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/ November 19, 2013

Strawberry Blonde Hair: My Epic Journey

Like Game of Thrones?  Well here’s another epic life adventure story for you.  Strawberry Blonde Hair:  My Epic Journey From Too Blonde to Too Red and Everywhere In Between.

Anyone who has tried to color their hair strawberry blonde probably knows what I’m talking about.  I’ve been too blonde, too red, way too red, too brassy.  Then there have been times where I’ve used the same exact color and gotten a totally different result.   Doing your color on your own can be frustrating, so I want to show what formulas and brands I’ve used and the results I’ve gotten, to hopefully help you skip some of that frustration.

Make sure you check out my latest Strawberry Blonde post, for my current (and all-time favorite) formula.



My hair is past my shoulder blades.  I usually require two boxes to saturate my hair. 

Also, my hair is about 90% grey.  Yikes.  I know!  (Now you have ALL my secrets!)  I started to go grey at 20, so color generally comes out a bit lighter on me than if I had no greys.  If you have no or less grey in your hair, your color will probably come out darker or more red than mine. 

My hair used to be a light reddish brown, level 6-7 before going grey.


If it’s your first time going strawberry blonde and you are either dark brown or platinum blonde, I highly recommend going to a professional colorist, who can color correct the dyed hair.  From there, you can touch up your own roots going forward, but you’ll have a good base.  For golden blondes, this post on transitioning from darker blonde to strawberry blonde hair might be helpful.

L’Oreal Excellence Reddish Blonde:

This was been my go-to color for years.  It does come out more blonde than red on me.  The red starts to really fade about 3 weeks in, depending on how much you wash your hair and what shampoo/conditioner you use.

L’Oreal Excellence Reddish Blonde day after coloring.
L’Oreal Excellence Reddish Blonde right after coloring, different lighting.
L’Oreal Excellence Reddish Blonde after a couple weeks post coloring.

L’Oreal Excellence Red Penny:

I decided that I wanted my hair to have a little more red in it, so I tried Red Penny.  This shade came out just too red for me.  It wasn’t as natural looking as the Reddish Blonde shade.

Update: Red Penny has been discontinued.

L’Oreal Excellence Red Penny

So…one day I decided to combine the two shades to see what result I would get.

L’Oreal Excellence Reddish Blonde mixed with Red Penny:

I loved it!  It was a really pretty shade of strawberry blonde with just the right amount of red to blonde ratio for me.  I combined the two boxes in a hair color mixing bowl and use a pin tail brush to apply the color. 

After really mixing the shades up, I used the brush to paint the color on my roots.  I ran it through the rest of my hair for the last ten minutes.

L’Oreal Excellence Red Penny & Reddish Blonde combined.

My favorite result from at home color so far!!

My favorite strawberry blonde shade so far!

I have tried a lot of brands, but L’Oreal Excellence remains my favorite.  It’s affordable and the color range is my favorite.

*Update* Full post on how to get this color at home {HERE}

AGEbeautiful Color from Sally’s Beauty:

I tried the 7RC Dark Strawberry Blonde and was so disappointed with it.  The color came out so, so dark.  More like a light brown than a blonde.  And the color had a metallic sheen to it.  I wouldn’t have totally disliked the color if it had just been too dark, but the metallic finish was too much. 

It’s hard to describe, in pictures it looks ok, but when my friends saw it in person they all said “woah, its SO red.”  I tried to lighten it by using the 9RC Light Strawberry Blonde Blonde a few weeks later, but you can’t lighten color with color (which I knew but tried anyway because the HEART WANTS WHAT THE HEART WANTS.) 

It’s a shame their reds are so metallic, because the hair dye itself made the condition of my hair feel amazing.  It was really silky after coloring and didn’t feel dried out.

AGEbeautiful Dark Strawberry Blonde
AGEbeautiful Dark Strawberry Blonde

Wella Color:

I was a hair model for a stylist who used Wella color and I thought their line of color was really impressive.  I don’t know exactly which shades she used, but it was a pretty, soft strawberry blonde.

*Update* I currently use the Wella Color Charm line, full details on my formula in this post.

Wella Strawberry Blonde

Aveda Copper:

I was also a hair model for Aveda for a few of their hair shows.  They colored my hair a medium copper.  It looked pretty, but I personally like my hair a little more strawberry blonde than red.

