We started off at 8.45am. 
To really lift the hair as much as possible, hair colourist (aka hair MAGICIAN) Tom used a million foils and two strengths of bleach. All mixed with the Smartbond magic.
By putting smaller amounts of hair in the foils, the allowed for them to lift quicker and lighter than thicker sections.
This was the lengthiest part of the process, as we needed it as even as possible as a base for the colours we were going for.
Before the bleaching began, we cut a few inches of hair off, just so it wasn’t using unnecessary product on hair that was going to be cut off anyway!
Once the foils were in and developed, my hair was rinsed and dried.
As some of the top layers, where I lazily home dye my roots, hadn’t lifted as much as the rest of the hair, we had to go back in and freehand some more bleach.
Taking my hair to Hayley Williams levels of yellow, I then had the perfect base for the purple and pink tones I wanted.
bleached red hair

The whole bleaching process took us up to about 3pm. So really not the quickest process in the world, but totally worth it to get my end results.

If we had left the orange and yellow as uneven as it initially went, the washout would be patchy and probably wouldn’t go as pastel toned  when it starts to fade.


Basically, the closer you are to white blonde when going for ‘fashion’ colours the better – but most of us can’t achieve that icy tone!

The purple dye only took around 25 minutes to develop and throughout each stage my hair was being insured with L’oreal Smartbond. I even have a bottle to bring home to replace my Olaplex. So I’ll have to see how they compare!

As I’m weening myself off years of hair extensions, I wanted a really dramatic cut to make the whole style completely different to what I’ve been used to.

Opting for a blunt long bob, my hair instantly looked thicker and bouncier – solidifying that I’ve made the right decision to go for the transformation.

It’s so quick to dry and style now, I don’t know why I didn’t make the change sooner.

Things to Consider When Going For ‘Instagram Hair’

I keep calling my hair instagram hair, as that’s where you tend to get hair envy from what seems to be unbelievable pastel tones and bright poppin’ colours. I kind of can’t believe it’s MINE. Anyway, there are a few things to consider before taking a plunge like this:

It’s not quick. As mentioned, my hair took 9 hours in a day, but you’re probably looking at at least 2 weeks of the process if you do it *properly* or at a hairdressers that doesn’t use Smartbond.

⇀ It’s not cheap. To make a drastic change such as this you may be looking at around £250. Mine of course, included the time of 2 colourists and a stylist. But once you do the big effort at the start your follow up costs are much cheaper.

⇀ Invest in hair care! As these types of colours do fade quickly you need to ensure you hair is in the best condition it can be to preserve the colours. Invest in super moisturising shampoos and make sure you get your Smartbond for home use!!


Disclaimer: My hair transformation was courtesy of Toni & Guy Newcastle Under Lyme.



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