If you've read my past few posts, you'll know that I dyed my hair purple about a month ago. I did what you're always told not to do.... bleach my hair at home. GASP! I've heard the nightmare stories, seen the nightmare pictures- but I still went for it. I talked about bleaching briefly on here, now I'm going to tell you how I did it step by step!
Let me thank @quirkster89 from Instagram for asking me to talk more about at-home bleaching and inspiring this post! I love getting questions and when people give me some feedback!
While I was still deciding whether I was going to go to a salon or bleach my hair at home, I watched tons of bleaching videos on YouTube to see how difficult the process would be. I had one side of me that said, 'This doesn't look difficult at all!', then another side that said, 'Maybe you should just pay for the salon and not risk your hair falling out'.
You already know what I chose! My advice to you right off the bat: if it's your first time, get someone you think is capable to help. They can see the back of your head, you can't.
I bought all my supplies below from Sally Beauty Supply:
I bleached my hair twice to get it to the light blonde you see in the top picture of this post. Listed below are the amounts I used for one bleaching.
- Plastic Bowl: I correct myself, this I didn't get from Sally's. This is a Chinese takeout bowl that I kept around, now it's my designated dyeing/bleaching bowl!
- Duo Color Brush: I picked this up to help apply my bleach. You should also keep gloves on because you'll end up using your fingers a bit! Wear gloves anyway though, you don't want that bleach all on your skin!
- L'Oreal Quick Blue Bleach Packets: The amount of bleach will depend on your hair! For me, it took 2 packets; I have long, thin hair. My advice to you is either ask a person at Sally's or guesstimate how many packets you'll need and then add 1, so you have an extra just in case.
- Salon Care 20 Volume Developing Creme: This is what you'll be mixing with the bleach packets. I was originally going to buy the 30 volume, but the woman I spoke to at my Sally's told me the 20 would be fine. I was also going to be going through this process twice, so I didn't want to do too much damage! Bottom line: buy 20 vol because it works fine.
- Prep your hair! From online research (I was never, and still am not, any kind of hair expert), I saw a lot of people say it's good to have hair oily or add oil before bleaching. So, before I started, I took a scoop of coconut oil and rubbed it all through my hair. I believe this protects the hair a little more from being stripped as much by the bleach? Correct me if I'm wrong there!
- Separate your hair into layers. Leave one layer down and clip the rest up at the start. Wear an old t-shirt or put an old towel on your shoulders so the bleach doesn't damage any of your nice clothes!
- Pop your gloves on. Open up your two bleach packets and dump them into the plastic bowl. The ratio is 1 part bleach powder : 2 parts developer. You could measure each of the amounts, but I'm a little lazy and just eyeball it! I shake the container to even out the bleach powder and then pour in the developer until it looks double the amount of the powder. You want it to be like a paste that's fluid enough to brush and work with. Stir the powder and developer until it's a paste and feel free to add a little more developer if you want the formula thinner.
- Dip your brush into the paste, and just start brushing it on. Aim for brushing an even amount on everywhere and move the hair in your fingers so you're getting all the hair. Apply a generous amount, hair should be completely saturated.
- Let down the next layer and just keep going with it! When your whole head is done, clip all your hair, put on a developing cap (or be like me and use a plastic shopping bag), wait 40 minutes, then rinse it all out!
You'll notice when you're rinsing the bleach that your hair feels really dry and straw like. Stay calm! We'll take care of it now!
- Right after your done rinsing out the bleach, either use a really great hair mask (like Morrorcan Oil's Hydrating Hair Mask) or a really great deep conditioner (like Aussie's 3-Minute Miracle). Apply it and leave it in for 30 minutes.
- Rinse out the product you used and let your hair air dry. Then, apply a generous amount of hair oil or even coconut oil! It's like your hair just ran a marathon and now it needs all the recuperation it can get.
Tips For Applying Bleach:
- Start from the ends of your hair and work your way up.
- Don't apply or rub bleach into the scalp. Get as much of the root you can, but still be mindful of avoiding your scalp.
- Leaving bleach in your hair longer DOES NOT mean your hair will get lighter. Avoid frying your hair out and only keep it in for 40 minutes max.
- If you've seen the horrifying bleaching-gone-wrong photos on Google images, don't be too scared! I was afraid my hair would disintegrate the first time I bleached my hair and didn't keep it in long enough, which is part of why the result was not evenly bleached!
- If you need to bleach your hair again, I recommend waiting at least 5 days in between. During that waiting period, pamper that hair with as much hydration as possible!
- If you have a bleaching buddy, let them do all the steps. Make sure you fill them in though and they feel confident in doing your hair!
If you look at the top photo, you see three pictures: my natural hair, my hair after one bleaching, then my hair after a second bleaching/being toned. I used Manic Panic Virgin Snow, which I felt was not that good. As you see, my hair is still sort of uneven and unnaturally yellow (I used shimmer lights in between too).
The yellow didn't matter to me because I was going purple! But if you're looking to stay blonde, I would either search up some good toners or buy a box of hair dye that can get you to the blonde you want to be. Sorry, that's really all the help I can offer on that one!
I have a Sally Beauty Club Card, so when I bought all my stuff I got the Club price. Although I can't remember exactly how much I spent, I think it was around $30. That's everything in the 'supplies' picture above + another two bleach packets I bought for my second round of bleaching.
This has been very wordy.. hopefully I've been clear though! If you have any questions or have some good advice you've learned from personal experience, leave them down below in the comments!