Let's Find Out If It's Possible To Bleach Hair From Black To White In A Single At-Home Sitting

You can just watch.
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Alyssa
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You can just watch.

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.

Our supplies: A pack of bleach, 30 volume and 20 volume developer, and an ash-grey toner. Not pictured: gloved, a non-metal bowl, and an application brush

Our supplies: A pack of bleach, 30 volume and 20 volume developer, and an ash-grey toner. Not pictured: gloves, a non-metal bowl, and an application brush.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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?