“In the ’90s in beauty school, we would mix 3 to 5 drops of black ‘latex paint’ into our bleach. Scary, I know, but it actually worked. Haven’t done it since then and feel no need since we’ve come so far in product development.” – @platinumblack_pixie
“Bleach literally eats color. You would just be wasting products. When the bleach ‘turns white again’ it’s because the color has been broken down and is gone…like it should be…Just because this used to work back in the day doesn’t make it viable today.” – Courtney Lobato
“I do it all the time, not just with black but other colors. It slows down the processing just a smidge, and you can choose your tone (gold, violet, etc.)” – @lizkswitzer
“Here’s my thinking: If oxidation is designed to bleach something (lifted pigmentation), then black (which we all know is blue, right?) when lifted/oxidized, should reveal a blue tone. So then your lightener possibly might contain and deposit a blue tone…We all know unless the lift is there, then no amount of toner is ever going to correct that.” – Callum Hadley
“I would skip the black and get to know your color wheel. Toners are amazing. I taught myself some formulas by saving clients’ cut hair that had been processed and doing my own chemical labs to see what I made on the scraps.” – RJ Matt
“I tested this with black, E-1 and blue-black with various bleaches side-by-side. They either came out the same or worse with color added. The only one with hope was the one I spiked with blue ColorWorx. – Veronica Wirges (SCROLL DOWN to see her swatches!)
“I have not done this, but I have added copper and red permanent color to bleach on clients with previously colored, Level 5 hair that wanted copper and red highlights. It worked beautifully.” – Naomi Scholefield
“I’ve done hair for 27 years and have some old-school tricks up my sleeve. But as someone who has managed salons, once you start tinkering with manufacturers’ directions, if you have any adverse reactions you have lost any grounds with complaints and lawsuits.” – Vicki Burts
“I’m sure this worked many, many years ago. But this is a prime example of why continued education is important. New bleach technology makes this totally unnecessary. By going to class and learning about new products, one does not have to do ‘old school’ concoctions.” – Jessica Cruz
“This is interesting. Level 1 color is so dark that it takes a good while for bleach to destroy it, thus creating more of a slight color deposit. I’ll definitely experiment with it.” – Mary Ann Knapp Rice
“This could work, but it doesn’t mean it’s predictable 100 percent of the time. Rather, use blue- or violet-based bleach and follow with a toner.” – @28strands_hair_studio
Rumor has it that Marilyn Monroe’s “secret” toner was clear with a dash of black. Since then, many colorists have mixed a smidge of 1B into a clear base to get an ash hue. But adding black to lightener? You asked, and your fellow stylists answered!
“We were talking at the salon about the ‘adding drops of black into toners for ashy blondes’ post the other day. Someone on that thread said she ‘adds a couple drops of black into lighteners—been doing it since beauty school. Mix up your bleach, add a few drops of black and get to work! The bleach will turn purple at first and will gradually oxidize to white in the bowl.’ It’s supposed to control brassiness. Has anyone ever done this?”
Scroll through the slideshow above to see everyone’s responses. **BONUS: Scroll down to see test swatches!