Check out this post for a copper formula.

Aveda Copper
Fun, crazy hair for the show!

*Update* I have been doing my hair at home full time with the Wella Color Charm formula from this post


I hope this post helps, whether you are considering doing your color on your own or just need some color inspiration for the salon.  Let me know if you need any advice or have questions!!

Continue Reading: PART TWO POST!  Updated with more colors & brands that I’ve tried.


Wondering which makeup shades look best with Strawberry Blonde Hair?  Check out this post for my go-to products and shades.




Also, after years of not being able to find Strawberry Blonde hair extensions, I came out with my own line!

They are super silky, 100% human hair,  and last twice as long as most clip-in extensions.  Most extensions last about 3 months with normal wear and heat-styling.  Mine last 6 months or more.  The quality is amazing.  And most importantly, the strawberry blonde shades were matched right off my own hair color, so you can find red extensions that match right out of the box!!

The website for them is




Thank you for reading and being a part of the blog!  – Molly

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  1. Hi! Your hair is gorgeous!! Since the red penny has been discontinued, what shade of L’Oréal do you mix with the 8RB?

  2. Have you tried s 9RO? I’ve been doing hair 18 years and this has been my most beautiful strawberry blonde on level 5 hair wish I could post the photo! You can see it on my Facebook Hair By Teresa

  3. Hi Molly, I wanted to know what color hair you had.before you put on teh 8G/8RG combo- was it brown or blonde? I have very palen (almost ashey) blonde hair, (with bleach) and med-light (slightly golden) brown hair underneith. I want to cover my blonde with some red color because i dont want to keep using bleach- my hair is fine and its damaging it. just wondered what color you had previously to achieve that final color. Its a bit too expensive at a solon, and i do love the color you have!

  4. Hello there! So my hair is naturally strawberry blonde. As a child I was a vived strawberry, but over the years the colour has seemed to dull into a muggy, rusty colour. Do you have any idea why, or is this just because of age?

  5. Hi,
    I have got another request… Where do you buy your clothes mainly? Especially the blue shirt pleased me very much. It may not be available anymore, but just curious to know…thank you

  6. Just being honest, I followed your instructions for mixing the reddish blonde and red made me look like a clown.

    • Hi Beth,

      Sorry to hear that you weren’t happy with the results. Hair color does really vary so much based on what you are starting with as a base.

      As much as I loved the L’Oreal formula and their red shades, I do find that they fade quickly, so I had to add the Red Penny to the mix, which resulted in hair that was a bit too red the first week or so before it began to fade.

      Since I have switched over to using the Wella Color Charm, I’ve found that I have a lot ore control over the tones I add. I can add more brown or blonde to the red as needed to tone it down. I posted these formulas in Strawberry Blonde Part 3. I hope this helps, I do truly want everyone to love the color they end up with!

      xo – Molly

  7. I was wondering if any Canadian readers have some guidance as to the crossover shades available here. In the L’Oreal Excellence Crème line, the closest I could find to the ‘Reddish Blonde’ is ‘C34 Copper Blonde’. The shade appears to be the same, and it’s the exact same woman/hairstyle on the front of the box, however the shade name differs. As for the ‘Red Penny’, the closest equivalent appears to be the ‘E6 Light Auburn Brown’ ?
    Would appreciate any advice.
    Here is the link for L’Oreal Canada Excellence colour palette

    • Did you ever figure out how close these shades are? I usually use 8rb but they haven’t shipped it from the states yet and I bought C34 and am nervous it will be a different shade.

  8. This is great. Question, when you have been too red, how did you get back to strawberry blonde?? I am WAY TOO RED after first attempt in a salon of going from blonde to strawberry. I wanted either Claire Danes or Emma Stone and I am more Julianne Moore. So disappointed and frustrated 🙁

    • Hi Michelle, Sorry to hear that! I’ve definitely had those times where my hair has been too red. I wrote a whole post on it: . I find that the key is to not baby the hair. Use a clarifying and violet shampoo and within a few washes it generally fades. Then next time I make sure my formula is more blonde than red. I hope this helps! xo – Molly

  9. My favorite on you was when you mixed the two loreal colors…gorgeous !!! I can also relate- went white in my 20’s too, now I am a light blonde.

