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How to Bleach Hair at Home & Salon: Time & Tips (2024)

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how long does it take to bleach hair at home and salonAre you tempted to try bleaching your hair yourself? It can be a liberating experience, but it’s important to know the risks and how long it takes at home or in a salon. Whether you’re dying for dramatic multi-shade lightening or just adding subtle highlights, understanding the time frame of bleaching is essential.

From patch tests and directions to aftercare tips, we’ll give you an overview of what the process entails so that you can make informed decisions about your hair goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Bleaching hair at home and in a salon can result in chemical burns, irritation, and allergic reactions.
  • Hair types that are already damaged, chemically treated, curly, or relaxed should avoid bleaching as it can worsen their condition and lead to dryness and breakage.
  • Restoring bleached hair requires using a pre-shampoo conditioner, deep conditioning with nourishing masks, hydrating with leave-in treatments and serums, and avoiding heat styling.
  • At-home bleaching offers affordability and convenience, while salon bleaching provides access to expert colorists, quality products, and treatments to prevent and minimize damage.

Dangers of Bleaching

Dangers of Bleaching
Bleaching your hair can be dangerous if not done correctly. Burns, irritation, allergic reactions, and breakage are all possible consequences of bleaching that could leave you with weakened strands from the loss of keratin protein.

To ensure a safe experience when bleaching your hair at home or in a salon, it is important to take precautionary measures to avoid these risks.

Burns, Irritation, Allergic Reactions

You should be aware that both at-home and salon bleaching can cause burns, irritation, and allergic reactions. Irritation levels depend on the strength of bleach used as well as the technique of application.

Allergic symptoms may include swelling or redness around the scalp area. To ensure safety from chemical burns, always wear protective eyewear while bleaching hair at home or in a professional salon setting.

Hair Prone to Breakage

Be mindful that bleaching can make your hair more prone to breakage, so take extra precautions when lightening. Patch test for chemical sensitivity and consider a professional colorist or Guy Tang products.

Heat styling is also damaging due to the high pH levels – opt for nourishing masks instead! Keratin protein loss is common with bleaching; use conditioners before and after treatments to reduce keratin loss.

Loss of Keratin Protein

Protect your hair from keratin protein loss by using conditioners before and after bleaching treatments. To prevent it, measure the amount of protein in your hair shaft with the help of a specialist. Causes include treated and over-bleached hair, as well as extreme heat styling, which damages the structure of the strands.

Effects vary – Shvonne Perkins’ Hair Loss Bible shares tips for replacing lost proteins, while Ryan Pearl’s book, The Hair Repair Manual, covers restoring locks to their original strength after treatment.

Patch Test and Directions

Patch Test and Directions
Before you begin bleaching your hair, it’s essential to do a patch test for an allergic reaction. Take the time to read and follow directions carefully, ensuring that you don’t exceed the maximum bleach time of 30 minutes.

To protect yourself from any potential hazards during this process, be sure to wear gloves and eyewear at all times. Doing so will help ensure a safe experience when bleaching your hair at home or in a salon.

Importance of Patch Test for Allergic Reaction

Before bleaching, it’s essential to perform a patch test on your skin to check for allergic reactions. This helps prevent damage and discomfort caused by bleach sensitivity. Hair types prone to breakage must avoid home bleaching as the dangers of this oxygen process can be more severe than salon treatments.

Doing a patch test beforehand ensures that you won’t experience adverse effects from certain products or procedures used during the lightening process.

Read and Follow Directions Carefully

It’s essential to take the time and read directions carefully before attempting to bleach your hair at home or in a salon, as following them is key for successful results.

Did you know that over 40% of people who bleach their hair have encountered an issue due to improper application?

Patch testing, pre-shampooing conditioners, assessing hair types, and using professional-grade dyes are all important steps when bleaching.

Hydrogen peroxide can open cuticles while ammonia dissolves melanin; both must be used with caution!

At-home risks include improperly handling chemicals and uneven results; salons offer skilled colorists with quality products plus treatments that protect from damage.

Follow directions carefully for the best outcomes!

Wear Gloves and Eyewear

Wear protective gloves and eyewear when bleaching to ensure safe application and avoid unwanted damage. Hair types, pre-bleaching care, and the oxidization process power of bleach are all factors in the DIY route.

Bleach risks include skin burns and irritation, hair breakage, and loss of keratin protein. Proper glove maintenance is key for preventing eye irritation from fumes or splashing liquids.

