Skip to content

The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Bleach Your Hair Safely at Home

Let me guess. You are planning to bleach your hair but the cost of salon bleaching isn’t very appealing so you’re opting for a DIY bleaching alternative. And now you’re kinda clueless about where to begin. It’s perfectly fine since you aren’t the only improvising lady out there. And it’s for crafty women like you, whom this DIY home bleaching guide is for.

In this complete guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about hair lightening for any hair type, texture, or color right from your washroom.

Prepping Tips Before Laying Hands on The Bleach

Before lightening, make sure to prep your hair to minimize any chances of damage and set yourself up for the best results. The principle here is to keep your hair cuticles as squeaky clean as possible for the developer solution to lift them.

  • Shampoo hair the day before bleaching to remove any dirt, oil, or product buildup. The developer adheres best to clean unobstructed cuticles.
  • Consider doing a clarifying treatment 1-2 weeks before deep cleaning. This removes hard water buildup, metals, minerals, and other impurities.
  • Trim off any split or damaged ends that are prone to breakage and frizz during lightening.
  • Hydrate hair with a deep conditioning masque the day before bleaching. This provides a protective buffer.

Choose Your Bleach and Developer Combo Wisely

It’s time to gather your lightning supplies. This is where many makeshift bleaching attempts go awry.

Picking the wrong bleach and developer combo is a recipe for disaster. You want something strong enough to sufficiently lift your hair, but not so strong it melts your strands into a goofy straw-like mess.

Use the below table as a guide on ideal developer volume and lightener strength based on your hair texture and thickness.

Hair TextureHair VariationDeveloper VolumeMax Bleach Cycles
FineStraight10 or 20 vol2-3
FineWavy10 or 20 vol2-3
FineCurly10 vol2-3
MediumStraight20 vol3-4
MediumWavy20 vol3-4
MediumCurly20 vol3-4
ThickStraight20 vol4-5
ThickWavy20 vol4-5
ThickCurly20 vol4-5

For dark hair, choose a blue powder lightener containing at least 45 volume (6%) peroxide. This will provide enough lifting power to take you to the lightest blonde shades.

For lighter hair or subtle highlights, 30 volume (3%) is safer. It will brighten you up while minimizing damage.

Always opt for a salon-quality lightener rather than a boxed kit. Kits contain everything mixed already which doesn’t allow for customization. With pro lightener, you control the strength by choosing your developer separately.

Mix It Up With Precision

Once supplies are set, focus on your mixing technique. I’m not saying the ratio of lightener to developer needs to chemist levels of precision, but you need to be careful regardless. And for heaven’s sake do not mix up the bottles while mixing, always consult the labels.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • 1 part lightener to 2 parts developer for darker hair
  • 1 part lightener to 1 1/2 or 1 part developer for lighter hair

But the true measure of accurate mixing is consistency. If all goes right you’ll be left with a smooth, spreadable consistency like that of conditioner or ketchup. Not runny and watery, but not so thick either.

Add powder to liquid starting with smaller amounts until it reaches this ideal texture. Mix just enough for each section at a time as bleach stops processing once mixed with the developer. No wasting product.

Test Strands Are A Must Before You Go Any Further

Now comes the most crucial step with any bleaching project, which is to test a few small sections first. This will show you how light you can safely go in one session and determine the ideal developer strength and timing.

It can be tempting to jump right in, but slow and steady always wins the race with bleaching. Test strands give you vital information to customize the process and avoid damage.

Choose a couple of pieces near your face and the nape of your neck to trial. Carefully apply bleach and process for 20 minutes, then check for damage and remaining pigment.

Based on the results, you can adjust your recipe and technique before applying it to your whole head. Test strands are your safety net.

The Ideal Way to Apply the Mixture

How masterfully you apply the mixture on your strands is of equal importance.

Section clean, and dry hair into four parts and use a tint brush to paint the product from roots to ends.

Part down the middle, then into quadrants. Paint tiny subsections within each quadrant. Now you

I like to think that I am painting on a canvas while doing the sweeping motion, it helps in better saturation throughout each and every strand.

Pull hair taut when applying to ensure the bleach penetrates cuticles.

And for The Final Step, Toning and Conditioning

Not quite done yet. Once your hair is sufficiently lightened, the final step is toning. Toner neutralizes unwanted brassiness for a brighter, shinier color. Apply to damp hair and leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Rinse and follow up with a weekly conditioning treatment. Bleach is drying so post-application nourishment cannot be neglected at any cost. Also, avoid washing with sulfates and heat styling for up to a week post-bleach.

When cared for properly, bleached hair can still be healthy, soft, and strong. Take it slow with bleach and be diligent about moisturizing.

Few Tips To Maintain Bleached Hair In Between Sessions

To keep bleached hair in optimal condition between lightening sessions:

  • Use a hydrating hair mask 1-2 times per week and overnight treatments. Focus on moisture.
  • Wash less frequently, every 2-3 days. Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo.
  • Do not wash or wet your hair daily. This leads to dryness.
  • Limit the use of hot tools. Air dry when possible.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner and heat protectant before hot tools.
  • Get regular trims, every 6-8 weeks, to prevent splits and breakage.

Proper at-home care keeps bleached hair healthy, strong, and ready for the next lighting session.

Don’t Take the Process of Lightening Too Lightly and You’ll Be Fine Girl

At-home hair bleaching doesn’t have to be intimidating or damaging. Think through each step, do your prior research (the fact that you’re reading this post means your research game is strong already), and have fun with it! Be bold, get creative, but also be kind to your strands. Take it slow and keep a continuous focus on hair health as you lighten up.

With the right approach, you can lift your locks to blonde safely and successfully right from your bathroom. Say goodbye to salon prices and embrace your inner beach babe!

Gwenda Harmon

Gwenda Harmon

Gwenda Harmon, our esteemed hair stylist and resident beauty expert at Power Your Curls, boasts over a decade of experience. Her specialization lies in dispensing invaluable advice on hair care, styling, and beauty techniques. Frequently featured in reputable publications such as Yahoo!, VEGAMOUR, BestLife Online, and more, Gwenda is dedicated to helping individuals attain healthy, beautiful hair by sharing her wealth of knowledge in effective hair care practices.