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Going Blonde to Cover Grey Hair: How to Get There & What You Need


Going grey when you have blonde hair

Why is going blonde to cover grey a good strategy?

When the first white hairs appear, they are always much more visible against a dark base.

This is just the way colors work. A white hair next to a dark brown hair is going to stand out more.

Which is why many women take this as the right time to start going blonde.

The blonder a woman goes, the less noticeable her white hairs are going to be. And the easier they are to cover and blend away.

In this blog tutorial, we will go through what you need to do when you have such a case in your salon - a woman wanting to go blonde to cover better her grey.

White hair is more noticeable against a dark base.

Going grey on dark hair

Going Blonde to cover Grey using Ugly Duckling blonde colors

How to choose the right shade of blonde for your grey hair

Now that you know that going blonde is a realistic (and attractive) possibility for clients going grey, let's talk about the range of blonde color available.

For most European race clients, we would recommend choosing a blonde color from level 8 up.

For darker skin tones (for Asians for example), you can go as low as level 7.

However, the above levels should be really considered as the minimum.

In practice, you can go much much blonder than that. Many of our customers go all the way up to level 10 platinum blonde.

Don't forget, the lighter you take your client's hair, the easier it will be to blende away the grey hair.

Mixing a Base color with a toners to go Blonde & Get Coverage at the same time

We generally recommend clients who have a lot of grey hair to follow a strategy of mixing a base color of their choice with a toner of their choice.

Doing this will allow you to get good coverage of the white hair (re-pigmentation of hairs which have lost their natural melanin, in other words).

At the same time you will be taking the color to a truly white blonde result which will look natural. And young.

When following this strategy, we would suggest you use 50% natural colors (base colors) and 50% toners.

Do this to start with. Later, you can vary the proportion in a way that works best with your hair and your hair color objectives.

The more base you are going to use, the more coverage you will get.

But the more toner you use, the prettier blonde reflect you will get.

Which Ugly Duckling Base Colors Should I Use?

Make your choice of one of these colors for your base color:

Level 8 Blonde (8N)

Level 8 Blonde

Level 9 Blonde (9N)

Level 9 Blonde

Level 10 Blonde (10N)

Level 10 Blonde

High lifted blonde (High Lift Natural Blonde)

High lifted blonde

Which Ugly Duckling Toners Should I Use? 

Make your choice from one of the toners below. 

Intense Silver Blonde 100B

Intense Silver Blonde

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Which developer strength should I use?

Since you are trying to take your client blonde, you need to achieve good lift.

That is why we would suggest 20 Vol or 30 Vol depending on the lift required.

This will allow you to lift the color of the natural (non-white) hair and allow a more seamless blending.

What if I have really dark hair & I want to go blonde? 

If you or your client has dark hair and going grey, you will need to bleach the hair really really well to get the dark hair up to level 10.

Then after that, apply your base color and toner mix in the usual way.

Salt & Pepper hair


Hair by Bozey Tedstone

Products Used:

Brilliant Blondexx Hair Lightener

Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V

Purple Shampoo & Mask

How do I apply the bleach in cases where I am trying to take the hair much lighter?

When using bleach, we recommend Brilliant Blondexx. It contains Bond Protect and can be used near the scalp without any damage issues.

Brilliant Blondexx Bond-Protect Bleach

Brilliant Blondexx Bond Protect Bleach

Mix the bleach with 20 Vol developer unless the hair is really really dark.

The mix should be 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer. Mix it well untill you get a nice creamy mixture as below.

Creamy bleach mixture - Brilliant Blondexx

Creamy white mixture

Now apply to the entire head, segmenting finely and starting from the back in the case of full head applications.

Try and work fast, but try and make sure that as much hair comes into contact with the product as possible.

The hair needs to be fully saturated with the bleach mixture to lift nicely & evenly.

Check while the hair is lifting & rinse once you have achieved level 10.

How do I apply the color?

Make a mix of 1 part color to 1 part developer (either 20 Vol or 30 Vol) for with your combination of base and toner that we suggest above.

Since you are taking the hair lighter, we would suggest you apply first on the lengths, leaving the last inch of the root area to the end.

Then return and finish applying on the root area.

Always saturate the hair very well with product.

Wait 30 minutes or until the root area has processed sufficiently. Then rinse.

How do I maintain Blonde Hair?

White hair, even when dyed blonde, can have some issues. It can often be very dry and rough.
It can also have a slightly yellow aspect.

To maintain bleached or lifted blonde hair, we recommend the use of Brilliant Blondexx Hair Care.

This will keep fine hair strong and in good condition and stop it getting too dry and fibrous.

If you have dyed hair very blonde, we would also suggest you use Brilliant Blonde Purple Shampoo & Mask.

The purple pigments in these products will keep the hair white and stop it from going yellow.

What should I do when the white hair is very resistant to taking color?

If the white hair is very tough & rough and resistant to coloring, you can try the technique below.

Pre-wash such resistant white hair with 20 Vol developer alone.

This technique, known in French as "Mordancage", is surprisingly effective with very resistant white hair.

When doing so, apply all over, leave to soak 20 minutes. 

The developer will help open up the hair cuticle and soften it, making it easier to color and bleach

Then do your color or bleach application.

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.