Let’s be honest here. If you have naturally very dark/black hair or have been box dyeing it dark for years, the chances of you achieving a beautiful baby blonde are pretty slim. And any professional colourist will know this fact and will never promise a client with black hair the chance that they can and will be blonde. What you will be told is that they will take you as light as possible without causing irreparable damage to your hair. What that lightness will be, will be determined once the long arduous process is underway. Oh and trust us, you cannot go blonde overnight from black, regardless of what Kim Kardashian tells you. Going lighter is a long and often costly journey, so prepare yourself for plenty of salon visits and at-home treatments.
Your first salon visit (after your main consultation and strand testing) will usually consist of your colourist applying bleach to lift out the dark pigment. What you will be faced with is an orange/red tone. This colour will be patchy too, often due to previous colour build-up. To cover up this orange, a brown toned semi-permanent colour or toner will be applied to help even the colour and cover patchiness. Bonding treatments should also be used throughout to help maintain the integrity of the hair.
Your second appointment will see much the same as your first. Bleach will again be applied to the hair to further lift the colour. Your colourist will be keeping a watchful eye on your hair throughout, as this can be a time when the hair starts to struggle with the bleach damaging its condition. If the hair’s integrity is being lost with the bleaching process, then your colourist will stop lifting the hair. Condition should take priority over colour. Bad condition means a bad colour! If the hair can withstand the bleach, then once this is rinsed another lighter semi-permanent will be applied, along with toners to help achieve a lighter result. Highlights can also be used to help gradually take you lighter and break up the all over colour.
Now the amount of times your colourist repeats this process is down to them and what your hair will withstand. It is this that will determine how light you can go. Bonding treatments used throughout the lightening process are essential, as these help bond and protect the hair’s natural keratin. Do not skimp on these when opting to lighten your hair!!
Using professional salon recommended products at home is also important, as this will help to strengthen and rebuild the hair between lightening appointments. Also, whilst you are undergoing this process, try and cut back on your heated tool usage too. Your hair will need a lot of rest and TLC in order to cope with the bleach and colour applications. Your stylist should also recommend that you have a good haircut, which will remove any severe damaged ends and old colour build-up.
Managing expectations is what is so important here when it comes to big colour changes and corrections. Sometimes, and more often than not, it’s just not possible to achieve the colour you so desperately crave. Some hair can handle bleach better than others, and so each colour change case a salon takes on really comes down to the individual. Because everyone’s hair is different, exactly how long it’s going to take, the kinds of colours you’ll get throughout the process and how agreeable your hair is to going blonde will depend on your individual hairy circumstances. Any colourist worth their weight in gold will tell you that keeping the condition and integrity of your hair is what is important, and that with time and patience, a great colour will follow suit.
Find your nearest Good Salon Guide recognised colour salon right here.