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Definitive guide to white hair.

Contents:1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Introduction and important information Tool kit and things you will need. How to maintain the condition of your hair whilst achieving white hair. How to bleach hair and How to do a bleach bath White hair for those with hair already dyed with vegetable dyes White hair for those with hair dyed with box dyes White hair for those with virgin hair Toning, the last step in white hair (no matter the original color) FAQ

Helpful tips will be marked in yellow and recipes will be marked in green.

This will be a tutorial of sorts, but more than anything, its a guide. It will include FAQs and how tos for techniques and tips that I get asked about again and again. This piece is for those that want to attempt white hair at home. I always say that if you can afford it, please go to your local salon. If you are thinking about starting the journey to white hair, you must understand that it is not a light task to undertake. White is not like a box dye you can plonk on your noggin and in half an hour have a brand new look. No. White hair will take months of hard work and careful preparation. Ultimately our hair is not supposed to be white, and whether its a colour you want to maintain or something you would like to achieve so as to then dye lilac, silver or a similar pastel shade. Certain things must be considered before attempting to go white, these include: The condition of your hair This is the most important factor when deciding to go white. If your hair is already very heat or chemically damaged then going white will not be a good idea for you. Going white will require you to put your hair through some very intensive chemical treating, which no matter how careful you are, will damage it. If you have virgin hair, this process will be much easier for you than if you are trying to lift layers of colour build up. The current colour of your hair The current colour of your hair will directly dictate how easy going white will be for


You. If you have red or black hair, for example, you will be in the most difficult category, whereas if you hair is already light blonde, going white will be a straight forward enough task for you. Again, I stress that if you have a great deal of colour build up (many previous colours layered on top of one another) you will have a longer road ahead of you.

The two aforementioned factors must be taken into consideration and taken heed of. I really do understand more than most the desire for that perfect hair colour, but sometimes it really is not possible. You are literally taking the life of your hair in your hands if you think that you can take this transition against recommendations of either colour, condition or time restraints. If you have dark hair that is already over processed, or hair that is already very bleach/chemical or heat damaged, I advise you now, turn back. Give your hair some months to recover, get haircuts, protein treatments and conditioning. If when your hair is healthy you still want to carry on, then come back to this tutorial and read on. If you still want to continue there are three main avenues I will write on. Hair that has already been bleached and that is dyed with vegetable dyes. Hair that is dyed with a colour containing a developer, either by the hairdresser or with a box dye. Virgin Hair.

(you can use the ctrl+f function to jump to your required section)

Whilst I shall cover the differences on lightening hair to make it white depending on your current hair condition, all tools and products mentioned will be the same. You will need the following: Blue Bleach powder. Blue bleach helps tone as it lifts. Crme Peroxide. Peroxide comes in various volumes, those readily available are 10 (3%), 20(6%) and 30 volume (9%). The percentage refers to the amount of oxygen found in a given amount of peroxide. The more the developer can oxidise, the faster and more violent the reaction. You will need to choose your peroxide depending on the amount you want to lift. 30 vol peroxide will lift 3 levels but is more damaging than a 10 vol which will only lift one.


A non-metallic mixing bowl and brush. Bleach is much easier to apply with a brush than with your fingers. Any metallic instruments or equipment can be corroded by the bleach and can deposit unwanted colour into the hair. Non metallic hair clips A showercap (or plastic bags) Latex (or similar) gloves- it helps to have a large supply in stock. Shampoo (does not matter which brand, though clarifying shampoos are preferred) A deep conditioner. I recommend Aussie three minute miracle reconstructor A protein treatment. My favourite is red ken deep fuel. Some kind of oil for the hair. You can literally use any oil from olive to the more expensive Moroccan. I recommend for a cheap alternative and as a very good oil, coconut oil. I also love The One n Only Argan Oil. A dedicated towel. Always best to have a towel just for bleaching and dying your hair, so as you dont accidently leave orange bleached marks on mums best.

