Step 1: The perfect color. I use L'oreal Excellence Hi Color in red with a 30 developer found at sallybeauty.com. Please keep in mind I am NOT a professional so I would consult with one before using a developer. I have found that this works great for my thick and heavy hair.
Step 2: Maintaining your red. It does take a few dye jobs to get it super, super bright so be patient. Don't get antsy and try to dye it 3 times in a day because that is just mean to your hair. I try and only wash my hair 2 times a week max. I use sulfate free shampoo only at the roots and rinse in freezing cold water. Use your conditioner on the ends and leave in a few mins, again rinsing in only ice cold water. It is pretty uncomfortable but beauty is pain! In between washes I use a dry shampoo. Brand doesn't really matter much to me.
In between dyes your roots become known and after about 4 washes or so your red will fade. At this point I make a hair mask/protein treatment. I use a combo of red protein filler from Sally's and Manic Panic creme in Pillarbox Red sallybeauty.com, and living proof hair mask from Sephora sephora.com. I mix the entire container of Manic Panic with a big scoop of the hair mask, and then I mix it all together adding 1/3 bottle of protein filler. Apply this all over roots to ends on DRY hair. I let it on at least 5 hours, normally overnight. In order to make sure you don't get color everywhere i wrap my head in a plastic bag and then put a large beanie over top. This also creates heat which helps the dye do it's job. After you have left it on long enough you rinse in cold water, no shampoo.
So these are all my dye tips and tricks that keep my hair perfectly bright all the time. As far as styling I try and avoid heat. No blow drying or curling irons unless you use a heat spray. I air dry and set my hair in rollers or pin curls. Enjoy your red!