Dark Brown to Platinum Blonde Hair; The Journey

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About two weeks ago, I bleached my hair and turned it platinum blonde from dark brown hair. I wanted to change it because firstly, going blonde was on my bucket list. Secondly, I just wanted a drastic change for the awesome new year and lastly platinum blonde hair is the trend to do for 2014. I don’t really like to obsessively follow trends, who does, instead I like start my own. I find that when I don’t solely care about current trends, it makes me comfortable to be who I am and let’s me explore myself. And then somehow what I wear in advance becomes a trend.

Before I officially bleached my hair, I had to do a lot of research as to how to properly do it at home. I chose to do it at home because that was the only choice. Most regular salons will not bleach your hair to the pale yellow color for liability reasons. And also I had to bleach my hair more than once so the cost would add up for bleaching it three times. So yes, I bleached my hair at home with the help of my sister, Olivia. On the many many youtube videos I watched, I thought I understood exactly what I had to do to make it pale yellow all in one shot. But I’ve realized how ridiculous I was thinking.

There is no way that dark hair will turn to a pale yellow in one shot. There’s a process of colors your dark hair will have to go through to achieve the pale yellow. So don’t get discouraged when your first bleaching turns your hair orange; that’s perfectly normal. I would suggest you to bleach your hair when you have about a week off from normal life. Such as a vacation or a long weekend because the last thing you want is to walk around with orange hair. Eeeekkk!

I want to share with you the long process of going blonde. For me, it took 4 days and 18 hours to get it where I wanted my hair to look. So if you’re thinking of going blonde from a dark hair color, you’ve come to the right blog.

Things you will need:

  • A Person to Help you (I highly recommend this, you’ll find out why below)
  • L’oreal Color Zap (If you have pre-colored hair)
  • Thick Gloves
  • Hair Coloring Brush
  • Hair Coloring Bowl
  • Hair Clips
  • Hair Color Foil
  • Towels
  • Old clothes (the ones you don’t mind getting bleach on)
  • 20/30/40 Developer (Depends on original hair color)
  • 20 Developer (For toner)
  • Powder Bleach
  • Wella T18 toner
  • Wella powder lighter (optional)
  • Shimmer Lights Shampoo
  • Cholesterol/ Protein Conditioner

The slideshow below are the specific brands and items I used; they are all available at Sally’s Beauty Supply

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  1. If you are starting from colored hair, I recommend using a hair color stripper. This product will take out the previously colored hair and it will help your hair take the bleach better. If you never colored you hair, then you can skip this step. I used L’oreal’s Color Zapp and it’s perfectly okay to bleach your hair right after using this product.
  2. Mix your powder bleach with your developer. Since you are starting with dark hair, like mine, you might want to use a 30-40 developer. I used a 40 developer and my hair didn’t fall out. But it is very dangerous to use 40 developer because if your hair is not monitored very closely, your hair could fall off. A 50 developer does exist but you have to be a licensed cosmetologist to purchase it because 50 is very very dangerous and should only be used in the hands of a professional. My hair is very think and coarse which helped my hair stay on my head but my advice is to examine your hair type and see what it can handle. The mixture is a 1:2 ration.
  3. (Optional) Along with my bleach mixture from above, I added Wella’s lightening powder because I thought it would help activate the bleach more. But honestly, I don’t think it did much. You’re perfectly fine with just bleach and developer, no need to add anything else. I will be skipping this step for future bleachings.
  4. This is where the extra person comes in. While bleaching my hair, Olivia and I experimented with using foil vs not using foil. It turned out that using foil for individual strands of hair helped my hair absorb the bleach more and faster. So I recommended having a friend, bleaching your hair with foil sheets so that you don’t end up with spotty oranges, browns and yellows. Trust me it’s not fun. Basically, section your hair into manageable parts and begin to take some strands starting from the back to bleach it. Don’t bleach your scalp though; wait till the end to do so because your roots take less time to change. After it is bleached, fold that strand with foil sheets.  Wait for 45 minutes but consistently check the progress of your hair. The maximum you should wait is an hour.
  5. Now your whole head should look like a foil christmas tree. When you are done, begin to bleach the roots of your hair.
  6. When you achieved the color you are looking for or you’ve waited an hour, wash your hair and shampoo with the Shimmer Lights shampoo. The shampoo is dark purple, but it doesn’t affect your hair color; you won’t come out with purple hair. FYI: The color you are trying to achieve is a pale yellow.
  7. If your hair came out pale yellow on the first bleaching, congratulations you have amazing hair and now you can go on to toning. But if you came out with orange hair, like I did, don’t freak out. It’s going to be okay and everything is going normally. Personally, I waited the next day to start the second bleaching and I recommend that.
  8. The Next Day. Do the same steps from 4 to 7. See if your hair is pale yellow yet. If not, do that same process the next day. Personally, I had to wait the next day because my roots were being really stubborn and just my roots were light orange. But besides the roots, my hair was pale yellow. If you achieved the pale yellow, skip the next step.
  9. This is the third day and if you are like me, you just need to bleach your roots.
  10. Whenever you reach your pale yellow from the number of bleachings, you can start to tone your hair. My hair personally needed three bleachings but it’s different for everyone. You can tone your hair right after bleaching. To do so, mix the Wella T18 toner with 20 developer in a 1:2 ratio. Spread this all over your bleached hair and work FAST. Toner develops and spread really fast, so make sure you spread your hair with it quickly. Your hair will start to turn purple, but that’s perfectly normal. It is just the chemicals activating so it’s a sign that it is working.
  11. Wait for 10-15 minutes with the toner and rinse it. I won’t recommend waiting any longer because the toner works really fast. If you do wait longer, your hair might come out purple.
  12. FINALLY, your hair should come out Platinum Blonde!

Aftermath: Your hair will be very damaged! It’s going to feel like Barbie’s fake straw hair so make sure to deep condition it every day with Cholesterol/ Protein Conditioner. Also, I found that the conditioner packets that come in the hair coloring box works like a charm. I personally highly recommend using this. Right now, I’m in the process of finding a full bottle of it but for now I’m just using the packets.

There’s so many things you can now do with light blonde hair. I’ve been experimenting with hair chalk and it’s so much fun! Hair chalk doesn’t cost much and you can change colors everyday! I went to Michael’s Craft Store for my hair chalks. Remember to get the Soft pastels instead of the Oil pastels.

Anyone who went from dark to blonde hair understands that this whole process is indeed a looonnngg journey. But it’s totally worth it!

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Hope this helped and inspired you to go from dark brown to blonde hair! Remember, it’s just hair and you can do whatever you wish to do with it. Just deciding to officially go ahead and bleach my hair blonde was a long journey in itself. Now I realize, I shouldn’t have asked for approval by all the people around me whether or not going blonde would be okay or look good. I forgot to ask myself what I wanted. And now that I’ve overcame my hair obstacles, I’m so happy with my hair and more importantly with my decision. Your individual happiness is what truly matters in your life.

With Love, Victoria S.


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