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Going from Black To Blonde and How Hard It Is

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Blondes could have extra enjoyable however brunettes positively spend much less time in a salon…

I’ve naturally darkish hair.

Sitting at one or two shades above black, my lengthy hair is so darkish my mom calls me her ‘black-haired beauty’, regardless that she is aware of my hair is technically darkish brown.

And, aside from a (probably) ill-advised Goth part in my teenagers after I modified my hair from almost-black to pitch-black by getting very conversant in grocery store field dye, I’ve by no means had an urge to vary my hair shade. Particularly to not lighten it.

I’ve at all times favored my darkish hair. Even after I watched all of my mates experiment with loopy coloured hair, brief bobs in brilliant unicorn shades and even dip-dyed suggestions, I’d at all times stood steadfast in my resolution to remain near my roots (pun meant) and preserve issues pure. Partly as a result of I believe I swimsuit my darkish hair, however primarily as a result of I do know taking your hair from black to blonde is notoriously tough, regardless of how straightforward Kim Kardashian made it look.

However lastly, after 20-something years with the identical type locks on my head and Pinterest boards filled with blonde and daring coloured types I secretly desired, I made a decision to chew the bullet and go for a dramatic hair makeover. “Same-old, same-old” simply wasn’t chopping it anymore (sorry, couldn’t resist one other pun), so I made a decision I’d make the leap and rework my darkish strands right into a platinum blond/grey balayage look I’d been coveting for fairly a while.

With the assistance of movie star hairstylist Lores Giglio, director of LSG Artistic, and hair shade professional, Mitch Brown, I went from black to an eye catching gray-ish platinum blonde – and boy, did I study loads about simply how intensive the method really is.

First issues first…

The primary (and probably most necessary) factor it is best to do for those who’re contemplating going lighter is to have a session together with your stylist. In truth, for those who enter a salon and say “Make me blonde!” they usually say something aside from “Let’s have a chat about that first,”; run. Flip in your heels and go away the premises instantly, as a result of they don’t care a couple of hair in your head (actually).

Throughout the first seek the advice of, you’ll be quizzed on all types of issues about your hair historical past. It is best to cowl off how lengthy it’s been since your final haircut, the final time you coloured your hair, what shade you dyed it, and whether or not it was a house or in-salon job. Have you ever ever dyed your hair throughout, or was it simply your ends? Asking these questions (and answering them actually) is completely essential as a result of it guides your stylist on how greatest to method getting you the outcomes you need, and may help them provide you with a practical timeline particular to your specific hair state of affairs.

For instance, your stylist might want to do issues very in another way for those who’ve box-dyed your hair or had a shade executed in-salon – n now isn’t the time to cowl up your cheapskate hair previous.  And for those who’ve bought untouched ‘virgin’ hair, it’s going to take loads much less time and be a lot simpler to lighten your locks (seems my mother was proper when she instructed me I’d remorse dying my hair as a teen).

Throughout my session, I had a hair trim to rid it of breakable dead-ends, and was given two bottles of Matrix Bond Ultim8, a product which strengthens the bonds within the hair. I used to be instructed to make use of them each up within the month main as much as my first booked lightening session.

Giglio strongly urged leaving the product in my hair for so long as potential – in a single day or for a whole day if I may. This was to make my hair as wholesome because it might be in a brief period of time, so it will take the stress of bleaching higher when it got here time for stage one, and be much less more likely to break off.

Full of nerves and considerations about popping out of my first lightening session with ghastly orange ends, or brittle hair which broke off in my palms from being over-bleached, I bought to the salon within the mid-morning, espresso in hand. I didn’t understand it on the time, however I wouldn’t be leaving the salon till properly after the solar went down…


Seems, it’s not simply your hair historical past which might decide how lengthy it takes to take your hair from black to blond; the type you’re after could make a distinction as properly. As a result of I opted for balayage so I may preserve my darkish roots, and naively thought it will take much less time than if I used to be to take my whole head to the salon basin, I used to be in for my first huge hair lesson.

“It’s actually quicker to do the entire head. With balayage, you have to paint each layer, and do some virgin hair each new session instead of just doing it all in one go,” my colorist defined as he used his fingers to form of smudge the lightener into my hair so it didn’t type an apparent line.

In truth, choosing balayage is a a lot, a lot slower course of than going for a full all-over shade. My first session within the salon took SIX HOURS – sure, you learn that proper – and due to the well being of my hair, we had been solely capable of do one utility of bleach. “Your hair just couldn’t take it,” Brown instructed me. “Some hair is stronger and can handle it, and some can’t. Everyone’s hair is different.”

After all, I did go away the salon with heat tones. It’s simply a part of going from black to blonde, so for those who’re planning on taking the plunge and doing it, it’s worthwhile to be okay with having briefly orange-ish locks. Your stylist seemingly gained’t allow you to stroll out the door with flaming orange hair – toner can do wonders – however earlier than attending to blond, your hair is going to undergo a spread of various colours, and orange could also be one in every of them.

