*** review is for 40 vol kit *** "FLASHLIGHTNING is strong stuff, with 40 volume developer, guaranteeing dramatic results. To obtain the most intense colors from our MANIC PANIC Semi Permanent hair dyes we suggest you first lighten your hair with FLASHLIGHTNING Complete Bleach Kits. NO NEED TO BUY ANY EXTRAS. Complete means you get everything from developer with bleach powder to mixing tub to gloves to tint brush to cap. Along with all this comes step by step instructions, plus instructions on how to do a preliminary strand test, which is always an essential part of the process." I''d used a pink dye over my failed ombre attempt and wanted to dye my whole head of hair next time too, so it was time to shop around for bleaching equipment. The pink dye had mostly washed out & there were just few stubborn patches left, which I was too impatient to leave and wait to fade on their own. The brown in the top section of my hair was also dye, so my Flshlightening kit had a lot to work through. The instructions tell you to apply the bleach to dry and unwashed hair, and to leave it on from anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes checking a strand every 10 minutes after the first 40 to see if it has lightened enough [I ended up keeping the bleach on for the full 90 minutes as my hair is thick and was slow to lighten]... Overall I was pleased with the results; it left my hair a bit patchy in a few places, but as I lost count years ago of the number of dyes I use on my hair I knew a uniform white-blonde shade was never going to happen for me. Having said that this has been the lightest result to come out of all of my past bleaching and dye remover experiments; my hair was left mainly blonde, with a few custard yellow patches - past bleaching attempts have only managed to lighten my hair to a fiery orange shade. If I''d chose to use a toner after bleaching my hair it was light enough that it would probably have been a wearable blonde. As is the one-step process gave me a light enough base colour to use my Crazy Color dyes in a variety of shades over. The kit gives you enough solution for 120ml of bleach - just enough for thick just-past-shoulder-length hair. Judging by my roots after using the kit: If you are someone who hasn''t dyed your hair before then this kit will take your hair straight to white blonde. *** I bought my kit from Amazon. Prices start from 11 gbp + p&p.
Ok, so most people have probably heard of this, but for those who haven't, this is a home hair bleach kit which claims to take even black hair to a very white blonde. It is available in 30volume and 40 volume, i used the 30 volume. You can buy it from a wide range of websites, and at a range of prices: attitudeclothing.co.uk £13.99, caoticclothing.co.uk £11.95, musicbands.com do the 40 vol but not the 30 at just £6.33. drea-gate.co.yk does both for £9.95.....so as you can see, you wont be short on places to look for this product, and the prices seem to range from anywhere between £6.33-£15, you will also find on ebay and amazon.
This product is just a pre-lightener, a toner will be necessary to get a decent shade if your wanting to go blonde, but if you want a nice bright colour just pre-lighten then put the colour in and it will be insanely bright. My hair is naturally very dark brown, people often describe it as being black.....so since this stiff claims to take even black hair to a very light white blonde colour, i decided to give this a go. I went for the 30 volume and not the 40 because i was very concerned about ruining my hair, the 40 volume is much stronger. I ordered 2 boxed in case the first attempt went horribly wrong, and its a good job i did this since, there is not nearly enough in just one box, i struggled to cover all my hair with 2, and think 3 may have been a better idea. However i had pretty long hair at the time so i should imagine 2 would be enough for most people.
So, in the box you will find a little 118ml bottle of cream developer, a pair of gloves, a small sachet of bleach powder, a little container to do the mixing, and a small brush to mix and apply it to your hair, and a plastic cap to wear while waiting. The instructions i found incredibly easy to follow, it says to gradually add the developer to the bleach powder in the tub, blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy, then it says sometimes it is not necessary to use all the contents of the developed. Now, if i was the manufacturer i would have put that part in bold and underlined it, on my tests strands i kept finding it was doing very little, or at the most going an orange colour, this is obviously not what i wanted, so i had to keep making it stronger, and it was at this point that i realised that the more runny it is the less effective it will be, the mixture must be smooth and creamy, but not too runny, it has to be pretty thick to do its job, i ended up using both powder bleach sachets to just over one and a third bottles of the developer, and the strands then started to go a bright (but slightly yellowish) blonde, which means that 2/3s a bottle of developer to one sachet will probably be enough.
Okay, so after mixing it right, your going to want to apply it, it says to put on dry unwashed hair, then it gives you a rough guide how long you should leave it just to get to a pale lemon yellow stage....now this doesn't sound like something to be desired, but the right toner will take you from this stage to the blonde you want to be, a purple based toned will take you too a while blonde, special effects, stargaze, goldwell and directions all do pretty good toners, and toner will not add further damage to your hair. If you have dark blonde hair already, it says to wait 20-60 minutes, light brown hair = 20 to 90 minutes, medium brown = 40 to 90 minutes, and dark brown = 60-90 minutes, it says nothing about black, but there website claims it also works on black hair. Now, obviously bleach is very damaging, i do not recommend you go for the full 90 unless your hair is very very dark brown, almost black. It is important to remember that because of heat coming from your head, your roots will go lighter faster than the rest or your hair, so i would suggest going from the ends and upwards, also try and be as fast as you can with the application, as it starts working from the moment its applied to your hair and its powerful stuff, you may end up with the bits you started with be noticeably lighter.....
I left mine for 8o minutes, i was too scared to go the full 90, Im glad i didn't, my hair was a light but somewhat yellowish blonde, i used directions toner which a purple base, to get it to a nice light blonde, the toner will have to be used monthly in order to stop the yellow coming back. So originally i was pretty impressed with this product, it did what it said it would do, so it does work, but at what cost? My hair was very very damaged, it felt elastic like when wet and like straw when dry, thanks to a variety of products i was able to get it in not to terrible condition again, or at least it didn't look in terrible condition, but it still felt dry, and it kept snapping off, i lost a good 4/5 inches of hair before it stopped with this, if a 30 volume kit did this kind of damage with just 80 minutes, i wouldn't like to see the result with 90 minutes, or using a 40 vol kit.....
I do regret using this bleach kit on my hair, my hair completely stopped growing for a while. But if you are completely desperate to go from very dark brown to very light blonde regardless of the health of your hair, this product teamed with toner will do the job. I do think this is probably a very good product, those with medium brown or light brown hair who would only need to leave it for around 40 minutes would probably not get such extreme levels of damage and thus it would be a very good option, i just think caution is required, there is also the huge down side of try to avoid getting this on your clothes! As with any bleach product it want come out because it isn't a stain, bleach removes colour from things.....permanently.