As a licensed cosmetologist who is constantly changing her hair color, I often get a tirade of questions from "HOW?" to "Will my hair fall out?" Today, I'll cover some of the most common questions concerning bleaching your hair out, if you should do it at all, and how to do it properly with the products that work.

You can see more of my different looks via my facebook page.

Yesterday, I decided to change my hair color which was basically almost black ( a level 3vr ) to almost platinum ( a level 9 ). I did this in four hours! Not two days, or two weeks. How? I'll tell you! While doing so, I was inspired to share my tips and tricks to those off you who are considering doing their own hair, or making a change in their color.

Here's how my hair turned out yesterday

Now before you decide that I'm some sort of hair magician, remember I am a licensed hair stylist. So I know exactly what to use and how much my hair can take. If you have NO idea what you're doing, I would highly recommend seeing a stylist. Your hair CAN fall out. Changing your hair like this is the most difficult thing you can do color wise.

Ask yourself why you want to bleach your hair: Are you bored with your hair? Hate the current color? Or just looking to have some fun with it? If you aren't serious about this, or just want a change, opt out for the drastic and get some highlights, lowlights or a change that isn't so far from your current shade. Going blonde from a dark shade is extremely damaging to your hair no matter what you use, or what you've previously done or not done to the hair, or even how much you condition it. No matter what, going lighter damages hair. Even if your hair is virgin hair. You can usually feel like you've got a new-do if you get something like a partial highlight, or even peek-a-boo highlights, or ombre. Unless you're serious about this, and no afraid to lose some length to your hair turn back now! It can happen, and damage is eminent. Also, unless your hair is completely uncolored/virgin hair you must use bleach. Even with non-bleach methods on natural hair with high lift color, you are still damaging your hair. High Lift blonde haircolor hurts hair also.


How long is your hair? The longer your hair the more difficult this will be. I have short hair, and I get a haircut every 4-7 weeks. I also get it cut in a shot pixie, so this means most of my old growth whether damaged or not is cut off. Which means I'm not re damaging my hair over and over. Folks with longer hair often have much more to worry about when doing a drastic change. The longer your hair, the older it is. All and any of the color services or heat damage you've done before are still there, whether you can feel them or not! If you have long damaged hair DO NOT do this. Your hair should be it great health, or you will regret it.


How damaged is your h air? If your hair is damaged badly with split ends and fried pieces DO NOT do this. If your hair is dry you may want to reconsider. If your hair feels great, you can continue with no worries. Moderately damaged hair may not hold up to this process.


What is your hair texture
? Fine hair doesn't hold up to bleaching as well as medium-thick hair. If your hair is thinning or baby fine, and not in great health you definitely want to rethink this. The thicker the hair, the more resistant to chemical damage it usually is.

Is your hair natural or colored? Do you already color or bleach your hair? Has you hair been colored dark, or have any pigment on it? If so, yes, this will be difficult. Is your hair 100% natural? Never been colored or completely all your own? This won't be anywhere near as hard! Depending on what is on your hair, this bleaching journey will either be extensive or fairly simple. Colored hair, whether it's Manic Panic, Permanent natural shades or Demi/semi permanent shades require some sort of stripping agent to get the hair lighter. You cannot use haircolor to become blonde if you have any other color currently on your hair. Natural uncolored hair requires either bleach or a high lift blonde color mixture to lift the hair.

How dark is your hair? The darker your hair, the harder this will be. Natural hair that is dark will lift, but it will require bleach. Dyed hair that is dark is the hardest to lift. It can be lifted, like mine did, but you will need professional products. Brunette - medium brown natural hair is not difficult to lift. Dyed brunette hair can be difficult to lift and will take some care. Dark blonde hair, either dyed or natural lifts to lighter blondes fairly easily. Natural red hair is easy to lift. Dyed red hair will take time to lift and care, this is almost as difficult as dyed black hair. Funky fun dyed colors like blue or purple will lift, just be careful.


Tip #1: COLOR DOESN'T LIFT COLOR! You CANNOT get your hair blonde without bleach IF your hair has color on it already. If your hair is 100% virgin/uncolored you CAN do this without bleach using a high lift blonde haircolor if your hair isn't dark. However, if you do have ANY sort of color on your hair OR your hair is naturally dark - you MUST use bleach.

Tip #2 DO NOT USE BOX COLOR: Box color is terrible for your hair, no this not a myth hair stylists perpetuate to their clients! They are formulated inconsistently meaning that every box differentiates slightly and is formulated with metals, that basically explode your hair cuticle. Box color cannot be formulated with professional grade developer so they use metals and other strange chemicals to penetrate the hair. NONE of which are good for your hair health especially when bleaching. Inconsistent formulating also means that if you used a box and liked it, you could use the same box color again later and get different results for no reason.