  10. Can’t say THANK YOU enough for all of the great tips in your strawberry blonde posts!! 🙂 After a string of salon disappointments I tried the Reddish Blonde/Red Penny combo and it’s perfect! Might even try the Wella combo next, now that I’m feeling confident about coloring on my own

    • Oh, I’m so happy to hear that! So glad it helped you. And yes, try the Wella, I think you’ll really love it 🙂

      • Thank you so much for the tutorial and brave enough to publicly share your journey! After years of salon dyeing my natural red hair, I’ve had everything from blonde to brunette, and now I am sandy blonde with red, I guess a toned down true strawberry blonde. I’m currently a level 8NG Sand Blonde with a hint of red and the roots are 8-9 weeks old. I’ve decided to give Wella Color Charm a try at home. I went down to Sally’s and upon some consultation with the manager, purchased a 9NG Sand Blonde (she said it will darken after adding the 8RG) and plan on mixing it with half of the 8RG Titian Red Blonde with the 20 Volume Cream Developer. I’ve never dyed my own hair and am terrified. Any last words of wisdom before I take the plunge?

        • Please let us know how it turned out. That is close to the combination I purchased the other day (8NG, 8RG and 20v). I have naturally medium brown hair with golden blong highlights but in a moment of weakness dyed my hair a darker red shade with a box of Natural Instincts. Can’t wash it our fast enough. I really want to dye my hair but scared my highlights will turn pink :/

  11. i was curious which shade is it or what colors did you use for the top photo at the top of the blog, in white with the gorgeous hair , lighting n makeup? would love to know which one u used for that one 🙂

    • Hi Melissa,

      That color was done by a stylist years ago and I don’t know what he used – sorry! But I think the photographer also retouched the color a bit 😉 The closest I’ve come to recreating it is with the L’Oreal INOA colors from “Part 3” post. I hope this helps!


  12. Your blog is THE BEST for strawberry blondes. I just had mine done by a pro but it came out too dark and more cherry than strawberry. How did you deal when your experiments came out darker than you wanted! Did anything work to lighten it? I am not known for my patience and I hate having hair that looks clearly un-natural.

  13. Hi! So I’ve had medium copper red hair (over natural dark brown hair) for the past few months, and I’ve been wanting to go lighter to possibly a strawberry blonde or light auburn/copper, but I’ve been afraid of adding bleach to it without it looking pink/orange. I am in love with your strawberry blonde hair! Is it even possible to achieve your hair color from my copper red hair? Thanks!

  14. I have naturally strawberry blond hair, so my roots are coming in a really pretty color. But the rest of my hair is like a mixture of auburn and dark brown. Do you have any tips, that might help me in fixing the rest of my hair while it grows out? I already did a pixie at the beginning of the year, and my hair is now at a bob length, but still pretty dark because I kept dying it brown…sigh

    • If you have a Sally’s in your area. I strongly recommend trying Hair Gloss in light golden blonde and apply only to your darker areas. I know sounds scary but its a Gloss, not a dye. It lasts 5 weeks. Too describe its effect to you would be.. Imagine a vibrant not intrusively but a golden clear shimmered effect being added to your strands, safe to do 2xs till desired effect. Note: wait a few shampoos cuz it will Gracefully lighten ur darker parts within a few washes then Halting. Bonus: great to use all over between colors cuz conditions and tricks eyes to not see grey or roots but healthy golden shimmery and mixed with red makes strawberry blonde grow out not so high maintenance 🙂

      • Great advice, thank you! Have you tried it on your hair? Can you tag me in a pic on Instagram – @girlgetglamorous. Thank you for sharing!!

      • Great advice, thank you! Have you tried it on your hair? Can you tag me in a pic on Instagram – @girlgetglamorous. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Hi there! I’ve had highlights put in before (I always have someone do these for me, I’m too scared to highlight at home) when my hair has come out too dark and it made it the perfect strawberry blonde shade! So I highly recommend trying some highlights to lighten the dark ends to match your lighter roots. I hope this helps!

  15. You should give the koleston perfect line a go. I usually mix 3 parts 9/03, 0.5 part 8/43 and 0.5 part 8/34. Comesa out flawless every time! My hair is a level 7 naturally.

