The downside is it is one of the hardest to dye over with other colours so if you aren't certain try a semi permanent shade. There are some great ones available that won't compromise the condition of your hair.
1. La Riche Directions : Semi-permanent hair colour: Poppy Red (Retails £3.99- £5.99)
This is my number one semi permanent choice. Directions dyes give a great vibrant shade without causing much damage to your hairs condition. It comes in a small pot which can be used for more than one application if your hair is shoulder length or shorter. The colour holds for a number of weeks longer than average semi permanents which means you only really have to redo for bad roots! Poppy Red is one of their brighter red shades (as well as Pillar Box, Vermillion and Fire) but there's also some lovely darker tones. You can find directions online or in most alternative clothing and hair shops. (You can find it here) .
The downside with this however is it does not come with gloves so you'd need to buy your own and it's terrible for staining clothes and carpets!
2. L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss : Semi-permanent hair colour : Berry Red (Retails £5.50- £7.29)
My second choice is far more widely available (which is necessary if you live in a small town like me!) . The result lasts for up to six weeks which is pretty good! It fades well too so you won't end up with a patchy colour. It is a more subdued tone than Directions but would probably be a better choice if you're dying for the first time! The colour bleeding is minimal, which is always a plus. It can be an irritating factor about other red dyes (especially if you run out of dark towels). All in all i was pleased with the colour and result when I used it, the condition seemed pretty good too!
Moving on to something with more staying power...
1. Garnier Olia : Permanent hair colour : Intense Red (Retails £6.50 - £7.99)
A new release and my latest favourite! This is one of the most vibrant colourants I've found on the high street. It gives fantastic coverage and so far the brightness of the shade hasn't faded. Ready in 30 minutes and without a harsh chemical smell, this dye does the job! The colour hasn't transferred either.(My towels are safe- for now!). It is a bit pricier but worth the extra money. It isn't completely perfect though, i found after washing it off, my hair felt quite greasy. Worth doing it the night before if you're dying with an occasion in mind.
2. Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL Colour Intense: Permanent hair colour : Real Red (Retails £3.99-£6.00)
Live was one of the first hair colourants to produce more daring shades before the others all caught on. It produces a good colour result and was a firm favourite of mine until recently. I've had a few experiences where the result was a little patchy on my roots and lighter sections of my hair. I've also noticed the colour itself will bleed for a lot longer than others but this may be a differing factor between the shades.
3. L'oreal Feria Colour 3D : Permanent hair colour : Intense Pure Red (Retails £5.00 - £6.50)
I was in two minds about posting about this one. I've had some really great results previously from it and rated it my second choice if Live was unavailable. However, last time i used it i noticed it was really irritating my scalp. I also lost quite a lot of hair whilst washing it out! It does have more of a chemical smell than the others . If you dye your hair regularly for a colour boost i'd say stay away from this one! But like i said i have had some good results in the past so maybe last time was an unfortunate experience!
Which are your favourites? I have seen that Scwarzkopf have released a new wash in/ wash out bright red which looks really good. I'd be interested in hearing about the result if anyone has tried it!