The Golden Rule of Lifting Hair Color

Today, I want to discuss a commonly misconceived idea about lifting hair color.

I frequently hear people ask questions like why their hair is still brown after putting a blonde color over it, or why their hair color gets darker each time they color it. 

Well, I can explain in precisely four words: color won’t lift color. Like, ever.

The golden rule of lifting hair color is that color won't lift color. Let me explain exactly how hair color works with this clever analogy...

This is how it works…

I’m going to use an analogy that will make more sense to most people. Think about what it’s like to color on paper with markers. This is a good way for you to understand the golden rule of lifting hair color since most people are familiar with how markers work….

Okay, next, I’d like to introduce you to Clarice. She has naturally blonde hair, and it has never been colored. She also has no lower body or arms.

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

Clarice decided one day that she wanted to color her hair dark brown (I covered the blonde hair with a brown marker).

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

She really liked her new look, as you can tell by her huge smile. And assuming she could walk, I’m sure she would have received a ton of compliments.

However, she decided a week later that brown hair was not her thing, and wanted her blonde hair back. She had one of her friends pick up some golden blonde hair color to match her natural color from Walmart.

Her friend, then, applied the color to Clarice’s hair and let it sit for 45 minutes, exactly like the directions told her to do (for the analogy, I colored over the brown hair with a yellow marker).

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

So after washing out the color, her hair looks like this:

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

What went wrong?

The Golden Rule of Lifting Hair Color:

You can’t use a dark color and then put a lighter color on top of it, and expect it to result in the lighter color. Basically, all you are doing is packing more color molecules in the hair shaft with other dark color molecules. The result is darker hair.

Okay, let me further explain it.

Anatomy of Hair

Hair Anatomy

Your hair is made of three parts: the medulla and the cortex (which are the inner parts of the hair shaft), and the cuticle (the scale-like protective covering). Melanin (color pigment) molecules are located in the cortex.

The ammonia in hair color lifts up the scales of the cuticle, allowing the color pigments to get up in the cortex. In permanent color, the molecules are meant to last forever. In other words, they’re packed in like sardines.

Why Color Won’t Lift Color:

So back to the example I used with Clarice.

When she first colored her hair brown, the hair dye packed a ton of brown color molecules into her hair shaft. She probably lost a few molecules when she washed her hair, but they were still pretty intact.

When her friend applied the blonde color to her hair, a few blonde color molecules packed into the spaces where the few brown molecules washed out. Her hair was still brown because the color molecules stayed in her hair. 

Color is not meant to lift color out of hair; it’s just meant to deposit pigment.

But I’m sure you are wondering to yourself right now, “yeah, but how do people go from dark hair to blonde hair?” The answer is that they either had virgin hair to begin with or it was previously lightened or stripped.

Virgin Hair

Virgin hair is code for hair that has never been colored.

It could be that the person has never used color in their life, or that all of the previous color has grown out. In either case, the hair that you see has no artificial color molecules in it.

Outgrowth is virgin hair. If you apply color to your hair with outgrowth, it can leave you with hot roots.

Color can lift virgin hair, but it’s usually not so dramatic. The reason is that most color lines will only lift the hair a few levels lighter than the natural color.

High-lift blondes are used to go more than a few levels lighter, but still as aren’t effective as bleach. 

But high-lift blondes won’t even work on previously colored hair, or they could be unpredictable. They could even turn your hair green in that case.

How To Go From Dark To Light:

Have no fear. You can still lift the dark color out of your hair. Just be aware that it might take multiple processes. 

I always recommend having a professional take your hair lighter, as I’ve seen people mess their hair up too many times. Be realistic about your expectations and remember that patience is a virtue.

Bleach

The next option is to bleach your hair. I know that the thought of bleach freaks most people out. 

However, bleaching your hair shouldn’t do too much damage if done correctly. If Clarice had bleached her hair to the level of blonde she wanted, and then applied the color she wanted to her hair, it would have been much better.

Using the marker analogy, pretend that I used nail polish remover (which, according to the interwebs, removes marker from paper) first, and then colored the blonde over that spot, it probably would have been more blonde.

Color Stripper

The final option is to strip the color out of her hair. Stripping the color removes the packed molecules, revealing her natural color (to an extent). Depending on how dark it is, how many times it has been colored, etc., it could take multiple processes to remove all of the color.

Read more about it here:

How to Lighten Dark Hair to a Light Blonde Color
The question I am asked the most often is how to lighten dark hair to a light blonde color? Let me take you through the steps...


