For the longest time, I’ve wanted to be beach blonde and finally I threw caution to the wind and went for it.
I’m now in love with my colour and cannot even remember what I looked like without it.
Here is a detailed blog of how I went from dark hair to blonde, the mistakes I made so you don’t need to, including a step-by-step guide on how to bleach your hair without compromising the health of your hair.
So, you’ve made up your mind – you want to go blonde!
Here are a few questions to consider before you do.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Blonde:
- How Healthy Is Your Hair?
Is your hair healthy enough to endure stripping of hair dye colour and bleach application?
If your hair is thin, prone to fall-out, damaged or if you have a large amount of split ends; then the answer is NO!
Do not risk bleaching you hair if your hair is any of the above mentioned – it’s not worth it, you’ll end up having none left – SERIOUSLY!
But don’t despair, there’s a solution to prep your hair into pristine condition, so that it’s healthy enough to withstand bleaching.
- Can You Afford To Bleach Your Hair?
Simply put, bleaching your hair is expensive.
Also note: bleaching your hair at home is not an option – but we’ll cover that part, further on in this blog post.
You need to consult your hairdresser for a breakdown of what a full bleach will cost you (normally two bleaches if you have dark hair, a toner, a treatment, a blow-dry and products to treat and colour correct at home).
For the ideal colour of blonde, you will initially need a few full bleaches (root to ends) six weeks apart. Since I was going from dark brown to blonde, my colour transformation took a total of about six bleaches to achieve a blonde I liked.
I now only bleach my roots once every eight weeks and try to stretch it out as much as I can, as I don’t mind regrowth.
Add to this high-end shampoos, masks, in-salon treatments: you cannot do without these, as your hair, will look frail and damaged without the correct care.
If you have healthy hair and you can afford to have bleached hair, then lets move on.
Here’s Why You Should Not Bleach Your Own Hair At Home:
- A professional hairdresser uses bonding fibers such as Olaplex, when mixing bleach – something that isn’t available for home use. This makes a vast difference with the amount of damage your hair will endure and prevents your hair from falling off. If your hairdresser does not use Olaplex or similar bleach bonding formulas, then find yourself a hairdresser that does. Do not bleach you hair without it.
- Bleach is already extremely damaging to your hair, a professional hairdresser uses the best that’s available (or should) – box bleach that you find at the drugstore is the worst of its kind and immensely damaging to your hair. The healthiest of hair will fall out, break and become extremely fragile, subsequently, you will end up spending more money trying to reverse the damage done to your hair before you can continue with bleaching.
- Once your hair is bleached, a toner follows, this is how to get the orange out of bleached hair. This normally results in a catastrophe of incorrect colouring when done at home additionally, toner is further damaging to your hair.
My Personal Mistake:
I just had an in-salon bleach and tone to touch up my roots, however the bleach didn’t catch on, so my new touch up looked more orange (this happens and is part of the process) and I didn’t have time to do another bleach at the salon before I went on holiday, because my hair was thick and healthy I assumed it wouldn’t do any harm and attempted to bleach the roots myself with drugstore bleach.
Prior to this terrible mistake I made, my hair was super lustrous, thick and gorgeous with a faint hint of damage from salon bleach.
After I bleached my hair, I noticed TONS of fall out, I was mildly freaking out, after self – bleaching my hair, I realized that my hair broke in certain areas – I was lucky though that I have dense, thick hair – but lesson learnt – I will never bleach my own hair again.
Also, the bleach didn’t help lighten the orange tones anyway – it was definitely something for my hairdresser to tackle.
So now that we’ve covered why you shouldn’t bleach your hair at home and if you should bleach your hair in the first place, let’s begin with the best way to go blonde.
The Bleaching Process – How To Get Blonde Hair:
- Removing Existing Hair Colour:
If you have ever coloured your hair, begin by removing your hair colour, this initial process can damage your hair if not done correctly.
If you have black hair colour or henna on your hair (of any sorts), unfortunately you cannot remove this from your hair and you will need to wait for it to grow out before you can bleach your hair.
If you attempt to bleach dyed black hair or hair with henna – you will cause severe damage to your hair – so please don’t do it, it’s not worth the risk.
Some salons use damaging products to remove hair colour and strip hair.
Schwarzkopf has recently launched a hair colour remover that boasts zero damage to your hair.
Ensure that you hairdresser is aware that you know about these products and do not allow anyone to use cheaper options on your hair.
Hair care products have advanced formulas, that there is no need to compromise the health of your hair and if your hairdresser doesn’t sound confident, then find one who does.
Your may need to remove colour from you hair a number of times, but always wait six weeks for your hair to recover (don’t chance it) before you do the next strip or bleach.
Giving your hair a break from chemical treatments is detrimental in each stage, so patience is key when going blonde.
