How To Go From Dark Brown to Platinum Blonde at Home
Can an ordinary citizen with no real beauty skills take her own head from brown to blonde? It may be a bit dodgy, however I believe I did it and I believe I was successful at it. Here's my DIY of an at home bleaching and blonde dye job.
Here's a couple of things about me that you should probably know before hand. 1) I am impulsive, 2) I am a crybaby, 3) I had virgin hair. Now, having no background in beauty or any girlfriends about me that could advise on what I was thinking about doing, I of course turned to Wikihow. I researched which bottles I would be reaching for on the shelf and planned a list of all the products I would need.
Here is my list:
1. Bleach (a tub of bleach powder)
2. A bottle of 30 or 40 developer
3. Red Gold corrector (get a lot of this)
4. Plastic Bowl and Dye Brush
5. Foil & Plastic Wrap
7. Hair Clips
8. Purple Shampoo!
9. (Optional) The tube of dye in the shade you want
Here's what you do.
Mix 6 scoops of bleach powder with 2/3 a cup of 40 or 30 developer then add enough red-gold corrector to turn your mixture bright pink or purple. This will be your first pass, so after you've whipped up the first bowl lay out the second set of ingredients because you will certainly need to mix more and you will be on the clock throughout this process.
Put a timer on 45 minutes and get to werk. Coat your hair in the bleach mixture and create little foil crinkles all over your head. Check your hair as it develops and if it goes white really quickly then cut the process short, turn on the shower and wash that biz out.
*Read up on bleaching and don't take everything I did as law. Everyone's hair is different, people's skin reacts differently and there are other ways available and other tips that might work better for you than my methods.
On that note- here's a couple of things I learned the hard way. The first is that I did not get enough of the essentials (like latex gloves that fit your hands).
Even though I have a bob cut I have thick hair and that means more bleach powder. I also did not get nearly enough red-gold corrector (thats the purple package on top of the bleach tub). They sell bottles of it as opposed to packets and I wasn't fully aware of what it did exactly so I overlooked how important it was.
Let me break it down for anyone curious. It is without a doubt liquid gold. This is the stuff that deletes the brassiness that will plague you immediately after bleaching. It saves you from the cringe of orangey wig hair and projects you into blissful dreams of bleached perfection ready for any color of the rainbow to grace your tresses. Yeah... I ran out of it.
The other thing I learned is to have a plan. You have to know how you are going to spread this bleach concoction over your head quickly and efficiently based on your specific head shape and hair style. You only have 40 minutes before this pile of stuff becomes toxic and you have to wash it out before it makes your hair fall out (i'm being dramatic but you get it).
Each person's hair shape is different but we can assume if you are by your lonesome in this endeavor then the back of your head is going to be ridiculous (as in poorly bleached), mine certainly is, so lets work out how to avoid that. Here's a trick that I came up with after I had already failed that hopefully will help you not to.
First, petroleum jelly is your frand and aluminum foil is your frand too. What you can do first before you start on any other parts of your head is dab the back of your neck with the petroleum jelly and then lay down the foil at the nap of your neck so it sticks to the jelly. Pull your strands down over the foil and do your best to get your dye brush back there and get after those hairs. Douse them in the bleach. Try to do this for all of the hair in the back, layering the foil pieces until you reach the crown of your head. Try to be quick but also make sure you're checking with your phone or a hand mirror to see that you didn't miss any streaks. It sounds simple, but this is really hard to pull off.
If this looks like a mess to you, that's because it is.
I'm not going to pretend I knew what I was doing. As I said, I literally have 0 background in beauty. I am, however, a huge proponent of DIY and I believe you can learn whatever skills you want at any time in life. So here's how it came out after the bleach:
This photo is the good side but there were/are several bad sides. The back of my hair was not bleached thoroughly and even now has brown streaks in it. The back was also the most coppery overall. This alone wouldn't be that bad except for the fact that the sections of my hair I tackled first (the sides) are almost pure white. This was because they had the most red-gold corrector in the mix and they also bleached for the longest time. Although they were exposed to the bleach the longest they did not fall out! These white areas are actually really soft. It makes me a little sad because I know if I was better prepared before going into this my whole head could have easily been platinum. The combination of highly lifted streaks with a back section that is dirty blonde/brown isn't as cute as it sounds.
In light of how uneven my hair came out, I effectively changed my strategy for dying it. Originally I picked a shade of ultra light blonde from the Color Brilliance line and was going to lather it through my hairs with the 40 developer. Kind of like a color bath. Teeny bit of developer, whole lotta pigment. When everything came out uneven I knew I needed something formulated that was pre-mixed and consistent. I needed to lift the dark hairs in the back without damaging the areas that I already had heavily bleached. So I did a little research.
This Garnier Nutrisse boxed set was perfect because it does not have bleach in the mix yet it still maintains the power to lift. It comes with gloves and an applicator that is perfect for touching up the roots and it acts like a toner. Begone you brassy a-hole hairs! I was feeling super excited.
EEK it worked out. Guys I have to say I feel pretty accomplished. I cried, I panicked, I changed my mind 50 times but I am now a blonde whether it's 100% perfect or not. I'm in for the long haul and most of the ways that I messed up this process will have to be corrected in time while my hair heals. Overall I'm pretty okay with how it turned out, the most important thing is that I still have hair and it is still super soft and manageable. Now for the after care that comes with the blonde do. Fortunately, I have my toning purple shampoo, my can-do attitude and my blonde bobby-pins at the ready. I think I will be okay.