Your Turn:  Did you enjoy this post? I’ll love you forever if you share it with your friends on your favorite social media website!

What do you think about the golden rule of lifting hair color? Does it make sense why color won’t lift color? Do you still have questions? I’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below…

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The golden rule of lifting hair color is that color won't lift color. Let me explain exactly how hair color works with this clever analogy...

351 thoughts on “The Golden Rule of Lifting Hair Color”

  1. Can you please advise me with my problem?
    I had for about a year bleached, blonde hair, but started getting really tired of it and wanted to be dark copper. So I basically used a 4.4 medium brown/copper and my medium brown roots as well as some pieces of my hair turned purple and the rest a nice dark copper. I used a 6 volume developer and now I know this is why my new hair didn`t really grab the color, I should`ve used 20 volume developer. So I guess that if I would use now 20volume developer with a mixture of 4.3 and 4.4 to get that nice natural auburn color my purple hair won`t be lifted of its color, right?
    Should I use a color remover such as Color B4 and then apply the new color?
    Thank you for reading this!

  2. Can you please advise me with my problem?
    I had for about a year bleached, blonde hair, but started getting really tired of it and wanted to be dark copper. So I basically used a 4.4 medium brown/copper and my medium brown roots as well as some pieces of my hair turned purple and the rest a nice dark copper. I used a 6 volume developer and now I know this is why my new hair didn`t really grab the color, I should`ve used 20 volume developer. So I guess that if I would use now 20volume developer with a mixture of 4.3 and 4.4 to get that nice natural auburn color my purple hair won`t be lifted of its color, right?
    Should I use a color remover such as Color B4 and then apply the new color?
    Thank you for reading this!

  3. Ok, I’m having a big problem getting the hair color I want. It’s a light red…Strawberry blonde. Like Rita Hayworth, or Catherine McCormack in Dangerous Beauty. I’ve had this color before and love it for my complexion. 2 yrs ago I colored basically virgin hair (my natural haircolor is medium brown) a medium auburn, but it turned out very dark eggplant color, which I HATED. So a few days later I went to Sally attempting to get a lifter, but they were out, so the girl working there said to bleach and use a light auburn color afterwards. I got home, bleached it, and about 15-20 min later it turned the exact color I wanted! It was a little more orange, but I didn’t mind. So I left it just bleached and used NO color, toner, anything over it .

    So I had that for a few months, and then used a box color in a dark burgundy, which was okay but not my favorite. About 2 months later I used another box color in dark brown, mainly cause I was tired of being a redhead. In the 2 yrs since then I’ve kept it brown, using a red brown box color that didn’t do much here and there. So, this past week I decided I wanted the light Rita Hayworth red again, so I got Garnier Olia box color in light auburn on my now faded, kind of light brown hair. It did nothing, actually making my hair DARKER. So yesterday, I went to Sally, told the woman working there ( who was VERY rude) what I wanted, and was expecting to get a lift or bleach, and she was like “No, you need 3 boxes of strawberry blonde color and 40 developer” I was wary of this and made it clear to her I wanted my hair A LOT lighter, and wouldn’t I need to bleach it, but she was adamant this would work. Like you said, color doesn’t lift color, so I don’t know why she told me to do this. But I did it anyway, today, and again…. IT BARELY DID ANYTHING!! It”s little redder, and it looks pretty enough but it is not what I want. I want the light Rita Hayworth red. Please google her hair color before sending me any advice, lol. I’m frustrated because I hate doing more damage to my hair for it to do nothing. What do you suggest I do to get the color I want?? Please don’t say go to a salon, because I’ve had more bad experiences there than at home, and I’ve been to pretty much everyone in my (very small) town.

    • Jeeze! That’s a bummer! It sounds like the girl at Sally really doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I would maybe do what worked before and bleach it! You’ll have to bleach it to get the darker color out! If it doesn’t turn the shade you want, you can tone it or color over it with the shade you want! Just do a lot of good conditioning treatments! My advice to you is that you sound happiest with the Rita Hayworth color (which is gorgeous btw) and so once you get back there, you should stick with it! I wish you luck!!! Hope it helps!

  4. Ok, I’m having a big problem getting the hair color I want. It’s a light red…Strawberry blonde. Like Rita Hayworth, or Catherine McCormack in Dangerous Beauty. I’ve had this color before and love it for my complexion. 2 yrs ago I colored basically virgin hair (my natural haircolor is medium brown) a medium auburn, but it turned out very dark eggplant color, which I HATED. So a few days later I went to Sally attempting to get a lifter, but they were out, so the girl working there said to bleach and use a light auburn color afterwards. I got home, bleached it, and about 15-20 min later it turned the exact color I wanted! It was a little more orange, but I didn’t mind. So I left it just bleached and used NO color, toner, anything over it .