I always find when lightening the hair that its best to buy your bleach and peroxide in bulk. Dont bother with the one application sachets that you need two of for long hair anyway. It will cost you a great deal more than it need. Instead, buy a litre of developer and a 500g box of bleach powder on ebay or from a salon supplies store. You can expect to pay around 3 for the peroxide and around 10 for the bleach powder, instead of paying 5 a time for the individual amounts. If you are lucky enough to live in a city, then ethnic hair shops often carry these cheaper and bulk alternatives. When attempting to heal the hair, argan oil and coconut oils are best as it is found that the molecules resemble that of sebum in the hair, this means that they can penetrate the shaft and actually help rebuild the hair from the inside out rather than just smoothing damaged ends like most conditioners.

Maintaining the condition of your hair. The following information applies to all bleaching techniques and processes and I will refer only in passing to deep conditioning or protein treatments from here on in. You should be careful at all times to keep up a rigorous hair routine and keep a close eye on the condition of your hair through the lightening process.


Things you will need:Note:- Images are for reference of my preferred products, feel free to use your own! A conditioner containing an oil that can be used as a deep conditioner. I recommend Aussie three minute miracle deep reconstructor.

A type of oil. Any oil can be used to help condition the hair but the best are coconut oil and an Argan oil.

A showercap, plastic bag or cling film.


A wide toothed comb.

A leave in conditioner.



A protein treatment

Maintaining the condition of your hair can be involved process during the journey to white hair but it is of maximum importance. It is likely you will need to bleach your hair more than once to achieve white, and as such, you need to make sure you have healthy and strong hair. Bleach does cause damage to hair, no matter how to tackle it, you are putting a chemical on your hair that changes the fundamental structure. It is how you deal with that damage that counts. It must be noted before I go on, that every persons hair is different and what may work for some will not for others. It may take some experimentation and patience for you to find your perfect conditioning routine. The one I will outline here is what works for me, and in my experience, for many others with chemically processed hair. It is likely that you already condition your hair after every wash, this should be continued with your preferred product (my own favourite is Dumb Blonde by Tigi Bed Head as it is formulated especially for chemically damaged hair. I purchase large salon bottles for cut price on amazon). On top of your regular conditioning, whilst attempting to achieve white hair, once or twice a week you should indulge in a deep conditioning. Deep conditioning should be attempted with a product specifically branded as such, I use Aussie. The conditioner should be applied as normal to wet (but wrung out) hair and covered with plastic or a showercap and left for twenty minutes. The heat from your scalp


will allow for a more efficient conditioning process. After twenty minutes rinse the conditioner as normal. On wet hair it is advisable to spray or apply a leave in conditioner to assure maximum support to your hair. Also make sure that you never brush wet hair, rather use a wide toothed comb to separate tangles. Chemically treated hair can become very fragile and pulling a brush through tangles can cause a great deal of breakage. By using a wide toothed comb you are minimising damage to the hair. You can also condition your hair using coconut oil. This should be applied to damp hair, wrapped in plastic and left for any amount of time between twenty minutes and two hours. Coconut oil is an incredible way to condition your hair since it is made up of small fatty acids which can actually penetrate the shaft of the hair in ways that other oils may not. This is key since it can then help to repair the hair from the inside and also prevent protein loss. Oils are essential for chemically damaged hair since the main reason your hair becomes dry, brittle and frizzy is because the natural sebum is stripped from the hair during the chemical process. The scalp is unable to create oils fast enough to repair the hair, and as such, you must re-add these (or similar) in order to keep your hair in good condition. The best oil currently available for your hair is argan oil. The most popular brand is Morrocan Oil which contains argan oil and other ingredients. You can however buy similar products and pure argan oil much more cheaply. Argan Oil is unique since it is almost 80% fatty acids including a high amount of vitamin E. These are essential for helping to keep hair strong. When hair is chemically treated it becomes brittle, when the hair can be strengthened in any way, it will reduce breakage and therefore frizz. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps to eradicate free radicals in the hair. Free radicals oxidise molecules including those in the proteins and membrane. When these become damaged the hair can eventually become hollow and this causes complete breakage. Argan oil can be applied directly to damp hair before styling and to dry hair to smooth frizz and create a healthy shine. Simply pour a small amount (about the size of a 5 pence piece) into your palm, rub your hands together and apply evenly through the hair. Serum is perfect for helping to moisturise dry ends. With a good argan oil, you shouldnt need one, but its always best to have one on hand. Serum simply coats the hair in a protective layer that helps smooth and adds shine, as well as protecting from everyday damage as well as moisturising. Lastly, I will cover Protein treatments. These can be confusing and potentially dangerous to your hair If used improperly. Protein treatments can however be the ultimate saviour when it comes to bleach damaged hair. Bleach damage essentially breaks down the natural protein in the hairs cortex, protein treatments can work to artificially re-fill the hollow cortex, and thusly strengthens the entire shaft and prevents breakage. Protein treatments come in various strengths from everyday products such as Lee Staffords Hair growth product to the last resort such as Red Kens Deep Fuel and Joico K-pak.


