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To get a very bright red you'd need to lighten the base colour, so bleach would be necessary. However, red does fade quite quickly, so you'd need to reapply colour. That said, there are lots of semi-perm colours that do not contain ammonia so they wouldn't damage your hair.
A decent permanent red dye will cover brown and be vivid but it fades quickly. I would suggest topping up with semi permanent red to keep it vibrant. Also it stains and transfers so it's quite high maintenance
I had very red hair for about 10 years using a box dye - to get my hair back to a browny colour they had to basically take it almost all the way to bleach blonde because on my hair, the red pigment really really stuck and the only way to get it out was to bleach. It took about a year to do it gradually (possibly could have been quicker but I wanted to keep the hair healthy). The red didn’t damage my hair as such but it certainly didn’t let go easily!
Brunette is lovely - some people go to great trouble to achieve brunette. I am 69, brunette with not a single grey hair, as happens with many brunettes. Once you start tinkering it, especially if bleach is involved, you will never get your wonderful colour back. Love what you have!
Take the high maintenance advice seriously. I have box dyed my hair very red over the top of highlights. It takes fine but my god every time I washed my hair was like the movie Carrie - anything with red pigment is the same. It comes out on towels too but it does wash out and my towels are snowy white.
Purple isn’t nearly as bad but it still bleeds on to towels.
Just a head's up - make sure the red shade complements your complexion. I have cool skin tones and naturally ash hair. If I die it a warm shade, it brings out all the imperfections in my skin and makes me look a tad flushed.
This is one of those times where you really need to consult a good colourist.
Doing the gold vs. silver test is the best way. One will probably look better than the other.
A good colourist will be able to tell and will go through it all with you.
YY to it being high maintenance. Red is one of the hardest colours to 'hold'. So although recent developments mean the dyes don't run like they used to, red does tend to fade more quickly than other colours.