For anyone who wants to do at home bleaching for black hair, this post is for you. This is an old article as I have gone for a less drastic blonde and now go to beauty colleges, but I did enjoy the platinum for a while. Just a warning. Forget everything you’ve been told about hair. Prepare to be informed as a consumer from inside the hair industry. I went in just for help dyeing my hair, and I know I received more information than I came looking for. I was beyond shocked to find out the truth about SLS shampoos, daily conditioners, boxed dyes, flat irons and thinning hair. I’m glad to know these things now, but this is a warning to people who believe ignorance is bliss. I can’t share with you my journey without revealing these truths as well, because I know most of us don’t want just great looking hair. We also want healthy, great feeling hair. The good news is that it can be done!
The title says ‘at home’ for a reason. This is my journey becoming a “Crib Colorist.” I’d like to think of myself as a low maintenance kinda girl with VERY high maintenance hair. And because of that, I wanted to figure out how to do it all myself to save on the price of salon visits, gas getting there, and the time it would require. Plus, sad to say, I think from the education I’ve received from a trusted hair chemist, I might actually be able to do a better job than some salons!
After the results of my own personal home hair coloring, I will do whatever is in my power to promote my online hair guru and adviser. She is amazing. If any of this is helpful, (which it will be!) hurry over to Killerstrands and subscribe. ASAP! When I found her site, I literally devoured all her previous entries and was flabbergasted as to how uninformed I was regarding the world of hair! She’s part Hair Chemist, part experienced stylist (has worked on over 10,000 heads of hair!), and part humanitarian writer/guru with a mission to share all she’s learned from inside the trade…. which in my book equals EVERYTHING MY HAIR HAS BEEN LOOKING FOR! If you don’t believe me, the pictures of my before and after hair will be the proof in the pudding! It doesn’t get more drastic than going from one extreme of hair color (jet black) to the other extreme. (platinum blond) And my hair is actually healthier and better conditioned than before I bleached it! (It wasn’t virgin hair though; it had gone through years of boxed hair dye kits) Ah, but you want the evidence. Well, here it is:
My jet black hair: ( okay, so it’s half jet black virgin hair up top, half boxed dye (many years) brassy brown at bottom, but you get my point)
What it looked like after doing my own bleach job (before I found Killerstrands!)
Needless to say, after I pulled off my bleaching cap and realized I looked like a frickin’ pumpkin head, I panicked! Finding Killerstands Chemist was a Godsend. Before I go into detail as to what I did exactly, make sure to read my previous post in this series: Who Else Wants to go from Asian Jet Black to Platinum Blond and Know it will Look Good?! before reading on. You want to make sure your skin tone matches platinum or some version of platinum blond.
After years of doing at home hair dyes using boxed kits, using shampoos with Sodium Laurel Sulfate, and killing my hair with excessive heat, (my blow drying and flat-ironing addiction) I don’t know why I was shocked that my hair was not only severely damaged, but also thinning! ( you can’t tell from the first picture because it’s flat ironed and drenched in shine infusing product) But… being that I’m stubborn and believe you’re only young once, I wanted to go platinum nonetheless!
I sent these pictures to the Killerstrands Chemist as well as a picture of the goal I had in mind and thus began our email correspondence and online hair consulting, a completely personalized service she provides at a minimal fee and later even deducts from the cost of products. She may be a Killer Chemist, but she’s also a Life-restoring hair Saint on a mission to save the likes of ignorant consumers like myself! I am truly blessed.
Okay, as you will see below, it’s hard not to gush about her, because of the results! Here are the results after doing not ONE, not TWO, but THREE bleachings and following a 90 day hair rescue regimen created by the Chemist:
What I did EXACTLY: (You are about to be in the know…)
Before I found Killer Chemist:
I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply, (Never again! Read why not here) and got 2 boxes of Wella’s WELLITE cream lightener:
I found out later it’s not a bad bleach, but that oil bleaches are the best for the health of hair. (Read about it here) I also got toner, (which I ended up returning, preferring later to trust the Chemist’s personalized advice instead of Sally’s untrained worker ) a tint brush, and Wella Renegal and In Depth Treatment. I kept the Renegal and In Depth Treatment because both are necessary steps whenever you process your hair chemically. They stop the oxidation process and they get your ph level balanced again. (Read about it here)
I did the bleaching and became the pumpkin head. The color was mostly orange with lighter roots. I found out later that you’re supposed to do the roots last. I was doing them with the whole length of the hair. My hair was in terrible shape. So I used Renegal and then applied the In Depth Treatment and slept with it in my hair. Later on when I found the Killerstrands blog, I found out that sleeping with conditioner in my hair was exactly what I should have done! (Read about it here)
So at this point, in my frantic google search for solutions, I ran into the Killerstrands blog and read ferociously. I decided at this point that I desperately needed a professional’s help and we began communicating by email. She has been ever so patient with all my questions, before my product shipment and after when I had questions about the bleaching process and products.
She mailed me my product orders:
- Vanish (To remove years of stubborn boxed dye in hair. Read about it here.)