It must be noted with the latter two that if you use these products when your hair does not need them, they can cause more damage than good. Extreme strength protein treatments are to be used when your hair is severely chemically damaged- this means that you are suffering breakage and stretching of the hair. If you simply have dry hair, use a lower strength product, there are many on the market. If you ensure to follow some or all of these processes, you should be able to maintain a good hair condition. Do ensure that with every precaution, you still check the condition of your hair often and if it seems too damaged, stop. You can carry on lightening your hair after you allow your hair to heal, or you can follow other lightening methods later on.

This section outlines methods and recipes for bleaching and bleach baths.

Basic bleaching of the hair is the same no matter what your base colour- this section outlines the method used to bleach. From this point forward when I mention bleaching (as a full strength bleach) this is the method I will be referring to. Make sure you have everything youll need before you begin (as outlined in the toolkit) for a basic full head bleach you will need: Bleach powder

Your chosen volume of peroxide


A mixing bowl and tinting brush

Non-metallic clips


A shower cap or plastic bag

Gloves (latex or similar)

A measuring container


Bleach is mixed using one part bleach powder to one part peroxide, if these are not pre measured for you, you will need to use a measuring jug, cups or something similar. Try and have a dedicated measuring container for your chemicals (dont use kitchen items!). If you are familiar with bleach or bleach often, you will probably be able to mix the products by eye to the right consistency. Do be aware however that as bleach powders often differ slightly, they can create different consistencies. Always follow the directions on the packets! If the directions differ to what I outline here, follow the manufactures guidelines, not my own. Tip your measured powder and peroxide in your mixing bowl using a tinting brush, make sure you have a smooth paste and all the powder is mixed thoroughly in. You are now ready to begin application. For a full head bleach you will need to begin applying bleach an inch from the scalp, use the rat tail on the tinting brush to flip sections of hair so as to apply the product to each side and various layers. Use non metallic clips to hold hair out of the way If needs be. Once you have completed the rest of the hair, you can apply bleach to the roots. The heat from your scalp makes development of the bleach more efficient, and as such, you must do the roots last to avoid an uneven colour. Work as methodically and quickly as possible so as the hair can process together where possible. Once bleach is applied to the entire head, cover with a plastic bag (tie off with elastic band) or showercap and leave to develop for the stated time or until the correct level is achieved (never go over time, but if the colour is achieved before the allotted time, wash the bleach off immediately). For already processed or damaged hair check the condition of your hair every 10 minutes. Take a small amount of hairs between your fingers and pull. If the hair stretches at all, wash the bleach off immediately. For any hair type it is always best to check, but especially where extra damage is a worry. Once the bleach has developed rinse thoroughly and deep condition for twenty minutes. Never leave the bleach on for longer than the manufacturer suggests. If your hair is not the colour you hoped for, there are methods of correction that can be attempted later on. Do not risk the condition of your hair for the desired colour of your hair.

Bleach Bath


A bleach bath (also sometimes known as a soap cap) uses half the amount of peroxide as a normal bleaching and as such is much gentler on the hair. The lift from a bleach bath is not as effective as bleach but neither will it damage as much. Often you will not need the power a full bleach can offer, this is a good alternative. You will need: Blue bleach powder 20 vol peroxide (recommended but works with any vol over 10) Shampoo (any, cheap is fine) Gloves (latex or similar) A mixing bowl and tinting brush Non-metallic clips A shower cap or plastic bag