  16. thank you so much for this. i am naturally a ginger with a small hintif blonde and i always found that strawberry blonde is gorgeous. so i dyed my hair once and it was to vibrant orange last year. this is my second time dying my hair and i mixed two colors. lightest auburn and light reddish penny bc i couldn’t find the colors at my store but im in love with this color. thank you so much ❤️

    • I’m so glad you got a color you love! I’ve always been curious about that L’Oreal Lighest Auburn, it’s the one shade I never tried!!

  17. Thank you so much for this post! I’m trying this tonight!!! I’ve tried so many different hair dyes and the color is never right but I LOVE how yours came out and i’m hoping mine comes out the same!

  18. Love your hair color with the mix. I really want to try it, but honestly…the Reddish Blonde 8RB doesn’t look blonde at all on the box. Then, mixing it with an even darker red…scares me. The ultimate look I want is of the “Light Reddish Blond” with darker streaks of red.

    My hair is already a light/dirty blonde mix. I was thinking of trying the light and mixing with the medium/8rb. What are your thoughts? I know results are different for us all….

    Thank you!!

    • Hmm, this is tricky to figure out. I’m not a hairdresser, but I would try just the Reddish Blonde and not add the Red Penny because it does come out really red the first couple of days. Or check out my second post on Strawberry Blonde Hair and maybe try the Titian Blonde and Golden Blonde combo? That might work well for you…

      • Thanks so much for your reply. I think I might try that first. Less drastic the first time around is probably best. No matter what, it will grow out! I want CHANGE and this looks like fun. Thanks for your input. 🙂

  19. I live in New Zealand and I think we have a very limited range of colours….anyway tonight I will take a look for these colours you have mentioned. Naturally my hair is like a tabby cat, I suit basically all the colours but especially blonde and red. So I think this colour will look fantastic 😀 thanks for posting this…you have helped me with my decision. Will post again once I’m finished!!! btw your hair looks beautiful this strawberry blonde colour!

  20. I absolutely love your hair! I like the strawberry blonde that You DIY. Although I did like what the salon did I’m one to try out things for ourselves especially when money is tight and we are being creative. I’ve had a sylist for five years that was absolutely wonderful! All was over when i lost my job and my hair naturally did an ombre look, I became very creative and educating myself. I gotta say it’s my favorite thing to play with different colors for my hair, we only live once why not? 🙂

    Keep posting and sharing

    • Thank you, you are so sweet! I do love coloring and playing with my hair at home too. It’s so much fun, even though I love my hairdresser. But I also love being able to share and help other women who want to go strawberry blonde with all the shades I have tried. I’ve tried so much I have to share it!!

  21. I love love love your blog! I’ve really been wanting to go strawberry blonde lately. However, I have to bleach my hair to be able to do so. I’ve been contemplating which color to use though. I really like the loreal reddish blonde color! I’m worried that (especially with bleaching) it will fade quickly. I also really like the titan red blonde on its own, but I’m worried this color would be too red for what I want. I know yours was more red because the vibrant red you had before hand, do you think mine would be more or less of a red because of the bleaching? Finally, I also really like the titan red blonde mixed with the light golden blonde. Again, I’m concerned with the amount of red there will be, though this color does look close to the loreal reddish blonde. Plus it would fade a little quicker than normal because of the bleaching. What do you think my best bet is? Oh, and sadly, salon is not an option at the moment. 🙁

    • Hi Kaitlin, sorry I just saw this somehow! I think the Wella might be a good choice for you if you are concerned about fading. I would say try the Well Titian with Golden Blonde and maybe only use 1.5oz of the Golden Blonde with 2 oz (Full tube) of the Titian Blonde. (plus 7 oz developer) The Wella has been great for me, with minimal fading. If you want your color to be more golden, do full tubes of both shades (plus 8 oz developer). I hope this helps!!

  22. I’m just fascinated with your blog like the rest of the girls and feel very grateful with you for sharing your secrets. I’ve also been coloring my hair since I was 17 now I’m 57!!. I like the red/blonde and have tried many colors and combinations at the salon and at home. I just bought a Dark Red Blonde and a Medium Tangerine Blonde from Sally’s and I’m planning to use a 30 crème developer. My natural hair is dark brown and right now is a faded Medium Reddish blonde (looks more like a Light Copperish). I want it to be Strawberry Blonde but I can’t seem to get at it regardless of where I do it or the product I use. I was doing research to see if I could mix these colors or just alternate them when I was lucky enough to come across your Blog! You are very attractive and look SUPER in all the different shades. I particularly like the color on your first picture (dress in white) then the one for the show (dress in black). Well…wish me luck on this experiment!
    and thanks again for sharing so much info!

