We all know bad hair when we see it.

Hair color that reads more chicken fat yellow than golden blonde… a vibrant blue that came out puddle grey… knowing how to do a pre-lighten is essential to achieving the results you want.

Whether you want to have the perfect pale platinum base color, need to remove old dark tones or want the ultimate base color for super vibrant shades, learning how to properly lighten hair is essential.

The art of a perfect pre-lighten lies in having the right tools and the right technique that will empower you to do it all by yourself… and why do you do it yourself?

Because you can do it better than anyone else can!

Gather Your Supplies!

  • AGEbeautiful Crème Lightener - I love that it’s now available in a larger, 3 times as big size!
  • AGEbeautiful Developer (30 Volume or 40 Volume)
  • Color Bowl
  • Color Brush
  • Clips
  • Foils (optional)
  • Color cape / Smock / Old Towel

Ideal for a brunette or dark brown that wants to go blonde / platinum or someone who wants to remove all of the previously colored tint on their hair. This is excellent for someone who wants a bright, vivid final tone on their whole head.

  1. Mix together 2 oz. AGEbeautiful Crème Lightener  with 3oz. AGEbeautiful Developer (see guide below), in a bowl with a brush. This will give you a whipped cream like consistency, if you want it thicker use less developer.
  2. Start in the darkest areas that are at least ½ inch away from the scalp. The immediate root area is always the last to be applied.  (This area lightens the fastest and easiest)
  3. Take small sections---the smaller the section—the greater your success!
  4. Evenly saturate each section.
  5. Once your mid-lengths and ends have lightened to your desired level, apply to the root area. Tip: Putting hair into a shower cap can help retain heat and give you even more lifting ability.
  6. Process until desired level (see guide below). Hair will look lighter than it is while the lightener is on the hair.
  7. Rinse, shampoo and deep condition hair.

Hair is now ready for your final color application!

putting foil on hairmultiple foil pieces on hair

Ideal for adding lighter pieces to the hair for either natural highlights or as the precursor to select strands of vibrancy.

  1. Mix together 2oz. AGEbeautiful Crème Lightener with 2oz. AGEbeautiful 40 Volume Developer in a bowl with a brush.
  2. Find a spot in your hair you want to add the lightness, take a small section (about one inch deep and two inches across) Clip away the non-sectioned hair.
  3. For an even more diffused (read: subtle effect) at the root, back-comb / tease some hair downwards to the scalp/root area.
  4. With gloves on, using your brush, paint free hand, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends of the hair.
  5. Repeat around the head, remember you can always go back and add more…
  6. Process to desired level. (See guide below)
  7. Rinse, shampoo and condition.

If you are overlaying a vibrant color on top of this, your hair is now ready!

While your hair lightens it will go through different color phases:

  • Black hair lightens to red
  • Brown hair lightens to red/orange
  • Light brown hair lightens to orange
  • Dark blonde hair lightens to orange/yellow
  • Blonde hair lightens to yellow
  • Light blonde hair lightens to pale yellow


  • For blonde lighten hair to yellow stage.
  • For platinum lighten to pale yellow.
  • For vibrant tones (pink, violet, blue, bright red) lighten to palest yellow (think the inside of a banana)

While it may seem complicated, think of AGEbeautiful Crème Lightener as your engine and the AGEbeautiful Developer as the gasoline. How much gas do you want to give your engine?
The higher the volume, the more gas.

Arming yourself with the knowledge of a proper pre-lighten will ensure results that will exceed your expectations and steer you clear of chicken fat yellow!