The recipe for a bleach bath is as follows. You will need two parts bleach powder to one part peroxide and one part shampoo (it doesnt matter what kind). Depending on how much bleach you are mixing will depend on how big these parts are of course. Put one part shampoo, one part peroxide and two parts bleach powder into your mixing bowl and using a tinting brush, mix well. The mixture should be applied immediately to the hair using your tinting brush. Once hair is covered, massage gently and cover with plastic or a shower cap. Using plastic helps create heat and speed up the development process. You can use a shower cap, a plastic bag secured with an elastic band or simply wrap cling film around the hair. Leave for no more than twenty minutes to help further reduce the risk of damage. Rinse well- be aware that the large amount of shampoo will make the mixture harder to rinse, patience will be needed! The bleach should have lifted any remaining stains from the hair. If the bath was not successful then wait at least a week and try again. The process is still chemical and damaging so make sure to maintain conditioning routines. Be aware that this can often be an itchy process and its nothing to worry about, its the rapid oxidisation of the baking powder and bleach.

White hair for those with bleached/veg dyed hair. For those of you with bleached hair, or veg dyed hair, then white hair will be difficult, but in some ways, you are the most equipped. You probably dye your hair a lot, and are familiar with bleach. For this section, I will assume you have hair that is dyed with a vegetable dye, that is a brand such as manic panic or directions that does not use a developer.


To get white hair, you will firstly need to strip your current colour. Your hair is most likely already a light bleached colour beneath the dye, and you need that base to work from. As a bonus if you have blue or purple dyed hair, as you fade, your hair will probably go to the colour you want on its own (providing you already have a light base, so beware of that before just chucking bleach on. You will not be able however to use a colour remover such as colourB4 since these work by reversing oxidisation that developers in dyes use. They have been known to strip veg dyes, but this is purely because you are using a strong chemical process. Instead I will lead you through a series of easy things you can do to strip stubborn vegetable dye from your hair. As we all know, veg dyes claim to last only 8 washes, usually this is not true, and they stain the hair and become difficult to remove. Alkalis are the best way to remove veg dyes from the hair, but caution must be used since alkaline products are also very drying, so make sure you have a good deep conditioner on hand. Vosene or similar anti-dandruff shampoos are very alkaline and drag colour from the hair. Washing you hair in these three times a week, with deep conditioning between can really fade the hair quickly. If simple shampoo does not work, you can always try washing up liquid such as fairy liquid, these however can cause the hair to become gummy if its already chemically processed, so use care. Great for fading colour. My personal mixture for fading dye comes from years of experience and a collection of many recipes I have found online. Put into a mixing bowl two applications of vosene shampoo (enough to cover your head twice) two and a half to three teaspoons of baking soda/ bicarbonate of soda half a shot of lemon juice. The quantities dont matter a huge amount, and I dont measure, but this is about what it should be. It will fizz, so be aware of that. Apply the mixture to damp hair then cover in plastic and leave for thirty minutes, before rinsing very thoroughly. Wash your hair as normal, then deep condition. Leave your conditioner for twenty mins under plastic, rinse again. This should strip the colour greatly from your hair, but the process is harsh and you should deep condition afterwards. This can be done a maximum of twice a week.


A product has recently come on the market named Colour B4U by Scott Cornwall, it is a clarifying shampoo designed to leave the hair fresh for new colour, but is great for stripping veg dyes too.

If all else fails, you will need to do a bleach bath to lift the very last of the colour.SEE SECTION 4 If by this point you have blonde or white hair, stop! You have reached your goal If you have stripped as far as you can, its time to bleach. Make sure you wait at least a week after your bleach bath to do this. You are trying to achieve a level 10 blonde or lighter to get white hair. Ideally youll want a level 11. Levels of blonde can be seen in this scale.


It is possible you have remaining stains in the hair, you can spot bleach these to get them out before lightening the whole of your hair later if needs be. Always only bleach what needs bleaching, for example if you have one blue streak in your hair, or your roots need bleaching, only do these bits, never overlap sections that are already blonde. Even if your hair is not yet light enough, if you have noticeably darker sections, make efforts to get an even base colour with bleach baths or lower volume peroxides before continuing on the journey to a lighter level. Once you have an evenly bleached base of hair- i.e. all your hair is at a level 10 or 11 blonde, you can begin to tone. Toner is purple or blue based product that will counteract yellow tones in the hair and make it appear white. If you over-tone (leave the product on too long or use too strong a product) then your hair will appear silver. To read more on toning, see section 9. You may need to tone slowly over a couple of weeks to achieve the right colour.

