Make it cheap

How to go blonde under $50

go blonde

Kim Kardashian West was legendary for her gorgeous dark locks. Until she went blonde, now her 2017 look on the platinum style has been making waves. Blonde hair has been trending this year, as famous celebrities like Katy Perry and Emilia Clarke have been testing out the shade. Even though blonde is an incredible color, it can be tough as nails to achieve. However, blonde hair is possible with realistic ideas and a lot of research. I bet many colorists don’t recommend bleaching your hair at home because hair damage is real! If you leave bleach too long on your hair, it can potentially melt and give a texture of mush. Luckily, I haven’t experienced that!

Before you read any further, I want to explain that I am not a hairdresser nor am I a colorist. This post is an experience I had with bleach and going blonde. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dark locks but I really wanted to see what I looked like with blonde hair. To give you background, my hair coloring journey started with calling plenty of hairdressers to learn the cost of going blonde. I have black hair so going blonde is a real hassle. I was told plenty of times that I would need 3-4 sessions of bleach before I can reach the shade of blonde. The cost of going blonde would be hefty, and I had no interest in spending that kind of cash. So, I decided to take bleaching into in my own hands. After watching plenty of youtube videos, and reading articles on “how to go blonde”, I realized that going blonde could be a risky business. So, I decided to take it slow with bleaching.

Since I was going from black to blonde hair, I decided to take my time and would do multiple bleaching sessions. I bought all my hair products from Sally Beauty.  I suggest buying a Sally’s Beauty Club Card, its a loyalty program for customers who are not beauty professionals. The Sally’s Beauty Club Card cost $5 but you will immediately receive $5 credit by email. You can use the credit towards your shopping list of hair products. Also, Sally’s beauty club card has separate pricing than the regular cost, so the products would be lower priced.

My shopping list consist:

Sally’s Beauty Club Card ($5) (received a reward of $5 off, which I used towards my shopping list)

Quick Blue High-Performance Powder Lightener by L’Oreal ($19.99) for 16 oz.

30 Volume Creme Developer by Salon Care ($5.39)

40 Volume Creme Developer by Salon Care ($3.29)

5x Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 by Ion ($1.69×5= $8.45)

Ultra Violet Semi-Permanent Cream Hair Color by Manic Panic (9.49)

White Hair Conditioner (anyone will do)

Total without taxes would be $46.61.

I’ll explain why I chose those products for bleaching my whole head blonde. I have fairly long dark hair. For bleach, I was planning to buy in bulk. I found that Quick Blue High-Performance Powder Lightener by L’Oreal had overall good reviews on Amazon and Sally’s.


A developer is a peroxide, which the amount of volume will determine the hydrogen peroxide it contains. Peroxide developer activates the bleach and toner ingredient, through opening up the hair cuticles. The higher the volume number, the more hair cuticles will open, which hair coloring time quickens.

I mentioned 2 different peroxide developers. 30 developer is less stronger because it has less peroxide than a 40 developer.  They are both strong for developers. However, it’s ideal for black hair going blonde to use it. As well, having two different developers helps with “control” timing. A 30 developer is slower because the volume is less than a 40 developer. Bleaching would be ideal to use a 30 developer first and then switching to a 40 developer, so your hair can bleach approximately at the same time. This method is not perfect but sure helps with evening out the shade.


Ever heard of Olaplex? Well, it’s known for minimizing hair damage. However, an inexpensive dupe would be Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 by Ion. As the product claims to reduce dryness during bleaching and toning. As well, it can repair damage and strengthen hair. Sounds magical. This product is made to put into your bleach mixture. However, it weakens your developer, so a 30 developer becomes a 20 developer. As well, a 40 developer becomes a strength of a 30 developer.
The reason why I don’t suggest going higher in a developer is that I want to control time and make less damage.


Before I started my initial bleaching, I held off on washing my hair for 2 days to build up natural oils. Then I followed the directions from L’Oreal to mix bleach and a 40 developer into a plastic bowl.  I poured in Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 by Ion in the bleach mixture.  I then did a strand test, which is a test to determine the amount of time to process hair that would be desirable. Now I had an idea of when I should stop the bleaching process. I planned on bleaching multiple times, I aimed for three sessions of bleach and then bleaching my roots. I decided to bleach my roots last because the scalp’s heat can quicken the bleaching process.

First time bleaching my hair:

I started off with 40 developer because I wanted to bleach from mid to bottom of my hair (that area has least amount of heat on it, so tends to bleach slower). I did not touch my roots with bleach, I left about 2 inches of my roots alone. The bleaching process left me with an unattractive orange color.  My hair looked like a carrot with black roots. I tried my best to wait for a week, I only got through 4 days of waiting.

Second-time bleach:

I repeated the bleaching process again but with a 30 developer and switched to a 40 developer on areas of the hair that was not as developed.  In all the bleaching mixtures, I used Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 by Ion to reduce hair damages. As a result, I was more orangy-yellow. I knew I needed to bleach my hair one more time to be a warm blonde shade.

Third time bleaching:

I bleached the mid to the bottom of the hair again with a 40 developer bleach mixture and added in Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 by Ion. I did not touch my roots with bleach, I left about 2 inches of my roots alone. This time I was able to get to the blonde that I was comfortable with.

Bleaching my roots:

My excitement got the better of me and I could only wait a day. I used a 30 developer in the bleach and mixed it with Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 by Ion. I watched my roots change. When the roots got to a blonde that was similar to the rest of my head, I ended the bleaching process.

Touch Ups:

I did touch-ups with a 30-developer bleach mixture with Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 by Ion. All the areas that were orangey, were bleached over and watched.


Toning my hair:

I toned my hair using a DIY, I was googling how to make a purple substance to cancel out all the yellow and I found that using a tiny bit of ultraviolet by manic panic with white hair conditioner made a perfect toner.  I put it all over my head and waited for an hour. It took away all that yellow. Thank god!


My hair journey to get to blonde took less than 2 weeks. It was a struggle because having orangey hair with black roots sucks. However, I was able to go blonde without breaking the bank. I can’t lie, I loved the experience of learning and achieving the results that I wanted!

black to blonde hair

Side note, I was a honey yellow-y blonde. Then I ended up bleaching and toning my hair again to become more of an ash blonde.