What The Process Of Going Blonde Is Really Like For Someone With Black Hair

Once upon a time, in a land not too far from here, a younger, more naive and very shy Christine hid behind her long, black locks with an uncanny resemblance to No Face from Spirited Away.

A far more boisterous and zany Christine has since emerged with a sassy bob, and commenced a long and winding journey from almost virgin black hair to the badass (easy to maintain) 'bronde' of her dreams. Come along and witness my hopefully very delightful glow-up.

Going From Dark Brown/Black To Blonde:

Let’s face facts: 

  1. This is not something you should DIY, and 

  2. A hair stylist who actually gives a sh*t about your long term hair health will not let you go from dark brown to blonde in one sitting. Don’t trust anyone who thinks they can do it without causing breakage and unfathomable dryness. 

Fellow dark maned darlings, our only real hope is to go from black to blonde hair in stages or going blonde gradually with highlights. And this is exactly how we tackled my mop to take me from super dark, to a light blended caramel.

How Many Sessions Does It Take To Go Blonde?

In the first session, our goal was to get to a middle-ground creamy colour, not unlike half melted salted caramel gelato. Bronde, if you will. Excuse my lack of professional jargon. This ensured that I was on my way to my dream state all the while my hair staying ultra silky smooth.

In the second session, as the ever lovely and insightful hair styling megamind Karen Strano explains, there are ten levels of lightening for someone with hair as dark as mine, with all its hardcore pigments. That's lightening, not lightning. I was convinced it was an homage to the dynamic accompaniment of thunder that made it the technical term. ANYWAY, after the first session, I sat at about level four, and from there we'd have the basis to aim for a nine.

Every time your hair is lightened, you are stripping away the pigment, making it weaker each time. So while it is not impossible to go from zero to ten in one shot, you likely won't be left with hair afterwards. Aim for at least two sessions to level up to a ten. 

If you’re like me and want to avoid frequent trips to the salon when your black locks make a comeback, ask your stylist for a base breaker to reduce contrast between the hair at the top of your head and the blonde to better frame your face. 

My Routine For Maintaining My Blonde Colour:

It is hard. I look back at old photos of me as the Lord Mayor of Brass City and I cannot help but cringe. Fortunately for me, steering clear of supermarket purple shampoos is now my top hair priority. 

The Pureology Best Blonde range is a dream come true for lazy fake blonde. I wash my hair twice a week (unless I am having a good week and think I can get away with just one wash and plenty of dry shampoo fumigation). 

My first wash consists of a clarifying/cleansing shampoo and conditioner because your girl suffers from a mad itchy/oily scalp, and I like to start the week as squeaky clean as possible. If this is also you, I recommend the Pureology Clean Volume Shampoo and Pureology Clean Volume Conditioner.

My second wash consists of keeping my blonde absolutely bangin’ with the Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Shampoo and Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Conditioner. If you’re lazy like me, you can leave these in for about 2-3 minutes each. Chad Wijayatilake, a Pureology ambassador and superstar hair stylist who did my first session, recommends 20 minutes for the conditioner.

Finally, right after the second wash, on days I can bring myself to blowdry my hair, I make it the most luxe experience by spritzing my damp hair with the Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler for an extra layer of protection and brass-fighting power. A heat protectant like this special guy is not just for people who dry and style their hair. The sun and indoor heating can also take a toll on your hair.

What Do I Love About This Range?

  • No nasties! No sulfates and all vegan ingredients. Tick!

  • The products feature patented anti-fade and reparative complexes

  • As an environmentally conscious beauty lover, I love that the bottles are fully recyclable, made out of 95% post-consumer plastic, AND come in a one litre bottle.

  • The products smell AMAZING. I’ve legitimately put in an enquiry about whether they can make a candle with the naturally-inspired ingredients and fragrances. 

  • Lathers beautifully. All you have to do is smush a Pureology-logo sized amount between your wet palms before you apply it to your hair. 

  • Unlike other products I’ve tried for this same purpose, you do not have to wear gloves and there is little staining as a result of spillage and splatter.

Here's My Before & After:

Okay, okay, without further ado, here is my ‘do before and after the Pureology Best Blonde does its best work. On the left is my hair before my first colour session, and the right is my hair about a week after my second colour session. I'm one happy gal.

before-and-after-pureology-best-blondesbefore-and-after-pureology-best-blondes

Thank you coming along for this journey on the wild frontiers of hair transformations. I look forward to having more fun.