Bleaching your hair is a great way to go from drab to fab, but bleach bath hair is also an incredibly damaging process.
Whether you want to go back to your natural colour or you’re getting ready for a brand new do, there are some things you should be aware of before starting so that you can get the best results possible!
Our guide will give you all the information you need to make the right decision for your situation and style. So you can bleach your hair safely and get fabulous results!
- 1 What is a bleach bath for hair?
- 2 How many levels does a bleach bath lift?
- 3 Is a bleach bath better for your hair?
- 4 How to bleach bath hair.
- 5 Bleach bath hair before and after.
- 6 Tips for doing bleach bath hair right first time.
- 7 Watch and learn: How the professionals do it.
- 8 Can I dye my hair after a bleach bath?
- 9 The pros and cons of bleach bath hair.
- 10 How do I care for my bleached hair?
What is a bleach bath for hair?
A bleach bath is a type of hair treatment that involves soaking your hair in hair bleach to strip the colour from your hair strands.
A “bleach bath” refers to using hydrogen peroxide in order to get your hair lighter than its original colour, without having an actual bleaching process done at a salon.
This process will need repeated treatments depending on how dark/light of blonde (or redhead) you want your final look to be.
As well as taking into account processing times that can vary from person-to-person.
Bleach washing, or bleach bathing, is a gentler way to lighten or lift out stubborn, darker pigments from your hair.
It’s kinder than regular bleaching, as the bleach is diluted with shampoo and water.
A bleach bath may be just what your locks need to remove a buildup of unwanted pigment.
It’s an easier alternative than the regular bleach process because it blends through wet strands quickly and washes away with shampooing- easy peasy!
A bleach bath will lift your hair colour 1-2 levels. If you want more lift and lighter hair, or there are more stubborn colour pigments to remove, you can use a stronger bleach.
Because a bleach bath is a gentler process, it may leave your hair looking warmer with tones of orange. If this happens, you’ll need to use a hair toner to correct that colour.
Is a bleach bath better for your hair?
Bleach is damaging for your hair and an intensive process that can leave your hair feeling brittle and dry.
A bleach bath uses a weaker strength of bleach that’s diluted with water so it’s not as damaging as using full-on peroxide.
What many people may wonder about is whether a bleach bath is better for your hair than just the bleach alone.
Mainly, it will depend on what you’re trying to achieve with bleaching and how much time you have in order to get there.
It really depends on what you want your hair colour to look like in the end, how light you want it to be, how dark your base colour hair already is, and how much time you have for upkeep between treatments.
How to bleach bath hair.
Step 1: Mix a solution of bleach and water.
You’ll want to mix 2 tablespoons of water and bleach powder. We recommend using a 10 volume developer for your first time if you are unsure which one will work best.
The higher these levels go the stronger they get, this means that there’s more peroxide in them!
Use a mixing bowl and tinting brush to mix the bleach and developer as this will help you apply the mixture too.
Step 2: Add shampoo to the mix.
Once you have diluted the bleach, add the shampoo.
When it comes to the amount of shampoo, use as much as you would use when washing your hair, so not a lot! We’d call it a good blob.
Give it all a good stir to blend the ingredients together.
Step 3: Apply to damp hair
Unlike hair dye, this is not a solution to apply to dried hair.
Wet your hair with cold water and towel dry it to get the excess water off. Cover all your surfaces and wrap a towel or hairdressers cape around your shoulders. Bleach will eat the colour from everything it touches!
Apply the bleach from the bottom of your hair up and ensure each strand is saturated. At the roots, massage it into your hair as you would when you shampoo it.
Step 4: Leave to develop.
Clip your hair up to keep it from dripping or marking anything while it develops. You can also tuck it up into a shower cap.
Keep an eye on it! You don’t want it to go too light and wash you out. For a guide to timings:
- For already light hair 7 – 10 minutes.
- For removing a dark dye colour 10-15 minutes, or 30 minutes maximum.
- If you’re using a 30-40 strength volume developer, this will act fast! Don’t let it process longer than 7-10 minutes.
Step 5: Rinse thoroughly
Rinse your hair really well under warm water when your hair has reached the lift you’re after.
Apply some deep conditioning love to help your hair begin to repair from the bleaching process.
It’s likely you’ll need to tone your lightened hair afterwards as natural hair has orange or yellow tones in it.
Or you can dye your hair another colour on top for the most fabulous results. The bleach bath will give you a really good base for other colour hair dyes.
Bleach bath hair before and after.
Tips for doing bleach bath hair right first time.
- Use a clarifying shampoo to mix with your bleach, not a toning shampoo.
- Make sure you do an allergy test beforehand.
- Cover all of your surfaces really well before you start.
- Apply the bleach in a well-ventilated room.
- Keep an eye on the development process – everybody’s hair is different and your hair may develop slower or faster than on the bleach instructions.
- Condition your hair well afterwards if you’re not planning on dyeing it again straight away.
Watch and learn: How the professionals do it.
Can I dye my hair after a bleach bath?
You can dye your hair after a bleach bath. In fact, a bleach bath is a great way to strip out old hair colour to create a clean base for a new one.
If your hair feels particularly dry or damaged after your bleach bath, you could wait a few days in between colourings to give your hair some time to recover.
If you’re planning to dye it again another colour straight away, don’t apply conditioner as it can act as a barrier to the hair dye colour.
The pros and cons of bleach bath hair.
- It’s an effective way to strip out old hair colour.
- It can give you a lighter hair base with which to dye your hair pastel and brighter shades, or hues that are lighter than your natural colour.
- It’s not as harsh as pure bleach processing treatments.
- It’s still a drying process that will leave your hair feeling frazzled.
- It may not lift your hair colour as many levels as you were hoping.
- You will be left with brassy, orange or yellow tinge after the process so will need additional bleaching or colouring.
How do I care for my bleached hair?
For many people, bleach baths are a means of giving their hair bright and beautiful colour. The downside is that they can be damaging to your skin if left in for too long or without proper care afterwards.
A typical consequence of using bleaching products like chlorine tablets or peroxide-based shampoos on an ongoing basis is dryness, breakage, and other forms of damage that can make your scalp itchy.
After you’ve stripped your colour and achieved a fabulous blonde look you love, you’ll want to deep condition your hair regularly and avoid a lot of heat styling if you can.
Your hair will be fragile and more prone to breakage and split ends for a couple of weeks. Use a shampoo and conditioner for bleached hair that will help to replenish and restore your hair shafts.
When you do heat style, use a heat protectant every time like the ones in Best hair heat protection sprays your coloured hair can’t live without.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to bleach bath hair.
The most important thing is that if you’re going for lighter colour or want your natural shade back, make sure to take care of the strands! Treat them as delicately as possible and avoid over-processing.
If in any doubt, always speak to your hairdresser. They’ll be able to advise on what’s best for you based on the colour and condition of your hair now. Good luck!