I've been to hell and back when it comes to both heavily dyed dark hair (a pain in the ass to get rid of even for a hairdresser) and bright rainbow neons (a pain in the ass to prep your hair for as well as maintaining), I've worn it all and gone through all the errors. I'm not a hairdresser myself so I'm pretty stupid and clueless when it comes to hair, but you can always be a realistic clueless person.I just started getting rid of my my dark hair dye, here are the thoughts I want you to have if you plan on doing the same! It won't be what you want to hear, it's a bit crass even, but it IS what will happen. Enjoy! A bright yellow bleach job saved with ashy pink dye. An example of a result to expect along the way when bleaching with caution. Hint: It takes time to get there. What is a temporary color? What is bleach? Most of those rainbow coloured hair colours you see on Instagram are temporary colors, a mild product that doesn't contain any harsh ingredients that will destroy your hair. It's basically like a super pigmented glossy hair mask, you can never go overboard and cause breakage, no need to be afraid of them. They can be mixed with each other for custom colours, or mixed with conditioner to create gorgeous pastel tones. Safe for children and during pregnancy. The mild ingredients on the other hand make them fade quicker than permanent dyes so you will need to top it up more often. You will probably need to lighten your hair before using them, to get the bright colour on the colour swatch you need a nearly white head of hair, otherwise the colour underneath will shine through and either muddy up or distort the tone of your final result. To lighten hair you need bleach. Bleach will strip your hair of colour, probably your hair quality too. It is permanent, harsh and should be handled with care. This is where it's easiest to fuck up I tell you. A previously dyed hair will definitely bleach to a orange/yellow tone, probably uneven too, so you should expect needing multiple rounds of bleach to get anywhere with your brightly coloured hair. I'm using Manic Panic Amplified Flash Lightning Bleach Kit in 40 volume today, followed by their Amplified Hair Color in Deep Purple Dream. Available at Shock in Sweden! Is it a good idea to do this to your hair at all? If your hair already is brittle and destroyed from previous treatments you will most likely screw your hair up if you go in hard with bleach, that's just how it is. Get ready to have to trim loads off in that case, or be realistic and just keep with your dark hair until it grows a bit longer and stronger. Bleaching at home is ALWAYS a gamble, don't expect a home bleach to turn out perfect even if you kind of know what you're doing. Are you stupid to even try doing this yourself? Have you never dyed your own hair before? Then trying to bleach dark dye out of your head by yourself is set for screw ups. Just trust me, don't get cocky. It is hard to do and a hairdresser will definitely do a better job, it will be hard even for them. Trust and respect the professional when they say that it will take a lot of time and money, they are trained at doing this, your speedy home bleach might be done in a couple of days but it will probably cost you your hair quality. If you don't feel like gambling yet feel that a hairdresser is too pricy for you you should probably skip the entire project, their talent, work and time costs money, just like you at your job. Once again - respect the hairdresser!All this is unless you're a clueless badass willing to gamble HARD, then go ahead and do it yourself! It's only hair after all and the worst thing that can happen is that you fuck up and need to dye it all over or cut a lot of hair off. If you're more experienced and used to how your hair reacts to bleach, make sure you don't do a sloppy job, be neat and tidy, hope for the best! You can do it. It can definitely end up OK! It will take time and money. Don't expect it to happen in an afternoon (well you CAN bleach a million rounds in one day, but you know.. it's stupid), and multiple rounds of bleach and dye for upkeep will cost money. YES you will need more than a single box/bottle of everything, you will be surprised when it all adds up. Once again, maybe it's worth going to the hairdresser if you're unsure whether the result of a home dye is worth your time and money? Have realistic expectations, set milestones. Do you have black box dyed hair and hope to reach a pastel blue colour by youself? CAAALM your tits, it won't happen in a long time baby. A dyed dark hair will with 100% certainty lighten to a orange or yellow shade as I mentioned earlier, you will never be able to put a cool tone on top of that and get your expected colour. They will sandwich and turn a shitty troll green. Be realistic and take it step by step.After your first round of bleach you should probably go for a warm toned dye that isn't too light, red or orange is a great alternative, for it to actually look like something. The only cooler toned alternative would be a dark purple at this stage, as purple cancels out orange tones in the hair and will at worst case turn into a nice dark brown in your hair. Once again - colour theory! You will need to set these milestones if you are interested in having hair that looks fine through the entire process. COLOUR THEORY. ALL OF IT comes down to colour theory. How your bleach and dye will turn out, what shades to pick in what situation, that's the only way of being able to plan your at-home treatment somewhat well. If you feel too confused by how colours cancel each other out or how they will layer, then just give up on the thought of doing it yourself. Sorry for being a broken record. Once again, trust someone who is trained to do hair. My faded dark hair before the treatment. Dirty as it should be. Make sure your dark dye is as faded as possible. Bleaching a freshly dyed black hair is stupid. You need to either let it fade naturally for some time, or force it to fade with colour stripping products. My favourite method is vitamin C, you can buy pure ascorbic acid (askorbinsyra in Swedish) at the grocery store, mix this to a paste with your shampoo and massage it around for a while, put a shower cap on and leave it in for at least an hour before rinsing it out. The vitamin C will pull excess colour out of your hair