Blonde on black tube: How To Bleach Dark or Black Hair Blonde – in 1 Sitting Only!


How To Bleach Dark or Black Hair Blonde – in 1 Sitting Only!

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!

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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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!

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.

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.

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.

  • 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.

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.

7. Rinse And Apply Intense Pearl Blonde Toner

  • 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.

8. Rinse with Purple Shampoo and/or Mask.

  • 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.

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.



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About the author

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.




The 4 Best Permanent Black Hair Dyes

There are a lot of at-home hair dying kits on the market, so to help sift through the virtual shelves to find the best permanent black hair dyes I reached out to Patrick Jardines, a colorist at the NYC-based Eliut Salon. He told Bustle that choosing the best at-home black formula is no different than any other color. First, narrow down the formula by focusing on your hair texture and then consider choosing a shade based on your complexion.

Let’s start with hair type. Those with finer and medium-textured hair can basically choose any product as their locks will easily grab onto deeper shades. On the other hand, natural or relaxed hair with a coarse texture will absorb dyes slower because “the cuticle is more porous,” and thus, Jardines explains, “more vulnerable to breakage.” If that sounds like you, look for dyes specially formulated for your tresses, which will add visible color while keeping your overall hair health intact.

Finally, if your strands are on the super dry side— from things like heat-styling or bleach— reach for a cream-based dye that’s chock full of moisturizing oils to counteract damage instead of exacerbating it.

Since the most highly rated dyes often come in more than one shade of black, Jardines offers this helpful tip: Pay attention to undertones. “Pick a dye undertone that is opposite of your complexion undertone,” he explains. In other words, if your complexion is warmer, then look for a cool-toned black, and vice versa. And if you’re neutral? Most shades will complement you. (Note: For more, here’s an in-depth guide on how to choose the right hair color for your skin tone.)

Scroll below to find the best permanent black hair dyes on Amazon — they are all under $10 and will all last up to eight weeks.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


The Overall Best Permanent Black Hair Dye

Aside from having some of the most highly rated reviews on Amazon, this L’Oreal Paris hair dye makes it easy to pick the right black shade to complement your natural undertone based on Jardines’ advice. “Ultimate Black” and “Soft Black,” which have hints of warmth, would look great on people with cooler undertones, while “Deep Blue Black” and “Black Sapphire,” which are cool-toned, would be a beautiful match for those with warmer undertones.

The gel-based dye is easy to apply, gentle on hair, and long-lasting, giving you fade-free color for up to eight weeks. Inside your box, you’ll also a tube of the brand’s Care Supreme Conditioner, which is formulated with shine-inducing vitamin E and cameclina oil.


The Most Nourishing Dye For Dry Hair

Like bleaching your hair blonde, dyeing your hair black can cause major damage — especially if your hair is already dry. So a hydrating formula, like this Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse Nourishing Creme, is ideal for people with parched hair. It’s infused with olive, avocado, and grape seed oils, as well as shea butter, so your hair is left well conditioned even after you rinse the color out. And since it’s a cream formula, it’s incredibly easy to apply — Garnier even has a series of videos on its YouTube channel that show you how to seamlessly brush on the color. This pick will last up to eight weeks and has the widest array of black shades to choose from of any on this list: in addition to Intense Blue Black (Mulberry), pictured above, there are five others.


The Best For Natural Hair

For natural or relaxed hairstyles, this option by Dark & Lovely is one of the very best. Among the hundreds of fans praising this dye on Amazon are lots of rave reviews about the texture the dye leaves behind— “My hair stayed soft,” reported one user— and the complete gray coverage with just one application. It comes in an anti-drying, liquid gel form and also contains a mix of oils (shea, avocado, and olive) for major hydration. You’ll get up to eight straight weeks of vibrant color, and there are two black shades to choose from: Jet Black (pictured above) or Natural Black.


The Best For Root Touch-Ups

If you can get away with just touching up your roots instead of doing a full-on dye job, Revlon Root Erase in shade “black” is the way to go. This kit has three applications per bottle and provides everything you could possibly need to do a touchup and/or cover up grays at home — including gloves and a root brush. The color and developer are contained in two separate chambers in the bottle, so all you have to do is pump and mix. The processing time is also very quick— you could see results in just five minutes— making it one of the most simple-to-use root coverups you can buy.


Patrick Jardines, professional colorist at Eliut Salon

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