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Home / Blog/ Can you bleach dyed black hair?
Home Blog Can you bleach dyed black hair?

Can you bleach dyed black hair?


Taking Box Dyed Black Hair Blonde - Watch Video

Hair by Elona Taki

Can you bleach hair that has been dyed black?

And can you bleach box black dyed hair?

The answer is: Yes, you can. But you need to do it right.

In this blog, we are going to show you how.

What you need to know about dyed black hair

Black Hair

Hair dyed black with box dye 

Dyed black hair is unfortunately one of the hardest things to lift out.

Especially if you have used any henna-based or any other metallic dyes.

However, the good news is if you have dyed your hair bleach with oxidative dyes, then it is possible to lift out the black.

This applies to both professional black dyes and box black dyes.

Is it harmful to bleach black dyed hair?

Let's be clear: it's not a process we would recommend that you undertake too often.

At Ugly Duckling we always recommend that you limit this sort of drastic process to once in the lifetime of the hair.

But provided you follow the proper procedure, and use quality products, you will absolutely be able to lift black dyed hair.

And keep the hair in relatively good condition.

We are now going to show you how.

How to bleach dyed black hair - What You Will need

Brilliant Blondexx

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach with Bond Protect

When bleaching dyed black hair, you really need to use a good bleach.

All bleaches are not the same, and many salon bleaches have insufficient lifting power.

Which means you have to use developer strength that is way too high.

And process the bleach way too long on your hair.

Neither is recommended for hair that has been colored black and now needs to be taken lighter.

For this reason we would recommend that you use Ugly Duckling's Brilliant Blondexx.

It is the only bleach on the market with Bond Protect built in.

It produces a creamy, white bleach very similar to a regular color.

And you can use it to give black hair a 7 level lift using just 20 Vol on the root area and 30 Vol on the lengths.

Check the hair quality 

First, assess the hair quality and make sure that the hair looks strong.

Take one strand in your fingers and try and stretch it when wet.

If it stretches, that's good.

It means that the hair is elastic. Which means it is strong and in good health - despite the black dye that you put on it.

Choose the right bleach and developer strength

Bleach and 30 Vol

Brilliant Blondexx and 30 Vol 

If you use Brilliant Blondexx, you will only need to use 2 developer strengths.

20 and 30 Vol developer. You will need to keep both of these handy as you will need to use both.

In general, we only recommend the use of 40 Vol developer in really rare cases.

For example, when the hair is really exceptionally thick and really resistant to coloring and bleaching.

And that too, never on the root area.

Making your mix and applying on the lengths

Mix of bleach and 30 Vol developer

Mix of Brilliant Blondexx bleach and 30 Vol developer

For your first mix, use the 30 Vol.

The proportion is 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer.

Keep stirring until you get a nice, smooth, creamy mix as you see below.

Then apply on the lengths only.

Leave the inch nearest the root out. We will return there later once we have properly lifted the lengths.

The root area will always process faster in any case, because of the heat from the scalp.

Re-applying with a fresh mix

10 minutes after application, check the hair.

Is it lifting? If it is orange or orange yellow, that means it is.

At this stage, make a fresh mix.

Use 20 Vol this time and apply on the lengths

Really saturate the hair so that every hair is literally smothered with the bleach mixture.

Applying on the roots

Now with the same 20 Vol mix (or a fresh one), apply to the root area - the inch which you left out.

Keep checking the whole head.

The idea is to get consistency from the root to the tip.

You need to get the hair to as close to level 10 very pale yellow as you can.

Keep checking to see if you are ready to rinse

Hair approaching level 9

Hair at level 9 ready to be rinsed. 

Level 9 hair - dry

Level 9 hair - after towel drying. 

At this stage, as we approach the final 10-15 minutes, it is important to assess the hair one more time.

Take a strand and do the pull test once more.

If it is elastic, that's good.

Keep developing the bleach mixture, re-applying as necessary.

Your aim should be level 8 or 9. More than that is probably unachievable for dyed black hair.

See the picture above to see what level 8-9 level hair looks like.

Remember: If you think the hair is looking elasticity, you need to rinse.

Otherwise you could end up with broken hair or split ends.

Toning the hair after bleaching

Once you have rinsed the hair with water, take another look and assess what level you have taken it to.

If it is around level 9, you are ready to tone.

For toning, if you wish to push the hair even blonder, use one of Ugly Duckling's intense toners below.

These have extra lift built in. They also tone very well indeed.

Choose the intense pearl blonde for a more grey-pearl blonde result.

And the intense Silver blonde for a more white natural silver blonde result.

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

From Dark to Blonde

From Dark Brown to Blonde. Hair by Ashley Betancourt

Intense Silver Blonde 100B

Intense Silver Blonde 100B

If you are happy with the level after bleaching, but wish now color-correct for yellow, then use Ugly Duckling regular cream toners.

These have regular lift built in.

Plus very strong neutralizing pigments to get hair ash blonde.

Again, use the pearl blonde for a more grey-blonde finish.

And the silver blonde for a more natural white-silver finish.

Pearl Blonde 10V

Pearl Blonde 10V

Typical Result with Pearl Blonde 10V

Typical Result with Pearl Blonde 10V - Hair by Elona Taki.

Silver Blonde 10B

Silver Blonde 10B

If you want a more vibrant, unique look to your newly lifted hair, you may consider adding in some Purple Grey to your Pearl Blonde toner.

It's just one of the many unique toners and mixers that Ugly Duckling has to give your client's hair an extra pop:

Purple Grey

Purple Grey

Toned with 10V and Purple Grey

Dark hair lifted and toned with Pearl Blonde 10V and Purple Grey.

Hair by Elona Taki

Taking care of the hair aftre bleaching and toning

The Final Result

The Final Result: Level 8/9 and toned with Pearl Blonde Toner 10V

It's really important to take care of hair that has been colored black and then re-bleached.

We would suggest you use Brilliant Blondexx shampoo and mask on a regular basis.

These products contain Bond Protect and will help build the hair bonds from the inside and make the hair thicker and stronger.

They will also help soften the hair and make it easier to style

They are acidic products (not many hair treatments are) - which means they will help close the hair cuticle and make hair more manageable.

They are also sulfate free.

Brilliant Blondexx Hair Care

Brilliant Blondexx - with Bond Protect.


Hair by Ashley Betancourt

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.