Lighten Up! How to Go From Dark Hair to Blonde

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If your hair is dark and you feel like changing up your hair color this summer, Paulina Rubio's “Chica Dorada” may be your best option for extra drama factor. We caught up with L'Oreal Paris brand ambassador Marcos Carrasquillo (of Qiu Salon & Spa in Miami) to get the scoop on how to switch up your look! 

Because going from black dyed hair to blonde is a difficult process, the most important thing is to prep your hair with a good leave-in mask like the Advanced Haircare Power Moisture Moisture Rush Mask. This mask instantly infuses every strand with deep moisture prepping hair for the harshest of color changes.

Dark hair color cannot be removed with hair dye only. The best way to decolorize black hair is to use bleach, especially if your goal is to go blonde. Purchase a 20-v developer solution and apply the developer from tips to mid-hair length, leaving roots untouched. Wait 20 to 45 minutes, checking hair frequently until you achieve the desired color shade. Once bleach is applied to ends and mid-strands, go back and apply it to exposed root area, up to 4 inches away from scalp, and wait 45 additional minutes. You'll see how your hair goes from black to orange to blonde. When it's blonde enough, you can then apply bleach to the roots, since hair in this area is virgin (unprocessed) and lightens very quickly. Once your hair has lightened, use Superior Preference Paris Lumiere in 8gb golden iridescent blonde. Ashy or Golden tones are preferred to tone down unwanted brassy shades.

To get the desired color you need to be patient, since it can take up to 3-4 months to achieve the desired results! If you are able to highlight your hair at home, use bleach with 20-v peroxide and aluminum foil paper to keep streaks nice and tidy. Start from the back, then move on to the sides, and finish at the crown of your head. Continue checking your hair during this process, and after achieving a light to medium-light shade, use the same hair color, Superior Preference Paris Lumiere in 8gb golden iridescent blonde, to tone down hair and get the richest, most radiant color with reflective tones.

After 30 days, repeat the process, but you’ll apply the developer only to the darker areas. You’ll continue repeating this process once every 30 days, until all black is gone and you get the desired color.

Remember to cut your tips frequently and deeply condition hair every time you shower, since removing color and bleaching can cause dryness and severe damage. Also, use a deep conditioner treatment weekly like the Advanced Haircare Total Repair Extreme Emergency Recovery Mask, which repairs the hair fiber, leaving hair soft, supple and reconstructed.

And while you can achieve the look at home with the above tips, if you're feeling nervous, it's always best to head to a salon and talk to a stylist. They can help answer any questions you may have (and you know, keep you from possibly looking like a carrot).

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Samantha Leal, Senior Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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