I'm going to dye my hair bright, bright red. I've always wanted to do this color but have avoided it because I know that red tends to be the fastest-fading of the superbright hair colors. What can I do, beyond what I'm already planning, to make sure that it lasts as long as possible?
So every once in a while I dye my hair fun colors. I had it green for Mardi Gras last week, but I wasn't happy with the patchiness of it (it was a bit of a rush job) and I immediately got sick of everyone asking me if I'd done it for St. Patrick's Day, which is not a holiday that I personally care very much about. I've decided to switch it up and go red, but I'm worried that it won't last since red is normally the dye color that is most prone to rapid fading.
Here's what I'm already doing or planning to do: I've got my hair bleached out as light as it is ever going to go
with three rounds of L'Oréal Quick Blue and 40-volume developer. I'm going to be using top-quality dye, Pravana Chromasilk Vivids. I've bought a set of well-reviewed color protection shampoo and conditioner, and I plan to shampoo once a week at most with not-so-hot water (which normally seems to agree with my hair anyway). What else can I do?
I'm particularly worried about fading from ultraviolet sunlight (is that a justified concern?) but I'm not sure what to do about that; there do seem to be hair-specific sunscreen products out there, but they're expensive and like everything cosmetics it's nearly impossible to wade through the mountains of bullshit to find out whether they really work or are worth the money. If anybody knows of a product or technique for avoiding sun bleaching, ideally a cheap one, that would be appreciated. (I realize I could just wear a hat, but that rather defeats the point of having dyed hair.)
I'd also really appreciate tips on making sure that the dye soaks in as deeply as possible. Should I wash with hot water and soap first perhaps, to strip the grease off and open up the cuticles? Hit it with a blow-dryer before or during the dyeing process? Something else?
Also I've heard some advice around the internet about how to treat the hair immediately after dyeing so as to help the dye really set in and "take". Washing the hair with vinegar, for instance, is something I've heard mentioned here and there. However, I don't trust the internet about this stuff; I only trust MetaFilter!
Any other advice about making the dye last would be really appreciated. Also, as a bonus question, I'd love to know if anyone has tips for keeping it from staining the skin around the hair. Every time I dye I always have a sort of ring of dyed skin around my hairline for a couple days afterward, even if I use vaseline to try to stop it. I've heard that the solution is to avoid the roots of the hair (and ideally to have someone else do it rather than doing it oneself in the mirror, though that's not really an option this time) but I don't want to end up with red hair and blonde roots. What can I do there?
Thanks as always for your advice!