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[QUOTE=caramonaco;3777109]I have very dark (nearly black) hair. I wanted to put a few streaks of fun color in my hair myself, but I know in order to do so I would need to lighten the strands first.
I have dyed my hair years before, I often got highlights in middle school, but my hair is natural right now and has not be dyed in at least 4 years.

I'm a college student and I live in a dorm. I don't have the money or the ability to get to a salon, and I wanted to try out a home remedy, so please do not suggest the obiviously better idea of getting it professionally done.:)

My questions are: Can I use hydrogen peroxide to lighten a few strands and then dye over it?
How do I apply hydrogen peroxide?
How long after do i wait before dying over the lightened strands?
Is there a specific type of dye to use after lightening?
If hydrogen peroxide is a bad idea, what is a better alternative?

Thanks for the advice![/QUOTE]

Theoretically you could use hydrogen peroxide, however, since your hair is so dark it probably wouldn't work that well. It would lighten somewhat but would be very reddish/orangey and I doubt that you want that result. It will not lighten enough to look like highlights.
I have light brown hair and I've tried this without much success.

If you want to lighten hair significantly you will have to go to a beauty supply store (like Sally Beauty) and get a 30vol developer and a lightening agent, such as Clairol 7th stage or Clairol Born Blonde Creme lightener (I just did this two days ago). I would recommend Born Blonde. I used 7th Stage and found it difficult to work with because the bleach is blue so you can't see how your color is lightening and changing. Born Blonde Creme is white so then you will be able to see your hair change.
Since you're doing highlights you can simply foil those. The instructions on how to do that are on the bottles; basically all you need to do is mix 4oz of the developer with 2oz of the lightener (more or less depending on how many highlights you want).

After that you'd have to wait about 24 hours before dyeing them.
These products are very affordable... between $3-5. So you can do this yourself at home for less then $15 and at a salon it would cost at least $60.
Even if you just want to color pink, you will still need to remove pigment. If you apply the pink over your dark hair you'll just end up with probably an eggplant looking color when you go outside. In florescent lighting it will probably just look shiney.

IMO, you still need to lighten first. I would do it by way of hilights. The more you put in the more pink you'll appear. I would also think you would need @ least a 40 volume peroxide(peroxide is peroxide whether you call it hydrogen peroxide or not). You also NEED to stick with the blue based bleach as this will help to tone out brassiness as you lift. If you need to check the strand, with a damp cloth gently wipe the strand starting at the root working down the shaft in a motion like you wanted money from someone (I hope you got that). If you have not reached the desired level reapply the mixture to the strand and continue processing. Because your hair is so dark you want to take the strands to @ least a pale yellow. If they are darker than that when you apply the pink you may end up with coral or salmon color.

There are so many variables, I don't know where to start, but I would be more than happy to follow you through this if this is the path you plan to take.

If your hair is almost black this is what you can expect as it is lifting


P.S. If your hair is not black(which I suspect it isn't), you could probably start at the dark-red stage. Because you have about 7 levels of lift don't expect this to happen fast. It also won't lift the longer you leave it on. You may actually need to rinse/wash it off with COLD water and reapply following the color guide above.

Personally, I would try real hard to get your product from a beauty supply place as the ammonia content in non professional product is so much higher than it is in professional product.

One more thought. You could go to a beauty school(where it is cheaper) and have them do the bleaching foils(done under guidence, so to avoid disappointment), then go home and apply your pink. Good luck, I'll check in later to see how you are making out.

No offense, but the 40vol idea is bad... especially for someone who has never bleached their own hair before. 40vol developer is extremely harsh, not recommended for the scalp, and especially not for someone who doesn't know exactly what they're doing. She could end up with chemical burns.

Stick with 30vol, you may need to bleach more then once, but it's better then having scabs on your scalp or having your hair fall out in clumps.
Applying heat will make your hair bleach faster, though it also dries the bleach faster making it less effective. I would stick with the 30vol developer, apply it, put on a cap, and wait till your hair turns a pale yellow (like the inside of a banana peel). If that doesn't happen the first time after about 45 minutes, you'll need to wash out the bleach and do it again.

I don't know whether or not your even plan on doing this anymore. If you are, then good luck.
If it's just temporary and you're unsure of how to do this, then I would just go to a salon or a beauty supply store and get a few pink clip-in extentions. Or you can even get some blonde human hair extentions and dye them pink. You don't have to mess with your own hair if you're afraid of screwing it up.
IMO 40 vol. is one step up from 30 vol., and is not a whole lot harsher on the hair than the lesser, not only that, but the peroxide is only one of 2 ingredients required to remove pigment. If in fact your hair is BLACK, you'll need 40 as bleach will only lift so far. And if you are doing foils or a cap please tell me how it is going to touch the scalp anyway, let alone burn.

As not to scare a layman it is not the #vol that is harsh, it is the ammonia content in the lightening agent(powdered bleach) and the developer (hydrogen peroxide) that will do the damage, as well as the lack of knowledge in this field of the hands behind the act. Whether you use 50,40,or 30 vol., you WILL most likely have to bleach more than once regardless.

You can expirience burning from a 20 vol. as easily as you could from 40,50,or 60 for that matter, that is why they suggest a patch test before you proceed.(A bit of the product to be used is tested behind the ear or in the bend of the elbow, and wait to see if there is a negative reaction. Kinda a tingy, prickly, burn sensation IS NOT A REACTION as ALL peroxides will do this.

I cannot express enough that more damage is caused from the hands behind the job, than the product itself.

The toner(or dye as you call it) CAN be applied immediately after you have achieved the desired amount of pigment removed and followed up by rinsing/washing the bleach off with COLD water. At this stage the cuticle is still open thus readily accepting the toner. It will probably take 24-36 hours to close the cuticle, so if you don't want to lose some of the vibrancy I'd suggest not shampooing it for at least that many hours. And if you feel the need, use cold or tepid water as hot water forces the cuticle open.

I hope the difference in opinions doesn't confuse you (if & when you make the decision), but the views I have given come with close to 30 years expirience. Good luck

In closing, you can see there is far more involved with being a beautician, than just some sexy blonde standing behind a chair chewing gum, thus perhaps giving us the value truly diserved when you pay at the cash register.

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