Can't wait for salons to open? Here's how to bleach hair at home without damaging it.
While it is easy enough to dye your hair at home with store-bought hair color, bleaching is another story. You'll be risking scalp burns and might up end with orange hair. If you have dark hair and want to go blonde or try pastel shades, bleaching hair is an essential step and it's best left to professionals. However, many salons are still closed due to Covid-19. If you cannot wait for a professional dye job and want to go rogue, Harper's Bazaar has solicited some expert advice on how to bleach hair safely at home.
Is Your Hair Ready?
Assess your hair if it's healthy enough to handle bleach. If your hair is on the fine side, frizzy, dry and breaks easily, take a step back. Bleaching can be damaging and for your hair to withstand it, it must be in its healthiest state. Stylecraze urges you to wait and prepare your hair for the process first. Take a break from heat styling and put away that curling iron and blow dryer. Look for shampoos that are sulfate and alcohol free so your hair retains all the moisture that it can. Apply a deep-conditioning mask at least twice a week. When your hair is nicely hydrated, you can move on to bleaching. Stylecraze further suggests coating your hair in coconut oil the night before you bleach for a protective barrier. Coconut oil will not hinder the bleaching process.
Prep Your Station
If you're doing this in the bathroom, remove anything beside you that can be stained by the bleach. If you have dark towels and rugs, remove them from the area then make sure to wear an old blouse that you don't mind staining, and that is easy to remove once it's time to rinse your hair. Prepare the hair bleach, gloves, hair clips, shampoo, and conditioner.
The Bleaching Process
Divide your hair into four or six sections. To fully saturate hair, apply bleach is small segments to make sure every strand is coated. Start one inch away from your scalp as the heat from it will process the bleach too quicky. Get back to your roots once you're done with the rest of your hair.
Wait for 20 to 40 minutes for the bleach to take effect. The darker your hair is, the longer the wait, but it's always good to check the box for instructions. Set a timer and when it goes off, rinse and shampoo immediately.
As bleaching can strip off your hair's natural oils, go back to deep conditioning twice a week. Switch to organic hair products and avoid styling tools for at least two weeks. Bleach works best on untreated hair. If your hair is really dark, it might require two bleaching sessions. Let your hair rest for two weeks to one month before you attempt to bleach it again to avoid permanent damage.
Related article: How To Lighten Hair Naturally