Learn How to Bleach Your Hair
We’ve all seen the home dye disaster videos, which can be scary. However, you can successfully bleach your hair at home and save tons of money with the proper guidance and products. So, follow these steps to bleach your hair safely.
The Pre-bleaching Process
It’s no secret that bleach causes hair damage, discoloration, breakage, and more, so how do you limit such damage? To prevent it, you should prepare your hair at least one month before the treatment. Let’s see how.
Don’t Bleach Newly Processed Hair
Have you dyed or processed your hair recently? Our advice is to wait until it’s been three months since your latest hair endeavor, thus avoiding hair damage. Also, don’t use flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers, hot rollers, or other heating tools in the week before the bleach.
Moisturize Your Hair
You want to apply bleach on moisturized hair to lessen the chances of hair damage, dryness, or frizziness, which is why you need to condition your hair deeply.
Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners a month before you bleach your hair. Also, in the two preceding weeks, apply deep conditioning masks twice a week. Lastly, oiling your hair with coconut oil a week before is highly beneficial.
The Bleaching Process
Now that your hair is in good condition let’s go over the bleaching process.
1. Decide on Your Desired Color
There’s a level system to guide you through it (with one being the darkest black color and ten being the lightest blond color). To get a blonde hue, you need at least a seven.
For one, you need to understand your current hair level. Then, you can determine how light you want to go. For example, let’s say your natural hair is at level five, and you want it at a nine. So, you want to lift four levels of color. This calculation should help you choose the right developer.
- 10 Volume Developer: If you want one to two levels of lightning, this is the developer to use.
- 20 Volume Developer: This developer gives you two to three levels of lift, rendering it suitable for medium blonde and light brown hair.
- 40 Volume Developer: This developer lifts eight levels. As tempting as that sounds, you need to use it cautiously, as it can cause scalp burns. Don’t leave it in for more than ten to fifteen minutes.
2. Collect Your Tools
Here are the needed supplies for bleaching your hair.
- Lightener: As you’d expect, this product lifts the color off your hair. We can’t stress enough how important it is to use a quality lightener (powder or liquid) for your hair’s safety.
- Developer: This peroxide liquid is the base and toner to your bleach mixture, giving it the consistency you know and bleaching your hair the tone you want.
- Balancing Shampoo: The last thing you want is orange and yellow hues; purple shampoo can help neutralize these tones.
- Toner: It’s optional to use a toner for neutralizing brassy hair.
- Protective Gown or Old Clothes: The developer can ruin your clothes, so make sure your clothes are protective or disposable.
- Mixing Bowl (glass or plastic)
- Gloves (Plastic or latex)
- Protein Balancing Conditioner
- Shower Cap or Plastic Bag
- Tinting Brush
- Hair Clips
3. Prep Your Hair
You want to section your hair into four parts with the clips (vertically, horizontally, and above your ears). Make sure your crown section is secured so you can bleach the back of your hair first.
You can even take it a step further and massage coconut oil into your hair (from the roots to the tips of each section). Then, give it an hour or more. This way, your hair will be well-conditioned for bleach.
4. Mix the Developer and Lightener
Make sure you wear your protective gown or old clothes and have your gloves on. Then, read the instructions on your developer and bleach. Usually, these product manufacturers recommend applying two parts developer to one part lightener. Then, mix them in your bowl with the brush until the bleach is consistent without lumps.
5. Apply the Bleach
With the bleach mixture ready, it’s time to apply it to your hair. Avoid getting it on your skin or clothes. Also, don’t bleach your roots just yet because the scalp soaks it up faster than the rest of your hair. In other words, your roots will be too light, also known as “hot roots.” Instead, you want to apply the bleach an inch away from your scalp.
Now, you can start with the back of your head, as that section takes the longest to process the bleach. Take small strands from each section, and apply the bleach with the brush so that they’re fully saturated.
After bleaching the bottom section, move to the top, saturating small sections of your hair with the mixture. Finally, bleach your roots.
6. Wait for It
Put the plastic bag or shower cap on to let your hair soak up the bleach. How long you should wait depends on your original hair color and darkness, whether it’s virgin hair or not, your bleaching products, and the volume of your developer.
Generally, you can let the bleach sit for 15 to 30 minutes. But if you want your hair as light as possible, we recommend leaving it in for 35 to 40 minutes. Either way, you should never leave it for more than 45 minutes. Also, you’ll want to check on your hair every once in a while to see how much color is being lifted.
7. Wash Your Hair
Is your hair as light as you want it to be? If so, you should wash it with lukewarm water. Hot or cold water can be too much for your hair in its fragile state. Use the balancing shampoo to adjust your scalp’s pH levels. Rinse your hair off the bleach completely before applying the conditioner.
Then, apply a protein balancing and extra moisturizing conditioner. Leave it for several minutes before rinsing the product out.
8. Wait, Again
As you’d expect, fragile hair and heat aren’t a good mix. So, although no one likes waiting, it’s best to be patient and let your hair air dry. Then, you’ll see the results!
9. Assess Your Results
With your hair dry, you can accurately decide how much you like it. If it’s the right lightness, you can dye your hair the color you have in mind.
However, there’s a chance that your hair might be more dark, yellow, or orange than blond. Then, you can re-bleach your hair in three months. Although that wait time is inconvenient, it’s necessary for your hair recovery.
10. Apply Toner
Applying toner is a step that we recommend if you don’t want any warm tones in your hair. The product will neutralize any yellow shades. Now, you might wonder why we’ve suggested re-bleaching hair when toning is an option. The truth is you should only tone your hair if it’s lifted enough. Otherwise, the toner will make matters worse.
With that said, you need to apply toner to damp hair. Mix two parts of the developer for each part of the toner. Then, apply it to your hair using the same technique you’ve used with the bleach mixture. Your hair will look purple, which is normal. That color will cancel out the yellow or orange hues.
You need to repeat the same steps from earlier. So, let the toner sit on your hair; that should be 20 to 25 minutes (or the duration specified in the product instructions). Then, wash your hair with shampoo, and follow it up with a deep conditioner.
The Post-bleaching Process
You’ve now bleached your hair, but the journey is far from over. Here’s how you can give your hair the aftercare it deserves.
Use the Right Products
Avoid any drugstore shampoo or hair care products with harsh chemicals to take care of your bleached hair. Instead, use professional products. Maybe use coconut oil, which can provide your hair with the nourishment it needs. Also, treat your hair with a hydrating mask once or twice a week.
As for conditioners, use them only once a week because their chemicals can damage your hair, and don’t apply them to your scalp.
Minimize Heat Usage
Styling your hair with heat is damaging, especially if it’s newly bleached. So, it’d be best to stay away from ceramic heat and blow drying in the following three to four weeks.
Ultimately, bleaching your hair at home isn’t a bad idea if you’re being safe. Just moisturize and condition your hair before and after bleaching it. Finally, let the hair level system guide you through the bleach, and you’ll get that perfect blonde shade!