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Bleaching Guide

Bleaching :: Application Instruction & Tips

Be sure to read about dyeing and about bleaching before you bleach or dye your hair.

REMINDER: Bleach WILL remove color not just from your hair, from any fabric it touches, so be careful.

Here are some things you should have :

  • packet of powder bleach or cream bleach for hair, and developer (at least 20 volume) - BUY BLEACH KITS HERE
  • a pair or two of latex or vinyl gloves - you can find these at beauty supply stores - BUY VINYL GLOVES HERE
  • tint brush - BUY TINT BRUSHES HERE
  • either a plastic applicator bottle marked in ounces or a plastic mixing bowl - BUY TINT BOWLS HERE
  • junky towel
  • junky clothes
  • someone nice to help you!
  • make sure that the instruments you use are non-metallic

Now that you're ready to bleach your hair, here we go!

  • Don't shampoo hair before application and do not apply if skin or scalp is broken or irritated!
  • You might want to lay down newspaper, or remove any nice rugs from the bathroom before you begin to avoid making mess or causing damage
  • Put on your latex or vinyll gloves and mix the powder bleach with the developer (amounts as instructed on your bleach products) in a plastic mixing bowl and mix until creamy using a tint brush. If you're using a plastic applicator bottle, empty contents into the applicator bottle and put the cap back on, cover the hole and keep shaking until smooth.
  • You should apply the bleach to dry, combed hair
  • Avoid getting bleach on your skin and scalp - it can burn
  • Use a tint brush to apply evenly to the hair you want bleached, saturate but not to dripping
  • Start about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch from your scalp and apply to your hair in sections, starting at the back working your way up
  • Be sure to cover all of your hair (except the roots for now) you don't want to end up with chunks of orange or brown hair! This is why it is a good idea to have someone help you, bleaching is more complicated than dyeing your hair and it is hard to make sure you've covered every spot on your head if you're doing this on your own.
  • Let the bleach set for about 20 minutes and check to see if it is at the color you want, if it isn't, keep checking your hair every 10 minutes or so until you achieve the desired degree of lightness.
  • Once your hair is near a pale yellow/light blonde stage, apply the bleach to your roots all around and be sure not to miss any spots. Roots bleach must faster than the rest of your hair! If you apply bleach to the roots from the start with the rest of your hair, you will end up with pale blonde roots and orange hair
  • Be careful not to keep the bleach in too long, if it is not lightening you can wash it out and try again with a second application later.

Here's a chart for approx timing (time varies on natural hair color):

Dark Blonde 15 to 30 Minutes
Light Brown 25 to 35 Minutes
Medium Brown 30 to 45 Minutes
Dark Brown
45 to 60 Minutes
Do not overbleach.
  • When your hair is evenly bleached to the desired shade, or when the bleach has been in your hair long enough, wash it out carefully and avoid contact with your eyes.
  • It's a good idea to follow up with a good deep conditioner or hot oil treatment since your hair will feel very dry. However, if you do this, do not dye your hair the same day. If you plan on dyeing your hair the same day, you should apply the dye first, and then condition your hair later. Applying conditioner to your hair the same day prior to dyeing your hair will affect how well the dye will take, making it harder for the color to stick to your hair.
Another note, if you want white, platinum blonde hair - you will need a toner. This is applied after bleaching in order to remove the remaining goldish tint from your hair.

Remember: use conditioner EVERY DAY and use deep conditioning treatments as needed!