    • Thank you, so many nice compliments!! So glad this post is helpful. Let me know how your hair comes out. I just posted a new post on strawberry blonde hair at home using Wella Color charm from Sally’s. You might like that one too. Let me know which combo you go for!

  23. Hi! Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m naturally a warm strawberry blonde/copper red and had to start coloring a few years ago to cover my grey (I’m 41). I too have tried tons of strawberry/red colors and they are always either too light or too dark. This winter I found loreal ginger twist which is the right for family but still too dark (but better with the highlights provided). I was considering mixing the ginger twist with loreal light reddish blonde to get the color I want. Your post has inspired me to go for it! Wish me luck!

    • I hope it goes well! I also just updated this post with the “Part 2”. I’ve been using Wella Color Charm and love the results. Let me know which one you do! With either brand, I think mixing is the way to go, it’s given me the most natural results. So glad you found the blog!!


  24. Hi Molly!

    Super helpful post, thank you. And it’s been said a million times but your hair is lovely!

    Wondering if you have any advice for me. I have naturally mousy light red hair, but it’s dull and not vibrant which is why I started dying in the first place. I had success dying my hair auburn on my own for a while but had a bright red mishap and started going to Aveda Institute in West LA. They’ve always done a pretty good job with my auburn but now I want to go back to light red/strawberry blonde. Well I had strawberry blonde highlights done there the other day (they didn’t want to bleach my whole head to go back to light red, they said better to do a little at a time), and it’s just not the light red/strawberry I was hoping for.

    My auburn has faded quite a bit so now I’m more of a medium red with the highlights (which like I said aren’t super noticeable). Is it possible to put your color combo over what I have or will that not work? You mentioned you’ve tried lots of different reds and blondes, did you just keep dying over or did you strip the color in between?

    Also, since I’m in LA too, do you mind if I ask a ballpark of what your stylist at Art Lab charges? The color is gorgeous! And when you get colored by him, do you use your box color/combo for roots so it’s not so expensive every 6 weeks?

    Thanks so much!!!!


    • Hi Stephanie,

      Thank you for the compliment! I have had so many a hair mishap as well, so I feel you on this question! I actually used to be a hair model for Aveda, so I remember their line of color, they do have a nice range of coppers and auburns. I have always just done color over color, never stripped in between. There was a faint strip at the roots that was a slightly different shade than the rest of the hair the first time I went back to strawberry blonde. But that was the the first time.

      I am working on a new post that will be up within the next week about Wella Color Charm. It will be my Epic Journey Part 2 post! I am experimenting and loving the strawberry blondes from them. I will try and hurry up with the post so you can see the color combos I tried and see if one might work for you. I think even if you have someone else do the strawberry blonde for you, you could keep the roots up yourself.

      I believe Artlab starts at $70 for base color and $90 for highlights. I have been doing my own color lately for the Part 2 post, but when I get my color done by Jonathan, I do sometimes touch up my roots at home. Which I’m sure is a stylist’s nightmare because all formulas are so different 🙂

      I hope this helps and I will have the other post up as soon as I get write it!


  25. Do you think the color works better on blonde hair. Or can the hair be a dark brown? I am asking because I am going to dye some extensions and need to know if I should just buy blonde hair and color it with this brand to make it easier? Please answer! 🙂

    • What is your natural color? From my experience, my strawberry blonde color came out much brighter when I colored my light blonde extensions then when I colored my hair with the same dye, because my hair is light brown naturally. So I probably should have gotten extensions the same color as my natural color and dyed them (but my old extensions were free so I wasn’t about to go wasting $$, haha). I don’t know of the dye will lighten hair that is too dark (you’d need to start adding bleach, etc.) but on lighter brown extensions it should work. I really hope this helps, let me know if anything doesn’t seem clear!! 🙂 Molly

  26. This post is awesome and so informative! I just have one question- for the reddish blonde from l’oreal are you using the light reddish blonde (level 9) or the medium reddish blonde (level 8) I did a google search and those were both “reddish blonde” from that brand.


