I use Clairol "Ultra Blue" No matter how dark your hair or how light you want to go this will work. You can lighten as much or as little as you want or totally strip the color from your hair. I don't remember how much I paid for it because I have only used it for highlights & 1 box has lasted me for a few yrs. or more. It was under $10 probably closer to $5. Whether natural or colored you can go from black to light blonde. It comes with the pointy squeeze bottle & a small spatula, but I prefer to use a paint brush. I buy a paint brush at a craft mega store or a discount store because it is cheaper than a beauty supply store & I have a much bigger selection of sizes. You can buy your color at a beauty supply store like Sally's, but I have noticed that even Wal-Mart carries a few crayon colors like blue, pink, purple, red, etc.
You can go to a beauty supply shop and just get a packet of "blue" (bleach)($5),some developer($5), a highlight brush($1-2) and some gloves($1). mix it accordingly(directions are usually on the packet), if you want to "chunk" your hair just pull out the chunks and paint on the mix, but be careful not to touch the "other" hair and then wrap chunks in foil, or you can get the hair cap for finer highlights, but I've always had a hard time with those things.
Usually the store clerks can recommend the developer number to use and its often on the packages of bleach. The lighter you go the more the other colors will be bright and stand out.and if you have longer hair its safer to get extra bleach packages usually.just in case!
Check in your area. If there is a beauty school you might try them. They usually charge very little compared to a Beauty Shop. I think it is bad for your hair to try it yourself.
Hydrogen peroxide probably won't work if your hair is really dark. If you don't want much of a color difference, you can pick a shade (up to four shades lighter) and it will lighten. If you want a drastic difference, I suggest buying a hilighting kit. You would pull it through a cap, then apply the bleach that comes with it. You could then color your whole head with a demi-permanant color. Stay away from Ash colors, lean more towards red (sometimes hilights can turn green with ash, or even neutral colors). Demi-permanant won't lift your other color, and does a pretty good job of fading (4-6 weeks) so that you don't have such a strong line of demarcation.
No, hydrogen peroxide will not lighten your hair. If there is a Sally Beauty Supply near you, you can pick up some Manic Panic bleach ( it's 8-10 bucks for the kit), and a highlighting cap. There are simple instructions on the cap. Pull the hair through with the pick, comb the hair that you pulled through. Then, mix and apply the bleach as the directions tell you. Let the bleach process until the desired lightness. Then, shampoo out.
Manic Panic colors (manicpanic.com) range about $7 a package, and are very easy to apply. With your hair still wet, and wearing gloves because the color will stain, apply using a small color brush onto the lightened sections of your hair. You can leave it on from anywhere between 15 minutes and up to overnight. Shampoo out, and you'll have gorgeous color!
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