It is at this point that you should have achieved white hair.


White hair for those dyed with box dyes

For those with hair previous dyed with box dye, white hair will be the most difficult journey of all, especially if you have colour build up (dye over dye over dye). The instructions assume you have dyed your hair with dark or red tones of permanent box dyes containing peroxides or similar developers. If you have blonde box dyed hair, white will be easier for you, and you will not need to strip. The first thing you will need to do is to remove the build-up of colour- the best way to do this without having to use an unsafe amount of bleach is to use a colour stripper. Popular brands include ColourB4 in the UK and ColorOOPS in the US. Salons will also strip colour for you. Colour strippers work by reversing the oxidisation process that occurs during the use of permanent dyes. In simple terms, when you use a permanent dye, the colour molecule is shrunk through oxidisation, so as it can sit in the hair follicle, when the process completes, the molecule of colour becomes large again and so cannot escape the follicle. To remove the colour this needs to be reversed. Because of this you must be sure to rinse the product off very thoroughly since if the colour is not all removed, the molecules will return to their natural size after the strippers chemical reaction ends. In this case you will be left with patches of dye where it has not been successfully removed. Depending on the colour build up, using a stripper should bring you back to a level colour, though often this is not your natural tone since most modern box dyes also lighten your hair before depositing colour. There are generally two boxes of colour stripper available in the chemists/drug store. Regular strength and extra strength for darker hair. Colour Strippers will not work on vegetable and semi or demi permanent dyes since these do not use oxidisation to deposit colour into the hair. There is a myth that colour strippers do not harm your hair, this is untrue since you are using strong chemical processes on the hair and upsetting the PH balance. The myth comes from the fact that the stripper does not lighten you hair at all; merely returns it to the colour it was before the permanent dye. You must make sure to deep condition your hair, and wait a week before moving on to bleaching your hair from its new dye free base. Once you have stripped and conditioned your hair you are ready to bleach. Please refer to sections 3 and 4 on how to bleach your hair successfully. Be sure to wait adequate times between bleaching.


Those with dye deposits even after stripping will find white hard to achieve, especially if the dye was red toned. These candidates may wish to use a higher volume of peroxide on their first bleaching (assuming of course that the hair is in very good condition to begin with) and use a lower volume for all subsequent bleaching. It is likely than on first bleaching your hair from box dye you will have orange tones throughout. Do not be tempted to try and bleach these out immediately, but do so slowly over time, and the closer you get to white, the more you can lower the volume of peroxide and move onto spot bleaching. You will need to tone your hair to remove yellow and blonde tones so as to achieve white hair, see section 8 for instructions on this. In this journey to white hair you will benefit from protein treatments since the processing is often harsh and frequent.

White hair for those with virgin hair. Achieving white hair for those with hair that has never been bleached or dyed is the easiest start point since there is no need to strip artificial colour, only natural. Virgin hair simply needs to be bleached in short, safe bursts with a week between each bleaching until level 11 blonde is achieved, at which point you can tone the yellow tones out to achieve white. On virgin hair a level 20 peroxide can be used to lift the hair two levels at a time, if using a higher volume the user must use care not to bleach the roots with the same volume. A lower volume should be used on the roots towards the end of the processing time. Roots will usually only take ten or fifteen minutes to develop whereas the rest of the hair will take between 30 and 90 minutes.


The only issues you may find are that if you have never before used dyes or bleaches then you cannot predict how your hair will react/how robust it is, but care and scrutiny will see this is no issue. For instructions on bleaching see section 4, and for toning which will need to be undertaken to achieve white from light blonde, see section 8. As with all other sections the hair must be deep conditioned after bleaching and at least a week if not three must be left before trying to lift the hair any more levels. Do not be disheartened if the hair does not lighten evenly or tonally. It is likely that the hair, especially if lightened from dark will lighten with orange tones, rather than sliding easily to dark brown, light brown, blonde and white.

