Bleaching your hair is a great way to go from drab to fab, but it can also be an incredibly damaging process. If your heart’s set on a whole new you and you need bleach to help you get there, what can you do? Bleach bathing could be the answer.
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 a bleach wash 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 lighten your hair safely and get fabulous results!
- 1 What is a bleach bath for hair?
- 2 Bleach bath vs Regular bleach
- 3 Will a bleach bath lighten my hair?
- 4 How many levels does a bleach bath lift?
- 5 Do I need regular bleach or a bleach bath?
- 6 Bleach bath
- 7 Regular bleach
- 8 Is a bleach bath better for your hair?
- 9 What do you mix in a bleach bath?
- 10 Bleach bath recipe hair
- 11 Will a bleach bath fix orange or yellow hair?
- 12 Can I mix bleach with purple shampoo?
- 13 Can you bleach bath hair at home?
- 14 How to prepare for a bleach bath.
- 15 Bleach bath hair before and after.
- 16 How to bleach bath hair.
- 17 TOP TIPS!
- 18 Watch and learn: How the professionals do it.
- 19 Can I dye my hair after a bleach bath?
- 20 Bleach bath hair pros and cons.
- 21 How do I care for my bleached hair?
- 22 Parting words.
What is a bleach bath for hair?
A bleach wash or bleaching shampoo is a type of hair treatment that involves soaking your hair in hair diluted bleach to strip the colour from your hair strands.
This technique refers to using hydrogen peroxide mixed with shampoo in order to get your hair lighter than its original colour, without having an actual bleach process done at a salon.
Bleach baths are great for keeping the integrity of your locks intact while removing colour. The protective layers around each strand aren’t stripped away.
All this does is remove leftover dye to get rid of unwanted tones. If you are wanting to remove dye from your hair, this is one of the most gentle ways.
This process will need repeated treatments depending on how dark/light you want your final look to be.
So you’ll need to take into account that processing times can vary from person-to-person.
It’s a gentler way to lighten or lift out stubborn, darker pigments from your hair.
It’s kinder to your hair as it’s diluted with shampoo and water.
It’s an easier alternative than the regular process because it blends through wet strands quickly and washes away with shampooing- easy peasy!
Bleach bath vs Regular bleach
- Removes all dye from your hair strands.
- Can be harsh and damaging for your hair.
- You need to apply regular bleach at least once every 4 weeks for best results.
- The bleaching process takes longer.
- Only lift your hair colour 1-2 levels.
- It’s applied to wet hair like normal shampoo, leave on for 5 minutes – rinse and done!
- Bleach baths can be used as often as you wish, no side effects.
- It’s easy to do with no experience at home.
Will a bleach bath lighten my hair?
Yes, this process will lighten your hair, but maybe not as much as you might think.
It will only lift your hair colour by 1-2 levels, so it won’t give you the impact you’re looking for if you are wanting to go platinum blonde.
It’s a gentler, step by step process that removes unwanted hair colour one shade at time or gradually lightens your hair.
Get it right and it should 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.
WARNING: This is not household bleach we’re talking about! Hair bleach is specially formulated to take the colour out of your hair without melting it off!
Because this 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.
Do I need regular bleach or a bleach bath?
Is a bleach bath better for your hair?
Lightening your hair is damaging and an intensive process that can leave your hair feeling brittle and dry.
This method uses a weaker strength of chemicals that are diluted with water so it’s not as damaging as using full-on peroxide.
If you have a sensitive scalp or suffer from skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, this is a gentler solution for your skin (although please seek advice before using strong chemicals on your skin).
What many people may wonder about is whether this is really better for your hair?
Mainly, it will depend on what you’re trying to achieve 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, how often you plan on bleaching your hair and how much time you have for upkeep between treatments.
But generally, because the strength is watered down with this technique, it’s kinder to your hair.
What do you mix in a bleach bath?
Bleach baths are fast becoming one of the most popular ways to lighten hair and remove colour.
But what do you mix in a bleach bath recipe?
The ingredients you’ll need for your bleach wash recipe are:
- Bleach powder
The shampoo is what makes this process a ‘bath’. It dilutes the strength to make it kinder for your hair.
