Going from Black to Blonde: Failures and Success

I’ve had quite a few questions as to how I went blonde, or why I went blonde.  Since many of my friends have darker hair, I want this to be a bit of information of what products I use, and how I normally bleach my hair.  When it was longer I used the same products, but only on the ends, this time I was able to do all-over bleaching.  All products were purchased from Sally Beauty and Supply, great prices and discounts, you save money automatically if you open a free rewards card.

First start off with dirty hair.  The bleach will strip everything from your hair, the dirtier it is, the more effectively the bleach will work.  After that you need two things, Developer, and Powdered Bleach.  In this case I used Volume 20, and Prism Violet Bleach. Volume 40 is the strongest, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have super thick dark hair, and even then, going slow will be the best option.

Things to know:

Bleach only works when it’s wet, if it dries, rinse it out because it’s not doing anything

With the first layer of bleach, it dried out in random sections where Sarah hadn’t globbed enough on.  Areas such as behind my ear, my hairline, and on the sides of my head were much darker.  Ethan helped me the second time, and as he was new to hair care at all, he also didn’t get an even layer of bleach.  Claire was the final person to bleach my hair, because it was a party, and she was able to make a full freakin’ cap of bleach that was thick enough that it stayed wet.

You will need to bleach multiple times to be successful, I bleached 3 times to reach my current color

After the first bleaching I was orange with black spots.  After the second bleaching I was orange with yellow spots.  After the third bleaching I was still orange, but a yellow-orange.  It’s a process, and it will take time and patience.  Don’t rush it, or you’ll burn your hair and it will literally break off in your hands.  If you want to keep your hair healthy, I would spread the bleaching out over the course of a few weeks.  If you don’t mind, bleach away.  I bleached once a day, 3 days in a row.

Your hair will turn orange, to eliminate this make sure to tone!

The toner I used was this, you mix one part toner with 2 parts Volume 20 developer.  Mix it, and let it sit until it turns a bright purple. It should take around 10-15 minutes.

You are supposed to avoid getting it on your scalp, as it can burn.  Some people have a bad reaction and are in a lot of pain, but I had the same tingling sensation the bleach had given me, and was fine.  Since I had already put bleach on my scalp, the toner was a piece of cake.

If you’re nervous about using more chemicals, I would suggest a combination of Manic Panic Virgin Snow Toner, with a few drops of Manic Panic Ultra Violet.  The toner on its own won’t do much good for this kind of toning, but make sure to add a small amount of purple to avoid accidentally dyeing the hair, rather than toning it.

So why you may ask do you add purple to yellow? Please look at the color wheel below.

Yellow and violet are on opposite ends of the color wheel.  So that overall orange-yellow color will be cancelled out when you tone it.  It’s super important to do this step or you’ll run the risk of a really brassy “blonde.”  It won’t have the brightness to it that you want, but become rather dingy and unsightly.

The upkeep on blonde hair is completely new to me.  Since I was bald, I didn’t need to shampoo my hair, but luckily I had sulfate free shampoo and conditioner left.  When you go blonde, you’re supposed to treat your hair every few weeks, and tone and bleach every 4-6 weeks.  I’m most likely going to throw a new color on my hair before I reach this point, so maybe I won’t have to deal with keeping my blonde vibrant.  I’m even considering going even blonder and reaching platinum status!  Not sure what that will involve, but it’s a fun adventure.

Hair has become such a great accessory for me again now that it’s so short.  I don’t feel like I’ll ruin my hair by going crazy with colors, because guess what, if it gets ruined, I’ll just shave my head again.  I’m super excited for my new look!  Are you dyeing your hair and need advice?  Let me know, I’ve gotten the hang of it in the last few years.


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