Updated: Mar 25, 2020
if you've been wondering how to get the best shade of blonde hair i'll let you in on a secret... it's a process. it is physically impossible to get perfect white blonde hair in one salon sitting unless you have hundreds of dollars and multiple hours to get it done. we see pictures of perfect instagram models with beautiful bleached blonde hair, but as you probably have assumed by now these images are far from realistic. chances are you're looking at a picture with really good lighting, editing, and a fuck ton of photoshop. or typically... its a WIG. so if you're like me- a poor struggling nineteen year old trying to achieve the perfect shade of Daenerys Targaryen blonde- then keep reading...
my hair history
i started dyeing my hair when i was 15 and a freshman in high school. my hair was a medium dirty blonde, sort of like the color of a dull latte? not really brown but not really blonde either. i had been begging my mom for weeks to get it colored until she finally caved in. i've never looked back since. i've had red, purple, pink, blonde, and so many other color combinations that i can't even count. through my experiences i've learned quite a bit about coloring, bleaching, and salon/drugstore hair products. i've gone through traumatic hair processes (hair loss, bleach burns, scalp irritation) as well as magical ones. each experience has helped me figure out what works for me and now i even help my friends color their own hair at school. but what i can say is that through years of trial and error i have found the perfect blonde hair routine that eliminates brassiness and keeps my strands looking shiny, voluminous, and healthy.
when deciding to go blonde for the first time i always recommend seeing a professional first. schedule an appointment to get your hair bleached by a licensed specialist. this will usually cost you anywhere from $60-100 depending on your salon. at the salon you'll be able to ensure that your entire head will get bleached evenly (even the spots you can't see in a mirror) and perfect root coverage. they will also be able to cut off any split ends/damaged areas from the bleach. once you've gotten your hair bleached and it's a perfect yellow blonde, it's time to just let it rest for one week. not putting chemicals, hot tools, or toner on your hair for a week will ensure that your hair is healthy by the time you start the toning process. toning your hair is what will make it go from yellow blonde to white blonde.
after i've let my hair rest for one week, it's time to begin toning. in order to make sure all of my blonde hair is light enough to start toning, i will do a quick at-home bleach treatment. my favorite at-home bleach is the Manic Panic 30 Vol Bleach Kit. the kit comes with everything you need to bleach your hair- developer, bleach powder, application brush, mixing bowl, hair net, and gloves. you can purchase this kit at your local Sally Hansen Beauty Supply Store. find spots of your blonde hair that look more yellow than the rest and lightly apply the bleach mixture to those areas. cover with your hairnet and let it sit between 10-15 minutes. no more than 20 minutes or your hair could become majorly damaged. if you're confused about when to rinse the bleach out, use a glove and wipe away the bleach from a section of hair. if it looks like a nice white yellow blonde then you can rinse. it's better to rinse beforehand and wait another week to bleach again than for you to severely fuck up your hair. trust me... i know. once you're ready to remove the bleach, rinse it out with cold water. next it's time to tone. this is what will get rid of the brassy yellow from your hair and make your blonde look much more natural. my favorite at-home toner is the Shimmer Lights Conditioner which is available at Sallys. even though this conditioner isn't primarily used as a hair toner, when you leave it on your hair for a while it does a beautiful job at toning AND conditioning your hair. massage the purple conditioner into your hair and leave it in for 10-20 minutes. you can conduct the same strip test when figuring out when to wash the toner out. after washing if your hair still looks yellow you can apply the conditioner back on for another 10 minutes. if your hair looks purple and you've left it on for too long do not FRET, because this is conditioner and not a real toner it will wash out in the shower and turn back to blonde over time.
like i said this is a process. personally what i will do is just repeat conditioning (10 min) with the toner every night for 4-5 days straight until i get the desired white blonde that i'm looking for. once you've gotten the desired blonde shade then just keep conditioning with Shimmer Lights to keep up. finally, i use a hair mask every week to make sure my hair doesn't look frizzy. keeping your hair healthy among all the bleaching and toning will be super beneficial in the long run.
so there you have it! my whole bleaching and toning routine. i've learned so much through bleaching and dyeing my hair from home and love to share my experiences with others in the same situation as i am. i don't spend thousands of dollars on haircare but i do think it's important to find the right combination of methods that work for you. i hope your hair journey is just as crazy beautiful as mine- maybe this time it'll save you some of the more disastrous moments ;)
feel free to comment with any questions
best of luck