Saturday, April 28, 2012

How I Dye My Hair Blonde Using L'Oreal Excellence B1 Light Ash Blonde


Hi everyone. I am going to show you how I dye my hair blonde. I often get questions about how I get my hair the way it is. Especially since Asian people usually have very dark hair, blonde can be very hard to achieve. My hair is already blonde, but I will show you how I maintain it. I never go to a salon and do it at home, which is significantly cheaper. I get my mother to help me since it is easier to have someone else apply products to the hair. She is also an experienced hair dresser and knows what she is doing. I have been dying my hair since I was 13. I do not recommend you trying this yourself, unless you have someone experienced to help you. A lot of people have accidents and ruin their hair, because they do not understand what they are doing. If you are going to try this at home, do it at your own risk. I am not responsible for anything that goes wrong. :) I will also include a review on the L'Oreal Excellence hair dye in B1 Light Ash Blonde. I purchased this box dye from Walmart for less than $10. One box is enough for my medium-long hair. The hair bleach I use is from a salon supply store.


Some Background Information:

I have been blonde since September 2011 and I have been maintaining it since. I have been maintaining it by bleaching my black roots with salon grade bleach supplies, which includes a tub of bleaching powder and Joico Verocolor Peroxide 40 Volume Developer. Peroxide 40 volume developers are the strongest you will find in supply stores. There are also volumes 30 and 20, which can be used to mix with bleach and other hair dyes. If you have dark hair like I do and you want really light hair, you must use peroxide 40 developers. I have very fine, thin hair, so my black hair can go to blonde in a single bleaching process with peroxide 40. If you have thick hair, you might need to bleach twice to get to blonde. Very thick black hair with peroxide 40 will go to a orangy light brown at the most. In case you do not know too much about hair dye products, peroxide is the activator for bleach and hair colour creams. When you buy a box dye, you get a tube of hair cream and a bottle of white liquid. The white liquid is a formulation of peroxide, which activates the hair colour and bleach. Volume 20 developer is enough to just make the colour stick to your hair. However, if you want to lift your starting hair colour and dye it at the same time, you need to use volume 30 at the least. If you have really dark hair and you want to dye it to something noticable, you must bleach your hair and lighten it, so that the pigments in the hair dye are visible. If you have black hair and try dying it, it may only tint a little bit, because the low level peroxide lifted your hair a little bit. Some people leave the dyes in their hair for much over an hour (like two hours), which I find is a lot more damaging than bleaching your hair an hour or less, and toning it with hair dye for 30-45 minutes. Remember to monitor your hair when you put bleach in it. You might be surprised by how quickly your hair will lift. This is why it is important to understand what you are doing. It really depends on what your hair is like and what your desired results are. This determines the strength of developer you use and how long you keep it in your hair. The longer you keep bleach in your hair, the lighter it gets. You also have to apply it to your hair very quickly, or else it will not turn out evenly. You also have to consider what is already on your hair, as well as the fact that body heat near the scalp will turn hair faster in that area, compared to the length of your hair (the ends).

A couple things that I also want to mention is that if you have very thin, fine hair, you should try to stick to a single process of bleaching. Hair bleach makes your hair even thinner, so it is more fragile and easier to break. In the past, I have dyed my hair to a platinum white blonde, which required me to bleach twice. It was very damaging on my hair and I had a lot of breakage. My hair would not grow past medium, just below the shoulder length. My hair was so thin and poor in quality, I started going darker and eventually to black to let my hair rest. However, now I only bleach my hair once using the strongest level developer (peroxide 40) and take it as light as I can. This way, my hair is a lot stronger and still nice in texture. It is also much longer and I am very happy with my hair. Blonde is one of my favourite hair colours for my skintone, but keeping it blonde is a real pain. If you have dark hair and want blonde hair, be aware that it is a lot of work. When the roots grow out past an inch, it starts to look like "pudding hair" and it does not look nice. You also need to take care of your hair, because bleach is very damaging and drying. Asian hair also tends to get very brassy and orangey, so I really love silvering purple shampoos and conditions to deal with that. I will show you what products I use in another post.

