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Home Blog How to turn yellow hair into a level 10 ash blonde: a comprehensive guide for hairdressers
Dark Roots Successfully Lifted & Entire Head Toned to Level 10 Ash Blonde

How to turn yellow hair into a level 10 ash blonde: a comprehensive guide for hairdressers


Yellow tones in hair can be a common challenge, especially when you are aiming for a beautiful level 10 ash blonde.

As a skilled hairdresser, you understand the importance of achieving the perfect tone for your clients.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process to turn yellow hair into a stunning level 10 ash blonde.

Ensuring your clients leave your salon with the hair color of their dreams.

In this tutorial, we will take you through an real-life case, and show you pictures as we go.

Step 1: Assess your client's hair level


Before: dark regrowth, yellow-orange mid-lengths, blonde ends

As you can see in the picture above, our model has three separate areas on her hair.

First, she has a very root area. This is pure regrowth & it is her natural hair color. It's around level 6.

Next, she has a yellow-orange or golden area just after the regrowth area which will need taking care of. It's around level 8.

Finally, she has her lengths which are pretty light & will need just gentle toning. It's around level 10.

This kind of situation is very normal.

Sometimes colorists want to apply just one product or one toner and they think they are going to be able to deal with cases like this. 

But if you do that, you will not get good results.

Step 2. Mentally break up the different parts of your client's hair

You need to mentally break down the hair into the 3 sections & figure out different strategies for the different sections.

What we need to do is to apply a good quality bleach first to the root area and let that lift.

Then we need to expand that to the yellow-orange area.

And we will make sure not to overlap onto any of the level 10 ends.

Doing this will allow us to get the whole head up to consistent level 10 from roots to ends.

Then we will need to rinse.

Then we will need to tone to turn the yellow into an ash blonde.

Step 3. Select the right lightener

Brilliant Blondexx

Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect

Choosing the right lightener is a key decision.

Not all salon bleaches have the same speed and effectiveness of lift.

Meaning that you are obliged to use extra-strong developer strength.

Or leave the bleach mix on for too long. 

Or both.

We would recommend in cases like this that you use Brilliant Blondexx bleach with Bond Protect.

The bond protection that is built into the bleach prevents hair breakage on the ends and makes for an exceptionally gentle formulation.

At the same time, it has great lifting power.

Meaning that even with low and moderate developer strength you get great lift.

Step 4. Choose the right developer strength

20 Vol developer

20 Vol developer - the correct choice for near scalp applications 

It's always a judgement call when choosing your developer strength.

In this case, we will be applying bleach on to the root area.

Now, the roots area will always lifts very fast due to the heat coming from the scalp.

Plus, the hair is really quite fine, as you can see in the picture, and it's light hair.

So both the root area and also the yellow-orange mid-lengths should lift quite easily.

20 Vol will be the right choice of developer strength.

Step 5. Get your bleach mix and consistency right.

Your bleach mix should be 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer.

This will give you a nice, fairly wet mix which is what you need to saturate the hair properly.

You will find that Brilliant Blondexx produces an really white, creamy mix. More so than almost most bleaches.

This mix will help you achieve even application and avoid patchiness. And avoid irritation on the scalp.

Step 6: Sectioning and Application

Apply Bond Protect Lightener to the root area

Applying the bleach with 20 Vol

Comb the hair and divide the hair into sections to ensure thorough coverage.

Begin the application on the root area where the hair is darkest.

After that root area begins to lift and turn yellow-orange, you can now extend the application to the yellow-orange mid-lengths.

As you apply the lightener, use a feathering technique with your brush.

Place the mix onto hair and don't jab it in.

Step 6: Check the hair & rinse when it is very pale yellow

Hair is Pale Yellow

Hair after rinsing: a consistent level 10. 

Regularly check the hair during the processing time to avoid over-lightening.

The goal is to get the hair to a very consistent very pale yellow.

Rinse when you get the hair to this color.

Some warmth is of course acceptable at this stage, as it will be addressed in the toning phase.

