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Author: Karen Marie Shelton -
Originally Posted on: May 16th, 2013 at 3:32 am
Last Revised: March 5, 2015
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Question – Brunette To Blonde – Bleach Or Color Remover?

Medium To Dark Brunette Haircolor - Photo Courtesy Of Alterna

Medium To Dark Brunette Haircolor – Photo Courtesy Of Alterna

Dear Karen,

I have naturally medium brown hair which is a few inches below my shoulders.   I cover the natural brown with a drugstore product to even out the color which tends to fade on the ends.

Recently my sister who just started beauty school about a month ago promised she could easily take me to a very light blonde.  My heart was set on platinum blonde.  My sister said it was easy and proceeded to use a bleaching product she mixed with 40-volume to remove all the brown.

My hair started to fading to orange, my scalp burned and my sister got frightened that she was in over her head.  In a panic she called a friend who had just graduated from beauty school.   The friend told my sister we needed to use a color remover instead of bleach.

I was devastated when I heard the news.   My sister decided it was too late to turn back from the bleaching.   She decided if we kept bleaching, eventually my hair would turn a beautiful white blonde.

Unfortunately the more she bleached and rinsed, the more orange my hair turned.  Because the ghastly hair color, my hair took a major beating.  It’s now bright orange and completely fried.

Please, can you tell me how to get to the pale blonde of my dreams and reverse the damage to my hair?  Also, in your opinion, should we have used a color remover instead of bleach?  Would the results have been different?

Bright Orange & Fried

Answer – Brunette To Blonde – Bleach Or Color Remover?

Pale Platinum Blonde Hair - Image Courtesy Of Alterna

Pale Platinum Blonde Hair – Image Courtesy Of Alterna

Dear Brunette To Blonde – Bleach Or Color Remover?

I’m so sorry to hear of your hair color trauma.  Hair color guru, Barbara Lhotan told me she would also have used a bleach or lightener and steered clear of any type of color remover or dye solvent.

Unfortunately you didn’t include the name of the bleach/lightening system your sister used.  As a result, Barbara was only able to provide general comments about your situation.

As Barbara pointed out, in most cases, hair colored with brown dye will usually not easily lighten past a light orange.

Most hair color experts will never attempt to dramatically lighten brunette hair during one visit.  Instead, the hair would be highlighted and transitioned to a golden-orange stage over a series of salon visits.

During every color transition stage, hair color experts perform frequent hair tests to test the health of the hair.

If hair appears to be distressed, the formula may be  immediately rinsed off and the color treatment may be temporarily postponed.

Rene Furterer Okara Deep Conditioner

Rene Furterer Okara Deep Conditioner

A lot of colorists often use a protein treatment applied to the hair and processed at room temperature for up to ten minutes.  To soften hair and make it appear less brassy, an acidic toner is sometimes applied.  Optionally hair maybe glazed for up to 10 minutes at room temperature.

When hair is transitioned over a period of weeks or months, the brunette hair can be completely lightened to a beautiful platinum without over drying, stressing or overworking the hair.

At this point in time I would suggest you locate a great color correction specialist with extensive experience.

Schedule a consultation appointment to discuss the very best plan to transition your orange hair to the platinum blonde you desire.

It’s possible you may need to have some or all of the damage removed.

You may also need to undergo some deep conditioning treatments from great products such as Rene Furterer – Okara Radiance Enhancing Conditioner or similar to help your hair recover.

Best wishes,


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3 Responses to "Brunette To Blonde – Bleach Or Color Remover?"
  • page May 23, 2015 at 6:28 pm

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  • May 20, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I truly appreciate this blog post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  • Jayne August 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Dear Karen
    I had white blonde highlights in my medium to dark brown hair and continued having just lots of white lights each time the roots grew too day I decided quite randomly to colour my hair all over with a dark blonde,I now have a dirty brown auburn colour.i hate it and have twice used a toner to tone it down which has helped a bit,however I’m going to try a product called colour b 4 which I googled and people say strips the colour.i really want to be blonde again and was wondering if I go to the salon if they can put lots of lights in it and eventually get me back to blonde or do you think it would look silly or would my lights turn out orange


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