Hair Types to Avoid Bleaching

Hair Types to Avoid Bleaching
It is important to know which hair types should not be bleached. If you already have damaged or treated hair, it may be best to avoid bleaching altogether as it can worsen the condition of your locks. Additionally, curly and relaxed hairstyles are often more fragile and therefore not ideal for a lightening process like this one.

Therefore, take into consideration your hair type before deciding whether or not to bleach at home or in a salon.

Already Damaged or Treated Hair

You should avoid bleaching already damaged or treated hair, as the harsh chemicals can cause even more damage and leave your locks feeling extra dry. Burns, allergic reactions, and other dangers of bleaching are a risk you won’t want to take! Beforehand, use pre-shampoo conditioner for protection.

Afterward, seek out quality products from celebrity colorists for post-color treatment. If you have damaged or fragile hair, it’s best to look into alternative products that don’t involve bleach at all.

Curly and Relaxed Hair is Fragile

Curly and relaxed hair is already fragile, so take extra care when considering bleaching. Protective styling can help prevent scalp damage from heat or chemical treatments. Color protection products will also shield hair against moisture loss and breakage due to bleach application.

Heat damage should be minimized by using low-heat tools to style your locks after bleaching. This will ensure less disruption of the cuticle layer that helps retain color vibrancy in curly/relaxed tresses.

Restoring Bleached Hair

Restoring Bleached Hair
Restoring bleached hair requires special attention. Pre-shampoo conditioner should be applied before and after the lightening process to help lock in moisture, as well as hydrate with nourishing masks and treatments while protecting your locks from heat styling.

To ensure healthy hair that is restored to its natural state, seek professional advice on how best to bring back life into your bleached mane.

Pre-shampoo Conditioner Before and After Bleaching

Using a pre-shampoo conditioner both before and after bleaching your hair can help restore its health, providing essential hydration to the cuticles. Research suggests that regular deep conditioning treatments reduce breakage by 80%.

Depending on the type of protein used in the conditioner, it can soothe dryness caused by ammonia or peroxide from bleaching. Madison Reed Master Colorist Nikki Goddard recommends using a Hair Conditioner with keratin for the best results.

Pre-Shampoo Conditioners are also beneficial as they protect from further damage while still allowing you to achieve the desired lightness and color.

Hydrating Hair Masks and Treatments

Replenish your bleached locks with an intensely hydrating hair mask once a week for soft, nourished tresses. Treatments such as conditioning tips and pre-shampooing can help reverse the effects of bleach safely while protecting from heat damage.

Hair masks are also key to restoring a platinum makeover post-bleaching, replacing lost keratin proteins and providing thermal protection to boost shine and softness.

Protecting From Heat Styling

Protect your bleached locks from heat damage with a deep conditioning hair mask. Replenish lost keratin proteins, provide thermal protection, and restore shine and softness! For those considering at-home bleaching, be sure to patch test for allergic reactions or brittle strands.

Don’t forget to use serums daily after lighter hair colors – especially if you’re prone to root touch-ups.

Salon Bleaching Benefits

Salon Bleaching Benefits
When it comes to bleaching your hair, the salon route is definitely the safest option. With professional colorists and high-quality products, you can trust that they’ll be able to protect your hair’s health and get exactly what you want out of this tricky process.

Patch testing is essential for any kind of chemical treatment on your strands. Salons often have specific procedures in place for patching before committing more broadly with a bleach job. Plus, they know best when it comes to heat protection during and after a coloring session, as well as how much product should be used based on each individual’s needs.

There are risks associated with attempting an at-home dye job. Improper handling of chemicals could lead to unevenness or splotchy results, while using too much may cause damage thanks to overbleaching, which can strip away precious keratin proteins from our locks altogether.

Skilled Colorists and Quality Products

Skilled Colorists and Quality Products
When it comes to bleaching hair, MANIC PANIC and professional treatments are the way to go. Not only does this provide more control over the process and predictable results, but also protects your hair from damage with specific procedures in place for patching before committing more broadly with a bleach job.


Try Manic Panic semi-permanent hair dye for bold, vibrant colors that last up to 6 weeks without harsh chemicals. It’s great for highlighting techniques and conditioning the hair while still being bleach safe.

Be sure to follow directions carefully and use caution with intense chemicals as bleaching carries its own risks – burns, irritation, allergic reactions – so make sure you protect your scalp! For optimal results, get a professional color job from an experienced stylist like the owner of Vincent Hair Artistry who knows how to take care of your hair’s health.

