How To Bleach Your Hair (And Make It Look Good)
My hair hasn’t been it’s natural color since 8th grade, so it was only a matter of time before I went blonde. Obviously.
So, since I’ve been through this a few times, I thought I’d share my hair experience and bleaching knowledge.
My hair is naturally a weird dark brown color. When I initially went blonde, I went to a hair salon. They had to bleach my hair twice before it was near a pale enough color. (My hair was also previously ombré, so that didn’t help much either).
If you want to go blonde and you’re a dark haired person, you should probably have someone do it for you. If you like to live dangerously, then try doing it yourself. If you mess up, worst case you’re bald, but more likely you’ll have to bleach your hair again because it will be orange the first time.
Let’s Get to It.
First, put on your shlubiest, grubbiest clothes. This way, if you spill some goop, it won’t be the end of the world. You could also go naked.
Next, make sure you have gloves, a mixing bowl, and one of those hair coloring brushes. If you don’t have one of those, you can use some kitchen silicone spatulas like I did.
Now, for bleaching I like to use L’Oréal Quick Blue and 20 volume developer. The Quick Blue together with 20 volume developer is strong enough that it actually pulls the dark color out. 30 Volume would also work fine and is a little more powerful, but I wouldn’t go 40 volume at all unless you’re going for a more ’80s hair-fried look.
Next, mix together the Quick Blue powder and some developer in the mixing dish. It needs to be enough to cover what you want to bleach (in my case my roots). The consistency should like cake batter.
Once it’s all mixed up, divide your hair into 2 sections on top and 2 sections on bottom. This is just so you can more easily apply the bleach.
Now, slather that stuff on everywhere you want blonde. Once you have one area done, use a comb and section the newly done section over and start on the next section.
Keep doing this until everything you need to cover is covered.
P.S. You’ll need to work quickly starting with the darkest parts first. If you take too long, you’ll end up with orange sections and white sections, which is difficult to even out.
Leave the bleach on for around 40 minutes. If your head/scalp is starting to burn, wash out the bleach. You don’t want chemical burns!
Once it’s washed out, towel dry your hair and see how it looks. The newly dyed areas will probably be a nasty bronze/orange color. If they are, you’ll need to bleach again. If they’re a pale yellow color, you’re ready to tone!
P.S. My hair is pretty tough, so I can bleach it twice in one night on the roots. Some people have more brittle hair, and should wait a few days to a few weeks to avoid breakage.*
Once your newly dyed areas are a nice pale yellow, it’s time to tone! Toning is a lot like coloring your hair normally, if you’ve done that before.
I’ve been really happy with Wella’s Lightest Ash Blonde (T18) aka White Lady. It’s really good at countering the yellow tones in your hair.
P.S.* Your hair should be towel dried at this point, but if it’s not make sure your hair is damp-ish before continuing.*
Now, mix one part toner to 2 parts 20 volume developer, i.e. dump the whole bottle of toner into your applicator bottle, then fill up the toner bottle with developer and dump that in, then fill up the toner bottle again with developer and dump that into the applicator bottle. (If you’re not using Wella, the instructions may be a little different. When in doubt READ).
Now, SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE with your thumb/finger on the tip of the applicator bottle.
Use the applicator to cover your roots with toner (similar to how you bleached the roots earlier). We want to get the roots first so they have the longest to tone.
After you’ve covered your roots, start at the where your roots end on the top of your head. Apply the toner to the strands all the way to the tip. Continue from the top of your head to the bottom making sure that your hair is thoroughly coated in toner. Be sure to break up clumps of hair that may not be coated with toner.
Once your hair is covered in toner, leave it on for 10 minutes, then check to see how your hair is doing. My hair usually takes 30 - 40 minutes, but for some people it takes much less time.
P.S. If you want a more silvery/purple tone, leave it on for longer!
Once it looks to be less brassy (and the color looks good), wash it out with warm water. Use the least hot water you can. Hotter water will take out more of the color you worked so hard to get!
Dry your hair and you’re done! Be sure to use some nice conditioner to keep your hair feeling silky. :)