I didn’t really thoughts the caramel shade I left my first session with, which was fortunate, as a result of I used to be caught with it for simply over 4 weeks as a way to give my hair a while to cope with the trauma of bleaching it had simply endured. And, as soon as once more, the Matrix Bond Ultima8 was my new BFF. We showered collectively, we slept collectively, and we spent whole Sundays collectively. I used to be decided to do all the things I may to make sure the well being of my hair whereas going blond, and for those who’re eager about going lighter in a short while body and having hair which doesn’t break off on the finish of it, positively get your palms on bucket-loads of Matrix Bond Ultim8, or Olaplex.

Taking issues up a notch

Strolling into my second session, my colorist famous how copper my hair had gone previously 4 weeks. It seems my hair fights going lighter each step of the best way, and throws actually heat tones, so this session, we’d be specializing in attempting to take away as a lot of these brassy tones as potential. As a result of everybody’s hair is totally different, precisely how lengthy it’s going to take, the varieties of colours you’ll get and the way agreeable your hair is to going blonde will rely in your particular person hair.


“You have a lot of hair,” Brown mentioned to me throughout my second appointment. “But the actual strands are quite thin, so they damage easier than thicker hair.”

My lengthy hair, and the balayage impact I used to be after, meant this time I’d spend a draining eight hours within the salon chair making an attempt to carry the orange and see how a lot we lighter it will go. It bought lighter – yay! – but it surely nonetheless wasn’t blonde…

I used to be loaded up with Bond Ultim8 once more, in addition to one other product known as Matrix Brass-off, a sort of blonde shampoo with the categorical objective of eradicating brassy tones, which was a godsend. Within the 4 weeks between appointments, I used the Bond Ultim8 and the particular shampoo and it did work to maintain these orange tones at bay.

Actually, my hair suggestions had seen higher days, but it surely was nothing a trim wouldn’t repair, and my hair routine now took for much longer than it had again in my brunette days. I additionally needed to be cautious of how typically I used to be utilizing heated styling instruments on my hair, each to guard the hair and in addition the colour of the blonde, or ‘blorange’ as I’d began calling it.

The ultimate dash

My third and last appointment was six hours lengthy and we lastly achieved a blonde which had me mouthing “whoa” within the mirror.

I’d been so used to having copper-colored hair I had virtually forgotten the end-goal of this hair-venture was to go blonde. My hair was “holding up”, in Brown’s opinion, however positively wanted a lower to take away the fried ends, and a very good tone to take away the final hints of yellow. However after many hours of lightening, firming, trimming and shade correction, the workforce at LSG Artistic had achieved the seemingly not possible and remodeled my hair from black to blonde in three appointments (over 5 months, a complete of 21 hours within the salon chair).

As soon as I used to be blonde, the hair world was my playground. I toned my newly blonde locks so as to add the delicate grey trace I’d lusted over on Pinterest (see above) and bought to expertise the fun of getting an announcement hair search for the primary time in my life.

Classes discovered…

The primary lesson the method taught me is to positively have that preliminary session and be extraordinarily doubtful of any stylist who says they will take you from midnight black to platinum blonde in sooner or later with out sacrificing the well being of the hair in any respect. Even virgin hair and gallons of Olaplex will obtain that outcome. You’ll want to have lifelike expectations about how lengthy it would take and the type of outcomes you’ll see, and that preliminary session is essential.

The second is to stay with the identical stylist for those who can. Each hair skilled has their very own approach of doing issues, and for the sake of your hair, persevering with to see the identical individual will make sure you get the outcomes you had been quoted and preserve your hair in pretty much as good a situation as potential. In one in every of my classes at LSG Artistic, I heard a horror story of a shopper who was getting the identical remedy as myself however had gone to a distinct salon to get her hair chemically straightened after her first appointment. And her hair simply deteriorated within the basin. So positively don’t do this.

The third is to be ready to fork over some – critical – money. Between the precise appointments (my expertise value round $2000 complete), the shampoo’s and the hair care merchandise, going from black to blonde, and sustaining it, prices a reasonably penny. And it’s important to put money into a very good firming shampoo in order for you your hair to look brilliant and exquisite as an alternative of lifeless and drab.

The time and value concerned in going from black to blonde gracefully and with out ending up with broken hair on the finish of it’s actually intense, and also you have to be dedicated. But it surely’s value it ultimately. I’m glad I lastly bought the center to do one thing drastic and develop into a blonde (then grey) balayage babe.

Prices could range relying on the salon and stylist you see, and your personal particular person hair high quality.

Photos through LSG Artistic. Featured picture through

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Be a part of the dialogue: Have you ever ever gone from black to blonde? What was your expertise like?


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