Step 7: Toning to achieve ash blonde

Toning with Pearl Blonde 10V

Toning with Pearl Blonde Toner 10V

After reaching pale yellow level 10, it's time to tone the hair to achieve that perfect level 10 ash blonde.

For this we really need a purple or blue based toner.

These are the pigments which most effectively neutralize yellow and produce the ultra cold ash blonde that we are looking for.

In this tutorial we are using Pearl Blonde 10V.

It's a purple based cream toner with some lifting properties as well.

It's one of our very popular toner.

We mix this toner with 20 Vol developer in a 1 part toner to 2 parts developer ratio.

Then we apply to the whole head.

And let it process.

You can see in the picture above that the purple and blue colors will show on the hair during processing.

This is normal. It shows that the blue and purple pigments are working to neutralize the yellow.

Step 8: Purple shampoo

Purple shampoo application

Application of Brilliant Blonde purple shampoo

Once the toner has processed, we rinse it with tepid water.

Then we apply Brilliant Blonde purple shampoo.

Rub this into the hair very thoroughly.

The shampoo contains purple pigments, and so will help to regularise the whole head, getting rid of any remaining yellow.

And help you to get to a truly consistent ash blonde.

Leave in the shampoo for a couple of minutes. This will allow the purple pigments to act.

Then rinse.


Final Result

Step 9: Maintaining ash blonde hair

You need to advise your clients on proper aftercare to maintain their ash blonde shade.

Purple shampoo and mask will help keep the hair ash blonde and prevent yellow coming back. We would recommend you use it about once a week.

In addition, we would also recommend Ugly Duckling's Brilliant Blondexx Bond Protect hair range.

This will keep the blonde hair strong, healthy, and breakage-free.

In general, always go for sulfate-free and acidic shampoos and conditioners and products.

All Ugly Duckling hair care is acidic. Meaning that it is will help you close the hair cucticle after the bleaching and coloring process.

They are also all sulfate-free. Meaning no build up on the scalp or on the hair.


Turning yellow hair into a level 10 ash blonde requires precision, skill, and the right products.

By following the steps above, you should be able to ensure a seamless and beautiful ash blonde transformation for your clients.

Even if the hair was 


Hair by Elona Taki.

Products Used:

  • Brilliant Blondexx Bond Protect Lightener
  • 20 Vol developer
  • Pearl Blonde Toner 10V
  • Purple Shampoo.


In this transformation, our stylist did another yellow to ash blonde transformation.

This time on a dark regrowth which was much largere.

The products used were exactly the same.

The difference is that our stylist Elona has used a special technique of picking out lowlights when extending the bleach mix to the mid-lengths.

This has the effect of make the progression from the roots to the lengths more gradual.

Also, Elona has used the purple shampoo straight after the bleaching and before the toning.

These are variants that you can adopt too once you get comfortable with the whole technique.

Hair by Elona Taki.

Other toners you can use to turn yellow hair ash blonde

Ugly Duckling has a variety of ash blonde toners aimed at achieving very precise results depending on your starting point.

You can and you should experiment with them in your salon so that you can vary the results according to your client's wishes.

We will go through a few of these yellow to blonde toners now.

Ultra white pearl blonde

To get an ultra white blonde look, use Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde Toner

Extra cold ash blonde

To get this ultra cold ash blonde look, use Extra Cold Ash Blonde 10.1b

Extra Cold Ash Blonde 10.1b

Silver grey

To achieve this silvery grey ash blonde look, use Silver Grey 

Silver Grey

Platinum blonde

White platinum blonde

Platinum blonde is becoming more and more popular.

Platinum blonde is the purest white blonde that is naturally achievable.

Use our Blondify 10V toner for that.

It contains a lot of violet and purple. And it is also enriched with Bond Protect.

It's also a special liquid formulation which contains no ammonia and no PPD.

And it processes in just 10 minutes.

Ash blonde

Natural Ash Blonde

Sometimes after bleaching you may decide that the the client would be better off with a very natural ash blonde look.

No yellow, but at the same time, not too white.

If that is your case, use our Blondify Natural Ash 10A toner 

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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