Once you have the right ingredients, you’re ready to follow our step by step guide below!
Bleach bath recipe hair
- Mix equal amounts of bleach powder and developer. Up to 50ml depending on the length of your hair.
- Next, add a gentle shampoo. Add enough to double the amount of liquid.
- Give it all a good stir to blend the ingredients together.
- You’re ready!
Will a bleach bath fix orange or yellow hair?
No, it will not fix orange or yellow hair. To remove unwanted tones from your hair you need to use a colour correcting shampoo that is made for this specific purpose.
Unfortunately, the orange and yellow tones that show in blonde hair is often a result of your natural colouring and not something that can be easily removed.
You can also use purple shampoo to neutralize those unwanted tones, but not until the whole process is over!
Can I mix bleach with purple shampoo?
Purple shampoo is a must for keeping unwanted orange and brassy tones from happening in blonde hair.
You might think it’s a good idea to mix purple shampoo in your bleach wash to prevent any unwanted brassiness.
But you would be wrong my friend! What happens is the peroxide will eat the purple pigment and dilute the colour so it will have no effect whatsoever.
So it’s best to wait until after you’ve finished the treatment to tone your hair with purple shampoo.
Can you bleach bath hair at home?
It is totally possible to do all of this in your own home with the right instructions, tools and confidence!
The formula starts oxidizing the moment you mix it and will start in working on your hair the moment you apply it, so you must be confident enough at dyeing your own hair to apply it quickly.
Otherwise, you might end up with one side of your hair lighter than the other!
This and knowing the right strength of developer you need to mix in with your water or shampoo is the key to getting it right at home.
Just follow our step-by-step instructions to get it right first time!
How to prepare for a bleach bath.
Follow these steps for the best results:
1. Wash your hair with clarifying shampoo – this gets rid of any excess product that may hinder the bleaching process by interfering with the chemical composition of haircolor molecules in the bleach solution.
2.Leave your hair wet. If you have long hair, separate it into sections and secure with pins or claw clips.
Grip the section of hair that you wish to bleach at the top with a claw clip, then remove your grip from the mid-lengths and ends – leave these out of the way.
2.Apply Vaseline to your ears, nose and eyebrows (literally everywhere!).
The bleach will burn your skin so Vaseline acts like a shield protecting your sensitive skin underneath!
3.Wear old clothes. Bleach stains clothes so it’s a good idea to wear something you don’t mind getting ruined.
Dab Vaseline onto your clothes where the bleach will drip down (collar, cuffs etc) to prevent it from staining.
5.Open some windows! The fumes from bleach can be toxic if inhaled so it’s a good idea to have some fresh air in the room.
Bleach bath hair before and after.
How to bleach bath hair.
Step 1: Mix a solution of bleach and developer.
You’ll want to mix equal amounts of bleach powder and developer. Follow our bleach bath hair recipe and make up to 50ml depending on the length of your hair.
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! If you have very dark hair you’ll need 20 vol and up.
Use a mixing bowl and tinting brush to mix it all together. This will help you apply the mixture too.
Step 2: Add shampoo to the mix.
Next, add the shampoo.
When it comes to the amount of shampoo, add twice the amount of liquid. It’s more than 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 mixture 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 permanent hair dye colour 10-15 minutes, or 30 minutes maximum.
- If you have black hair and 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 and wash 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 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. This will give you a really good base for other colour hair dyes.
And that’s how to do it!
- Use a clarifying shampoo to mix, not a toning shampoo.
- Make sure you do an allergy test beforehand.
- Cover all of your surfaces really well before you start.
- Apply the formula 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 it says on the 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 afterward a bleach wash for sure. In fact, doing this 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 afterwards, 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 after rinsing our the solution as it can act as a barrier to the hair dye colour.
Bleach bath hair pros and cons.
- 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 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 toning or colouring.
How do I care for my bleached hair?
For many people, this is a fabulous way of giving their hair bright and beautiful colour.
The downside is that it can be damaging to your hair if left in for too long or without proper care afterwards.
A typical consequence of doing it 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 bleaching your 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!