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From Black to Blonde in One Sitting Only with Ugly Duckling Blonding Products

How To Bleach Dark or Black Hair Blonde - in 1 Sitting Only!


Looking To Take Dark or Black Hair Ultra White Blonde?

  • As a stylist, do you get requests from clients to bleach and lift dark hair to blonde - in 1 Sitting?
  • It is possible to do this and maintain hair integrity at the same time provided you do it right.
  • Our model Chrystelle is Domenican and she had very very frizzy, long dark hair.
  • We succeeded in transforming her into an ultra white blonde look.
  • Watch how we did it below!

Hairdresser: Ashley Betancourt.

How To Bleach Dark or Black Hair and Take it To Blonde in 1 Sitting Only!

Bleaching Black Hair - Before and After

We bleached and toned our model's dark hair to this!

This was done in just 1 sitting.

In this tutorial we will show you how to achieve this in your own salon.

1. What You Will Need

2. Mix the Lightener and the Developer in a Mixing Bowl

  • Our recommended mix is 1 part Lightener to 2 parts Developer.
  • This gives a mix which is fairly runny, which is what you need to saturate the hair properly and work fast.
  • At the same time, it is not too runny that it will drip off he brush.
  • As this model has fairly dark hair and we are looking to go ultra white blonde, we decided to start off on the lengths using 30 Vol Developer.
  • The rule of thumb when using bleach is 20 Vol developer for 1-2 levels lift and for the root area, and 30 Vol for 3 levels lift and more.
  • As we are definitely looking to go lighter by more than 3 levels, 30 Vol is our choice of developer for the lengths.
  • Section the hair and apply the mix thoroughly using a brush, starting from the back where the hair is the thickest.
  • At this stage, apply only on the lengths and leave out the last inch closest to the root.
  • Aim to deposit as much of the mix as possible. In this case, because of the hair frizziness, after applying with a brush, we re-applied with fingers using gloves.
  • Good product saturation is really really important when lifting dark hair - Be bold and really use a lot of product!

The Ideal Bleach Mix

3. Section the Hair and Apply The Bleach Mix

  • This is long hair, and bleach needs to be applied as fast as possible so that all the hair lifts equally.
  • So first section the hair into 4 large quadrants, and pin back 3 quadrants.
  • Start off with one of the quadrants at the back.
  • You can use foil for the first application using 30 Vol developer. It will help lock in heat which will make for faster and better processing.
  • Section this one into very fine sections and start applying the bleach.
  • At this stage, apply only on the lengths, leaving the root part (which processes faster) for later
  • Work your way round the hair as quickly as you can.

Start Applying Bleach From The Back

4. Check The Hair And Re-Apply Fresh Bleach Mix If Necessary

  • Once you have applied everywhere on the lengths, check how it is processing, especially at the back where you started.
  • If the mixture has dried up and you have still not lifted to level 9/10. you will need to re-apply fresh mix.
  • When making fresh mix, use 20 Vol this time. You should not use 30 Vol twice in a row on hair in one session.
  • Check also for hair integrity. As long as the hair is still strong and has its natural elasticity, you're good.
  • In the case of dark hair, virgin or healthy hair, after 30 minutes of processing you can rinse and re-apply one more time if you have not achieved level 9/10.

Keep Checking and Re-Apply Mix if Necessary

5. Get The Lengths Up to A Consistent Level 9/10

  • Your aim should be to get the lengths up to this color.
  • This is what Crystelle's lengths looked like after bleaching, processing & rinsing.

Get The Lengths Up to Level 9/10

  • Notice that at this stage we still have not touched the root area:
  • Bleach processing goes really fast, so when you have long hair like this, it is better to deal with the lengths first & then rinse.
  • Then deal with the root area which will take a different development time.

Root Area

6. Now Apply On The Root Area, Using 20 Vol Developer.

  • In general, you need to be careful when applying bleach on the root area.
  • A skin sensitivity test is always recommended before any bleach application.
  • Heat from the scalp means that hair near the root always processes faster than anywhere else.
  • That is why for the root area, we made a fresh mix using 20 Vol Developer.
  • Because the lengths are all done, we were able to concentrate on the root area, and rinse as soon as we got the desired result.

Hair Lifted From Roots To Ends

7. Rinse And Apply Intense Pearl Blonde Toner

Ugly Duckling Toner

  • After rinsing with water, apply Ugly Duckling Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100 V with 20 Vol.
  • This toner along with 100B is probably the fastest acting toner in the market today.
  • When you are dealing with dark hair this would be our recommendation for those looking to take clients Pearl Blonde.
  • The recommended mix is 1 part toner to 2 parts developer.
  • Once again, work fast, starting off with the lengths.
  • Return to the root area afterwards.
  • You will see the pigments of the toner will start to change. This is normal.
  • Let the color process. Do not let the toner process more than around 10 minutes on the root area and more than 20 minutes overall.

Applying Toner (2)

8. Rinse with Purple Shampoo and/or Mask.

Purple Shampoo and Mask

  • Now rinse with Brilliant Blonde Purple shampoo and/or Mask. 
  • These products contain intense violet pigments which will help finish your hair color result and kill any residual yellowness.
  • Because they are low pH, they also help to close the hair cuticle after the lightening and coloring.

9. Final Result.

Final Result

Final Result After Bleaching and Toning

10. Watch Full Video Tutorial Here:

Is it true that going from black to blonde in one sitting damages the hair. Is that true?

At Ugly Duckling, we are really not big fans of the approach of bleaching again and again in an incremental way.

Do it once & do it right is our motto. It's much less stressful for the hair in total if you do it that way - provided you use the right products, of course!

There are a lot of bleaches out there which don't lift well and lift slower.

What that means is that you end up being forced to bump up the developer strength and increasing processing time in order to get the required lift.

Which of course is much more damaging in the long run.

Can you dye black hair blonde without using bleach?

No unfortunately you cannot. Lifting from black to blonde basically involves a jump of 8 levels...from level 2/3 to level 9/10.

There's no really effective way of doing that without bleach.

Now once, again, you might say, what if I want to do it incrementally?

Well, we would say, yes you can use use high lift color (Ugly Duckling has some excellent ones) and use that several times over a period of several months.

You could probably get good results that way. 

We do, however, recommend you do it in the way we have shown here. It is the most effective way -  and one that is easiest on your hair because it's a one shot process only.

    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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