  27. Ok so I took the plunge And got the same colors for your strawberry blonde….all I can say is wow! I was super nervous I’ve never been anything but blonde…this is my favorite color on earth….it brings out such pink/peachiness in my face…I looke alive! Awesome combo…thanks so much for your advice!

  28. Hi,
    Beautiful hair!!!

    I have always admired strawberry blonde hair color. I would like it on myself but I’m not so sure it would be a good idea for a few reasons. Wondering what you think…

    1.) natural hair color is light ash brown
    2.) my eyes are light grey-blue
    3.) my skin is very fair with a few freckles on face

    I’m rather cool-toned. It seems half articles I’ve read from even stylists say if you’re cool always stay cool hair. The other half says soft warm tones for pale cool tones. And then there are the ones that say the only red hair for me would be strawberry blonde. I know not to rely on that but still confusing. I have looked ok in golden browns before so I don’t know.

    I’d be going to a salon but I’m sort of scared if they mess it up or make it too brassy … I’ve held up swatches to my face before and they haven’t looked bad. I’d be going after something dark or medium blonde level.

    Any thoughts on it? I mean without seeing me.

    Thanks so much. You are so gorgeous and your hair is such a nice color!

    • I go anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks in between coloring, depending on how much my color has faded. In the summer, with the sun being so intense, I do feel like I have to color every 4 weeks. I use Rita Hazan root spray in between, when my roots start showing.

      • My roots start showing after a week and a half, by the end of week two O can’t take it anymore. What exactly does the Rita Hazan spray do?

      • I posted a question but I don’t see it so I’m trying again…I want to do your at home strawberry blonde..I currently have bleached blonde highlighted hair with about an inch of dirty blonde roots my end are dry and pourus so should I do 20 mins then put the rest on my ends after ? Or all at once and start timing from whe I put color in

        • Hmm. I am not a hair colorist, so I’m kind of stumped on this one and don’t want to tell you the wrong thing!! The last two times I colored my hair at home, I put coconut oil (I get it from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) on the last two inches of my hair because my ends are really dry. It soaks into the ends, then for the last ten minutes I pull the color all the way through. So I’d recommend that, and doing 20 min on your roots, then the last ten minutes on your ends, but the coconut oil will help so that your ends come out conditioned and healthy looking. I hope this helps!

      • I currently have bleached blonde highlighted hair with about an inch of dirty blonde natural roots coming through no grey..I want to use you’re exact combo so should i follow your directions exactt and pull color through my ends the last ten minutes? The bottom half of my hair is kind of dry and pourus

  29. I just recently used the Reddish Blonde dye in my hair (thank you for the suggestion) and absolutely love the color! My hair was pretty much platinum blonde before I dyed it. I was just wondering what your suggestion would be as far as shampoo to use and how often to shampoo in order to preserve the color. I’ve been red before and had to redye my hair like once a week in order to keep the right color.

    • I’m glad the Reddish Blonde worked for you! I’m working on a whole post about preserving hair color, but for shampoos and conditioners I really like Kerastase and Living Proof products. On the drugstore end, I really like Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Anti-Breakage shampoo and conditioner. And I use medium to medium-cool heat water. I hope this helps!!

  30. wow I cant tell you how excited I am that I found this post!!!!! I myself have used the lighter reddish blonde but the color just wasn’t rich enough for me but I was too scared to used the darker one but I will definitely try mixing it with red penny. I just recently died my hair with one of their warm blonds I cant remember the name but all the warmth is washed out. I was wondering if it would be okay to just try this combo right away or if I should wait a bit and if I DO go ahead and dye it now should I do my roots first and my ends for ten minutes or just put the color all over for the full 30 minutes?

    • I’m so glad you found this post helpful!! This combo seems to really work for me. Hopefully it will for you too! I would try 15 minutes on your roots and 15 pulling it through the ends for 30 min total. It comes out more red than strawberry blonde the first couple of days/washes then it is a beautiful strawberry blonde. Mine needs to be colored really badly right now and it’s a very light strawberry blonde. I hope all this helps!!

      • Have you ever gotten your hair colored and turned out kind of orange? Mine is pretty vibrant orange right now. I’m going to California in a week and I would like it to shift to a soft strawberry blonde.

