Ever wanted to bleach your hair blonde but didn’t want to pay salon prices? If you’re pretty familiar with coloring your hair or visit a professional stylist fairly often, then you probably think you know everything there is – or at least a lot – about hair coloring.
However, as ‘easy’ as hair coloring can seem, it’s one of those things that should always require a bit of thought before attempting yourself, especially if you’re considering bleaching your hair.
If you’ve ever asked yourself ‘should I bleach my hair?’ there are a few things you should know before you try it yourself or consider even having it done by a professional colorist. Even women who consider themselves experienced have a few things to learn!
Misconceptions About Bleaching Hair
If you must know anything about bleaching hair, it’s these 10 common misconceptions and their truths.
1. It Doesn’t Take Long to Bleach Hair
It’s a common misunderstanding that a woman just needs one afternoon in the salon to get her dream shade of sexy platinum color on her locks. However, anyone who has ever gone lighter will tell you you will most definitely need more than one session; in fact, you’ll probably need two or three depending on how dark your hair is to start with.
Because there are so many different shades of blonde (levels 1-10), each shade takes a different amount of bleaching to get to, especially if you’re starting with dark hair.
Be prepared to spend as little as 30 minutes bleaching to an hour depending on how much hair you have. For example, just going from black to platinum will take as much as nine hours!
And remember: more bleaching sessions mean more money so consider how much you’re willing to spend.
2. Bleaching At Home Isn’t That Big of a Deal
Actually, bleaching hair isn’t something to take lightly, literally, at home in your own hands. Unless you’re a certified hair colorist yourself, save this work for the professionals. One mix of the wrong chemical or too long left on the hair and your final result could be something you hate or something not fixable (aka frying your locks).
But just in case you’re tempted, remember you’ll have to find the right powder and developer in exactly the right amounts. It also takes a very long time because the hair has to be divided into super small sections first.
Bleaching too big of a chunk of hair at one time won’t yield the right results and you might end up missing patches; then you’ll have to do the whole thing over again.
3. Bleach Won’t Damage Your Hair
Every stylist will warn you that bleach damages hair at the cuticle. This means the core of the hair opens, leaving nothing to protect it, and hair is more apt to breaking or forming split ends. When you consider how many sessions you’ll need to go lighter, that means you’re damaging the hair cuticle repeatedly and depriving it of needed moisture.
To protect your locks, use a deep conditioner before and after bleaching your hair either at home or at the salon, though your stylist should do this of their own accord. Doing it beforehand will load your locks up with moisture, minimizing any damage to come. If you bleach hair the wrong way, you can fix the uneven bleached hair.
4. Bleaching Is Just For Going Lighter
Even if you want to transition to a dark color, such as brown or purple, your hair will require bleach. It removes old color and helps new color stick. So avoid coloring brown over black, or vice versa, without bleaching hair first.
5. It Doesn’t Cost That Much
Is your desired color platinum blonde? Remember that not only will you have to spend multiple sessions in the chair, but each session will cost between $40 and $250 depending on the lightness you need to go to deposit new color and how long your hair is.
6. Bleaching Hair Doesn’t Have Side Effects
The more often you bleach your hair, the more its damage lasts. Strands can break more easily and if you love your luscious healthy locks, you’ll want to either avoid excessive bleaching or use protective products often… or both! Damage includes dryness, discoloring, and a damaged scalp.
7. All Blonde Shades Look Great on Everyone
Contrary to popular belief, blonde doesn’t look good on every woman. Just like black can wash out pale skin tones, a platinum all over blonde will look its best on medium skin tones – that is, if you want a natural look. Ask your stylist for help if you’re unsure.
8. Bleaching Doesn’t Change Hair Texture
Because of the strong chemicals in bleach, not only will your hair dry out, but the way a hair normally behaves will change as well.
For example, if your hair is normally super curly, expect those to straighten out. For best results, use plenty of moisturizing hair products to protect hair cuticles.
9. You’ll Need to Do Touch-Ups
Just like a manicure after several weeks, bleaching hair requires regular maintenance. After a while, its color will become less bright and vibrant, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun.
Root touch-ups are recommended every four to six weeks, while highlights are suggested to be touched up every six to eight weeks. Use purple shampoo to retain color in between salon visits.
10. Bleaching Doesn’t Hurt
Beauty may be a pain in some instances, but when it comes to bleaching hair, you’ll need to really think about how much you’re willing to go through.
Applying bleach to the scalp or anywhere at your roots will definitely be felt. But the good news is it only hurts that badly the first time. If you feel a lot of discomfort, alert your stylist.
By now you know the musts and the misconceptions about bleaching your hair. If you must bleach your hair, the consensus is to do it in small amounts.
After reading through this list, if you feel ready to go through with bleaching your hair, more power to you! Now it’s just about finding the color you want to go for!