Bangs, fringe, breakage — whatever you call it, it'll fit in some butterfly clips.
I’ve been bugging Emmett to let me bleach his silky black hair blonde for a while now. He’s never dyed his hair any colour ever, and as a beauty writer who changes her hair almost weekly, I can’t help but feel driven to take his hair-dye virginity.
The only problem is, Em really covets his soft, shiny virgin hair, and he fends me off every time I suggest a change. Essentially, he’s terrified of ending up with any colour that doesn’t closely resemble white or gray. He says dying Asian hair white-blonde is impossible.
Being the stubborn and determined lady I am, I set out to prove Emmett wrong and show him that I could totally get his hair to a nice, cool white colour. I enlisted the help of our friend Paddy, who has been begging (and bribing) me to smother her naturally black hair in bleach for months now. I made her promise she’d try not to freak out if the results were horrible, and sent her to the store with a shopping list. When she arrived at my house, we got right to work.
As always, I am not claiming to be doing this correctly or telling you to do what I have tried. I am simply sharing my hair experiments for your reading pleasure. I am not a professional.
I considered doing a bleach bath, but Paddy insisted I try to get her hair as light as possible, and her hair was virgin and healthy, so we went for full-on bleach.
I used a packet of blue bleach powder with a 30 volume activator, and carefully applied it to her hair from roots to ends. Then we covered it with Saran wrap, let it sit for 35 minutes, and rinsed it.
At this point it was very brassy and orange, whereas my hair at this stage is always a pale yellow. The heat from Paddy’s head had also made the root area process quicker, so the bleach had left a (sort of amazing) ombré fade effect.
In an effort to combat the orange, I had Paddy towel dry her hair, and we moved on to step two: toner.
In this case, Paddy wasn’t able to make it to Sally Beauty Supply for my go-to toner, Wella Colour Charm T18, so instead she got Inebrya Ice Cream 9/1 “Ash Superlight Blonde”, a grey colour I used many times before.
We blended the toner with a 20 volume to get maximum lift, and again, painted Paddy’s bleached hair from roots to end. We left it on for 45 minutes (the maximum time), then she rinsed and did a deep condition with my Davines Nou-Nou Pak to soothe her stressed hair and scalp.
The final results were still a lot more yellow and brassy than Paddy and I had hoped, but her hair did lighten significantly, and it turned out a pretty awesome colour considering it was our first try.
We’re going to try a bleach bath method monthly moving forward to see how white we can get it without causing horrible damage, but for now, I think Emmett might have won this debate. It’s pretty hard to outsmart the orange!
Have you tried bleaching naturally black hair? What worked for you?