Tip #3 DO NOT USE COLOR REMOVER: Products like color oops are only effective when you need to get out NON permanent, STAIN colors like Manic Panic or Henna. There aren't many stain brands out there, so most likely unless you are removing manic panic, Ion or Henna, you don't want to use this. Splat colors are NOT stains. So read the box! DO NOT use this on your hair if your hair has semi-permanent, demi or permanent box color or professional color on it. It STILL damages your hair and will only get your hair burnt orange. These products also do not efficiently remove the color so your color can turn back to a darker shade. These products are not formulated with bleach but contain sulfur, which still hurts the hair anyway. They also don't work anywhere near as effectively, so it's like you're hurting your hair for nothing. The only stains I know of are Manic Panic, Henna, Punky Colors, N Rage, Beyond the Zone, Hot Topic Hair color and Ion vivid colors. If you aren't removing these brands, do not use a color remover. AND even if you are using these brands,  bleach is going to get you more blonde with the same amount of damage anyway. So all in all, opt out for the confusing color removers and just use bleach.

Knowing these basics now, let's get onto the process. First things first, what color level is your hair?

Step 1.) Figure out your HAIR COLOR LEVEL

It is possible to be in-between a level or a mix of both. Always go with the darkest color your see in your hair.

STEP 2.) Pigmented or Natural? Formulas according to each: Once you've figured out your level, ask yourself. Is my hair 100% virgin/uncolored/un-pigmented hair? Yes? You'll probably just need to bleach your hair and tone it. No? You're in for a journey!



NO Pigment/NO Color/Natural levels 1-4: On dry hair mix 3o volume developer and bleach. Apply to mid lengths first and leave on until orange, then apply to roots and ends. Leave on 20-40 min. WATCH intensely to prevent damage. Wash with a purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow Dry. If you isn't pale yellow 8 yet, and your hair isn't damaged yet apply 20 volume developer, bleach an a tiny bit of Argon, Moroccan or olive oil ( after mixing it all together of course ). Let sit 10-20 min. Once you get to a pale yellow level 8 wash out your hair. Shampoo with a purple shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry and or lightly blow dry. Tone with an ASH VIOLET toner and 10 volume. Leave on 10-20 minutes and watch intensely. Wash out with purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry. Follow up with a deep conditioner packet or leave in oil treatment.

YOU MUST use BLEACH if you are a level 1-4 natural hair color.



NO Pigment/NO Color/Natural levels 5-8: FORMULA OPTION #1 ON DRY HAIR Mix 2o volume developer and bleach. Apply to mid lengths first and leave on until orange, then apply to roots and ends. Leave on 20-40 min. WATCH intensely to prevent damage. Once you get to apale yellow level 8 wash out your hair. If you are NOT to a level 8 yellow mix 10 volume developer and bleach together and apply to hair. When to a level 8 yellow wash out. Shampoo with purple shampoo and conditioner.  Towel dry and or lightly blow dry. Tone with an ASH VIOLET toner and 10 volume. Leave on 10-20 minutes and watch intensely. Wash out with purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry. Follow up with a deep conditioner packet or leave in oil treatment.


OR FORMULA OPTION #2 ( no bleach ): On dry hair mix a HIGH LIFT blonde hair color like matrix so color high lift collection blonde and 40 volume. You need double the developer for this. So instead of mixing your color and developer 1:1, you mix it 1:2. So mix your high lift blonde and 40 volume. Apply to mid-lengths, leave on 10 min, then apply to roots and ends. Leave on 35 min max when desired result should be achieved. If it isn't, wash with purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry. Then apply 10 volume and bleach all over and let sit for about 10 -15 minutes. Wash out with purple shampoo and conditioner. THIS WILL NOT WORK on natural levels 1-4.



PIGMENTED/Colored/Previously Dyed levels 1-3: You guys are in for it! The night before you do this, apply a DEEP conditioner on your hair with a keratin hair mask. The morning of, wash out your conditioner. Apply Malibu Color Corrector Powder Packet in the shower. Scrub into your hair. Wash with a tea tree, mint or anti-dandruff/cleansing shampoo. Do NOT condition. Blow dry. Mix 3o volume developer and bleach. Apply to mid lengths first and leave on until orange, then apply to roots and ends. Leave on 20-40 min. WATCH intensely to prevent damage. Wash with a purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow Dry. Inspect your hair, is it damaged? Fried? Do not keep going. Call a salon or color your hair back to dark to prevent your hair from melting off. Your hair should be either orange, reddish or yellow now. If your hair is RED mix 20 volume developer, and bleach. Leave on until pale yellow. If your hair is ORANGE/YELLOW mix 20 volume developer, bleach and argon/Moroccan/olive oil. Leave on until pale yellow. Never leave bleach on more than 40 minutes. Once you get to a pale yellow level 8 wash out your hair. Shampoo with a purple shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry and or lightly blow dry. Tone with an ASH VIOLET toner and 10 volume. Leave on 10-20 minutes and watch intensely. Wash out with purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry. Follow up with a deep conditioner packet or leave in oil treatment.


