Bleaching Hair From Black To White: Take Two

It's been a month since I tried--and failed--to get my friend's naturally black hair silvery-white. But we're not giving up!

Remember when I tried to bleach
black hair to platinum blonde
in one at-home
Well, even though we didn’t quite get the results we’d hoped for, Paddy and I
are determined to keep trying until we get her hair as purple-y white as can be.
So with that, we give you round two.

We gave Paddy’s hair a mont-long break
(a little excessive, but I didn’t want to fry her hair off!) before heading to
Sally Beauty Supply for some new products to try out.

Paddy’s hair was extremely orange
and brassy from our first try, so this time we really went for it, determined to try everything we could.

We bought:

•40 volume activator

•1 packet of blue bleach (because
she has so little hair)

•1 Wella Colour Charm toner in
12A/1210 “Frosty Ash”

•20 volume activator

•Shimmer Lights purple shampoo and

•Manic Panic “Virgin Snow”

We also used:


•Bowl and brush

•Davines Silver Alchemic Shampoo and

With everything we could possibly
need (hopefully), we got down to work.

Paddy’s roots were super-short, so
instead of bleaching them first and then going over all of her hair like I
usually would when bleaching roots, we focused just on the already bleached

I applied the bleach all over the
hair, then folded the ends into foil to speed the processing time. I used a 40-volume bleach activator because we were avoiding the scalp and Paddy wanted
maximum lift, combined with Prism Lights blue bleach
This bleach is ideal for lifting dark hair and giving it a blue tone, so it was
perfect for Paddy

After leaving the bleach on for 45
minutes (the maximum time) Paddy rinsed her hair and gently washed with Davines
Nourishing Shampoo to give it some much-needed nutrients.

After we’d blow dried we surveyed
the results: Paddy’s hair was definitely a lot lighter than last time, and
didn’t seem to be falling out in clumps, so I was pretty satisfied. It was, however, still extremely yellow, and still had an intense ombre effect
happening, so we moved on to toner.

This time around, we used a blue-based toner to cancel out the yellow shades in Paddy’s hair. We tried the Wella
gel toner instead of liquid (I like working with it better) in “Frosty
Ash” blonde to try and get as close to purple-grey-white as possible.

We mixed the toner with a 20 volume
activator and let it sit on the most yellow parts for 15 minutes; then we
covered all of the bleached hair and left it on for almost an hour.

Then Paddy rinsed… but before she conditioned, I
had her towel off her hair and get out of the shower. Her hair was a nice shade
but not quite the silvery purple she desired, so I whipped out my secret
weapon: Davines Silver Alchemic

I can’t rave enough about how well
this product works (you’ll be hearing more about it later, I assure you). Though the effect is relatively temporary, it is the best product for keeping
brassiness away that I’ve ever encountered. It’s like a tub of swirling purple
magic blonde potion! I applied it all over Paddy’s tuft, and we waited
25 minutes.

Finally, Paddy rinsed one last
time. The Davines had made her hair much softer and less crunchy, and had
helped to give the hair a silvery sheen. The results were pretty great if I say so myself:

That evening, I sent Paddy home with
a little maintenance kit I dreamed up: Shimmer Lights purple shampoo and
conditioner, and Manic Panic Virgin snow.

If you can’t afford the Davines
Silver alchemic, this is the stuff for you. Extremely purple and filled with
all sorts of unpronounceable chemicals, this duo is so purple it will turn your
hair purple
if you use it too often. Though it doesn’t smell the best, it’s a
great cheap way to keep the brassiness away.

Here’s Paddy’s hair after using
the duo in the shower at home a few days later:

Virgin Snow by Manic Panic is also
a good way to maintain silvery blonde if you want to give your hair a nice
overnight treatment. I told Paddy to apply it to her bleached bits once a week
and sleep on it (since it’s vegetable dye, it can stay on as long as you want).

Overall, we were both satisfied with the colour this time. Next step: bleaching the roots to match
when they grow in and continuing to lighten!