Bleach Bath for Hair: Using Shampoo to Lighten Blonde, Black or Red Hair

Many hair dyeing professionals love bleach bath for helping to alter the color of bleached or dyed hair, without damaging its health. You can make your hair lighter in a simple and easy way, without making it dry or brittle. You only need a regular shampoo and simple hair dyeing products.

This technique can make your hair two to three tones lighter! Do you want to know what it is about? Then, keep reading and learn how to do a bleach bath, with products you own, and make your hair beautiful and bright!


What is a bleach bath?

bleach bath for hair

The Bleach Wash is simply a hair-lightening technique which is less aggressive because it’s done only with shampoo, hydrogen peroxide and bleach powder. Also known as Soap Cap, it can be used to repair bleach or dye mistakes. It can lighten your hair up to 2 tones, depending on how long you leave it on the hair.

When using Bleach Bath for the latter goal, in practice, this technique will do a gentle but deep cleansing of the old, unwanted pigments. It will clean off the “old” color so that your hair can receive the new one.


What’s the main benefit of a bleach bath for hair?

The main advantage of this technique is being able to change or fix the tones of your hair, without damaging the hair fibers. If you chose to do other commonly used chemical procedures for that, you’d damage your hair severely.


Who can do this technique?

In practice, the Bleach Bath is recommended to ‘cleanse’ the hair. It removes the previous color and prepares the hair for a new one, also helping it stay for longer. That’s why it is usually recommended for blonde hair that became “stained” in green (like after coming into contact with sea water or pool chlorine), purple or grey tones.

It is also ideal for people with dyed hair with none of those issues, who just want to retouch a faded color. Before the retouching, it is a good idea to do a bleach bath to remove the old pigments and make the hair ready for the new color.


Does it work on natural hair?

bleach bath on natural hair

Unfortunately, it doesn’t! Since the amount of powder bleach and hydrogen peroxide in this mixture is very low, it is not enough to lighten natural hair.

If you try to lighten your hair with the Bleach Bath, you will only damage your hair. This technique uses an alkaline pH mixture, which will dry and weaken your hair, without bleaching it.

Instead, people with virgin hair who want to lighten them should do traditional bleaching or toning. Once again, the Bleach Bath can only “cleanse” the color in previously dyed or toned hair. If there is no dye on the hair, the technique won’t work.


How to take a Bleach Bath

bleach bath for natural hair

As we’ve said, the Bleach Bath is very easy and simple to do, since it uses only 3 ingredients:


  • Hydrogen peroxide;
  • Neutral or regular shampoo;
  • Powder Bleach.


How to:

Step 1: Using a measuring cup, add two parts of hydrogen peroxide (the volume is up to you; 10 volumes are ideal for weaker hair and 20 volumes for healthy hair) to one part of powder bleach, in a bowl.

Step 2: Add two parts of shampoo to the same bowl. Mix well.

Step 3: Divide your wet hair into sections. Apply the mixture to each section, massaging them for 15 to 30 minutes. This amount of time isn’t a rule: it may vary according to which hair tone you wish to get.

Step 4: Rinse normally. Finish with a good moisturizing mask, preferably one for chemically treated hair.

Note:  Avoid using anti-residue shampoo for this technique. It might damage your hair.


Using the only shampoo

The Soap Cap can also be done using only shampoo. This is the option for people who don’t want to lighten their hair too much. You will need only an anti-reside shampoo, or any other that doesn’t color-protect.

Then you just follow the steps below:

Step 1: Divide your dry and unwashed hair into sections. Apply the anti-residue or non-color-protecting shampoo to them, massaging well.

Step 2: Put on a cap and leave it for about 40 minutes. Using a hair dryer will help to fade the color.

Step 3: Wash your hair in hot water. Yes! It might sound weird, but the high temperature will open the hair cuticles and speed up the fading of the color.

Step 4: Finish with a conditioner.

Note:  This kind of Soap Cap can be done as often as you want, as long as you don’t repeat the same day. Ideally, it should be done only when you wash your hair, to avoid drying it too much.


When to retouch it?

The maintenance of the Soap Cap is no big deal. Since the roots don’t show as much, it can be retouched in intervals of more than one month. If you’re a fan of ombre roots when dyeing your hair, the Soap Cap can make your roots naturally more discreet.


Soap Cap on red hair

bleach bath on red hair

This technique isn’t only for those who want blonde hair: it can be used to make red tones become more orange, closer to natural red hair.

To do that, you will need:

  • 30 volume hydrogen peroxide (90 ml);
  • 90 ml of shampoo.


How to:

Divide your dry and unwashed hair into sections. Apply the mixture, massaging well. Let it stay for 10 to 30 minutes, or until you notice it’s reached the right tone.


Soap Cap in dark or black hair

bleach bath on black hair

Black or darker hair can reach a medium brown after the first Soap Cap. However, you may need to neutralize the color later. In this case, you can use neutral or moisturizing shampoo, depending on your hair.


Bleach Bath on blonde hair

bleach bath on blonde hair

Bleach Bath can also be used on blonde or light-colored hair, to achieve a platinum effect. You will need:

  • 20g of blue powder bleach;
  • 40ml of neutralizing or anti-yellow shampoo;
  • 20ml of 20-volume hydrogen peroxide;
  • 20ml of water or liquid Bepanthen.


How to:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Then divide your wet hair into sections and apply the mixture. Let it stay for about 10 minutes. Pay close attention to the lightening process, on a mirror. That way, you can wash your hair as soon as you see it’s at the desired tone. Finish by applying a neutralizing hair mask and it’s done!

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