This process involves two steps: 
1. Bleaching the roots with  a peroxide 40 strength developer
2. Toning my hair with L'Oreal Excellence B1 Light Ash Blonde

The is the top view of my head, where you can see the roots have grown in. The rest of my hair is already blonde, as I have bleached it before, so I do not need to bleach it any further. If I started with a full head of black hair, I would use 40 volume developer and apply the bleach to my ends first and then to my roots. Here,I will quickly apply peroxide 40 volume developer on the black roots only. I actually get my mom to help me, because she can see what she is doing. Applying bleach to the roots only is very tricky and you should always get someone else to do it. You also have to work very quickly, because peroxide 40 is very strong and turns very quickly. If you take too long to apply bleach, your hair will not turn evenly. Using peroxide 30 volume will not take your hair as light, but it turns slower, so it would be easier to work with. Hair will still be lightened significantly. Peroxide 20 volume is very weak and turns even slower, with less extreme results. If you are just starting to learn how to bleach hair, start out with volume 20 or 30. I also apply Vasaline to my skin (along the hair line, neck, ears etc) to avoid irritation. Bleach is extremely irritating and itchy on the skin. I also tape my piercings that are still healing, so bleach does not get in.
This is what my hair looks like after washing out the bleach and blow drying it. I left the bleach in for almost an hour to get it to a banana yellow blonde. I rinsed my hair out with luke-warm water and very diluted shampoo. Generally, it is best to let your hair rest before you dye it again. However, I cannot stand this, so I must dye it as soon as possible LOL! If you are going to bleach your hair at home, you are better off going to a salon supply store to buy bleach and peroxide, because you can control and anticipate how your hair will turn out. Those drugstore bleach kits are just really bad, because you do not know what volume developer you are using. It can also be very misleading. For example, Palty is a very popular Asian brand, and they carry "Hi-Bleach" products, which has a picture of a blonde woman on the box. However, your hair will probably not turn out that way, because the developer they include in the box is not that strong. I never trust the images on a box.
This is the back of the box. It comes with different applicators, but I prefer using a standard bowl and brush. You tend to use less product if you apply products to your hair by using a brush, compared to using a squeeze bottle and massaging it into your hair. I would have needed two boxes if I used the bottle applicators. One box was just enough for my medium-long hair.
L'Oreal Excellence comes with several things. You get the hair dye mixture which consists of  a colour cream tube and developer bottle. You also get this "Pre-Colour Serum" which is full of silicons. I threw that away, because it defeats the purpose of dying my hair by preventing my hair from reacting with the hair dye. It's suppose to protect your hair and you are suppose to apply it to areas that are damaged (such as your ends). Honestly, if your hair is that bad, you should not even be dying it. This is the second time I used this dye and I used the serum the first time on my ends. My ends did not absorb as much colour as the rest of my hair. It also comes with a tube of conditioner, which I really like. I have tried the one that comes with Palty and Garnier and they were both very meh.


This is the colour chart on the box. My hair was about a dark to medium blonde prior to using this dye. I already mentioned that this is the second time I have used B1 Light Ash Blonde, but it faded. You do not have to be blonde to use blonde dyes. Light and medium shades of ash blonde dyes are a good solution to brassy hair. You could also use this dye on any shade of brown hair to tone it to a cooler shade of brown without darkening it. Just because the box is blonde, by all means your hair will not turn that light if you have dark hair. Definitely try it out if you have brown hair too. This box dye seems to suggest that it does lighten and lift your hair a bit too. We shall see.
I dumped the bottle of developer and squeezed the cream colour tube into a mixing bowl, which is my preferred method of application. You can get this at any salon supply store such as Sally's.
This is what it looks like mixed.
Unlike the bleach that I applied to only my roots, I apply the hair dye to my entire head. You can see that it is turning greyer and cooler toned. The hair dye starts to darken over time, but it does not reflect your actual hair colour until you actually wash it out. The formula is quite decent and does not drip all over the place, but I still put a plastic shower cap over (bought from dollar store in a 10 pack). I leave the dye in for 45 minutes. I rinse it out with luke-warm water and use no shampoo. I also use the conditioner that comes with the dye.

