Unless you are blessed by the Gods you are going to need to bleach your hair to white(ish) blonde to make sure your bright colour takes and is as close to the tube as possible. Now, of course, starting with virgin hair gets you the best results, with a shorter bleaching time and is gentler on your hair. When I say virgin hair, I mean hair that has not known the touch of dye or bleach in any way shape of form. If you are attempting to take your hair from dark, box dyed at home since you were sixteen, perhaps you best seek a professional. However, if you like to live dangerously and want to do it yourself strap in and let’s see what we can do.Get Your Hair Ready…
If you have recently dyed your hair, now is not the time to bleach it. The bleach will be fighting the dye in your hair and not bleaching the hair colour underneath. This will increase the amount of time you have to leave it on and risk doing more damage to your hair. Give yourself a month before your bleach where you add no more dye, wash your hair a little more often, sit in the sun. Also, take this time to give your hair some TLC and get it in the best possible condition before you bleach it.
Find yourself a weekend where you do not plan on going anywhere and if you go out with your hair in glad wrap or an odd colour no will judge you. This can take time.
Ok, now open a window, change into an old t-shirt (preferably one you don’t mind ruining) and hide the good towels. It’s bleaching time! I like to start on the bottom layers of my hair as these are often darker and my top layers seem to cop more damage. Dye brushes really help with the process as you can have more control over where the bleach goes. Make sure all of your hair is evenly coated, it doesn’t have to be dripping bleach, but a good amount on. Using your hands (that have gloves on them) you can even work the bleach up and down. Be very careful about getting any on your skin, try and keep your skin clear. I do find that with some brands I get a slight burning sensation, but no damage afterwards.
Once you have done all of your hair cover it with glad wrap and let it process for however long the box says. It is a good idea to check your hair regularly. How is the colour going? Slightly orange, keep going. Hair starting to stretch a little? abandon ship and wash it out, right now, go! If you get to the cut off time as stated by the box and you are not happy with the colour yet and you can not see or feel any damage, push it out by a few extra minutes. But for all that is good do not leave it in for longer than 5-10 minutes.
Rinse it out and if you have toner put it in and let it sit for a bit. Also, rinse that out. I try not to blow dry my hair afterwards as I don’t want heat near my hair, air drying seems to be the most gentle.
Once your hair has dried, how does it look? Is it white? Awesome you can dye it. A little yellow tinged? Eh, not too bad you can still dye it. Orange tinged? If you’re going for something in that spectrum of colour, you can still dye it and hope for the best. If not you can maybe give your hair 24 hours and a hair mask and then give it another round of bleaching. If you do for a second round, watch your hair like a hawk and wash it out as soon as you notice any hair quality change or if you reach the colour you want before the box time is up. Looking a little frizzy or dry? Give yourself 24 hours and a hair mask. If you don’t have anywhere to go, the break is really good and you do not put yourself under any pressure.
So you f***ked up…
Now if your hair has the texture of chewing gum or you notice some areas are a little shorter than before, sorry to break it to you love, you have fried your hair. This is not the end of the world, as it will grow back. No more bleach and TLC only for your hair. If you can brave it, even a trim will help as well. Pop in a colour that you can live with for the next few months and only touch your roots when you have to. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you, but use this time as a learning process. I have done this, I went from below the shoulder hair to jawline hair because I over bleached my hair. It’s scary, but rock your new short hair and don’t tell a soul. No one notices, I promise.
Good luck with your bleaching, this is often the most stressful part of the process. You can do it, just keep a very close eye on your hair. A little dryness we can recover from and even chemical haircuts. You are one step closer to having the colour of your dreams.
As always, I am not a professional, this is purely based on my years of experiences dyeing and bleaching my own hair. If in doubt, see a professional.
Keep an eye out for more posts in my Bright Hair Series.
❤ Miss T
Bright Hair Series:
First Post – Things to Think About