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How to Get Box Dye Our of Your Hair & Tone it Ash Blonde


How to Lift out Box Dye

Did you ever put black box dye on your hair?

Or do you now have a client who did?

Getting box dye out of hair is one of the real challenges that we as hair professionals face.

But if you use the right products, and the right technique, it can be done very well.

Safely and without unnecessary damage.

In this blog we will show you how.

Read on...

Client with Heavy Box Dye Wanting to Go Ash Blonde

Hair Dyes with Box Dye

Client with Box Dye

Our client came in wanting to go ash blonde.

Her hair had been dyed using box dyes for a while.

In order to deal with this, we decided to use Brilliant Blondexx.

This is a bleach with maleic acid, otherwise known as Bond Protect built in, and this is what we always recommend for lifting out box dye.

Maleic acid is the key ingredient which will allow us to do the heavy lifting necessary without causing unnecessary damage.

It will work better than any color remover, and with less damage.

Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect

Brilliant Blondexx

How to Apply Brilliant Blondexx to Lift Out Box Dye

Applying Brilliant Blondexx

Applying Brilliant Blondexx on the mid-lengths: first time, with 30 Vol developer.

We made a mix of Brilliant Blondexx and 30 Vol developer, using a 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer mix.

We then applied first to the mid-lengths and ends.

In cases like this when you need to lift out dyed hair, it is important that the mix is fairly wet.

Otherwise you won't be able to saturate the hair really well and you won't get lift.

We let the bleach process for a while until the mid-lengths were turning orange yellow.

At this point we applied the same mix on the root area.

The root area always processes faster because of the heat from the scalp.

So it is better to apply there later.

Hair after first bleaching

Hair After First Bleaching

After we did this there was still some yellow orange in the mid-lengths.

At this point we made a second application of Brilliant Blondexx, this time using 20 Vol developer.

2nd Bleach Application

2nd Bleach Application. Mid-Lengths & Ends Only, and with 20 Vol developer this time.

Bleached Hair after 2nd application

Bleached Hair after second application

After the second application had processed for around 15 minutes, we were rewarded with a nice yellow consistent color.

This was not level 10, but it was around level 8/9 and as near to blonde as we felt it correct to go the first time round.

We rinsed at this point.

Toning the Bleached Hair with a Blue Based Toner

Because there was still a lot of yellow in the hair (which is entirely normal at level 8/9, by the way), we opted to use Ugly Duckling's blue based hair color 8.1b.

This is an ash blonde reinforced, as the "B" implies, with blue.

Blue being the opposite of yellow on the color wheel is the ideal neutralization color for this type of hair.

Because our client had grey hair, we mixed this 8.1b with 8N - pure blonde base, in other words.

We mixed these colors with 20 Vol developer, using a 1part color to 1 part developer mix.

Blue Based 8.1b

Blue based toner developing on the hair & changing color: getting rid of yellow

The Final Result: From Box Dye to Ash Blonde

Toned Ash Blonde Hair

As you can see, there are still some pigments left and in an ideal world we would like to go more blonde than this.

But for a first attempt, both our hairdresser and the client were more than happy with a very successful removal of heavy black box dye and a very pretty ash blonde hair result.

What do I need to do this in my salon?

You would need the following:

A tub of Brilliant Blondexx Bleach with Bond Protect inside.

Both 20 and 30 Vol developer. You need to have both at hand and be prepared to use either as needed.

8.1b blue based blonde dye. Only Ugly Duckling has this specific color. It's an ideal product for tone down blonde operations.

8N as base. We used Ugly Duckling 8N, which has good grey hair coverage and repigmentation properties.

This is what helps you to "fill in base" in cases such as this.


Hair by Elona Taki

Hair pictures and video in this blog from Elona Taki. 

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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