5 Tips for Bleaching your Hair (From Someone Who's Ruined Their Hair Before)

Hi, I’m Carolina and I dye my hair way too often. 

I have super thin, fine hair that doesn’t like chemicals. That being said, I’ve had some major bleach mess-ups through the years and don’t want you to do the same. I’ve been growing my hair out from a pixie cut after one too many mess ups and still couldn’t put the dye down- but I’ve been able to avoid much damage to my hair. Here’s how I did it!

1. Put coconut oil on your hair before you bleach it

Putting coconut oil on my hair before bleaching has saved it countless times. Most people suggest to leave coconut oil on for a few hours before you go to actually bleach your hair, but I usually slather it on right before I go to put bleach on because I hate how the oil feels in my hair. It can take away from how much the bleach penetrates your hair, but you’d rather be safe than sorry, right?

2. Don’t freak out when it’s yellow/orange/awful

I’ve seen orange or yellow hair so many times after bleaching and decided to just dye it a darker color after freaking out. Don’t freak out, just use a toner. Most of the time, if you’ve reached a yellow or pale yellow tone you can use Wella t18 toner to cancel out yellow tones (you can find these at Sally’s beauty, Amazon, eBay, etc). If you still have orange tones in your hair, you can use a blue toner to cancel out the yellow. Most people don’t want orange hair, but you can tone it away and live with it for a little while until your next bleach sesh.

3. Use a low volume developer

This may just be my thin, fine hair speaking- but I never use over a 20 volume developer when bleaching. The higher the developer, the more likely you are to destroy your hair from a bleach session. If you use a 10 or 20 volume developer you may not get as much lift as you want, but you can space out your bleaching sessions and give your hair time to repair itself a little bit before bleaching all over again. Never bleach back to back as it will wreck your hair- even if you’re using a low volume developer. I wait at least a week and use a few hair masks between sessions to be safe.

4. Never apply bleach to your roots first

Seriously- hot roots are the worst. Section your hair four ways and start from the back of your hair, work from the bottom of the strand to the top. I wait about 10 minutes before I’m ready to wash the bleach out to apply to my roots so everything comes out evenly. Toner can’t really fix hot roots, and if you apply root first, the hair at the top of your head will always be lighter. Trust me when I say it’s not a good look. 

5. Put down the box dye

Box dyes will damage your hair more than good ole high lift bleaches from Sally’s. They’ll also come out pretty unevenly or leave you with a very orange or yellow color as they don’t have much toner to cancel out those unwanted colors during the initial bleaching process in them. If you have to wait to get real hair bleach, please do. Your hair will thank you. 

Bleaching your hair can be really fun, especially if you need a change. Just try to protect your locks so you don't end up with damage or a haircut that you didn't want!