So, hair history. My hair is light brown and I've been dying it dark for a long time. I've also wanted Red Velvet hair for a long time. First I tried L'oreal Power Reds in R48, over hair that had been dyed a few months prior with John Frieda 4N. Power Reds are popular but also very hit or miss. I was a miss. I got nearly black hair with some red glint in the sun, like cherry coke I guess. Pretty, but not what I wanted.
This is with a flash or else you wouldn't see anything but darkness. It's pretty here, but it was nothing like this unless I was standing still in bright sunlight.
After trying to fade it in the shower for about 2 weeks, I bought Manic Panic Amplified in Vampire Red. Due to the before and after pics on their site, including the unbleached ones, I thought I'd be good. Nope! My hair turned faintly purple with a bit more red in the light. It was actually gorgeous so I left it for awhile. Keep in mind, my hair was DARKER than the pic above shows, before using the MP dye.
Ok, so still not red velvet. After looking at these swatches and their claim to lift dark hair, no pre-bleaching needed, I chose L'oreal Hicolor in Dark Auburn Red with a 30 vol. developer. I didn't really want to but I figured this is better than straight up bleaching. Well, it didn't really work. In fact, in normal light I just have dark brown hair again. In sunlight there's SOME red. I took this literally standing in bright sunlight. I also used Ulta shampoo, conditioner, and glaze for red hair, but the reviews on that are so-so and I'm not sure they really help.