    So I had that for a few months, and then used a box color in a dark burgundy, which was okay but not my favorite. About 2 months later I used another box color in dark brown, mainly cause I was tired of being a redhead. In the 2 yrs since then I’ve kept it brown, using a red brown box color that didn’t do much here and there. So, this past week I decided I wanted the light Rita Hayworth red again, so I got Garnier Olia box color in light auburn on my now faded, kind of light brown hair. It did nothing, actually making my hair DARKER. So yesterday, I went to Sally, told the woman working there ( who was VERY rude) what I wanted, and was expecting to get a lift or bleach, and she was like “No, you need 3 boxes of strawberry blonde color and 40 developer” I was wary of this and made it clear to her I wanted my hair A LOT lighter, and wouldn’t I need to bleach it, but she was adamant this would work. Like you said, color doesn’t lift color, so I don’t know why she told me to do this. But I did it anyway, today, and again…. IT BARELY DID ANYTHING!! It”s little redder, and it looks pretty enough but it is not what I want. I want the light Rita Hayworth red. Please google her hair color before sending me any advice, lol. I’m frustrated because I hate doing more damage to my hair for it to do nothing. What do you suggest I do to get the color I want?? Please don’t say go to a salon, because I’ve had more bad experiences there than at home, and I’ve been to pretty much everyone in my (very small) town.

    • Jeeze! That’s a bummer! It sounds like the girl at Sally really doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I would maybe do what worked before and bleach it! You’ll have to bleach it to get the darker color out! If it doesn’t turn the shade you want, you can tone it or color over it with the shade you want! Just do a lot of good conditioning treatments! My advice to you is that you sound happiest with the Rita Hayworth color (which is gorgeous btw) and so once you get back there, you should stick with it! I wish you luck!!! Hope it helps!

  5. I bleach my hair all the time.. I have a bit of yellow. If I use a high lift neutral blonde would this rid the yellow quite a bit?

  6. I bleach my hair all the time.. I have a bit of yellow. If I use a high lift neutral blonde would this rid the yellow quite a bit?

  7. Hi! My question pertains to how coloring my hair affects it’s health! Please help I am desperate! :((
    Back in September i had my hair colored for the first time on my virgin brown hair. What I basically had done was kind of an ombre… she left a few inches of my roots natural and then the rest down to my ends were colored a caramel/honey color. Then, in November I went back and had that color lightened a bit more. In February I went back to get the color taken up to my roots with highlights and then in May I went and got it lightened a little bit more with some brighter highlights. I noticed after my appointment in February that my hair had thinned out A LOT and that the left side of my head (i part my hair to the right) had a major section of breakage. Before I had ever colored my hair it was very thick and was growing out pretty long.
    Now I want to dye my hair back to brown so that I can stop lightening it and getting touch ups so that I can grow my hair out again. I’m just so sad about the condition of my hair and I did everything I could to try and keep this sort of thing from happening. So really my question is, by dying my hair back to brown, will my hair be less fragile and will I be able to grow it out??

  8. Hi! My question pertains to how coloring my hair affects it’s health! Please help I am desperate! :((
    Back in September i had my hair colored for the first time on my virgin brown hair. What I basically had done was kind of an ombre… she left a few inches of my roots natural and then the rest down to my ends were colored a caramel/honey color. Then, in November I went back and had that color lightened a bit more. In February I went back to get the color taken up to my roots with highlights and then in May I went and got it lightened a little bit more with some brighter highlights. I noticed after my appointment in February that my hair had thinned out A LOT and that the left side of my head (i part my hair to the right) had a major section of breakage. Before I had ever colored my hair it was very thick and was growing out pretty long.
    Now I want to dye my hair back to brown so that I can stop lightening it and getting touch ups so that I can grow my hair out again. I’m just so sad about the condition of my hair and I did everything I could to try and keep this sort of thing from happening. So really my question is, by dying my hair back to brown, will my hair be less fragile and will I be able to grow it out??

