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Best Bleach for Dark Hair


The Challenges of Taking Dark Hair Blonde

Taking Dark Hair Blonde

Dark and Black Hair has its own challenges.

What happens when you want a color change and you want to lift all that dark color out?

And how do you take dark or black hair blonde - safely and effectively?

And what is the best bleach to do all that?

In this blog tutorial, we'll show you.

What you need to know about dark hair

Dark hair is basically hair that is packed with melanin.

That melanin could either be the hair's natural melanin.

Or it could be artificial melanin, if the hair has been colored dark.

Box dyes in particular are notorious for being hard to remove.

Other challenges when working with dark hair are curls and frizziness.

The more of these you have in your hair, the more kinks, essentially.

These kinks are the "weak points" in your hair fiber.

They can get damaged when you use inferior lightening products.

Which is why lifting out black needs better products, and better technique.

Is there anything I should do before bleaching to prepare the hair?

The best preparation before bleaching is to do nothing.

Bleach works best on dry, unwashed hair.

That way the hair's natural oils protect the scalp and you or your client experiences less discomfort.

The only exception might be if you wanted to do a shadow root effect.

Our model wanted this, and we put in 4N on the roots as you can see in the picture above.

Which bleach is best for dark hair?

The bleach we would recommend is Ugly Ducking's Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect.

The Maleic Acid (which is the ingredient behind the Bond Protect) prevents hair breakage as you lift.

It can be used on the lengths as well as near the root area, on the scalp.

The Bond Protect (Plex Technology) makes for a more comfortable, smoother bleach mix while it's sitting on the scalp.

Which means that you (or your client) will face less discomfort, less itching while the bleach is on the hair.

At the same time, the lifting power of this bleach is 7 levels.

Which it means you can take dark hair all the way to blonde, safely and effectively.

Brilliant Blondexx

Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect

What should I mix this bleach with?

You should mix Brilliant Blondexx with 30 vol developer for your first application on the lengths.

However, for the root area, it would be better to use 20 Vol developer.

Make your mix ratios 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer.

That way you will get a nice smooth, gravy-like mix.

It's important that your mix is wet enough.

That way you can really saturate the hair well.

And this will make it process fast and well.

Make your mix like in the picture below and that will be good.

Bleach & developer mix

Brilliant Blondexx mixed with 30 Vol Developer - smooth & white mix

How should I apply the bleach onto my dark hair?

Applying Bleach to the Lengths

Applying Brilliant Blondexx Bleach to the Lengths

First, apply on the lengths, leaving the root part out.

Leave the root part out and apply to the rest, starting from the back.

That is where the hair is thickest.

You can use foils for this part. It will help keep the heat in and process the hair faster.

Remember to segment the hair very well and to work fast.

Work your way round from the back to the sides.

If you see that the bleach is drying out on the scalp and it is not yet level 9, make some fresh mix and apply more product.

Keep doing this until the lengths are approaching level 9.

Then rinse.

Second, apply on the root area

If you are looking to do a shadow root you will only need to bleach the lengths.

Otherwise, make a separate and new mix for the root part. 

This is where the second mix using 20 Vol developer is needed.

The reason we do the root part separately is because the root and the lengths process at different speeds.

So, it's a much better idea to bleach the lengths first.

Then rinse, then do the scalp in a separate operation.

The scalp will go much faster because it's getting the heat from the head. Plus it's virgin hair.

Sometimes 20 Vol is enough for this part - even with black hair.

Lift all the way, until the roots are also at level 9.

Then rinse.

Level 9

Hair bleached to level 9 - lengths only (we are going to put in a shadow root effect)

How do I tone the hair after bleaching it?

To tone, we decided to use Ugly Duckling's 9.1b and 10V

9.1b is a blue based toner, whereas 10V is pearl blonde - in other words, purple based.

Purple and blue are what you need to tone out yellow.

We are going to apply these toners with 20 Vol on the full head.

That way, we will get a shadow root look.

Darker at the top, and lighter towards the bottom.

Here is a picture of the toners being applied on the hair.

Toners at work

Application of 9.1b and 10.2 on bleached black hair

Final Result - Bleached & Toned Black Hair

Final Result - After Bleaching & Toning Black Hair

Final Result after bleaching & toning Black hair


Hair by Elona Taki

Products Used:

Brilliant Blondexx Bond Protect Bleach with 30 Vol

9.1b and 10.2 with 20 Vol

About the author

Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.

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