Toning the hair Toning the hair refers to using a blue or purple tinted shampoo or conditioning treatment in order to counteract the yellow or orange tones in blonde hair so as the colour is left appearing white.


Toning should be attempted when you are a level 11 blonde to go from light blonde to white/platinum or silver tinted. Orange counteracts orange tones and purple counteracts yellow since they are opposite on the colour wheel. One does not lighten the other rather neutralises it by tricking the eye. The slight purple colour will cover the yellow to make the hair appear white.

Hair toners come in many forms, though are usually shampoos, sometimes conditioners. More often than not and especially in common retail store purple toners are easier to come by. Toners can be called toners, purple shampoos, toning shampoos, and sometimes rinses. You often hear of the elderly having a blue or purple rinse, in fact, the purple is an overtoning where the purple tint has been left on the hair too long; since white and grey hair can be toned to make it appear more silver and give it more depth. Some popular brands of toner include: Matrix So Silver, Shimmer Lights Daddyo (Lush) Schwarzkopf a Touch of Silver Bonacure Colour Save


These range in price and effectiveness. Some stronger toning shampoos are only available from hairdressing suppliers and some are readily available in most drug stores, though different makes will be found depending on your country. Most vegetable dyes (Such as directions and Manic Panic) make their own toners also, which tend to be called white or snow or something similar, though these tend not to be particularly effective. If using a vegetable dye toner, I tend to mix my own. The easiest way to mix your own toner (this is a cheaper option also) is to buy any generic white conditioner and add a little bit of purple vegetable dye and mix well.

The mixture should be this colour.

The toner should be a lilac in colour, and should be applied to the hair in place of normal conditioner once every three weeks or so. Leave for five to ten minutes, making sure to check regularly that the hair is not being dyed purple. Toning conditioners work like normal conditioners and can theoretically be left for any amount of time without fear of damage, though they can tint the hair purple. Toning shampoos on the other hand are often very drying as they drive the colour into the cuticle of the hair, so you must make sure to condition well afterwards. Toning shampoos often work differently depending on your hair type and desired outcome, so experimenting with different brands and developing times can be to ones benefit. Toners should be applied, then rinsed well. The outcome of toning ones hair should be a silvery or white colouration to the hair where there was light blonde before.


Spot test showing pigmentation of various toners from the UK. FAQs Can I get white hair without bleaching it? Technically yes, but not really. Even when tutorials say you can by using box dyes in stages, you are still lightening your hair with peroxide just not necessarily with bleach powder. This however is often more dangerous and damaging. I need white hair for an event next week, can you help me? No. The only thing I can help you with is directing you to a good online wig store. White hair should be attempted slowly over a number of months. You should never attempt it in one week, or even in one day as I have heard others do. What do you mean by saying my hair should be in good condition? Hair should be strong, if it is breaking as you comb it, or stretches when wet, then you should stop lightening. If your hair feels brittle and dry to the touch when dry or is particularly frizzy, deep conditioning should be undertaken. What are the dangers of bleaching? Over processing the hair with chemicals can damage the fundamental structure of the hair, the oxidisation breaks the chemical bonds in the hairs natural proteins and therefore weakens the structure of your hair. If this is continually practiced, then the hair can break anywhere, including at the root. This is why you hear horror stories about peoples hair falling out with bleach. However, with careful planning, time and conditioning, the dangers should be greatly lessened. It should also be understood that these dangers are no less evident in products such as box dyes. What is a toner and how do they work? A toner is a purple or blue based shampoo or conditioner. The product will have a small amount of dye which although will not show up as colour on the hair will work to counteract yellow or orange tones in the hair. Orange is opposite blue on the colour wheel and purple is opposite yellow, putting a small amount of one over the other can neutralise the colour and create white. Do I need white hair in order to get silver or lilac hair? Yes. Imagine yourself with colouring pencils, if you use a light silver or lilac crayon over yellow paper, the effect is almost non-existent, or you are left with an undesirable colour. To get a pure tone, you must colour on white paper. The same truth exists for hair. Especially since silver dye is not silver (metallic) it is either purple or blue based and tricks the eye into thinking the colour is silver. Where can I find you if I need to ask further questions? At http://allaboutthedo.tumblr.com at http://mkatsi.tumblr.com and at megan.pritchard@live.co.uk Are you a professional Hairdresser? No, and I would always advise you to visit one first. I only offer at home solutions to often expensive salon trips. Growing up in a small town meant that salons were not often willing to give me crazy coloured hair, and I had to learn to do it for myself. I have gained a great deal of knowledge through trial and error and through research. I urge you to learn from my mistakes, ones I have made so you dont have to!