Results Under Different Lighting Conditions:

Natural Daytime Light

Evening In-Door Lighting

Natural Day Time Lighting

Evening In-Door Lighting

Natural Day Time Lighting

Natural Day Time Lighting

My hair looks a bit different in various lighting. I am very happy with the results and it came very close to what the box suggests. The hair dye also did lift my hair a little bit. It removed all the nasty yellow tones in my hair. The quality of my hair also stayed the same, as this product did not damage my hair any further. I had very minimal breakage and my hair does not feel like straw or anything. I would definitely repurchase this shade as it did not turn my hair green or anything weird, which is common with ash tones. However, it might be a little too grey and silver for some people, but it suits me very well. Even though I have a warm skintone, I prefer cool toned hair colours. It works since I am light and I avoid tans. However, no hair dye ever lasts forever on my hair. This will fade into a warmer shade of blonde and darken a bit, which I do not mind as long as my hair looks even. I have used this dye in the past and as long as I use purple silvering shampoos and conditioners, my hair fades very nicely too. I would definitely repurchase and use this shade when I need to do my roots again. I would also try it on brassy darker hair for a cool toned brown. I really like this hair colour and it blends very well. I have used other dyes like Palty and I was not happy with the results. I will stick to L'Oreal Excellence for the blonde shades.

That is how I do my hair and I hope you have learned something.

Later Days~

10 comments:

  1. Wow you have the ashy blonde hair color that every asian girl dreams of having LOL! I'm in a bit of a rut... and I was wondering if you could help me out...

    I dyed my hair burgundy (big mistake I know) and two months later I wanted to go light. I bleached the ends of my hair and also random top sections. The bottom turned out blonde but of course the top sections were orange. So I dyed only the top sections back a brown the next day only keeping it on for like 10 minutes because I know it would stain the orange instantly and it worked. So then I had just brown hair on top and blonde bottoms.

    But then after 4 days, I wanted to try again... and used a Color Remover on the entire top portion of my head. That made it ORANGE again because that's what color removers tend to do. And it also brought back the bleached top sections but they were just a really LIGHT orange. So by this stage I had orange hair on top, top sections of lighter orange, and blonde bottoms -_-

    So THE NEXT DAY then I decide to dye the entire top of my head again an ashy blonde color to get rid of the hideous orange (Loreal Excellence Cream A1? Light Ash Blonde Cooler) and it made the top bleached sections now blonde (yay!) but the rest of the hair still has an orange hue................. And this is where my hair stands right now. Lighter orange on top with blonde top sections and blonde bottoms...

    All I want to do is get rid of the orange parts of my hair. I'm not looking to make my entire head blonde. I will leave the blonde sections but I want the orange parts of my hair to be ashy. It doesn't have to even be an ashy Blonde. Maybe an ashy light brown? Is this even possible??? Would it work if I dyed it using the Light Ash Blonde B1 you used?

    Please help! I don't think I can afford to BLEACH the orange parts after all that I just put it through! You might tell me to wait before messing with my hair again which I understand. I will wait! I just need a solution!

    Sorry for the novel... I just really need some advice. And you seem to know a lot about hair!!! Thank you!

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  2. Hello Kim! Do you have some pictures of your hair? If you'd like, you can send me a picture of what your hair colour looks like (prettyoptimal@gmail.com) and I could make better recommendations for you. After all your hair damage, I recommend that you use a protein treatment like Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment http://www.sallybeauty.com/protein-hair-treatment/APHOGE4,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH to strengthen your hair and fix the damages. You should also use a hair mask before doing anything else to it. Of course, giving it more time to repair is best. If you are like me, and want to fix the hair as soon as possible. Do the treatment at least once with many hair masks.

