For almost a year now I have been a happy ombre "bronde"....at times moving closer to the "br" than the "onde" and vice versa. Below a pic of me "before". I have read countless tutorials on maintenance and upkeep of "bronde" when going from black- none of which really worked for me.
(side note) My hair is not just black but black mixed with white. A lot of people might not realize this but white is a lot lot harder to dye than black when just depositing color rather than bleaching. It just doesn't hold color the same way. I have to either bleach my roots or dye them black in order for them to change.
Rather than write a whole tutorial on going from black to bronde I'll just recommend this tutorial from HOUSOFCOLOR. It's pretty much sums up the whole process and should be followed to the T.
But what I WOULD like to do is talk about maintenance. It's easy to let your roots go after going through the ordeal of going from black to bronde. A lot of people give up and end up going back to black but don't let that happen to you! It's still possible to upkeep the bronde without pulling out your hair (literally).
When I either add new strands of highlights or lift my roots I have to bleach and it's always scary. Think this:
It looks bad but it's just a necessary evil to get what you really want. You just have to accept that it's at least a two step process and commit to 2.5 hours to get the job done. Here's how it looks: BLEACH, RINSE, DRY, TONE, RINSE, DRY, STYLE. Takes me about 2.5 hours. Let me break that down for you.
BLEACH: 30-40 minutes
RINSE: 10-15 minutes
DRY: 15 minutes
TONE: 15-20 minutes
RINSE: 10-15 minutes
DRY: 15 minutes
STYLE: 30 minutes.
What you really need to focus on is TONE. Tone tone TONE. Wella is my go-to. I love it. Now I've seen people recommend using a combination of Wella T18 and 050. Usually they say one bottle of T18 and 2-4 capfuls of 050.
Let me tell you from my experience, that didn't work for me. I used one bottle of T18 and SIX cap fulls of 050, left it on for 30 minutes and that still did nothing. I just must have ESPECIALLY red-pulling hair. Unless I want to bleach multiple times I can't get that red out unless I use ONLY 050. Now I say this with CAUTION. Because if your hair responds better to T18 then 050 would be a huge mistake. I'm just telling you that if you have tried and tried and tried to get that red out after just one bleaching and don't want to bleach again 050 WILL get rid of that red. But if you leave it on too long you're going to go gray.....or green. YOINKS!!!!
I recommend a strand test first. Let me repeat that. I RECOMMEND A STRAND TEST FIRST. It's not as tedious as it sounds. You only have to do it once to know if it works and you don't have to wash your whole head. Just mix half a cap-full of 050 to one cap-full of 20 developer and spread it on a clump of your hair that's not going to be very noticeable....something underneath. Leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse out just the clump of hair that you dyed and dry. If it's to your liking then proceed with the rest of your hair. If not then try seeing if a combination of T18 and 050 will work better for you.
So when dying those red roots I mix one part 050 to two parts 20 developer and leave on for only about 5 minutes! That does the trick for me. Maybe someone out there will tell me that's crazy (certainly the employees at Sally's) but I'm only relaying my personal experience. As a black/white haired half-filipino gal T18 ONLY works on me when I've bleached twice and honestly I'm not going to do that every time I need a quick 1" touch up. This way works so much better for me. Maybe for you too.