My local Salon told me I could never have white hair, what should I do? Often salons are not willing to risk the possible damage that can occur with stripping the colour from ones hair to white. If they think there is any possibility that they might damage your hair, they will refuse to treat you, since their obligation is to your hairs health. I too was told I could not have white hair. I always advise that you listen to your hair dresser, but if you are determined, there is usually a way, as long as you are willing to deal with the risks and the time it will take to get your hair white, including the nasty orange in between stages. Why do you recommend bleach over blonde box dyes? Most box dyes contain lighteners/developers, usually peroxide, just as in bleach. The difference between the two is that a box dye strips and lifts colour, then deposits a new colour on top. To lighten the next level you will have to strip the colour from that dye, then lighten again at which point another dye shall be deposited. The process takes a certain amount of time, that you are obligated to leave the product on for. Bleach however is slightly different. You can control not only the processing time, but the levels also since you have a choice of which volume of peroxide you use. You can also use bleach baths to reduce the peroxide again. I strongly believe that often people are scared to use bleach because they dont understand it or are frightened by horror stories, but those same people often use box dye after box dye. Once you understand how to use bleach and is capabilities, then you should be able to be more positive about using bleach. Where can I buy the products you mention? You can get the products from bleach to oils and toners online, and it really is the best resource for finding things, however if you are US and UK based and live near a Sallys or even an ethnic hair store, things like peroxide and argan oil are more readily available. To buy bleach in bulk, I tend to use ebay to get 500g of powder and a litre of peroxide. I use amazon and ebay a fair bit for conditioning and toning treatments also. Be savvy! Things like latex gloves are far cheaper in hardware stores than in hair stores, and you can always use old clean take away containers to mix bleach in. Mixing bowls and tinting brushes are often found in pound shops in kits. Check sales and salon clear outs for more expensive products such as protein treatments.


Glossary Bleach:- A mixture of bleach powder and peroxide used to lighten hair. Peroxide:- A developer that comes in crme/liquid form and is available in various strengths. It is mixed with bleach powder to create a lightening product. Developer:- Developer is mixed with dyes or bleach powder to create a chemical reaction in which oxygen is released. Bleach Bath:- A mixture of bleach and shampoo, a less harmful and more gentle lightening option. Spot Bleach:- Putting bleach on small sections of the hair that need more/particular lightening, rather than putting the product all over the entire head. Vegetable dye:- A semi permanent dye made from vegetable extracts which generally claim to last 6 to 8 washes. These are usually more unnatural colours (i.e. rainbow colours) which do not require developers to dye the hair. They settle on the outside of the hair and stain rather than being chemically embedded into the cortex of the hair. Box dye:- Dyes that are generally bought in drug stores/chemists and come in a box, usually containing a tube of colour and a bottle of developer as well as a conditioner. Protein Treatment:- A treatment for the hair packed with proteins essential for hair growth and health. Hair is made from keratin (100% Protein) and becomes over processed and brittle/hollow with chemical and heat treatment. Protein products will help refill the hollow hair and keep it strong. Sebum:- A natural oil produced by the scalp which helps keep the hair moisturised. Cortex:- The centre of the shaft of the hair, packed with keratin strands that lie along the hair. The cortex is responsible for your hair being straight or curly. When the hair is over processed the keratin strands in the cortex are damaged and the hair becomes hollow and so, brittle. This is also why bleach can cause curly hair to relax. Toner:- A dilute colour used to counteract unwanted tones in the hair. Colour Stripper:- A chemical product that strips permanent dye from the hair by reversing oxidisation.

Useful links My original white hair tutorial Toner reviews and comparisons Allaboutthedo.tumblr.com

A colour strippers tool kit (directions and images of my vegetable dye stripping recipe) All About the Do my hair blog where you can read reviews, tutorials and ask questions.