effectively and it isn't super harsh either, just leaves it a little dry. Don't trim before you bleach. Save your money! Your bleach will definitely make the ends of your hair trash again, trim afterwards. Unless you're going for a huge chop that is, in that case it would be stupid to waste a lot of product on hair that will be cut off anyways. Cut it a bit longer than you want your final result so that you can safely trim the ends another round later. Do patch tests. You don't want to have an allergic reaction to something you've mushed onto your entire skull, always do the patch tests adviced on the packaging if you don't know how you'll react. They're there for a reason. After my first round of bleach. Nope, it doesn't look pretty at this stage at all. Don't expect it to! Pick your bleach. Skip all those shitty at home methods like lemon juice or chamomile, they won't bleach nearly well enough. Go for real bleach. Pick your strength well too, a bleach that's too weak won't be enough to lift that dark dye, while a really strong one will show flaws in your bleach job a lot more plus it's more harsh on the hair. I'm not a hairdresser so I'm not the person to tell you exactly what you need here, I go for the strongest shit and just hope for the best. Bcuz stoopid. Section your hair and apply properly. You CAN NOT do a sloppy job with the bleach, it will screw up. Section it up properly, apply with a brush on brushed hair. Plus make sure your hair is dirty when you begin, it helps keeping your scalp from frying too bad.Don't save in on the amounts of bleach, this is so important! You need to totally saturate every strand of hair with bleach, otherwise you will get a super patchy result. Always buy an extra box in case you run out while you're applying, using too little just to make it "go further" is not an alternative if you expect an OK result. Seriously, watch the roots. Don't apply the bleach straight onto your roots right away, they will lighten a LOT faster than the rest of your hair. Both because they are probably dye free, and also because your scalp is warm which helps the bleach process faster. You will end up with whitened roots and everything else in a dark orange. I leave my roots totally unbleached just to avoid this. Don't get ahead of yourself. Now that you've rinsed your bleach out and get that "FUUUCK WHAT HAVE I DONE" feeling because it's a patchy fox orange colour (sorry, that is exactly what will happen), don't get carried away and start bleaching over and over again straight away. Your hair will bleach a lot better if you let it rest for a while. Apply that red/orange colour I mentioned and let it be for at least two weeks I'd say. If the hair starts turning elastic and shitty in quality, just DON'T KEEP BLEACHING. Know your limits at this stage. USE OLAPLEX. Buy yourself a tub of Olaplex no 3. Right after rinsing your bleach out you apply a small amount onto your towel dried hair and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before rinsing. It is a product that helps the building bricks of the hair find their way back to each other after being messed with, to explain it a simply as possible. It works against that horrible elastic/gummy feeling after bleaching plus battles breakage, it truly is a revolutionary product worth investing in. Don't go for a similar product from other brands, Olaplex is a patented formula. The first one ever that can actually help repair hair that is on the breaking point! With this your hair will be able to handle a lot more shit. Manic Panic Amplified Hair Color in Deep Purple Dream on dark orange hair. A great first step and resting point towards brighter coloured hair. Apply heavily, then let the hair dye sit for a LONG time. Once again - don't save in on your products. Section the hair again and really saturate every single strand well. Your bleached hair will drink the dye up and make the colour patchy if it isn't squishy from the amount of dye. The hair dye won't damage your hair at all either, so letting it sit under a shower cap for hours on hours is nothing but a good thing. It will only develop prettier. Wash and heat style as little as possible. Your temporary hair dye will as previously mentioned fade faster than other dyes, especially if your base colour still is quite dark after the first round of bleach. Washing it as little and with as few stripping ingredients as possible (deep cleansing/dandruff shampoos are death for temporary hair dye) will help your dye job last a lot longer. Heat styling should also be avoided as much as possible after all that bleach. Be careful with those whites. Temporary hair dye will discolor things. People don't mention this nearly enough. You will probably start dripping colour in heavy rain, and your wite pillowcases/t-shirts may get stained. Be careful with what your hair touches when it isn't dry. Mix your own coloured hair mask! Unscrew the cap of your dye bottle/jar and squeeze a deep conditioning mask in there, close and shake! Now you have a tinted hair mask that will help top up the tone of your hair while you're taking care of it. Time for the next round of bleach? Once the hair has rested and faded you can start off by redoing that vitamin C cleanse I mentioned, it will draw out excess amounts of your temporary dye and get it as "naked" as possible for the bleach.This time you can either go in with the same bleaching method again, or a bleach bath which is a milder alternative. Mix equal amounts of bleach and shampoo and massage a large amount into wet hair for about 15 minutes. Keep massaging all through the process! With this method it's easier to get an even result, but it won't lighten as much as a true bleach. I much prefer this method once the hair has lightened a bit already, be kind to your hair! And don't forget the Olaplex.After the second bleach your hair will get lighter than last time, this time you may be able to pick a less warm shade of dye. A pink, bright purple or bright green maybe? Or go for that red or orange shade you just wore and it will be super vibrant compared to last time. In a few rounds of this you might be able to reach a nice pastel tone if that's what you're aiming for.Your black box dye is slowly disappearing, WELL DONE! I hope you have all that hair left on your head, now treat yourself to a nice trim at the hairdresser!