I went from Brunette to Blonde without Bleach - here's how

Most professionals will tell you a transition like this isn’t possible without Bleach. Watch me gloat as I tell you there was no Bleach used in any processes.

When it comes to Colour I'm insatiable. I'm fortunate enough to have the Colouring to be a Brunette in Winter and Blonde in Summer, even though everyone feels the need to give me their opinion on which Colour suits me best. Thanks guys.

As soon as daylight savings hits, or I spend too much time on our Instagram, I know its time for a change.

Most professionals will tell you a transition like this isn’t possible without Bleach. I can’t stand the stuff and watch me gloat as I tell you there was no Bleach used in any processes.

Here is my story from Brunette to Blonde.

Starting Hair Colour

5.53 Chocolate Brown and 5 Light Brown Colour.

Natural Colour

7 Medium Blonde


To Colour Remove the Dark 5.53/5 Colour out and transform into a low maintenance, contoured style: Dark, close to my Natural, roots and the majority of my Hair painted with Light Blonde Highlights.

Hair History

4 months with my starting Colour of 5.53 Chocolate Brown and 5 Light Brown.
6 months as a Bronde, with painted Blonde Highlights around a level 9-10 and root Colour combo of 7 Medium Blonde and 7.53 Chocolate Blonde.
Winter as a straight 7.53 Chocolate Blonde.
Spring / Summer as a 9 Very Light Blonde and 8.2 Light Beige Blonde for Tone.

I told you I am a serious yo-yo Colourer, made worse by working for a Colour company.

Pre note

I only had my Colour for 4 months, but my Hair grows with the kind of speed that once I have done my Regrowth, it’s already showing again. So in that time I have done 4 Colour touchups, with 2 of those being a full head of Colour. With this in mind, I know I will need to do at least 2 Colour Removers.

The Process

Step 1 - Colour Remove the Chocolate

First stop Colour Remover, which as I mentioned, will need at least 2 full processes.
After 2 successful applications, I am left with a Warm, Golden Blonde that is an awesome enough Colour to leave as is, but I need to be reminded that that’s not what we are doing here. Lucky for me I am leaving my Hair for 48 hours to let it settle, so I can enjoy it even for a brief moment.

Step 2 - Strand Test

I need to check I have cleared out my Colour enough to Lighten my Hair, otherwise when I Lighten there will be no change to my Colour. So it’s an important step.

My mixture is my Highlight Colour: 908 Extra Light Silver Blonde with 40 Volume Developer.

We choose 2 thin sections in the middle of my Hair and weave a few Highlights to test the Colour. Thankfully it’s a success.

Step 3 - Painting in Highlights

Fun times ahead, painting Highlights is where you can get creative. Obviously, I didn't do this step, but me barking orders about how to actually do the Highlights, make me feel involved.

Here’s what we did:

Sectioned my Hair into 4, starting in the back then moving to the top and front of the Hair.
We keep the Highlights a couple of centimetres off the scalp, painting with a narrower, feathered stroke. Finishing with a thicker application.
Its important to stagger the Highlights so there is no clear starting line and keep a few strands un Coloured for variation.
Once we reached the face, we started painting the Highlights closer to the Hairline to frame my face.
Then we wrapped my Hair in foil which was later removed during the processing, to stop over cooking and allowing the back development time to slow down and let the most recently painted Hair catch up.

Note: This is seriously time consuming and if you have thick Hair like mine, it will take a while to get through it. Do it as quickly as possible and watch the clock, to stop your Colour from being over processed and frying your Hair. Particularly if you are using foil.

My Colour processed for 45 minutes, no longer. Then rinsed - washed - conditioned. No blow dry, no straightening. I let my Hair relax for a day.

Step 4 - Base Colour

Last but not least, we needed to bring in the base Colour and also Tone my Highlights. I wanted a soft Regrowth Colour that would blend with my Natural Colour and Highlights.

My base Colour mixture: 7 Medium Blonde and 8.2 Beige Blonde with a 20 Volume Developer.

Here’s what we did:

Sectioned my Hair into 4 and begun in the back.
Started by painting the Hair in between the top of my Highlights and the bottom of my Regrowth, avoiding my Regrowth. In some sections, we brought the Colour down slightly over my Highlights for a soft blend and variation.
Once we completed my full head, we went back through and Coloured my Regrowth.
In the last 5 minutes, we added conditioner to the left over Colour mixture and applied it over the ends for a quick gloss and Tone.
Developed for 35 minutes.
Then rinsed - washed - conditioned - blow dried and voila!

In short, I’m very happy with my Colour. I love the subtle transition of Lightness down my Hair and how it easy it will be to maintain. Although my transitions may be High Maintenance, once I reach my Colour I am not, so this style is perfect for me. Until time change of course..

What do you think? Will you give this a try? Do you a have any questions?

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