Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

Looking To Take Dark or Black Hair Ultra White Blonde?

  • As a stylist, do you get requests from clients to bleach and lift dark hair to blonde - in 1 Sitting?
  • It is possible to do this and maintain hair integrity at the same time provided you do it right.
  • Our model Chrystelle is Domenican and she had very very frizzy, long dark hair.
  • We succeeded in transforming her into an ultra white blonde look.
  • Watch how we did it below!

Hairdresser: Ashley Betancourt.

How To Bleach Dark or Black Hair and Take it To Blonde in 1 Sitting Only!

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

We bleached and toned our model's dark hair to this!

This was done in just 1 sitting.

In this tutorial we will show you how to achieve this in your own salon.

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1. What You Will Need

  • An Ugly Duckling Lightener - Ugly Duckling lighteners can lift 7-8 tones without compromising hair integrity.
  • Use either Brilliant Blonde Lightener or Bond Protect Brilliant Blondexx Lightener.
  • 20 and 30 Vol Developer - you will need both of these.
  • Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V
  • Purple Shampoo and Purple Mask
  • Coloring Tools, Disposable Rubber Gloves.

2. Mix the Lightener and the Developer in a Mixing Bowl

  • Our recommended mix is 1 part Lightener to 2 parts Developer.
  • This gives a mix which is fairly runny, which is what you need to saturate the hair properly and work fast.
  • At the same time, it is not too runny that it will drip off he brush.
  • As this model has fairly dark hair and we are looking to go ultra white blonde, we decided to start off on the lengths using 30 Vol Developer.
  • The rule of thumb when using bleach is 20 Vol developer for 1-2 levels lift and for the root area, and 30 Vol for 3 levels lift and more.
  • As we are definitely looking to go lighter by more than 3 levels, 30 Vol is our choice of developer for the lengths.
  • Section the hair and apply the mix thoroughly using a brush, starting from the back where the hair is the thickest.
  • At this stage, apply only on the lengths and leave out the last inch closest to the root.
  • Aim to deposit as much of the mix as possible. In this case, because of the hair frizziness, after applying with a brush, we re-applied with fingers using gloves.
  • Good product saturation is really really important when lifting dark hair - Be bold and really use a lot of product!

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

3. Section the Hair and Apply The Bleach Mix

  • This is long hair, and bleach needs to be applied as fast as possible so that all the hair lifts equally.
  • So first section the hair into 4 large quadrants, and pin back 3 quadrants.
  • Start off with one of the quadrants at the back.
  • You can use foil for the first application using 30 Vol developer. It will help lock in heat which will make for faster and better processing.
  • Section this one into very fine sections and start applying the bleach.
  • At this stage, apply only on the lengths, leaving the root part (which processes faster) for later
  • Work your way round the hair as quickly as you can.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

4. Check The Hair And Re-Apply Fresh Bleach Mix If Necessary

  • Once you have applied everywhere on the lengths, check how it is processing, especially at the back where you started.
  • If the mixture has dried up and you have still not lifted to level 9/10. you will need to re-apply fresh mix.
  • When making fresh mix, use 20 Vol this time. You should not use 30 Vol twice in a row on hair in one session.
  • Check also for hair integrity. As long as the hair is still strong and has its natural elasticity, you're good.
  • In the case of dark hair, virgin or healthy hair, after 30 minutes of processing you can rinse and re-apply one more time if you have not achieved level 9/10.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

5. Get The Lengths Up to A Consistent Level 9/10

  • Your aim should be to get the lengths up to this color.
  • This is what Crystelle's lengths looked like after bleaching, processing & rinsing.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

  • Notice that at this stage we still have not touched the root area:
  • Bleach processing goes really fast, so when you have long hair like this, it is better to deal with the lengths first & then rinse.
  • Then deal with the root area which will take a different development time.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

6. Now Apply On The Root Area, Using 20 Vol Developer.

  • In general, you need to be careful when applying bleach on the root area.
  • A skin sensitivity test is always recommended before any bleach application.
  • Heat from the scalp means that hair near the root always processes faster than anywhere else.
  • That is why for the root area, we made a fresh mix using 20 Vol Developer.
  • Because the lengths are all done, we were able to concentrate on the root area, and rinse as soon as we got the desired result.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

7. Rinse And Apply Intense Pearl Blonde Toner

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

  • After rinsing with water, apply Ugly Duckling Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100 V with 20 Vol.
  • This toner along with 100B is probably the fastest acting toner in the market today.
  • When you are dealing with dark hair this would be our recommendation for those looking to take clients Pearl Blonde.
  • The recommended mix is 1 part toner to 2 parts developer.
  • Once again, work fast, starting off with the lengths.
  • Return to the root area afterwards.
  • You will see the pigments of the toner will start to change. This is normal.
  • Let the color process. Do not let the toner process more than around 10 minutes on the root area and more than 20 minutes overall.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

8. Rinse with Purple Shampoo and/or Mask.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

  • Now rinse with Brilliant Blonde Purple shampoo and/or Mask. 
  • These products contain intense violet pigments which will help finish your hair color result and kill any residual yellowness.
  • Because they are low pH, they also help to close the hair cuticle after the lightening and coloring.

9. Final Result.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

10. Watch Full Video Tutorial Here:


At Ugly Duckling, we are really not big fans of the approach of bleaching again and again in an incremental way.

Do it once & do it right is our motto. It's much less stressful for the hair in total if you do it that way - provided you use the right products, of course!

There are a lot of bleaches out there which don't lift well and lift slower. What that means is that you end up being forced to bump up the developer strength and increasing processing time in order to get the required lift. Which of course is much more damaging in the long run.


No unfortunately you cannot. Lifting from black to blonde basically involves a jump of 8 levels...from level 2/3 to level 9/10.

There's no really effective way of doing that without bleach.

Now once, again, you might say, what if I want to do it incrementally?

Well, we would say, yes you can use use high lift color (Ugly Duckling has some excellent ones) and use that several times over a period of several months.

You could probably get good results that way. 

We do, however, recommend you do it in the way we have shown here. It is the most effective way -  and one that is easiest on your hair because it's a one shot process only.



  • Brilliant Blonde 8 Level Lightener
  • Intense Pearl Blonde 100V Toner (extra toner provided).
  • Purple Mask
  • 20 & 30 Vol Developer.
  • Enough for at least 2 full head applications
  • FREE Coloring Tools & Save $59 for a limited time period only.

Press here to view and buy.

Can you dye dark hair blonde at home?

    Sally Madison, National Color Trainer.

    Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.

    Can you put blonde hair dye on dark hair?

    No. If you apply blonde hair dye on dark hair, you will never reach a blond hair colour. You will however damage your hair from the chemicals in hair dye and risk ending up with dry, brassy, straw-like hair. If you have dark hair and you want to go blonde, you'll have to bleach it.

    How can I get my hair from dark brown to blonde?

    The most common way to go from brown hair to blonde is to do a double-process, which involves stripping your base or natural color before toning it to your desired shade. Two steps equal double process.

    Can you go from dark brown to blonde without bleach?

    Lemon juice can also be used for the brown hair to blonde at home. It has its own natural acid. There is no need of any bleach. You can spray the lemon juice with water on your hair to achieve the brown hair to blonde hair at home purpose.

    Can you go from box dye black to blonde?

    The answer relies solely upon the type of dye and how often your has been dyed black. If your hair was dyed with box color purchased from a drug store - then the odds of becoming blonde in one visit are null. Most likely, with the proper procedure, you will be able to achieve caramel highlights via balayage or foiling.