DIY Hair Bleach and Tone with Schwarzkopf Blondme
Ironically I’m actually only just getting round to writing this just as I’ve dyed my hair pink (temporarily)! However, I wanted to share my DIY hair bleaching and toning experience at home with you guys. It took me SUCH a long time to work out what products to buy and how best to do this, I finally decided on the Schwarzkopf Blondme range. There didn’t seem to be any blogs reviewing these products, explaining the process properly or before and after pictures. I spent hours trawling through reviews on different websites, jumping between YouTube videos and professional tutorials, and finally pieced everything together myself.
You’re probably wondering why I went with this product if that were the case. Honestly, I’ve tried hair bleach kits before and never been 100% satisfied. I’ve also obviously had those moments where it turns out hideous and I regret everything; shortly followed by me calling my hairdresser to fix my mistakes (and apologise for trying to do their job myself and completely failing). So when lockdown happened, I figured it was the perfect time to try DIY hair bleach, but properly. I did a tonne of research and this was the product came up time and time again. It’s also more of a salon-standard product so I felt like it was more reliable than a quick-fix box dye.
Hopefully this will help some of you who might be wanting to do this at home. I also did a quick video which I will probably post on IGTV this week if you want to see me chat through each product and why I chose them.
So as I mentioned, this is more of a salon-standard product. This also comes with the complexities of a salon product, so there are a few things to consider and options to choose from before you begin. It doesn’t just come pre-packaged and ready to go all in one box, so you will need to buy a few items separately.
The base for lightening is the Schwarzkopf BLONDME Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+. This is a lightening powder that you mix with the developer to create the bleaching product. I chose a 9% 30 vol developer. There are different strengths of this so I’d recommend checking to see which ‘vol’ would be best for your hair colour, to get the best result without damaging your hair. I also purchased a mixing bowl and brush (just like what hairdressers use) to mix and apply.
After bleaching you will need to tone, if you want to get rid of the brassy yellow colour. There are a million and one toners out there; but as I was investing in doing a salon quality job at home, I wanted to order everything from the same range. If you also want to do this, you will need another developer; this time you will need the Schwarzkopf BLONDME Developer 2% 7 vol, which is the same for whichever toner you use. Schwarzkopf Blondme offer a range of toners; I chose the Icy Toner for a bright, light blonde. Initially I bought apricot, which I actually got too scared of using and decided to stick with what I know!
There are a handful of other pastel tones which all look great. I’d definitely stick to something you feel a bit safer doing to begin with if you’re new to this. My hair is long so I got 2 tubes of toner and literally had just enough to cover my head. If your hair is my length or longer then I would 100% recommend getting 2 tubes as a minimum.
So I won’t lie, it’s quite a long process. One of the things I hate about the hairdressers is being there for so long. I always think at-home dyeing is quicker, but this definitely took just as long. That said, it’s nice to be able to have a drink and be in your own space whilst doing it, and then do your own thing whilst you’re waiting for it to develop.
Ok, so if you are doing this with long hair and for the first time, the first step is to get help!! I could not have done this without Jonny being on hand as my new personal hairdresser.. Now taking bookings for the salon of JP! I really needed his help to make sure all the roots and back of my head were covered. The end bits were a little easier so I could have done that part myself. (This may be down to the fact that my roots were so bad though!) I will try to keep on top of this now, so it shouldn’t be such a big job. I also saw a couple of people on Youtube with a fancy multiple-mirror set up to help them do it solo.
Ok so to bleach.. Mix your powder and developer. There is a variable mixing ratio of the products here; 1 scoop of the powder and between 1.5 and 2.5 scoops of the developer. I did 1:2, simply because I thought the middle ground was a safe bet! But do some research and check what would work best for your hair.
We took thin sections, starting at the back and worked forwards and up the sides, ending at front middle. Taking each piece, apply the mixture with the brush, leaving the new, root hair until last. I did the mid-lengths first, so the long roots that had previously had some colour but was now darker and wasn’t new hair. Then spread the product down to the ends, which for me was already quite light. After each section, fold in foil. Finally we covered the new root hair – we went back in afterwards to do this as it ‘takes’ the bleach quickest.
The development time is 20-45 minutes. It had already been on the back section where we started for 45 mins by the time we finished; but I wanted to leave the front to develop a little longer to achieve an even colour. You can just slide off sections of the foil to see how the colour is taking. After the front had been on for 45 minutes I then washed it off.
The Blondme products actually have something similar to Olaplex built in, so they are less damaging than other bleaching products may be. That said, I still used a hair mask after this stage just to add an extra level of protection.
As I did mine at night, I waited until the next day to tone. It was kinda late after we did the bleach. Plus it was quite nice to have a break (I’m sure it was for my hair too!) and do the full process when it was convenient for me.
This part was definitely easier than bleaching, and I managed most of it myself. I just got Jonny to come in once I’d applied to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, and apply more if so. For this step you mix equal parts developer (don’t forget to use the different developer!) and toner. It required less precision, so after mixing I just sectioned off my hair and applied with the brush from front to back. Development time is up to 30 minutes, but you don’t need to use foil, so I just based it on how it looked. I probably left mine for a little longer as again, the bit I started had been on for 30 mins by the time I got to the end.
Finally I just washed it out and that completed the process!
I am honestly super impressed with the results. It was definitely more costly (in both money and time) than a box dye, but the quality and results speak for themselves. This is easily the best silver-blonde colour I have achieved at home; especially from the position I was beginning in.
Finding how to do it and learning the whole process was probably the hardest part. Now I feel a bit more like I know what I’m doing, I’ll hopefully be able to keep on top of my roots and visit the salon of JP regularly to keep on top of them!
I should also mention that the products are more like bulk quantities, so I have plenty left. Apart from the toner which you can just buy as and when you need. This is great if you want to make a habit of doing it at home. If I can’t get to a salon I will now just top up my roots (before they get so long this time) and I have everything I need. Plus a little more experience now!
Schwarzkopf Blondme Review
So, if like me, you were driven to home-hair-dying thanks to lockdown, or maybe you just fancy doing your own with salon level products; this is definitely a product I’d recommend. It may even help those who now can’t get into salons as they are starting to open again – I’m sure they’ll be getting a huge influx of bookings, so you may struggle to get an appointment for a while! I would just bear in mind that there is added complexity with the options of different product strengths, and the mixing of elements yourself at home to create the bleach and tone.
As mentioned a few times, just be sure to carefully read all the instructions, and do your research into your own hair type and what products work best for you – please don’t base it on what I have shared here! I did a lot of reading into my colour tone, the ‘vol’ of developers and what the impact would be on my hair before I purchased.
My hair is a little more dry afterwards, but I do think it’s to be expected with bleaching. Plus this comes with an added benefit for me of it holding curls or waves for longer. Does anyone else have this?!