  9. Tried dying my non virgin hair brown but now realizing it can’t wok,can I now dye it to black because the dye changed the hair color to an ugly grayish looking color

  10. Tried dying my non virgin hair brown but now realizing it can’t wok,can I now dye it to black because the dye changed the hair color to an ugly grayish looking color

  11. Hi!
    I’m just after some advice hah!

    I have very short hair (pixie cut), and it’s been red for a little while now, but before that it was blonde. Yesterday I used JoBaz colour removal to remove the red in hopes of slowly returning back blonde. It worked wonderfully! No trace of red, just a slight golden tinge to my hair. I thought to counteract that, I’d just put a light ash blonde over the top and BOOM my old blonde back.

    But after washing out the ash dye. My hair was slightly pink? A kind-of-blonde-kind-of-pink type thing. I’m thinking damn:/ I wish I had have just toned it after the JoBaz.

    Regardless. It’s now ash blonde with a pink tinge. I am wondering, will putting a golden blonde or medium blonde over the pink rid me of it. Or should I just leave it alone and see if the pink fades out?

    Thank you for any help:)

    • I would probably leave it alone for a little bit and see if it fades…I’m not sure what would cause the pink undertones unless the color was defective or somehow had pink as a base color (ash is typically a blue base). I think golden would be a bad idea so maybe try going with a neutral if it doesn’t fade! Hope this helps!

      • you need to buy a blue shampoo…..apply it to your head….let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and it should take the pink out.

  12. Hi!
    I’m just after some advice hah!

    I have very short hair (pixie cut), and it’s been red for a little while now, but before that it was blonde. Yesterday I used JoBaz colour removal to remove the red in hopes of slowly returning back blonde. It worked wonderfully! No trace of red, just a slight golden tinge to my hair. I thought to counteract that, I’d just put a light ash blonde over the top and BOOM my old blonde back.

    But after washing out the ash dye. My hair was slightly pink? A kind-of-blonde-kind-of-pink type thing. I’m thinking damn:/ I wish I had have just toned it after the JoBaz.

    Regardless. It’s now ash blonde with a pink tinge. I am wondering, will putting a golden blonde or medium blonde over the pink rid me of it. Or should I just leave it alone and see if the pink fades out?

    Thank you for any help:)

    • I would probably leave it alone for a little bit and see if it fades…I’m not sure what would cause the pink undertones unless the color was defective or somehow had pink as a base color (ash is typically a blue base). I think golden would be a bad idea so maybe try going with a neutral if it doesn’t fade! Hope this helps!

      • you need to buy a blue shampoo…..apply it to your head….let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and it should take the pink out.

  13. I have naturally blonde hair. My natural color is a level 7, and after sun exposure a level 8. Does anyone know if blonde dye can lighten natural blonde to about a level 10? And if the sun continues to lighten hair even after it is dyed blonde?
    I’ve bleached my natural hair to platinum blonde before, but I don’t want to use bleach again because it’s harder to grow out waist length(if even possible). Also, because I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem, which has caused my hair to thin out and be more fragile. So yeah, I don’t want to weaken my hair too much more by using bleach.
    Anyway, is it possible to lift natural color two shades with dye?

    • Yes. You can definitely lift natural color with dye. However, if your hair has any color on it, it will not work. The sun should continue to lighten your hair. Hope it helps !

  14. I have naturally blonde hair. My natural color is a level 7, and after sun exposure a level 8. Does anyone know if blonde dye can lighten natural blonde to about a level 10? And if the sun continues to lighten hair even after it is dyed blonde?
    I’ve bleached my natural hair to platinum blonde before, but I don’t want to use bleach again because it’s harder to grow out waist length(if even possible). Also, because I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem, which has caused my hair to thin out and be more fragile. So yeah, I don’t want to weaken my hair too much more by using bleach.
    Anyway, is it possible to lift natural color two shades with dye?

    • Yes. You can definitely lift natural color with dye. However, if your hair has any color on it, it will not work. The sun should continue to lighten your hair. Hope it helps !

  15. My natural hair color is blonde. I dyed it to brown 3 years ago. I wanted it back to blonde so i bleached it 3 years ago. I eventually dyed it brown again, &.its been brown for awhile. My only problem is that the middle to end of my hair has a greenish tint to it. I love my hair brown, I’ll never go blonde again, but how can i stop the greenish tint at the bottom?

  16. My natural hair color is blonde. I dyed it to brown 3 years ago. I wanted it back to blonde so i bleached it 3 years ago. I eventually dyed it brown again, &.its been brown for awhile. My only problem is that the middle to end of my hair has a greenish tint to it. I love my hair brown, I’ll never go blonde again, but how can i stop the greenish tint at the bottom?