PIGMENTED/Colored/Previously Dyed levels 4-6: You guys are in also in for it! The night before you do this, apply a DEEP conditioner on your hair with a keratin hair mask. The morning of, wash out your conditioner. Apply Malibu Color Corrector Powder Packet in the shower. Scrub into your hair. Wash with a tea tree, mint or anti-dandruff/cleansing shampoo. Do NOT condition. Blow dry. Mix 3o volume developer and bleach. Apply to mid lengths first and leave on until orange, then apply to roots and ends. Leave on 20-40 min. WATCH intensely to prevent damage. Wash with a purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow Dry. Inspect your hair, is it damaged? Fried? Do not keep going. Call a salon or color your hair back to dark to prevent your hair from melting off. Your hair should be either orange or yellow now. If your hair is ORANGE mix 20 volume developer, and bleach. Leave on until pale yellow. If your hair is YELLOW mix 10 volume developer, bleach and argon/Moroccan/olive oil. Leave on until pale yellow. Never leave bleach on more than 40 minutes. Once you get to a pale yellow level 8 wash out your hair. Shampoo with a purple shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry and or lightly blow dry. Tone with an ASH VIOLET toner and 10 volume. Leave on 10-20 minutes and watch intensely. Wash out with purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry. Follow up with a deep conditioner packet or leave in oil treatment.

PIGMENTED/Colored/Previously Dyed levels 7-8: The night before you do this, apply a DEEP conditioner on your hair with a keratin hair mask. Wash out your conditioner the next morning. Apply Malibu Color Corrector Powder Packet in the shower. Scrub into your hair. Wash with a tea tree, mint or anti-dandruff/cleansing shampoo. Do NOT condition. Blow dry. Mix 2o volume developer and bleach. Apply to mid lengths first and leave on until yellow, then apply to roots and ends. Leave on 20-40 min. WATCH intensely to prevent damage. Once you get to a pale yellow level 8 wash out your hair. Shampoo with purple shampoo and conditioner.  Towel dry and or lightly blow dry. Tone with an ASH VIOLET toner and 10 volume. Leave on 10-20 minutes and watch intensely. Wash out with purple shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry. Follow up with a deep conditioner packet or leave in oil treatment.

I'll explain how all of these work and the best products later in this post.

3.) Things other than hair products you will need. Plastic Mixing Bowls. Hair color Brushes. Gloves. Old Tshirt/Pants. Old towel. Make sure your bowl is NOT metal - metal reacts with hair color negatively. Wear gloves so you do not get a chemical burn. Wear old clothes so you dont ruin them. Use a towel you also don't mind ruining.

4.) Hair products you will need. Depending on the formula I suggested above you will need Developer in 30 volume, 20 volume, or 10 volume ( or all three ). Bleach. High Lift Blonde hair color. Purple shampoo and conditioner. Toner. Hair oil in Olive, Moroccan or Argon. Malibu Color Corrector powder Packet. Tea Tree/Anti-Dandruff/Cleansing Clarifying Shampoo. Blow Dryer.

Here are the BEST brands for each item!

DEVELOPER: Schwarzkopf Blond Me Developer: This developer is amazing. It is conditioning, fast and lifts your hair lighter than others that I have used. Comes in the obvious 7, 10, 20, 30 and 40. Do not use 40, it's unnecessary.

BLEACH: BlondeMe Schwarzkopf Bleach Powder. This bleach provides optimum lift while conditioning. Best I've ever used!


TONER: You want to use a toner that will cancel out the red/orange/yellow tones that appear when you bleach your hair. I really love Matrix Brand, Colorsync, which is their brand of toner. MAKE SURE you use an ash violet toner.  I used SPV + 10A with 10 volume from matrix colorsync.

PURPLE SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

Clairol Professional Haircare Shimmer Lights Shampoo & Conditioner. This shampoo & conditioner is perfect for going blonde and will aid you in keeping those red/orange/yellow tones at bay.


PRE COLOR TREATMENT: Malibu Color Corrector Packet. Perfect for taking out some permanent color before you start!

View more posts from Krista here>>

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About the Author: Anestheticx

You can slap on deep purple lipstick one day & play out your inner vamp persona or you can go with a nude palette the next. You can wear 6 inch pumps & feel like you own the world or some combat boots and feel ready for battle.... READ MORE>>

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