Home Bleaching 101: How Long To Leave Bleach In Hair?

Hair bleach is damaging to your hair. But, if you still decide to move forward with it, read this post first. Today, we’ll explain in detail how to bleach your hair, how long to leave bleach in hair, and how to care for bleached hair afterward.

What is Hair Bleaching?

Hair bleaching is a coloring technique that uplifts your natural hair color by removing the melanin from your hair. This is how it goes:

  • The alkaline chemical loosens up the cuticles, your hair strand’s outer coating.
  • The oxidative compound permeates the hair strands and eliminates melanin, which gives your hair its original color.

The longer you keep hair bleaching products on your hair, the more melanin disappears, the lighter your hair gets.

However, just because you use hair bleach once doesn’t guarantee you’ll have whitish, platinum blonde strands. Based on the original shade of your hair, it might turn yellowish, orangish, or reddish. Therefore, you might need additional hair bleaching treatments to achieve actual platinum blonde hair.

How Damaging Is Hair Bleaching?

So, how exactly does hair bleaching affect your hair? There is a possibility that the cuticles of the hair strands may remain irreversibly damaged (particularly after multiple hair bleaching procedures).

Lifted cuticle hairs lose hydration quickly, making them fragile and vulnerable to breaking. Do you remember those scary scenarios of damaged hair after a botched hair bleaching procedure? Unfortunately, that’s precisely what will happen in the worst case!

But don’t worry! Although hair whitening inevitably causes some deterioration, your hair doesn’t have to be nasty. If you practice appropriate after-care procedures, things shouldn’t be that bad. (We’ll talk about aftercare later on)

When Should You Bleach Your Hair? 

As hair bleaching damages your hair, you need first to determine whether it’s necessary to bleach your hair or not. 

“The most important things to ask oneself are, how healthy is my hair? Is it brittle? When was the latest time I had my hair dyed, lightened, or had an in-salon treatment?” Tang, the founder of Mydentity – a professional hair coloring brand, recommends. 

Can your hair withstand bleaching? - Allure
Can your hair withstand bleaching? – Allure 

Indeed, the very first thing to consider is to evaluate whether or not your hair is strong enough to withstand harsh chemicals. If your hair is somewhat weak or you have vulnerability concerns, like frizziness, dehydration, or fragility, think twice whether you really want it or not. 

If nothing changes your mind, allow a skilled hairdresser, who will use the best treatments and strengtheners for your hair, to handle the task for you. Remember to explain your hair condition to the salon before bleaching.

Moreover, if you have naturally light brown hair and are thinking about getting your hair dyed in bright colors or having the roots touched up, the great news is that you don’t have to bleach. Indeed, you can pretty much get away with store-bought dye without bleaching.

How To Get The Perfect Overtone Rose Gold For Brown Hair 

“People having lighter brown or blonde hair may apply permanent blonde dyes to retouch their roots. You won’t receive the exact lifting or toning as bleaching does, but it’s not a pigment elimination waiting on the line,” Perkins (Madison Reed’s hair colorist) adds.

The same may be applied to people who want to retouch their grown-out highlights.

However, if your hair is dark and you want to try vibrant or pastel colors, it’s a must to bleach your hair. The color will only come out right on lighter hair.

How To Prep Your Hair Before Bleaching

Because hair bleaching is abrasive, it’s a smart move to ensure that your hair is in an excellent state before having a hair bleaching session. This will increase the possibility of your hair remaining healthy after bleaching. In the 2 weeks before the session, apply a restorative moisturizing hair mask.

Another note is to stop shampooing 2 days preceding bleaching treatment since a newly washed scalp is more prone to irritations resulting from hair bleach.

5 Things To Prepare For Bleaching 

“In terms of bathroom setup, I prefer to think of mine as a small ritual area,” remarks Perkins.

“I’d suggest placing down some tissue sheets and setting up anything you need so when you initiate the work, and you wouldn’t have to start looking for stuff,” he adds. 

Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Hair bleach of preference.
  • Old shirt.
  • Old towel.
  • Hair clips.
  • Shampoo.

“Before bleaching, your hair should be (somewhat) clean and dry without dry shampoo, hair treatments, or hair oils, although a bit of natural sebum is OK,” advises Perkins.

Note that bleach is famous for damaging fabrics, so pick your outfit carefully. “Move your washroom rugs somewhere else to prevent dripping. If any chemical does drop on the floor or get on the wall by mistake, quickly clean it up to guarantee no future harm,” Tang suggests.

“Another helpful advice is to put on outfits that enable you to rinse your hair effortlessly. Once that timer beeps, whether you’re doing it yourself or having a pal help you wash it, prepare to shampoo right away,” he says.

How To Bleach Your Hair At Home 

Now, let’s go through the stages of lightening dark hair.

Segment your hair into 4 sections to uniformly spread the bleaching. You should also administer the bleaching to tiny parts within every section to ensure that the product thoroughly coats your hair.

Next, dab the solution 1 inch away from your scalp and make your way down each part. It is critical not to commence around the scalp since it develops faster because of your body temperature. After you’ve finished 4 sections of hair, return to the roots and bleach them.

Wait 20-45 mins for the bleaching procedure, based on the original color, intended goals, and product instructions. “I suggest following the product’s instructions on the package to guarantee that you’re not over-processing,” Tang advises.