  17. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME i have bleached my hair twice now because no toners would do anything after the 1st time i had lots of dark and light yellow after 2nd bleach white and light yellow, used ion toner in lightest cool blonde didnt do ANYTHING except make my root area silvery white i dont want that at all. sally a 4 th time she recommended wella t18 that sample strande turned greyish white purple silver it was ugly at 3 min 5 min 8 min and 15 min i do not want white or silver or grey hair i want it ask blonde similar to sienna miller. i went 5th time 2 sally she recommended clairolprofessional neutrals permanent creme color in lightest neutral blonde i just tested it on a strand and it did absolutely NOTHING my cousin is a beautician and said to try to mix a gold toner w a neutral and the woman at sally said my hair is too white for that. i had a feeling a neutral wouldnt do anything please help me i cannot go in public for 7 weeks now! my hauir is neon white and yellow and it looks awful. i did try a box color on a strand and it worked perfect gave me the color on the box but i heard not to use those they r too damagin but i am getting sick of this now can you please help me?

    • Bleach is really tricky, especially if your hair has color on it. The reason your roots turned white is because it was virgin hair, and the yellow areas are where the color was. There is not a whole lot you can do to get the yellow out, besides toning it or coloring over it. You would definitely want a platinum based toner, since purple and yellow cancel each other out… but when the purple toner gets on the really white pieces of your hair, it will turn them purple. It usually is not permanent and will only last a little while.

      Anyways, in your case I would probably do the box color. I shouldn’t ever say that because I’m a hair stylist and we usually don’t support that, but if it turned your hair the color that you want, then I think it will be fine. Examine your test strand and see how damaged you think it is compared to the rest of your hair. Color, itself, is not super damaging to your hair; bleach is what does the most damage. The real issue behind box colors is that sometimes they use weird stuff in it, like metallic dyes or henna, which could pose a problem later down the road, but I would say in most cases, you should be safe. I really hope this helps and your hair turns out okay! Good luck!

      • Thank you soo much. I cant believe workers at sally are SOOO dumb when it comes to this. I am lookign at my test strands from last night the girl at sally said it would work i asked her 3 times to make sure and it did NOT do a dang thing to my color. So yeah i think box color it is. the purple based toners i think will all turn my hair white or silver and i dont want that. im going to return the toner today and ask ONE last time if they have any clue otherwise im going back to box color.

        • Yeah that is a really pretty color! It definitely has some ash undertones, imo. I’m not sure really what your color looks like now, but if there is a lot of yellow, it will take a process. If there was a lot of darker color in your hair, it will take a long time to bleach it to the white color that you want, and by that point, it would be pretty damaged. I would just take it in small steps. Maybe when you get it light enough, have someone weave in some ashy blonde (not too ashy though, because it might turn blue or grey) but maybe like a natural mixed with some ash, like they told you. They only difference is, I would wait until the yellow is out of your hair before you do that.

      • i have read you shouldnt bleach til its completely white or color or toner wont do any good its already prettywhite i have pics but dont think i can put them on here

        • Yeah that’s the problem. The more damaged hair gets, the more porous like a sponge it gets. When hair is super super white and damaged, it will soak up the pigments of the toner, making your hair whatever the base color of the toner is. The other thing is that super damaged hair won’t hold on to color either, so even if you do tone it, and it turns out perfect, it won’t last too long. For that reason, I would take it in steps, so you can get it lighter and get the yellow out, without completely frying it. I’ve bleached my hair from black to white a few times, but I had to rock an orange/yellow fried stage, and one time I completely fried half of my hair off. I would definitely not go that route, since it was so damaging. When you touch up your roots every month or so, just run the bleach through the rest of your hair for the last 10-15 minutes to lighten it a little bit. In between colors, I would do a lot of deep conditioning. I used to just put deep conditioner in my hair whenever I was at home, or sometimes sleep with it in. I think if, once it’s at the desired level and healthy, if you had an ashy color (not toner) mixed with a neutral color to cut it down a little bit, weaved in, it would turn out like Sienna’s. You’d just have to make sure its really healthy and not so porous first.

