Becoming blonde isn’t all that difficult if you already have medium or light brown hair. If you are working with dark brown or black hair, you’ve got a lot of work to do to become a blonde.
Don’t fry your hair by dousing it with drugstore bleaching kits! You’ll end up with a look that is much more pumpkin orange than platinum blonde.
Take your time and let YouQueen guide you down the path to the perfect icy blonde!
Going from blonde to black is much simpler than going from black to blonde.
It’s easy to create a layer of color on top of your hair but getting rid of it is a totally different story. Almost any hair stylist will recommend that you go to a professional for a change this major.
Typically, it is recommended that you always stick within three shades of your natural color for any at-home change. So, if you have light brown hair, you can go blonde at home. If you have black hair, you can go to medium brown tone at home.
You probably already know that you should be going to a professional for a change this major but maybe you are feeling brave… If you are patient and your hair is in decent condition, you might just be able to get that look that you have been craving.
First things first
The first thing you should understand is how hair color works. There are ten levels of color. Of course, when you are buying dye you will see hundreds of color names but they are just shades of these ten color levels. Level one is black and level ten is platinum blonde. It's a good idea to have a clear picture of the level that you are starting with and the level that you want.
If you go to the salon and tell your stylist that you want to go from level one to level ten, there is a definite chance that she will say no. You can't do this as a single process. When you go from black to blonde, you will move from black to brown to orange to yellow to white. After you have a yellowish white color, you will need to add a toner on top of it.
Because this is such a major process, it can really wreak havoc on your hair. If your hair is in great shape now, it can probably handle the change. If you have already done a lot of processing to your hair, stop here.
If your hair is damaged now and you really have your heart set on an icy blonde shade, you should really consider changing your length as well. Even your perfect shade isn't going to look great if you have inches of frizzy, split hair hanging down your shoulders.
Be realistic about how much hair you might have to lose and decide if you are ready for such a major change. Don't be too impulsive!
Stocking up on supplies
If you have decided that you are definitely ready to take the plunge, take a trip to your local beauty supply store.
You'll end up wasting a lot of money and getting products that aren't quite right if you buy everything from the drugstore. If you don't have a local beauty supply store, order your supplies online.
If you hair has been dyed black, start with a hair color remover. This will take a toll on your hair but it's your best bet for getting your old color out.
Give your hair a break
After you remove the black dye, you'll probably end up with a red shade. You should give your hair a rest after the color remover.
If you don’t mind the existing color, leave it as is. If you truly hate it, find a similar shade of temporary hair color to tone it down a bit.
Add a protein filler (this will be available at the beauty supply store too) to the color that you've chosen. Give your hair a break for a couple of weeks. This is a good opportunity to enjoy being a redhead for a while!
Get the red out
After you've given your hair a rest, get a double drabbing high-lift lightener. You definitely will want to have this drabbing action so don't just pick up any lightener. The type that you want will say “drabbing” right on the bottle. Wella and Clairol make the most popular versions.
Technically, you can lighten a full ten levels with a high-lift lightener. If you have a pixie cut, you can probably deal with the damage it will cause. If your hair is longer and you want to maintain the length, it's better to keep the transition rolling forward slowly.
If you're taking the slow path, get a 20 volume peroxide developer for your drabbing lightener (you can go with a 40 volume for a faster change).
Blend the 20 volume peroxide developer with the double drabbing high-lift lightener. Leave it in your hair for one hour. After an hour, your hair will be one to two levels lighter.
Every time you use this mixture, you will move another shade lighter so just keep doing this. It's best to wait a few days between each processing to give your hair a break.
Keeping your hair healthy
You should also stock up on protein and keratin treatments. It’s best to do a treatment after each processing to keep your hair as healthy as possible.
This probably seems like a major production and it is but it's a lot faster than waiting for your hair to grow out if it gets fried by a quick change.
In addition to keeping your hair healthy, the other benefit to transitioning your color slowly is that you can decide exactly how light you want it to be.
Like many things in life, the changes won't be as dramatic toward the end. When you get to level eight, the high-lift mixture will make a much more minor change after each application.
You will probably find your new blonder hair is lacking in natural oil. If it's taking longer to get greasy, wash it less often. You’ve definitely dried it out a bit so you should keep washing to a minimum. Invest in some dry shampoo to stretch out the time between shampoos.
How to perfect your shade
Once you have gotten the shade that you like, add a toner. To eliminate the yellowish tone, go for a blue or violet based toner. This will counteract the yellow and give you a true platinum blonde look.
Remember, a toner is not the same as a hair dye. It won't change the level of your hair. It is just going to change the tone. So, if you want your hair to be more of an icy blond, you can use a toner to bring out the blue or violet tones and minimize any red or orange that is still shining through.
How to maintain the perfect platinum blonde color
You did a lot of work to get exactly the hair color that you wanted. Sadly, it isn't going to look like this forever. Being a platinum blonde is a high maintenance endeavor. You should plan on touching it up every three weeks or so.
When your hair starts to yellow again, don't panic! The toner is going to gradually fade from your hair. You might as well plan on buying your favorite toner in bulk. Don’t make the mistake of dyeing your hair again. Hair color is much more damaging that toner. Stick with the toner that worked for you the first time and keep applying it.
On top of toner, you will need to dye your hair as well. Of course, your roots are going to come in a darker color and they are going to need to be managed separately. If your natural color is medium or light brown, this shouldn't be too difficult. There might be some trial and error but fortunately virgin is hair pretty predictable. If it's easier, you can go back to drugstore boxes for root touch-ups.
Your best line of defense for maintaining a platinum shade is to cover your roots every three weeks (don't touch the rest of your hair with dye though!) then follow it up with a toner from root to tip.
You can also keep the yellow tones at bay by using a purple shampoo and conditioner. There are a ton of products formulated for blondes so choose some that work for you. You will get the best results from any creams that are purple and blue.
You may have noticed older women walking around with blue or purplish hair before. This is because they are using too much purple product on their naturally white hair. Don't become one of them! Purple and blue toners and great for getting the yellow out of your hair but don't overdo it.
On the same note, if you are having trouble getting rid of the yellow, start using more purple products. You might need to add a rinse to your regular shampoo and conditioner routine. You should also take a look at the other products that you are using. When your hair is really light, even gels and creams can create a stain.
Remember, you put your hair through a lot! It's probably a bit traumatized at this point so treat it well. Do regular conditioning treatments and stay away from the straight iron and blow dryer!