- Redken’s Levitation Oil Bleach
- Redken’s Levitation On-scalp Bleach Powder
- 40 Volume developer (For length of hair )
- 20 Volume developer (For roots)
- Oroma’s Wash in Tone Hair coloring glossing in WNB10 Lightest Nordic Beige
- Oroma’s Wash in Tone Catalyst
- Thriven Conditioner (Formulated specially by Killer Chemist. BEST CONDITIONER EVER. I could never go back to anything else. Read about it in these four posts:
Plus, she also sent complimentary:
- 4 pairs of rubber gloves
- 11 plastic hair caps
- 3 measuring caps
- a fine tooth comb (Read why you need this here)
- Color Block (applied on hairline, prevents tint from staining skin)
- A small bottle of Un Doo Goo Shampoo (help to remove years of boxed dye- pretreatment shampoo before using Vanish)
- Sample of Malibu Color Prepare (extends life and color for less fading, helps prevent itching and burning)
- The Information on the Secret Supplement! (Receiving this one was priceless. I can’t believe she discloses this information! Read about her accidental discovery here.)
After reading all her posts, I also bought a Sodium Laurel Sulfate-free shampoo (Read about the importance of SLS-Free shampoos here) + (List of SLS free shampoos here) and stopped flat ironing my hair (Read about the 12 Causes of Damaged hair here I was guilty of # 3, 5, 10, 12)
Before finding the Killerstrands blog, I was always scared to bleach my hair, thinking that was the worst thing you could do to the health of your hair. I was dead wrong. In order to get my hair to this color, I bleached my hair three times, and with less damage than I had in the past using one boxed dye kit. Read the truth about boxed dyes and why they should be banned from every store here. Read about why bleaching is a hair colorist’s friend, not enemy here!
Let’s just say, seeing this video on Youtube scared the hell out of me:
Why NOT to use 40 V developer and sit under the hair dryer for 30 minutes:
as well as this one:
Scared? I was too. Bleaching can be done wrong. It’s true. But bleaching is not the enemy. On the first video, heat was the enemy. If you think about it, celebrities are always changing their haircolor and it still looks healthy. No doubt, bleach was responsible for the changes. See for yourself.
Bleaching hair is high maintenance, that I won’t lie about. Don’t do it, unless you’re prepared to nurture your hair and treat it like it’s your own special needs child. Seriously, it takes commitment. But it is soooo worth it. If you think about it as a chore to maintain, it won’t be fun. BUT, if you think of it as another hobby, like painting (Read about it here) it’s fun!
Okay, now for the process:
Once I got the shipment of supplies I did two Vanish treatments and shampooed with the Un Doo Goo to remove years of boxed dye kit haicolor. (I did this one day after the other and slept with THRIVEN in my hair between sessions just for kicks) My pumpkin head was a little lighter, mostly goldish. (See the levels of decolorization that hair follows here.) Before I did the Vanish treatments I was at a level 5-orange. After the Vanish treatments, I was at a level 6-orange/gold. My roots were at a 7-Gold before and after the Vanish treatments because the Vanish doesn’t affect virgin hair. It’s only job is to remove dyed haircolor. Although it only lifted my hair one level, and my goal was to get to a level 10- pale yellow, this step was important because the years of boxed dye kits on my hair made my hair extra stubborn. It basically needed to be removed before bleaching to lessen the damage. Vanish does not damage the hair.
The next day (you can do this all in one day if you want) I did my second round of bleaching,(with the help of a friend) this time using the Redken Levitation Oil Bleach and 40V developer instead of the Wellite Cream lightener with 20V. I did the length of my hair first and then did the roots with 20V developer the last 20 minutes. I did the length of my hair for a total of 65 minutes. Some people do it for hours and hours, but I didn’t because of this. Basically, if you follow those instructions, you’ll be good to go. I also covered my hair with the plastic cap and a dark towel because peroxide (the developer) loses it’s effectiveness when exposed to light. Read about it here. Don’t forget the In Depth Treatment after!
After my second bleaching, the length of my hair was at a level 8-yellow/gold. Parts of it were a 9-yellow. The roots were at my goal level of 10-pale yellow. I waited a couple of days (my friend wasn’t available to help the next couple of days) and did THRIVEN treatments every night.
For my third bleaching, I left my roots completely ALONE. They were already at the level I wanted them to be at- level 10-pale yellow. Any lighter and it would be completely damaged. I left the bleach (with 40V developer) on for 90 minutes because it was all I had left. I followed these instructions.
After the third bleaching, In Depth Treatment (left on for 10 minutes this time) I used THRIVEN for 5 minutes. Then I let my hair air dry until it was about 70 dry, then dried it with the blowdryer, prepping it for the toner. Some toners are best used when hair is wet. Some toners are best used when hair is dry. Mine was the latter. At this point, my hair was all a level 10-pale yellow, or as Killerstrands Chemist calls it, the color of “frozen butter.” Some people stop here. Don’t!!!!! Toner is sooooo important. Read about it here.
This is when I put on the color block around my hairline and neck, to prevent staining my skin. Up until now, I was just ‘lifting’ color out of my hair, not doing any ‘depositing’ of color, so I didn’t need the color block. The toner part is the fun part, because there are so many shades of ‘platinum blonde!’ Read all about how toners work here.
The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t do the toner until your hair is at the “frozen butter” stage. Below are links to any other bleaching topic I haven’t covered that may be of help to you just fyi:
Alright, I’ve done my best to post the links that were most helpful to me during my home haircoloring adventure. Even then, I know there are probably links I didn’t post that would be of help to you. There’s just a wealth of information! Do your hair a favor and get ed-ju-ma-kated! The Killer Chemist provides all the information you’ll need. And if you want personalized services where she can look at your before pictures as well as showing you the road map to reach your goal picture, that’s possible too! It’s all at your disposal thanks to the virtual world!
Here is my after picture! I was very pleased with the results!