        • I sometimes think mine comes out a too orange (the base is red-orange) but I haven’t had vibrant orange. I might do a consult with a hair dresser and maybe have them do the strawberry blonde for you, then you can keep the roots up yourself. Just so it def comes out the shade you want for your trip. I wish I could be more helpful for a do-it-yourself route, but I also want it to look great for you and I don’t want to tell you the wrong thing!!

  31. I have naturally strawberry blonde hair, but in high school wanted a bit more red to it so started dying it once I got to college. I’ve been through a ton of bad dyes and bad salons in order to find the right color! This is so hopeful and I wish I would’ve found it sooner! Now when I dye my hair, my roots come in super blonde/gray since my hair has been bleached to get bad red dye out. My hair was so damaged and is finally returning back to healthy. I’m trying not to dye my hair every few weeks like I (stupidly) did before. But now, my roots are terrible. The rest of my hair is still a beautiful color though. So tonight I would like to purchase some color to touch up my roots and this will be my first time. I’m going to go with your use of Reddish Blonde & Red Penny! Do you have any advice/recommendations for how I should apply the color to my hair, how long I should leave it on, and if I should pull it through the rest of my hair? I also have extensions that are almost exactly my hair color. Should I let the color sit on them for a while also?

    Thank you for the help! And your hair is beautiful!

    • I’m so glad this is helpful to you!! 1: You might want to try the root spray I reviewed here. It helps me stretch time in between coloring so my roots don’t look gross and my hair gets less damage from coloring. This spray has been a life saver for me!

      2: I just filmed a tutorial on how I do this coloring, editing it now (editing is not my strongest suit – could take a while!) I bought a hair color mixing bottle from Sally’s Beauty ( I think it was $3 and it is reusable, just rinse it after use). It looks exactly like the kind that comes in a coloring kit, except it’s twice the size, because it has to hold double the amount of color. I poured the developer bottles from both boxes in there, then added both tubes of color. I shook it up for almost a minute straight to really get the color mixed well. Then I did my roots first and pulled the rest of the color through during the last ten minutes. I would pull the color through your extensions as well for the last ten minutes. Also, after you wash the color out, this combo can look more reddish than strawberry blonde, but if you wash it once or twice, it settles to the perfect shade (for me at least).

      Also, I always buy 2 boxes of Reddish Blonde and 2 boxes of Red Penny at a time (and when they are on sale I clean out the shelves – lol). That way, in case I need more color (my hair is thick and when I had extensions I always used a ton of color to get all the extensions saturated). Just mix two boxes first, and if you don’t need the second ones then you are all stocked up for next time 🙂 It’s my safety net!

      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions about how I do this color. And thank you for the compliment, that is really sweet of you to say!


  32. Thank you so much for this post! You have the most gorgeous hair! My hair has been just about every color under the sun, and I have had it done in the salon as well as on my own from a box. I would LOVE to try this gorgeous cocktail of Red Penny/Reddish Blonde, but I have a question. I went to Loreal’s website and they seem to have a Medium and a Light Reddish Blonde. Any idea what the exact shade is? Thanks so much.

    • I’m so glad this helps!! I use Reddish Blonde and Red Penny. I’ve tried the Light Reddish Blonde and it’s so pretty but ultimately the Reddish Blonde (8RB is the number on the box) just fits my complexion the best. 🙂 I just filmed a video on how I do this, hopefully I can get up edited soon!

  33. I’m so excited to have found your blog! I, too, started going gray at age 20 and by age 38 was 90% gray — which is approximately where I am now at age 60. At my daughter-in-law’s urging, I tried becoming a redhead last year. I not only loved what it did to my complexion and outlook but best of all, my husband LOVED it! What I did NOT love was the horribly dramatic white stripe that seemed to appear within a week of my salon-applied color as well as the cost and time required for upkeep. I’m blushing to admit I didn’t even CONSIDER taking care of the roots myself. It seemed to me that the red was such a dramatic change from my gray/white/blah and I assumed that only a professionally trained colorist could take care of it! Your blog has not only given me the final push I needed to try going red again but to take care of the roots myself. I am grateful for the inspiration you’ve provided!
    The various tones of red you illustrated with your photographs were quite helpful to see. However, I must tell you that I truly think almost ALL the shades of red looked wonderful against your skin tone. In fact, the shade which your friends responded to as “WAYYYY too red” looked rather stunning to me! You are able to carry the “glamour” look in a way that is also very fresh, alive, and natural (“natural” in the sense that it seems to express your essence and personality). That you have worked as a hair model comes as no surprise!
    Though I am older than you and I live a very different type of life (I am a decidedly UN-glamorous retired kindergarten teacher and author of children’s educational materials! LOL!), I think the red shades of hair color seem to capture my own “inner self”, too! My spirited, happy soul and inner exuberance seem perfectly at ease with the warmth and bright tones of strawberry blonde to which I aspire!
    I posted some photos of my initial foray into life as a redhead on Pinterest. I’d welcome your input and will share the address if you are interested. In the meantime, this morning I’m going to make a “first appointment available” at a well-respected, local salon and plan to start the new year as a redhead once again—-and THIS time, I will NOT give up and go back to gray!! (fingers crossed!)

