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How to get Platinum Hair from Black or Dark Brown


Are you looking to get to Platinum blonde hair from black or dark brown?

It can be done - provided you use a good technique and good products.

In this tutorial we will show you how.

First Step: Apply a Really Good Quality Bleach

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach with Bond Protect

The first step is to use a really good quality bleach.

This is especially important if you have dark brown or black hair, because you have a lot of lifting to do.

So you need a fast lifting bleach, which won't require excessively strong developer strength.

And you will need some protection to the hair as you lift.

We recommend you use Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect.

It has a very powerful lift - up to 7 levels.

It works very well with 20 and 30 Vol developer. So no need for 40 Vol developer - even for dark hair.

The fact that it contains Bond Protect means you can use it on the scalp area without discomfort.

And it contains Bond Protect, which makes the hair stronger and prevents hair breakage.

Remember: always do a scalp test before applying any oxidizing product, including hair bleach.

How to Mix and Apply Your Bleach for Blonde Hair 

Brilliant Blondexx mix

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach Mix - white and creamy

To get the right mix for lifting dark hair, we recommend you use 2 parts of developer to 1 part of bleach. 

This mix ratio will give you a nice wet mix.

Which is what you need for dark hair, which needs to be really really well saturated in the bleach mixture for it to lift.

If you are using Brilliant Blondexx, you will get a nice white creamy mix.

Apply on the Lengths First

Bleach Processing with Foils and Heat

Bleach Processing with Foils & Heat

For a full head of black or dark brown hair, we advise you to do the lengths first.

This means you are going to leave out the 1 inch nearest the scalp and attack the rest.

You are going to need 30 Vol developer when doing this first application on the lengths.

Make small sections, use foil (that helps keep heat in) and keep applying, starting at the back and working your way around the sides.

The bleach mixture has a tendency to dry out fast.

So work fast, and make fresh mixes as necessary, staying with 30 Vol developer.

Check How Fast the Bleach is Lifting

Hopefully, you will be done with the above in around 15 - 20 minutes.

At this point, you need to start checking.

So open up a little one of the first foils you put in, and see how much the hair has lifted.

If it is yellow, that's good. But not enough. Because now you need to do a second application

Do a second application with 20 Vol

For this second application, we are going to use 20 Vol.

That's the rule - we never, ever use 30 Vol twice on any piece of hair. Ever!

Otherwise you will end up damaging the hair integrity.

SO make a fresh mix, also 2 parts developer to 1 part bleach.

Make sure it is nice and wet.

Start taking off the foils and reapply without foils this time, saturating the hair really well using brush and fingers (wearing gloves) if necessary.

Remember: at this stage we still have not done the root area. We are going to do that separately.

Now rinse the head completely. Then return to the root area with a fresh mix

For dark hair, we recommend - for safety's sake - a 2 step procedure.

First, get the lengths all the way up to where they need to be.

Then, rinse.

Make a fresh mix, this time using just 20 Vol developer.

Hair near the roots gets heat from the scalp and does not need very strong developer.

Apply and rinse once the roots are the same color as the lengths.

What should the bleached hair look like when I am completely done?

Like the pictures below. Level 9 would be a minimum for most platinum blonde hair.

If the hair is more orange or more yellow than the pictures below, it means you have not bleached enough.

So don't be lazy.

Rebleach before reaching for that toner!

Bleached Hair Level 9

Bleached Hair (From Dark Brown) to Level 9

Tone with Purple Mask

After bleaching and rinsing, we recommend you do one good application of Brilliant Blonde purple mask.

Purple Mask

Purple Mask - to tone away yellow after bleaching

This mask contains purple pigments which will tone away yellow.

Leave it in 10 minutes, then rinse.

Good Toners for Platinum Blonde Hair 

Toning After Bleaching

Toning with an Ugly Duckling toner

Which toner should I use for Platinum Blonde hair?

Especially when I am working with dark or brown hair?

We get this question a lot!

The answer is, it all depends on how well you have bleached.

And which type of blonde color exactly you are looking to achieve.

We will go through the choice you have now.

Ugly Duckling has 3 types of toner you can use

1. Intense toners, which contain additional lift.

You can use these toners if the hair is still very very yellow, and you really need to lift it some more.

Use with 20 Vol with a 1 part toner to 2 parts developer ratio.

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde toner - Toner with extra Lift.

Hair toned with Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Hair toned with Intense Pearl Blonde Hair by Elona Taki

2. Toners with Regular Lift

These also contain a little lift, but more importantly, they are intensely pigmented with purple and blue pigments.

These will help neutralize any remaining yellow and take your client's hair to silver blonde, ash blonde and platinum blonde.

Regular Lift Pearl Blonde Toner

Toned Result using Pearl Blonde 10V

3. Ammnia-Free Liquid (Non-Lifting) Toners

You can also use ammonia-free toners.

These are liquid based, and really easy to use.

They also neutralize and tone - although their color results are typically gentler and less extreme.

So these toners are a good choice if you are looking for a more natural platinum blonde color.

Or for a maintenance toning treatment after 5 or 6 weeks after lifting the hair, for example.

Blondify Liquid Toners

Blondify Liquid Toners - Natural Violet Blonde

Blondify Natural Violet BlondeY

Hair toned with Blondify Natural Violet Blonde toner after bleaching

You can also consider using toners like Purple Grey or Silver Grey.

Purple Grey and 10V

Hair toned with Purple Grey and 10V Pearl Blonde Toner - Mixed 50/50

These have interesting pigments and product strong and interesting toned looks.

How Should I Maintain Platinum Blonde Hair?

Brilliant Blondexx Hair Products

Brilliant Blondexx Hair Care Contains Bond Protect

We recommend you use Ugly Duckling's Brilliant Blondexx.

This is a hair treatment range with Bond Protect built in.

It will work wonders for dark hair that has been lifted to pale or platinum blonde.

Notably, making it stronger, thicker and healthier.

And prevent hair breakage.

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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