Are you ready? Ready to have more fun? Chances are you’ve been contemplating going blonde for a minute, embracing the red craze, or experimenting with a bright pastel hair color. Let this serve as a sign from the universe to go for it! If you want to learn how to bleach your hair at home, you have come to the right place. If you want to color your hair at home instead of visiting the beauty salon, you will have to learn how to bleach your hair properly to achieve the results you want. Fortunately, bleaching your hair at home is easy with the correct at-home bleach equipment. Here is a step-by-step guide to safely bleaching your hair at home. This instruction also works best with hair extensions.
I. Checking Your Hair Status & Prepare Before Bleaching Your Hair At Home
How does your hair feel? Can it truly handle the damage that you’re about to do to it? Bleach works by breaking through your hair shaft and oxidizing the melanin granules that give your hair its color. This process causes hair damage, and for the same reason, your hair needs to be in a healthy condition to be bleached.
We recommend you should begin with a test of “Conduct an elasticity strand test”. Spray some water on a piece of hair, and let it absorb—stretch the wet hair very gently. If the wet hair stretches more than usual, or the texture turns a bit gummy, it is not safe to dye, if the hair goes back to its natural state, it’s in good condition to bleach.
If your hair is dry or damaged, try waiting a month or two before you bleach it. In the meantime, you can prepare your hair by nursing it back to health. You can start preparing your hair for at least 2 weeks before bleaching your hair at home. To prepare your hair:
1. Work With Virgin (Or Almost Virgin) Hair
Hair gets damaged due to chemicals. However, bleaching your hair can lead to more damage. So, do not process your hair for at least three months prior to the bleaching treatment. If you have processed or colored hair, wait for three months before you decide to bleach it. Bleach works best on virgin and unprocessed hair. Your hair is also more susceptible to damage if you re-process it too soon.
2. Stop Heat Styling - Before Bleaching Your Hair At Home
Stop heat-styling your hair and refrain from using shampoos and products that contain sulfates and alcohol. This can help prevent moisture loss from your hair.
3. Condition Like Your Life Depends On It
You need to start conditioning your hair two weeks prior to bleaching it. Instead of using store-bought conditioners, opt for deep conditioning masks at least twice a week.
You can make homemade masks using ingredients like coconut oil, egg, olive oil, bananas, and avocados. Ensure you never wash your hair before oiling it first. This can prevent the shampoo from drying your hair out.
4. Coconut Oil Is Your Best Friend
Soaking your hair in oil a night before you bleach it can make a world of difference. Coconut oil forms a protective barrier over your hair shafts and prevents moisture loss. The oil achieves this without hindering the bleaching process
II. Gather Your Material For Bleaching Your Hair At Home
You’re going to need a few items in your tool kit before you begin.
- Developer (30v and 20v): This is the liquid base to your bleach (and toner) mixture, when combined it creates what we all know to be bleach.
- Lightener (bleach powder): Usually found in a powder form, this is the second part of a bleach mixture that causes the actual lightening in the hair. We recommend AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Powder Lightener. This bleach is very safe and has excellent lifting properties.
- Purple Shampoo: This will help tone the brassiness in your hair and neutralize unwanted yellow and orange hues.
- Toner: Like purple shampoos, these will neutralize brassy hair on a chemical level.
- Mixing bowl, Gloves, Brush
- Plastic bag/shower cap
III. Bleaching Process
For better results, ensure you don’t wash your hair at least 2-3 days prior to the bleach. Unwashed hair contains natural hair oils which help protects the hair during the bleaching process. Set up in a well-ventilated area with good lighting, a mirror, and a table to place all your tools on.
1. Section Your Hair
Before you do anything, make sure you are wearing a shirt you don’t care about or even a hair coloring cape. When you bleach your hair, it WILL get on what you are wearing.
Part your hair into 4 sections: down the middle of your head and from the top of your ear to the top of the other ear. Secure each section with an alligator clip.
2. Mix The Bleach Powder And Developer
You should mix the bleach with the developer following the ratio of 2:1, which means with 50 gm bleach powder, you’ll need 100 gm of developer and with 100 gm of bleach, you’ll need 200 gm of the developer. This ratio gives you a fairly runny texture of bleach that can be easily applied to hair. This consistency is good for long hair as it drips down enough to spread throughout the tresses, but it’s not thin enough to go down your face.
Measure out the bleach using the scoop and add it to the bowl. You can use the same scoop to add two measures of the developer to the bowl over the bleach. Now, mix it well using the brush. And don’t forget to wear gloves while doing this to prevent getting bleach on your skin.
Mix the bleach and developer well until you get rid of any lumps that are formed and the mixture is a smooth, runny consistency. Lumps in the mixture will prevent your hair from getting bleached evenly while a smooth liquid ensures proper application.
If you are only retouching regrowth:
Because your scalp generates heat (which helps bleach work more efficiently) you will only need to mix up one batch using 20 volume developer.
If you are lifting previously colored hair:
Choosing the proper developer based on the color that you want to achieve (20 vol for lifting 1-2 levels, 30 vol for 3-4 levels, and 40 vol for 6 levers of lifting).
Use this level guide to assess how much bleaching is necessary in your case & which developer you are going to need.
3. Apply The Bleach
Always start in the areas where the hair is thickest or darkest. When applying, make fine segments using a tail comb. Using your applicator brush and working one section at a time, take approximately 1/4″ diagonal partings and apply the bleach to the regrowth. Apply segment by segment and keep moving around. As soon as all of your hair is covered in bleach, cover your hair with a shower cap or a plastic bag.
4. Let It Process
Bleaching is less about watching the clock and more about watching your hair. There are multiple factors that affect how well your hair will lift including air temperature, humidity, and even hormones!
- If your hair is blonde (level 7 and higher) aim at between 15-20 minutes.
- If your hair is dark blonde/light brown (level 5-6), aim at around 30 minutes.
- If your hair is brown/dark brown (level 4-5), aim at around 30-40 minutes using 30 Vol developer with fresh mix added in during processing time.
More important than the time is the target color that you are aiming for. You need to keep watching and rinse only when the hair has been sufficiently lifted. Remember, in most cases, you need to try & achieve a very pale yellow – level 9 or 10. See the pictures below for what level 9 and 10 look like.
5. Rinse and Treat Your Hair
Rinse the bleach out of your hair with warm water until you can no longer feel any left behind and the water is running clear.
The toner you should use depends on the final result desired and what current undertone is present after lifting your hair. If you do not want warm tones in your hair, you can bleach it with a toner. You can use toning shampoo to remove the warm tones from your hair. And Silver Ash Toner is a good choice.
Apply the toner to your regrowth first because your ends are usually more porous and will soak the toner up VERY quickly. Once the regrowth looks like it’s starting to take to the toner, working very quickly, apply the toner to your ends. Just like the bleach, keep an eye on your hair so you know when it’s time to rinse.
6. Give Your Hair A Final Shampoo & Conditioner
Rinse under cool water until it runs clear, and then wash your hair with a balancing shampoo to balance the pH levels of your scalp. Follow with a protein-balancing conditioner. Let your hair air dry and enjoy your fruits.