      • Hi I live in uk I love your hair colour but the problem I could find the colour here in uk can you please give me advice for another hair dye mix strawberry blonde thanks

        • Hi there, I’m not sure the different brands in the UK, but you could go to a beauty supply store that sells color and ask for a natural or golden light blonde and a shade that is a red blonde and mix the two for a perfect strawberry blonde. I hope this helps!

  34. Molly! Thank you so much for this post! I have been NEVER been able to get the right strawberry blonde in the salon or at home. I am going to try the Red Penny and Reddish Blonde mixed next time! You have gorgeous hair – wish I could go see Jonathan! 🙂

    • Thank you!! I’m so happy you found my blog, hopefully it will help you!! I was getting so frustrated too, my hair was always coming out too blonde, not enough strawberry. Let me know if this combo works for you!

      • Does the loreal excellence nateral reddish blonde come in more blonde then red? It is abit of orangish colour it looks, I’m scared it will make my hair orange. I want it to be more blonde and have red highlights like your other picture after 3 weeks of fading!!! The box you normally use is more of a red colour is that just because there is more red in that box? And more blonde in the lighter reddish blonde box so that’s why it looks more orange? I’m really scared to die my hair but I really want it to look just like your hair. Right now my hair is dirty blonde and has grey in it (a huge mix up, I had platinum hair and died it ash blonde but I geuss you cant with platinum hair because it will turn it grey!!! So I got another box a light brown colour and now hair is a dirty blonde grey :S I heard red cancels the grey out so I am gonna try strawberry blonde cause I’ve always wanted it to do it 🙂

      • Hello! I was just wondering if after you tried to lighten it up with the level 9 color and it didn’t work, how did you get it lighter? Did you have to bleach wash it? Mine is too dark right now want it more strawberry blonde than fake red. Ugh struggle:(

        • Hi Lena, I wish I would be more help, but my hair is naturally grey now, like 95% grey. So I’m not sure if you would have to bleach it. Maybe a higher level developer, a level 30, could lighten your hair. I’d check at Sally’s, they usually have someone on the staff who is licensed to color hair and can help. xo – Molly

      • I didn’t not to go to red wanted a soft strawberry blonde so I got Nordic blonde and Titan red. What do you think of this combo? Your input would fantastic.

        • Hi Jamie,

          I’ve never tried this combo, but to get a less red finish, I’d only use at most a half of a tube of the Titian Blonde to a full tube of a Blonde shade. I’d swatch this combo first on a piece of hair from the underside of your head just to make sure it doesn’t turn pink with the super light blonde shade. But definitely using less of the Titian Blonde will give you more of a strawberry blonde than a red shade 🙂 I hope this helps and good luck!


          • Hi..we don’t have the same hair colors here in the uk…so today I mixed a nice & easy 8wr (108) with 9g, I had just put a 8wr on by itself a good month roots needed doing so went for gold..mixed both boxes. .on the roots for 20min.then 5 min on the end…result brilliant a lovely strawberry blonde.that I’ve wanted for years…Thank you for you blog…mary

          • Using the Nordic didn’t give what I thought it would. It’s not strawberry really it’s a red shade. How would I fix it put a blonde over it or a toner? I’d dhow a pic but you can’t on here. Thankyou for your advice. I love your blog and input!

          • * and by “to a full tube” I mean: mix half a tube of Titian Blonde with one full tube of a Light Golden Blonde of other blonde shade. I hope that’s clear, I just realized it might not be!