Feeling inspired by Billie Eilish’s new blonde bombshell transformation? — Us too. Going from black to blonde is a major hair change and we are here for it! But as great as it looks in the final outcome, it can be a tough journey to get there. If you’re anything like us, you’ve experimented with hair colors, box dyes and at-home haircuts in the last year — which can add another layer of difficulty to the overall transformation. Not to worry, if there’s a will, there’s a way! And we’ve got you covered (with lots of bleach and conditioner) to get there!
We’ve consulted with professional Toronto colorist Justine Frisoni to give us a step by step process of what to expect when making such a drastic change to your hair color. If you aren't ready for a drastic color change yet, an easy way to switch up your look is through hair extensions. Experiment with different shades before reaching for permanent dye.
Step 1: Keep Your Hair Healthy
Before starting on your color journey it’s important to consider the health & integrity of your hair. Because the color process is lengthy and harsh on your hair - it must be healthy!
Start with conditioning treatments, minimize the use of heat tools, and swap out cheaper products for salon quality shampoos and conditioners (sulfate/paraben free). Trimming any dead ends is also important as you want your hair to be strong enough to handle the bleaching process! Once your hair has been prepped to optimal health you can start the dyeing process.
Step 2: Do a Hair Analysis
On your first salon visit bring a coffee and a snack! “Time is going to be your friend for this transformation”, says Frisoni. The first step to this process is a thorough hair analysis. A strand test will most likely be conducted to see how the bleach will take to your hair. Once this is done and you’re good to begin, your colorist will start the “bleach out” process.
You can expect to have your entire head bleached, except for about 1 inch of your root — your scalp is a heat conductor and therefore will process your root bleach faster than the rest of your hair, so it’s important to do this step last. Your colorist will bleach your roots once the rest of your hair has had time to process.
Step 3: Color Stripping
This is a tedious process and therefore you should expect the color stripping to be repeated a few times before you reach the “pale yellow” stage. The stages of your color will go from black to red, red to orange, orange to bright yellow, and then ultimately to a pale yellow where toner can be applied to achieve your desired blonde. If your hair can handle second bleaching within your first salon visit your colorist will repeat the bleach out again. If not, they’ll suggest coming back after your hair has had time to recover — typically six weeks.
Once you’ve stripped your color in the bleach out process, you’ll most likely leave the salon with an orangish color depending on your personal progress. Frisoni suggests having your colorist tone your hair to a flattering shade for the weeks in between the stripping process so that you can tolerate the tones you may be left with.
Note: It is important to wait the appropriate time before re-bleaching your hair as you should have the desired length of a 1-inch root before re-bleaching. If you rush this part of the process you can risk overlapping which can cause breakage. By waiting too long to re-bleach you may risk color banding -- different shades of blonde lines due to uneven lifting.
Step 4: Repeat
Depending on your hair's starting color & strength, you may have to repeat the stripping process for a third and or fourth time to reach the pale yellow stage. Billie Eilish’s colorist confirmed it took four dye sessions for Eilish to erase the jet black she started from. This color stage is needed in order to tone your hair to a softer blonde.
During the color lifting you may notice some areas lighten quicker than others, this just means you will have to spot treat specific areas to have your base all the same color. Because the bleach out process is extremely hard on your hair, Frisoni suggests having a “bond builder'' blended into your bleach formula. This will help protect your hair from extra damage, however, it is important to note that bond builder slightly dilutes the bleach, but your hair will thank you in the end!
Step 5: Time to Add Hair Color
Color! Whether you’re wanting to go full Marilyn Monroe or a little softer blonde like Eilish it’s all in the toner! In Billie Eilish’s case, she opted for an Ash Blonde tone and this is a solid coloring. Frisoni always suggests bringing inspo pics to make sure your colorist has an exact idea of what tones you’re wanting to achieve for your final look.
Being a blonde is no joke! Maintenance and care are just as important as the process it took to get there. Maintenance on your color can typically be every eight weeks to include; root touch-up, tone and trim if needed. Nourishing your hair is always important, especially after such a harsh process, so routinely using conditioning treatments and purple shampoo to leave brassy tones out is key!
We’ve done the research for you and now it’s your time to shine like a superstar! Follow these easy steps to go from black to blonde hair and let us know what you think of your new look!
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