Bleaching hair at home
There are times in your life when you need a change like- bleaching hair at home, trying a new lipstick shade—and times when you really need a change. Bleaching your hair falls into the latter since it doesn’t get any more dramatic than washing all of the pigment out of your hair. But with such a big switch comes some serious hazards—after all, bleaching your hair can weaken and damage it, even in the hands of an expert colorist.
There’s an even bolder move: Bleaching hair at home. This isn’t for the faint of heart (nor an at-home hair color novice). Even though DIYing the color can save you both time and money, any at-home colorists should proceed at their own risk.
Here’s everything you should know before you hit the box of hair color—whether you even should, what to watch out for, and how to get that bleached blonde hair of your dreams.
Bleaching hair at home
Remember, bleaching hair at home is scary and could result in hair damage or unforeseen results or orange madness, even if you’re just doing your roots. Everyone’s hair reacts differently, so be careful, follow my directions and the directions on the back of your chosen hair products, and don’t panic! You can do this (probably).
These following steps included in bleaching hair at home:
Gather your supplies
Create a little base camp with everything you’ll need. Bleaching hair at home can get messy and intense, so it helps to be organized from the start. You’ll need:
- Virgin coconut oil
- A comb
- 30 volume activator
- A packet (or two) of bleach
- A cap or clear plastic bag
- 20 volume activator
- A toner of your choice (I went with the xoVain fave, Wella’s Colour Charm T18 whitest ash blonde)
You’ll also need a non-metallic mixing bowl, an application brush, and an ugly old towel (not pictured)
Work with virgin hair
Do not process your hair for at least 3 months before you are meant to bleach it. If you have processed or colored hair, I would recommend waiting at least three months before you decide to bleach. This is because bleach works best on virgin and unprocessed hair. Your hair is also more susceptible to damage if you re-process it too soon.
Coat hair in coconut oil
While doing bleaching hair at home, Melt the coconut oil by placing the sealed jar into a bowl of hot water, or spoon a bunch of the solid oil into a saucepan and melt it that way if you need it liquified faster. Pour the oil onto your head and rub it all through. I covered my hands with oil repeatedly and ran my fingers through my hair, then poured lots onto my roots and combed it to the ends. There was oil all over me, but it felt like a nice tropical super moisture treatment, so I was OK with it.
Cover your oil-soaked head with a plastic cap or clear plastic bag and float away to dreamland (you may want to put a towel on your pillow first though). If you only have time to oil-soak for a few hours, that’s OK too, but the longer the oil sits on your hair, the more protected it will be, so aim for three hours minimum.
Take a hiatus from styling
Stop heat styling your hair and refrain from using shampoos and products that contain sulfates and alcohol. This will help prevent moisture loss and, trust me; you need all the moisture you can get.
Condition your hair
You need to start conditioning your hair 2 weeks prior to bleaching it. And by this, I don’t mean that you should use a lot of store-bought conditioners. Instead, use deep conditioning masks at least twice a week. You can make your own homemade masks using ingredients like coconut oil, egg, olive oil, bananas, and avocados. Ensure that you never wash your hair before oiling it first. This will keep the shampoo from drying your hair out.
Add more oil
I woke up to a fresh new day with a VERY oily head of hair, so the only natural next step for bleaching hair at home was to add more oil. But seriously, really slick the stuff on, especially in places where the bleach will be applied (I did a heavy second application to my roots).
Add bleach powder
Get bleach powder from a good brand like Wella, Blondor, Matrix, or Salon Care. Compromising on this and using a skin bleach is most likely going to lead to disastrous hair. I would also recommend getting a bleach that is blue or purple in color as this helps reduce brassiness.
Add developer (peroxide)
This is the peroxide liquid that activates your bleach so that it can get to lighten your hair. It comes in different volumes like 10, 20, 30, and 40. This is indicative of the strength of the peroxide. With the information given below pick the ideal volume for your needs. Mix this with this bleach powder while bleaching hair at home.
Apply the bleach
Once you’re done with the bottom sections, undo the section you secured away and start applying. As soon as all of your hair is covered in the bleach, cover your hair with a shower cap or a plastic bag.
TIP: Apply the color first to the tips and mid-lengths of your hair, as they take longer to lighten than your roots. Let the bleach sit for at least 20 minutes and then apply the color to the roots. This way you can ensure even color, rather than lighter roots and dark tips!
Now sit and wait for a magic
Now, it is time to sit back and wait for the magic to happen! Do not leave the bleach on for more than 30-45 minutes. Keep checking on the hair periodically to see if the color is lifting to the levels you want. Don’t worry if your hair is turning orange. It is normal for dark hair to turn orange when lightened.
wash your hair and dry
Once 45 minutes have passed, jump into the shower and rinse the bleach out thoroughly. Wash your hair with a balancing shampoo to balance the pH levels of your scalp. Follow this up when bleaching hair at home by conditioning with a protein balancing conditioner. Let your hair air dry.
Toner – Optional
If you do not want warm tones in your hair, you can bleach it with a toner. Simply replace the bleach with toner and follow all of the steps listed above. Alternatively, you can use a toning shampoo to remove the warm tones from your hair.