    Depending on how orange your hair is, you could dye your hair again with an ash light brown or ash dark blonde type of hair colour. At first, the hair dye may look a little dark, but it will fade to a lighter colour. The box dye I used hair will not fix orange hair, but it may work on yellow hair.

    If your hair is indeed orange, you'll want to use a dark blonde or light brown in the ash tones and also purchase some violet/purple shampoo and conditioners like Clairol Shimmer Lights. You could apply the violet shampoo to your dry hair and leave it in for a while before washing out and it will slowly get rid of the orange tones in your hair over time. With the shampoo, it may take many applications. If you want blonde hair, you always have to bleach past orange to at least yellow.

    From my experience, blonde toners will not tone orange hair, but it works on yellow hair. If you live near a T&T supermarket, I highly recommend Palty Foam Japanese Hairdye in Milktea Brown or Creamy Caramel. They are ash colours that work well for blonde to brown hair. It goes on ashy and fades very nicely.

    Another approach is that you could try hairdyes that are high-lift type of products that can take brown hair to blonde. However, these are almost like bleaching your hair and you might experience a lot of breakage, depending on what your hair is like right now.

    The safest advice I have for you is to go with the palty dye or something that is a dark ash blonde and do lots of hair masks and the protein treatment. The next month, do the protein treatment again (you are only suppose to do it about every 6 weeks) with hair masks and deep conditioning. Also use hair oils and protectants when you blowdry.

    After the treatment, you can attempt to bleach your hair again (*if you feel that your hair is strong enough*) to get it past orange and into the yellow phase if you desire blonde hair. After bleaching, do another hair mask/deep conditioning. Then you can use the blonde toners.

    If you process your hair slowly in stages, it is less harmful to your hair. It also matters what bleach you use. I had massive hair breakage with L'Oreal Quick Blue, but Joico has never failed me. Hair treatment is a must! Also, these are just my suggestions, but what you do with your hair is your own responsibility. I just don't want people getting mad at me if they ruin their hair. lol

    Good luck!

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  3. Thanks so much! I bought this dye and was hoping it would work.. Seeing this blog gave me hope we'll see what it looks like in a couple minutes! :D

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  4. hi, i'm asian with black hair. just tried to bleach and dye my hair yesterday with this same colour. unfortunately the colour did not take, and my hair is a brassy golden blonde. should i re-bleach and re-dye it?

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  5. Go to sallys and get light ash blonde color charm demi and the matching colorcharm peroxide! It should take the red out! Less damaging only a 10% perioxide and demi permanent
    And should leave your hair healthier than dying your hair with a perm- dye!!!

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  6. Maybe you can help? I've bleached my hair twice with Loreal Feria absolute platinum. I'm aiming for white in order to dye some bright colours like turquoise, pink, or purple. Will an ash dye get the yellow out of my hair enough or do I need to bleach again?

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  7. Here's a pic, it didnt post before for some reason

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  8. Hi sweetie, I have been MIA from my blog, because I've been meaning to rewrite the layout, but I haven't had the time. Do you still need help? I know you posted 11 months ago so, I am sorry for the extremely delayed response.

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  9. Hi, sorry for the late response, but did you still need help?

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  10. Hi Heather. You will most likely need to bleach again, if you are aiming for white hair. An ash dye will only lighten your hair a few shades lighter and would only be able to lift to white if you have yellow banana blonde hair. A high lift blonde dye are the ones that will lighten your hair a few shades. It depends on how yellow your hair is. If it is like a yellow banana blonde, then yes, ash dyes can help tone your hair. If it is orange, then no, you will still be somewhere in the light brown/dark blonde range. I've had great results with Wella Colorcharm ash toners. However, you have to be careful with ash dyes. Many of them can darken your hair, if it is not the lifting type of dyes. The only real way to get to white hair is to bleach, unfortunately. It usually takes several sessions over time. The length of your hair doesn't get as much heat as your roots, so it always takes several bleaching sessions to get to platinum.

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