Blonde Ambition: My Journey From Brunette to Blonde

Hello friends!

 Guess what?! I’m now officially a blonde girl! Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I have always been super dark brunette/verging on black, so I never thought blonde was in the cards for me. Thanks to my amazing friend and hairstylist Samantha…I finally got to the blonde I never knew I wanted/needed.  I wanted to write this post because as a hairstylist, I know there are a lot of misconceptions about going blonde and how it all works. I’m going to take you through every step of the processes, how long it took, and about how much it would cost. Let’s go blonde, baby!

So I’ll give you a little background and hair info that will make this post a bit easier to understand. Hair color works in levels, typically 1-10. 1 is black, 10 is lightest blonde. When you lighten hair you expose the Natural Remaining Pigment, or NRP. Levels 1-5 have an NRP of red, 6 is red/orange, 7 is orange,8 is orange/yellow, 9 is yellow, 10 is pale yellow. Typically when you lighten hair you have to tone it to neutralize the NRP. According to the color wheel: green neutralizes red, blue neutralizes orange, violet cancels out yellow. Here are some charts to help:

Ok so now that you’re basically a baby colorist let’s talk about my process! I started out at about a level 4, and my hair has been colored to hell and back. Our original plan was to go for a rose-gold hue, as opposed to a true blone. So we decided use bleach and do a balayage (which is basically the ombre’s older, sexier sister), just to see how light it would get. The first go around took about 3 hours.

As you can see, my hair isn’t all that light, and is fairly red/orange. I was actually okay with this color, I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of when my hair was super red, which was pretty fun. A few weeks later I decided that I wanted to try to get a lighter, more rose-gold look, so we were back at it again. Same thing, took about 3 hours, bleach & tone.

Again, not all that light, still fairly orange, but with more golden tones this time. Surprisingly my hair was holding up nicely, it wasn’t stretching or breaking, which is a sign of damage. I love how golden/rosy this looked and it was pretty fun to be coppery gold for a bit. However, I really wanted to be more blonde, so we decided to go again. This time the hair lightened quite a bit, to about a level 9, in some places ten..but it was super gold/yellow.

Unfortunately I don’t have a styled after of this phase because I am lazy and never do my hair, and we only waited two days before going back in. It was just way too yellow/gold for me so we went back with the bleach…here’s where things get interesting.

Here is Sam and I doing what we call “bathroom hair” which is generally to be avoided. The main reason for this is that lighting in home bathrooms tends to be extra warm, so seeing the actual hue is less likely to happen, as well as if something goes wrong it’s hard to undo with limited supplies. As you can see in the last picture, my hair turned slightly green. This basically is because in the bathroom lighting the color looked more orange than yellow, so we tried to tone with blue. In reality it was much more yellow than orange, so because we put blue on top of yellow, it turned slightly green. A few scrubs with some purifying body wash got it out, but I nearly had a panic attack.


This is the final product of our adventures, a lovely dimensional blonde. I have some super light pieces as well as some warmer, darker pieces, and I actually really love it. I’m having so much fun with this color, and it’s taught me to really experiment and just do crazy thing sometimes. After all, it’s just hair!

 Part of the reason I wanted to write this post is to bring light to some common misconceptions about going blonde, especially from a super dark color. As I said before, each process took about 3 hours or more, which equals out to about 12 hours total. Going blonde is time consuming. It’s also expensive. If I didn’t work as a hairdresser (basically getting my color for mostly free), it would have cost a minimum of $950 to do all this. Going blonde is also a process. I want to reiterate this…especially if you have previously colored hair it is unlikely to get super blonde in one shot. It’s also really not good for your hair to do that, so hairdressers really don’t recommend it. Keep in mind that Pinterest/Instagram pictures are often filtered, and lighting makes a huge difference. In some light, my hair looks more strawberry blonde, in others it looks icy af. It’s all about that lighting people.

Have you ever gone blonde, or done something drastic to your hair? How was your experience? Do you have any questions about color processes or drastic changes? Let me know in the comments below! As always, thank you so much for reading, and stay golden.



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