Once the time is up, shampoo immediately and adequately.

How Long To Leave Bleach In Hair: Is the Longer The Better? 

No!

As a rule of thumb, bleaching should not go longer than 45 mins. If you assume that leaving the chemical on for an additional 15 mins would result in a lighter blonde, you’re wrong. After 45 mins, the chemical will no longer lighten your natural hair; instead, it will begin to fry your hair.

How Long Does Manic Panic Last? Secret Of Classy Hair Dye 

How Long Should I Wait To Bleach My Hair Again? 

If you’re planning to start bleaching your hair, plan on waiting 6 to 8 weeks among procedures. This will give your hair plenty of time to heal.

Give your hair time to heal. - Healthline - how long to leave bleach in hair
Give your hair time to heal. – Healthline 

Please remember that getting bleached platinum hair will require more than 1 hair bleaching operation if your hair is deeper than medium brown. Also, never try bleaching your hair in 2 consecutive rounds. Alternatively, wait at least 7 days before lightening your hair again.

Bleaching Aftercare: 8 Tips To Strengthen Your Bleached Hair

One of the most crucial things regarding bleaching your hair, whether by yourself or a professional, is how you care for it afterward. “Haircare is essential, both before and post-color,” Ryan Pearl, a well-known celebrity hairdresser, explains.

Utilize The Best Shampoo for Blonde Hair

For the finest bleached hair upkeep, this is what you must know. Indeed, when it comes to bleached (inevitably damaged) hair, you can’t go with any random shampoo and conditioner. You need specialized ones!

Exposure to the environment, ions in the water, treatments, and hairstyling devices could cause your blonde hair (whether bleached or not) to appear yellow. 

Purple shampoos are the key. - The Today Show - how long to leave bleach in hair
Purple shampoos are the key. – The Today Show 

But don’t worry! Purple shampoos have come to save your day. These products reduce yellowy undertones, allowing your hair to retain its cool-toned bleached-blonde color.

Tip: Use cool or tepid water while shampooing your hair. Hot water may seem pleasant, but it will only dehydrate your bleached hair more.

Light Hair Don’t Care With John Frieda Purple Shampoo And 3 Best Regimens 

Cut Down Your Shampooing Frequency 

Even when you use the top shampoos for bleached and damaged hair, it’s still a good idea to wash your hairless. How so? Because this will enable the natural hair sebums to do their job of moisturizing your hair. 

You’ll also have to style your hair less frequently. As mentioned above, heat can quickly dry out your hair even more and soon, resulting in breakage. Thus, if you’ve just bleached your hair, wash it less and style it less.

Use a bit of dry shampoo on your hair if your hair seems oily between shampoos.

Try Co-Washing 

You may experience the absolute opposite of greasy hair with bleached damaged hair: dry tips. 

Try co-washing if the tips look like straws in between washes. Co-washing means you only use conditioner to shampoo your hair. This works to rehydrate your damaged hair while retaining your scalp’s natural nourishing sebums.

Engage In An Advanced Bleached Blonde Hair Treatment

This is a critical tip. Because bleached hair requires additional hydration, we recommend applying a hair mask every after 2 washes. These hair care treatments hydrate, strengthen, and restore weak hair.

Advanced treatments are necessary. - Minnesota School of Cosmetology - how long to leave bleach in hair
Advanced treatments are necessary. – Minnesota School of Cosmetology

If you have more time, let the treatment on your head for a longer period so it can fully work its wonders. Then, lie down, open a novel, or enjoy a film in the meantime! Afterward, wash your hair mask off, and you’ll notice your hair gets smoother and healthier.

Utilize A Leave-In Conditioner

Anybody with bleached hair should always store an excellent leave-in conditioner in their house. It functions as a barrier, keeping nutrients in and safeguarding your strands from everyday external damage.

Nurture Your Bleached Hair With Protein

Keratin is a protein that makes up your hair’s outer hair cuticles. Unfortunately, the chemicals disrupt this protein during the bleaching session, compromising the cuticles and leaving your hair fragile.

Apply a protein mask or solution once a week to reinforce your hair. These strengthening treatments replenish the proteins in your hair, leaving it healthier and much bouncier.

Be Gentle With Your Hair, Especially When It’s Wet 

Because bleached hair is more porous, you’ll need to be especially cautious when brushing or combing. On damp hair, utilize a wide-tooth comb or wet brush. Always start at the tips of your strands and move up to the root.

Find A Few No-Heat Styling Methods

As mentioned above, bleached hair is more brittle and prone to damage during heat styling. So it’s time to appreciate your textured hair and say goodbye to flat irons and curlers in favor of some heat-free styling alternatives.

However, there is one advantage: hair bleach thickens hair shafts, giving you slightly more volume to deal with.

YouTube is an excellent site for anybody interested in learning how to style their hair without using heat or wear them in adorable heat-free hairdos! 

However, if you truly need to use styling devices, apply a top-notch heat protectant when styling your hair using hot devices.

Wrapping Up: How Long To Leave Bleach In Hair

Now you know everything about hair bleaching, from how to bleach your hair, how long to leave bleach in hair, to how to care for bleached hair afterward. If you still decide to pursue bleached hair after knowing the concerns and upkeep, we say go for it! Hope that our above tips can help. For more tips and advice, visit our College site.

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