Unfortunately, once you begin stripping hair colour, or even after your first bleach your hair colour results will be less desirable than what you imagined. It will be in the orange range for a while before it becomes blonde, it’s a colour you are going to learn to live with for a while.
During this time you will need to begin using blonde or silver shampoos, if you don’t, your hair will begin to look more orange than it initially was.
- Your First Bleach:
Once you have completed the stripping process, after six weeks your hair is finally ready for it’s first bleach.
Begin slowly. For the first bleach, only apply one full bleach, and then wait six weeks – your hairdresser will be able to access the reaction of the bleach to your hair and advise accordingly.
I now do two bleaches, one 20 VOL and another 10 VOL to my roots only, followed by a toner and an in salon treatment.
- Toning Your Hair:
After bleaching your hair, you will need to tone your hair. A toner removes orange and yellow hues and blends the blonde in your hair – a step you cannot miss.
Bleached Hair Care At Home:
Too Much Toner:
If you find that your hair is too purple or grey after an in salon tone application, you can correct this at home by using a clarifying shampoo or dandruff shampoo which is drying to your hair, so ensure you have a hydrating mask to apply after use of these shampoos. Leave the shampoo for thirty minutes to remove purple hues. It might take a few washes to remove the entire purple colour from you hair.
Hair Is Orange / Yellow After Washing At Home:
After your first wash at home, your hair might appear orange, especially if you have naturally dark hair, unfortunately this is inevitable and how you care for your hair at home will determine how blonde your hair will be.
To correct this, use a silver or purple shampoo. I normally apply my colour correcting shampoo to my hair before I shower to the yellow or orange hues of my hair and leave it in for twenty minutes – don’t leave it on for too long as you hair can become purple, blue or green and takes a while to wash off.
Here Are My Favourite Shampoos For Bleached Hair:
- Schwarzkopf BLONDME Tone Enhancing Shampoo R250 – 00: This product simply lifts any unwanted yellow hues, leaving hair feeling stronger by reinforcing bonds and looking silky and shiny.
- Schwarzkopf Colour Freeze Silver Shampoo R100 – 00: If you last trip to the salon resulted in the less desirable orange hues, then this is the shampoo you should use.
- Kerastase Hydrating Shampoo R250 – 00: I always shampoo twice, and use this for my first shampoo, it instantly detangles your hair whilst hydrating it, so wet hair is easier to manage while washing with less resistance thereby less breakage.
Best Hair Masks For Bleached Hair:
Since I’ve bleached my hair, I only use hair masks, I ditch the conditioner completely as my hair now needs deep nourishment that only masks can provide, here’s a list of my favorites:
- Schwarzkopf BLONDEME Tone Enhancing Mask R300: I use the cool tone from this range, which intensifies my blonde colour and repairs worn out hair.
- Schwarzkopf BC Fibre Force Fortifying Mask R250 – 00: I’ve noticed immediate improvement of my hair with this mask, which reverses bleach damage by restoring broken bonds in your hair, this for me, is the ultimate bleach repair mask.
- Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask R510 – 00: This mask is best used after you have restored hair bonds and there is not much breakage from bleaching. It restores elasticity and hydration for hair that is easier to style and comb through without breakage.
- Davines Hair Mask Sachets R145 – 00: Davines hair mask sachets last for about 4 to 6 applications, which is also convenient for travel or at gym and instantly revives dull, damaged hair. Feign healthy looking hair with Davines – The Spotlight Circle sachet, which will enhance the shine on your blonde hair. For an intensive, lasting treatment use The Renaissance Circle sachet.
- Other Highly Recommended Product’s I Have Not Tried Yet:
Milkshake Silver Shine Shampoo R284 – 00 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
Additional Do’s and Don’ts Once You Have Bleached Your Hair:
- Do trim off the ends if it’s frail (you hair will be healthier if you do)
- Do invest in a premium brush such as a Tangle Teaser and take the time to brush your hair carefully so as to not tug and pull at it for minimum hair loss and fall out, as your hair is extremely fragile at this stage.
- Do ensure you have a regular intake of biotin and omegas 3, 6 and 9 to maintain healthy, full hair.
- Don’t wear hair extensions. Your scalp is extremely fragile once you begin the bleaching process and hair extensions will encourage hair to tear resulting in bald patches. Your next bleach may result in a vast amount of your hair falling off – so forget about hair extensions completely.
- Don’t do any other chemical treatments on your hair, for example: keratin treatments. Should your hair be unmanageable, rather opt for a non – chemical Inoar Botox Hair treatment.
To conclude, transitioning from dark to blonde hair requires effort, additionally patience is necessary when trying to achieve this hair colour, moreover, there needs to be an understanding between your hairdresser and yourself with realistic expectations for the desired outcome and lastly, home colour care is essential in maintaining blonde with an ongoing amount of upkeep for healthy looking hair.
Should you have any further questions, please post them in the comments or suggestions section below.
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Pot Of Gold Blog By Sheena Deepnarain