Consider carefully. If your hair is short, straight, light in color, undamaged, and neither very thick nor very fine, you may be able to...
Consider carefully. If your hair is short, straight, light in color, undamaged, and neither very thick nor very fine, you may be able to successfully bleach it at home. If your hair does not meet all these criteria, you can certainly attempt to bleach it yourself, but you should be aware that the odds are significantly against you, particularly if you have never bleached hair before. Whatever kind of hair you have, if you decide to bleach it at home, you should be prepared for the possibility that it will go very wrong. If having fried, yellow hair for a while would make you feel awful, it’s best not to attempt this.
Get your supplies.
You will need a powder bleach (like L’oreal Quickblue), developer (ideally the same brand as the bleach), toner (Manic Panic is a popular brand), a plastic mixing bowl, a plastic spatula, a plastic rat tail end brush, deep conditioner, a few pairs of rubber gloves, some old towels, and a friend to help you.
Mix the bleach. There is no universal rule for how to do this. You will need to follow the instructions on the bleach you purchased.
Apply the bleach with your rat tail end brush.
Use the tail end to section off very thin segments of hair, and the brush end to spread bleach onto both sides of your hair. Start at the crown and work down through the sides and back.
- Begin applying bleach at the tips of the hair rather than the roots.
- The parts of your hair that already have bleach on them will begin to lighten as you work. If you notice any spots you missed, reapply bleach to those areas.
Let the bleach do its thing.
Consult the instructions that came with the bleach to determine how long you need to wait. Check your hair as you go. It will not be platinum blonde yet, as you have not yet applied toner. The important thing to look for is lightness. You don’t want orange hair, but yellow is fine. If you do wind up with orange hair, it’s time for an appointment at a salon. When your hair is very light (and likely very yellow), hop in the shower, rinse out the bleach, and deep condition your hair.
- You will feel itching and burning on your scalp. This is natural, but if you are in serious pain you should rinse it out and make an appointment at a salon, rather than burning your scalp.
There are many brands you can buy, and the application will vary based on which one you select. The broad strokes are that you will comb it into your hair and let it sit for a while. When the right amount of time has elapsed, hop back into the shower and deep condition again.
Taking Care of Bleached Hair
Use purple shampoo and conditioner.
These often smell a little funky, and the color can be scary at first, but purple shampoo and conditioner will help keep your hair that striking white color, without developing brassy tones. The concept is similar to when people with blotchy skin use green face powder to reduce the redness of their complexion; because purple is the opposite of yellow, it counteracts those unwanted hues, and keeps your hair looking silver.
Touch it up with toner.
This will help keep your hair that pristine white color. Some toners are also purple, like shampoos and conditioners designed for bleached hairs. The application process will be different for different toners, so follow the instructions on the box.
- Consider having this done professionally the first time around if you have never done it before. Your stylist can teach you some tricks to make sure you are comfortable doing it on your own.