Dyeing your hair with box dye is common due to its ease and convenience. Using box dye is also often cheaper than going to a salon. With enough experience, you can get exceptional results from using box dye.
However, if you dye your hair a lot, you eventually wish to bleach it. This decision leads many people to wonder, “Can you bleach box-dyed hair?”.
Can I Bleach My Box Dyed Hair?
Yes, you can absolutely bleach box-dyed hair, but you have to go about it carefully.
Bleaching box-dyed hair can be a gamble. You may get odd and unexpected results if you have repeatedly dyed over colors.
It is difficult to go from dark to light, so if you expect to go from black box dye to platinum blonde in one session, you’ll likely be disappointed with the results.
It often takes multiple bleaching sessions over weeks or months to go from very dark to very light hair.
How To Bleach Hair Safely Over Box Dye
Hair bleaching can go very wrong very quickly if you don’t know how to do it safely. It can even go wrong if you’ve bleached your hair at home without fail fifty times before.
If you layer multiple colors on your hair, this may make the process more difficult.
Evaluate Your Hair’s Health
Before bleaching your hair, you should figure out whether it is healthy enough to bleach or if it is too damaged.
If it is too damaged, you should do healing hair treatments. You can go as simple as using healthy oils or go as far as using hair masks. Coconut oil or jojoba oil are good choices for simple hair care.
Even if your hair is healthy enough to bleach, consider doing hair treatments before bleaching it.
How do you determine your hair’s health? If your hair falls out or breaks easily, your hair might be unhealthy from past bleaching, dyeing, or even using heat on it without heat protection.
A lot of split ends are also a sign of unhealthy hair. Take a look at your hair and see if it is smooth or crispy. Healthy hair will be smooth. This hair should also detangle easily.
Make a Plan
This point is when it may benefit you to consult with a hairstylist. They will be able to tell you exactly how you should go about bleaching your hair.
Stylists also often do free test strands to test how your hair will react to bleaching. If you don’t want to book a consultation, which may or may not be free, depending on the stylist, you can do your own test strand.
How To Do a Test Strand
Choose a small section of hair located somewhere you can’t see if the test goes wrong and leads to breakage. Apply bleach to that section of hair and leave it on for the recommended amount of time, which should be on the instructions for the hair bleach you bought.
Rinse it with cool water and see how your hair reacts to the bleach. If there is breakage, it will be immediately obvious. Let it air dry and see your hair’s texture.
If it is fried and crispy, your hair is not healthy enough to bleach, and you need to do hair treatments and try again in a few months.
If you determine your hair is healthy enough to move on with the bleaching process, look at the test strand and see how much the bleach lifted.
If it gets lifted to your desired shade, you know you likely only need to bleach your hair once. If it doesn’t lift to your desired shade, you know you’ll have to bleach your hair multiple times.
You should also plan your hair treatments after bleaching. If you need to bleach a second time, you may need to wait up to a month and a half.
Bleach Your Hair
Now you just have to bleach your hair. Follow the instructions on the package. Keep in mind that it may turn out patchy or splotchy, and you may have a lot of colors left behind if you have box-dyed it multiple times.
Several colors, like black, red, and blue, are complicated to bleach out. You may still have patches of these after any number of attempts.
Can I Bleach Permanent and Semi-Permanent Box Dyed Hair?
Semi-permanent box dye typically fades after a few months of washes. You may not need to bleach it. If you wait long enough until it’s washed away, you can dye over it. You can always bleach it if you need to make an abrupt color change.
You can bleach permanent box-dyed hair. Bleaching is likely the best way for most to change hair colors after permanent dye. You can also use color remover first, which works well on permanent dye.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know you can bleach your box-dyed hair, you can go on and make your bleaching plan. Keep in mind that it’s crucial to evaluate the health of your hair before you bleach. Bleaching damaged hair will only result in less than favorable results.