Tutorial: Bleaching hair to Golden Blonde

Disclaimer: This is just my own personal experiment with coloring my hair from a medium red brown to a golden blonde. I had about half inch roots and Loreal Preference box dye in my hair. I had last dyed my hair about two months ago. I am not a professional stylist and all knowledge is based on online research/experimentation.


Products: All purchased from Sally’s Beauty Supply. Prices are approximate and based on time of purchase. Click on the price to purchase online.

-Wella Creme Oil Bleach ($7.69, also called Wellite Cream Lightener)
-Wella Color Charm 20 Volume Clear Developer ($4.99)
-Wella Color Charm Toner T10 Ivory Lady ($4.99)
-Wella Color Charm 20 Volume Creme Developer ($5.99)
-Wella In Depth treatment ($5.99)
-Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo ($7.99)

Follow the directions on the inside of the box for the creme oil bleach. This bleach is less damaging but still effective in lifting color. The box contains two applications, but I read that many people ended up using both applications to do their whole end. I ended up only using one application for my whole head. I used clear developer since the apparently using cream developer makes the mixture too thick.

I applied the mixture to my whole head, working from back to front leaving an inch for my roots. The heat from your scalp will accelerate the bleaching process on your roots. After about 20 minutes on the midlengths of my hair, I applied the rest of the bleach to my roots from front to back. (I would recommend applying it from back to front starting with your midlengths and then apply it back to front on your roots. I messed this part up, but it still turned out fine.)

I waited about 30 more minutes for a total of 50 minutes including the time it took to apply the bleach mixture. I Rinsed as thoroughly as possible in my kitchen sink. I then hopped in the shower and washed my hair with normal shampoo and then used the Wella In Depth leave in conditioner which smells amazing and works really well at restoring moisture to chemically treated hair. I left that on for about 7 minutes in the shower but you could even sleep with it in your hair before rinsing in the morning for maximum penetration.

I then let my hair rest for two days with no washing or conditioning. I waited to buy toner after seeing the results of my bleaching because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. It was pretty yellow at my roots and got more orange around my mid lengths. It was also a bit patchy because this was my first time bleaching and its definitely a challenge to get it totally even on previously dyed hair.

Because I am not trying to achieve platinum, I only bleached once, but its very common to bleach twice or even three times when trying to achieve very light blonde hair. I went to Sally’s and bought the toner in Ivory Lady because the swatch in the store said it contained blue and violet undertones which I was hoping would counteract the orange and yellow in my hair. I mixed up the toner and creme developer: 1 parts toner to 2 parts developer (2oz toner was the whole bottle + 4 oz developer) and applied it as quickly as possible to my whole head, roots to ends working from the back of my head to the front. The toner was on for about 18 minutes total which is a bit longer then typical. The Sally’s girl was trying to get my to use 10 volume creme developer with the toner, but I already had 20 volume, so I just used that. Unfortunately it started to itch and sting around my ears so I rinsed immediately.

I jumped in the shower again and shampooed with the Shimmer Lights shampoo which is a really rich purple color. The purple works to eliminate anymore brass and can be used in the future to maintain blonde color. It works into a really nice lather, but it doesn’t smell that great. I then used the Wella In Depth deep conditioning treatment again. Be very careful to be gentle with your hair because its very fragile right now. Blot with a towel, dont rub the water out. Use a wide tooth comb and work it slowly through your hair. I used a little shine serum on the ends once it had air dried. The toner defnitely helped eliminate a lot of the yellow. It does look darker but according to my research the toner will wash out a little bit in the next few shampoos.

Yay for blonde hair! It was definitely an experiment, but I am really pleased with the results! Feel free to ask questions in the comments below!

9 Responses to “Tutorial: Bleaching hair to Golden Blonde”

  1. Would it have been different if you just used shimmer lights w.out wella toner? what would the outcome be

  2. The toner eliminates the brassiness that the bleach leaves behind. In other words it takes the yellow out of the hair and leaves it looking more true blonde. The shimmerlights shampoo is like a milder version of the toner. You can achieve the same results but it will probably take you a few shampoos! Hope that helps!

  3. […] (although all the reviews raved about how it can even be used for super dark hair) I found a great blog post with a before and after pic and reviews of her experience using Wellite. And I also read a bunch of […]

  4. I realize it’s been a long time since this post but I think you did an excellent job on your hair and was wondering if you had advice on how to give yourself (even blonder) highlights to your newly blonde hair after this whole process.

  5. Hi! Sorry for my delayed response! I am very inexperienced when it comes to doing highlights on myself. I just had my hair stylist put a few in recently and she does some very skilled parting work to get very thin sections of hair separated out. She just used normal bleach to lighten, but the tricky part is sectioning your hair.

  6. What did you use to apply the toner/developer mixture? Brush?

  7. Hi Lily! I did use a brush purchased from a beauty supply store, however toner tends to be a lot more liquidy so it ends up running all over the place anyways. I think just using your [gloved] hands to smoosh it around thoroughly would be just as effective.

  8. I wish more people would go blonde. You totally rock the blonde look. Some people manage to carry it off beautifully and you are definitely one of them.

  9. Hi there, it looks good, cute on you. With all due respect, the color your hair did turn out to be(according to the after photos) actually looks like Strawberry Blonde, not golden. Its cute though! 🙂

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