This is the lovely Caroline...She came in with very ashy/green hair on her crown with very red bangs, red sides and red underneath. She is a natural level 7/8. On the crown, where it was ashy/green, lifting with bleach got it very light, around a level 8 with gold tones, which I toned/lifted again with a color formula, leaving it a soft blonde without bleaching it again and to get rid of the gold but lift out that final ashy-ness.
I stayed off the scalp or it would have lifted it too high and created 'hot roots'. When doing a color retouch however, I lift the dark roots to the light blonde using high lift color. Caroline's roots were her natural color so they did not need to be lifted, we just needed to match them. I did foil her bangs to get that final red out and stayed away from scalp and any hair that wasn't red.
Using bleach that is not powder is ideal. Redken Blonde Icing is the bomb. Its conditioning and has an ammonia free version as well. All bleach/all lifting is damaging. If you can, before you get your hair lightened, condition, condition condition. Every day. For a week or longer before you bleach your hair out, and AFTER. Put some of your conditioner in a spray bottle with some water and make your own leave in conditioner. Condition the ends only if you tend to have an oily scalp. Get a conditioning 'mask' hair product and leave on for five minutes. After five minutes the hair cuticle has let in all its going to let in, but if you want to leave it on all night, go for it. If your hair has broken from so much damage, the best repair is Redken CAT, but don't over do it. Too much protein can also damage the hair.
I don't work for Redken, even though I mention them a lot, and I'm always up for using any product that I think is kind to the hair. I try new things all the time. I will be taking a Lanza color class. I want to learn about a 'kinder' color line and this line seems pretty cool. Everyone's hair is different, all hair has different needs and is at different stages. I heal people from the inside out so this seem a natural progression for me.
Hang in there everybody! Its almost summer!