Question 101 – Why you can’t go from black to blonde in one day…

Question 101 – Why you can’t go from black to blonde in one day…


I will give you 5 major reasons why?!?! Only joking that sounds quite angry, doesn’t it? I swear I’m not, I’m perfectly happy in my little bubble.

So I thought I would make a blog post about why you can’t go from black to blonde in one day/one sitting in the salon. It’s one of those things where we wish we had a magic wand to make it happen for you, but unfortunately no, not in this lifetime anyway. Going from black to blonde is a process, a long process which means accepting the fact you are going to be a few different shades before you reach your desired shade!

Above is a before picture of a client who had box dyed black hair and wanted to go blonde

Black is 10 shades darker than blonde, so if you think the lightener has to lift your hair 10 shades to get you where you want… now, even typing it sounds a lot but I mean it really is A LOT. Black has a lot of warm, red undertones in the colour- this is great if you have black/dark brown hair because the shine is UNBELIEVABLE! But for a hairdresser trying to remove the colour- it is a NIGHTMARE.

Realistically you need to come to terms with the fact that, on your first session going from black to blonde… you will be looking at a copper, warm brown – still quite dark shade. That first lift is always the hardest! Here is an image below of the lady above who had box dyed black hair and came to us wanting to be lighter. This is the first sitting in our salon- where we reached a warm brown base.

What some people also don’t know, is the hair on top of your head (root to mid-lengths) is normally the bit that lifts quite well. Typically because that’s the fresh hair- it has had less dye on so there’s less colour to lift out. However, the ends of your hair really are the toughest, most stubborn bits to lift. This is for a few reasons, the hair is old, it has been coloured the most times, so normally more damaged.

So, taking all that into consideration, to get an even tone so you aren’t walking out of the salon looking like a “Moroccan sunset” then we need to keep you at a darker base first-time round!

After the second session you would be looking more at a caramel shade, you could make it a balayage or full head of highlights! But again sticking with the warm tones because we are still trying to remove all the build-up of colour and tones from the original black colour…. Sometimes it even takes two sittings to get to the caramel stage. Everyone’s hair is different, it lifts different and there’s different history to everyone’s hair. Below is an image of the lady above, who came to visit us for the second time whereby we lifted the hair again… as you can see this is a much lighter tone but still very warm and not blonde.

Someone who was blonde under the dark brown and has had very few dyes on… will typically lift quite well and would probably take 2/3 sittings depending on the desired shade of blonde. On the other hand, someone who has BOX DYED (had to put it in capitals because it’s a hairdresser’s pet hate haha) their hair for 10+ years, you’re talking 5/6 sessions to get to your desired shade.

Below is a mixture of shades that can be reached after a few sessions from the colour above…