  18. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME i have bleached my hair twice now because no toners would do anything after the 1st time i had lots of dark and light yellow after 2nd bleach white and light yellow, used ion toner in lightest cool blonde didnt do ANYTHING except make my root area silvery white i dont want that at all. sally a 4 th time she recommended wella t18 that sample strande turned greyish white purple silver it was ugly at 3 min 5 min 8 min and 15 min i do not want white or silver or grey hair i want it ask blonde similar to sienna miller. i went 5th time 2 sally she recommended clairolprofessional neutrals permanent creme color in lightest neutral blonde i just tested it on a strand and it did absolutely NOTHING my cousin is a beautician and said to try to mix a gold toner w a neutral and the woman at sally said my hair is too white for that. i had a feeling a neutral wouldnt do anything please help me i cannot go in public for 7 weeks now! my hauir is neon white and yellow and it looks awful. i did try a box color on a strand and it worked perfect gave me the color on the box but i heard not to use those they r too damagin but i am getting sick of this now can you please help me?

    • Bleach is really tricky, especially if your hair has color on it. The reason your roots turned white is because it was virgin hair, and the yellow areas are where the color was. There is not a whole lot you can do to get the yellow out, besides toning it or coloring over it. You would definitely want a platinum based toner, since purple and yellow cancel each other out… but when the purple toner gets on the really white pieces of your hair, it will turn them purple. It usually is not permanent and will only last a little while.

      Anyways, in your case I would probably do the box color. I shouldn’t ever say that because I’m a hair stylist and we usually don’t support that, but if it turned your hair the color that you want, then I think it will be fine. Examine your test strand and see how damaged you think it is compared to the rest of your hair. Color, itself, is not super damaging to your hair; bleach is what does the most damage. The real issue behind box colors is that sometimes they use weird stuff in it, like metallic dyes or henna, which could pose a problem later down the road, but I would say in most cases, you should be safe. I really hope this helps and your hair turns out okay! Good luck!

      • Thank you soo much. I cant believe workers at sally are SOOO dumb when it comes to this. I am lookign at my test strands from last night the girl at sally said it would work i asked her 3 times to make sure and it did NOT do a dang thing to my color. So yeah i think box color it is. the purple based toners i think will all turn my hair white or silver and i dont want that. im going to return the toner today and ask ONE last time if they have any clue otherwise im going back to box color.

        • Yeah that is a really pretty color! It definitely has some ash undertones, imo. I’m not sure really what your color looks like now, but if there is a lot of yellow, it will take a process. If there was a lot of darker color in your hair, it will take a long time to bleach it to the white color that you want, and by that point, it would be pretty damaged. I would just take it in small steps. Maybe when you get it light enough, have someone weave in some ashy blonde (not too ashy though, because it might turn blue or grey) but maybe like a natural mixed with some ash, like they told you. They only difference is, I would wait until the yellow is out of your hair before you do that.

      • i have read you shouldnt bleach til its completely white or color or toner wont do any good its already prettywhite i have pics but dont think i can put them on here

        • Yeah that’s the problem. The more damaged hair gets, the more porous like a sponge it gets. When hair is super super white and damaged, it will soak up the pigments of the toner, making your hair whatever the base color of the toner is. The other thing is that super damaged hair won’t hold on to color either, so even if you do tone it, and it turns out perfect, it won’t last too long. For that reason, I would take it in steps, so you can get it lighter and get the yellow out, without completely frying it. I’ve bleached my hair from black to white a few times, but I had to rock an orange/yellow fried stage, and one time I completely fried half of my hair off. I would definitely not go that route, since it was so damaging. When you touch up your roots every month or so, just run the bleach through the rest of your hair for the last 10-15 minutes to lighten it a little bit. In between colors, I would do a lot of deep conditioning. I used to just put deep conditioner in my hair whenever I was at home, or sometimes sleep with it in. I think if, once it’s at the desired level and healthy, if you had an ashy color (not toner) mixed with a neutral color to cut it down a little bit, weaved in, it would turn out like Sienna’s. You’d just have to make sure its really healthy and not so porous first.

          • hi..
            i read few of the comments and your replies. i know much about hair. the point where i find myself confused is if i do lightening on 4 level and desired color is level 10… i stop the process after achieving level 7… as we are asians so our undercoat is mostly red… my question is… should i apply voilet and blue on level 7 first and after that i should use the color? or should i mix voilet and blue in my color mixture? its realy tough to achieve level 8 on asian hair… if clients hair length is medium and i made a mixture of 2 fashion tubes what should be my measurements for voilet and blue?
            you are doing a great job…
            appreciate..
            and i truly do…

          • Thanks for the question! If you are trying to get to a level 10, I would probably use bleach and tone it afterwards. It will probably also take multiple processes to get to the desired level. Even for a level 8, you will probably need to bleach it, since it needs to lift more than 4 levels. After bleaching it, you could apply a toner with a blue/violet base, or tone it with blue/violet base toners. Hope it helps 🙂

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