The one thing people like to warn you about is that there is no coming back from dying your hair black.
Why did I do it, you ask? I wanted to try it! I’ve been varying levels of blonde and pink/ pastel for the past ten years and I was bored! Unfortunately, history repeated itself and within two months I was already bored. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved having black hair, I just hated that by having black hair, I forfeited the option to dye it whimsical bright colours on a whim. That, and people kept saying to me “I bet it’s so much easier to take care of now!” which for some reason made me mad.
Fortunately, I kept the whole “but what if you want to go back blonde” idea at the back of my mind and chose a semi permanent black dye, thinking that this would be easier to remove than a permanent dye should I want to. If you’ve used a permanent dye I’m not sure if the results will be the same as mine, but of course that is keeping in mind that this semi permanent dye definitely had staying power! The above photo was taken two months after dying it black and although it wasn’t AS dark as it had been, I would say it was still a pretty strong semi-permanent colour. And that was with me washing my hair every day!
I did a lot of research on how to go blonde from black. I watched so many youtube videos of people ruining their hair with bleach, I watched a ton of YT tutorials by professional hairdressers and also read a ton of threads on a few salon forums (who annoyingly told me to get stuffed as I wasn’t a licensed hairdresser) if you have any specific questions, I’d recommend HairCrazy.com as they have a really friendly forum for people looking for hair dying help!
All in all, I deduced that the best method would be to use a hair colour remover and then to bleach my regrowth with a low volume professional bleach. I decided on Colourless – Max Effect for the hair colour removal- it has the best reviews out of all the hair colour removers I’ve researched and I was pretty much convinced by the before/ after photos posted in the reviews that it would do what I wanted.
REMOVING THE BLACK BOX DYE
The Colourless box came with three bottles, two that were to be mixed together and one that you needed to apply in the shower as a shampoo. I did as instructed and applied it all over my hair, one box was enough for my hair length but it’s noteworthy that my hair is incredibly fine. I then wrapped it up in clingfilm for 45 minutes and let me tell you, it smells like rotten egg. Seriously, it’s bad. Your house will stink for days, but its totally worth it.
After the 45 minutes had elapsed the instructions on the third bottle were to lather your hair for a good five minutes with half the contents of the bottle, rinse, and repeat. Thats a full 10 minutes of shampooing! I’m quite sure that this is the part that’s really important as it helps to wash away the hair dye colour pigments.
I must admit, as I shampooed my hair I was panicking; my hair had gone bright pond green! I had suspected this might happen, seeing as blonde + black = dark green undertones. It makes sense that once this lifts out the green will remain. This happens because a lot of black hair dyes don’t contain warm tones and if you’re dying your hair dark from blonde you should dye it red first. Annoyingly, I had gone from blonde to auburn and then to black and so I assumed this wouldn’t happen to me, but alas, I was wrong. As you can see here, we have a lovely, STUNNING pond green! Oh yay for green pigment (the most difficult to remove colour of them all. Black ain’t got nothing on green!)
Honestly, what a look. I mean, I’m kinda into it because its v grungey but um… not today.
On the upside, it had 100% worked. My brown regrowth was back to my natural colour and the parts of my hair that had been previously bleached were, well, dark blonde-tinged-green. I was ok with this because I knew that pink dye would cancel out the green! However if I were wanting to go blonde that would be a whole other conundrum, but I’ll discuss those options later on in this post.
For bleach, I had decided to use Schwarzkopf Blondme Bond Enforcing Brightener Powder with their Premium Developer.
I bought both the 2% 7 volume developer and the 6% 20 volume developer because I wasn’t sure which one I should use. I wanted my hair to remain as undamaged as possible and after having researched the “low and slow” method I thought that by mixing them together to create a lower volume developer I could go blonde with minimal damage.
Apparently 2% is only for lifting the hair and then depositing colour, so for example, going from black to a dark red. However, I had watched a salon professional tutorial on the Schwarzkopf youtube channel where one of their stylists used the 2% 7 vol developer on a girl with hair very similar mine (very fine) and they had managed to achieved a nice banana blonde, which was what I wanted. So I thought I’d give the 2% 7 vol a go. Of course, I think this may only work if you have fine hair. Thick, dark hair (from what I have read) will need something stronger like a 6% 20 volume or even a 9% 30 volume.
I did a strand test with the 2% 7 vol- surprisingly it worked really well so I decided to go ahead with just that! The 6% 20 vol bottle lay forgotten in the corner.
I would have photographed this part but applying the bleach is really stressful, I get why people go to salons just to avoid doing it themselves!
I sectioned my hair and applied the bleach to the brown regrowth (but not the roots) with a tint brush. I was careful not to overlap it with the already bleached areas as I didn’t want to damage them too much. I waited for the first area to develop for 15 minutes before then applying it to the root area (the root area develops faster because of the heat from your head). Then, 10 minutes before rinsing the bleach out I applied more 2% 7 vol to the green bits, just to give them a little lift.
It worked! Sorry that these photos are in the dark, I didn’t think to take any the next morning before I dyed it pink! As you can see its quite yellow but I don’t mind, you can’t tell once its dyed crazy colours. Also, I didn’t want to go too light as last time I went white blonde it all snapped off (but thats a whole other blog post). The ends are still green tho haha!
HOW TO REMOVE GREEN FROM BLONDE HAIR
If blonde is your end goal and you want to get rid of the green I would recommend a warm coloured toner to neutralise it.
I’d say ‘just go to the salon’ but lets face it, you’re probably in the same boat as me- you can’t find a hair-colourist you can trust and its expensive.
You (normally) can’t bleach green out of hair, it will just go further into the hair shaft and bleaching more than once is super damaging. Alternatively, maybe another Colourless application?
In the past whenever my hair has had a green tinge I’ve tried everything from pink dye to ketchup (gross, would not recommend, but can sometimes work!) You could try diluting some pink dye with conditioner and painting it onto the green bits, but it might go lilac and also this will wash out really quickly.
Basically, you need to add a warm tone. There are many warm toners out there so I’m sure you’ll find one that suits! My favourite toner range is Wella Colour Fresh, so perhaps the Light Natural Gold Blonde would work. I’ve never used this specific toner as I’ve never needed to so don’t quote me on it, but it looks like it could be the right one for the job.
My personal favourite, although unrelated to the green issue (this is more of a ‘oh no my hair is YELLOW!’ thing) is the Wella Colour Fresh Light Pearl Ash Blonde which is PERFECT for removing yellow tones!
DYING MY HAIR RAINBOW-PINK
Finally, I used a mixture of Stargazer, Arctic Fox and Crazy Colour to dye my yellow-green hair a weird rainbow-pink colour.
- Arctic Fox – Virgin Pink
- Stargazer – Yellow
- Stargazer – Rouge
- Stargazer – Tropical Green
- Crazy Colour – Violette
I made sure to put a lot undiluted Arctic Fox pink onto the green bits, its been almost a month and its still going strong! Below are a few photos of how intense the colours were and how nicely they’re fading, especially considering that underneath I’m pretty sure its still POND GREEN (although, maybe the pink really has neutralised it).
As you can see its fading really well considering what it looks like underneath! Next I’m hoping to go… red? orange? YELLOW? What do you think? I’m very excited to try some colours I’ve never done before! Also not gonna lie I’m very aware of if I dye it blue that will just encourage the green however it is A RISK I AM WILLING TO TAKE!