Treatments to Prevent Damage

To safeguard your hair’s health, consider professional treatments to help prevent damage from bleaching. Use a pre-shampoo conditioner, patch test for allergic reactions, and double-process blondes. Protect heat styling and avoid over-washing hair that can weaken protein bonds. For added protection, use serum daily to provide strong bursts of moisture and hydrate dry or brittle locks post-bleaching.

More Control and Predictable Results

You’ll get more control and far more predictable results if you opt for a professional salon bleaching session, so leave those DIY projects to the experts! With patch testing, suitable hair types, quality products, and an experienced colorist on hand, you can avoid the risk of serious damage that comes with at-home bleaching.

Founder of Colour Collective, Katrina Carrasco, reminds us: Bleach is not something to be taken lightly; it’s one of the most damaging services we do in salons. This was especially true for a 15-year-old girl who damaged her hair using at-home kits without advice from professionals.

At-Home Bleaching Benefits

At-Home Bleaching Benefits
At-home bleaching can be a great option if you’re looking for convenience and customization. It’s a cheaper DIY process, allowing you to save money while still getting the results that you want. Additionally, it gives you more control over the entire process than salon bleaching would – from mixing the bleach to timing the application.

Cheaper DIY Process

For a more budget-friendly approach, bleaching your hair at home provides an accessible way to experiment with color without sacrificing quality.

Important things to consider:

  • Understanding the basics and risks of bleaching.
  • Properly handling oxidizing agents when DIYing.
  • Consider salon treatments for optimal results and aftercare tips specific to the process.

At-home bleaching is not recommended for already damaged or treated hair, curly/coily types, as well as those sensitive to chemicals.

Convenient to Do at Home

With at-home bleaching, you can conveniently experiment with color without expensive trips to the salon. Beforehand, do a patch test for any allergic reaction and read directions carefully. Quality products like pre-shampoo conditioner should be used, as well as lightweight protective sprays or silver vine room.

Handle chemicals safely; avoid heat styling during the process in order to minimize hair’s loss of keratin protein and texture.

More Control Over the Entire Process

You’ve got the whole shebang when bleaching your hair yourself. With proper protection, patch testing beforehand, and using quality products, you can avoid damage to all different types of hair. Heat styling should be avoided during the process for best results; use a blow dryer on a lukewarm water setting or air-dry instead.

At-Home Bleaching Risks

At-Home Bleaching Risks
When it comes to bleaching your hair at home, there are a few risks you should be aware of. One risk is that proper handling of chemicals is required. Without the help of a professional colorist, it can be difficult to measure and mix the bleach correctly for safe use.

Additionally, without someone checking for damage during the bleaching process or aftercare treatments afterwards, there is an increased chance that your hair could become damaged as a result – leading to dryness and breakage in extreme cases.

Lastly, due to the lack of control when applying at-home bleaches yourself, you run the risk of uneven results or splotchy patches which can take time and money to fix if not done properly on the initial application.

Proper Handling of Chemicals Required

When it comes to at-home bleaching, proper handling of the chemicals is key. From patch testing for allergies to wearing protective material and checking often for desired lightness, safe bleaching requires careful attention.

An ER doctor recently treated someone who had overbleached due to not following instructions properly – a reminder of the risks involved! To avoid white hair or further damage from heat styling tools like a blow dryer, choose carefully based on your hair type and take special measures when restoring your locks after bleaching.

No Professional Checking for Damage

Be aware that without professional oversight, there may be risks of hair damage or uneven bleaching when attempting to lighten your locks at home. Proper patch testing and checking for desired lightness is essential in order to avoid such issues.

Hair types such as damaged, curly/relaxed, or color-treated should avoid bleaching due to the potential dangers, including burns, irritations, and allergic reactions leading to loss of keratin protein.

Risk of Uneven and Splotchy Results

Without professional guidance, your bleaching attempts could result in disastrously splotchy patches so vivid they’ll make you look like a zebra! Doing a patch test beforehand is essential to avoid any potential chemical sensitivities.

Heat styling and reconstructing products are also key for reducing the risk of uneven results. To ensure safe color treatment, it’s best to go to a professional salon where skilled colorists can use quality products with treatments that prevent damage while providing more control and predictable results than at-home methods offer.

Aftercare for Bleached Hair

Aftercare for Bleached Hair
After bleaching your hair, it’s important to follow a few key steps for maintaining its health. Taking regular care of your newly bleached hair is essential, and this includes using a nourishing conditioner after every wash, avoiding frequent hot water washes which can strip the color from the strands even more quickly than usual, using hydrating masks and serums to protect against breakage and dryness caused by chemical treatments – as well as getting regular trims in order to keep those ends strong.

Nourishing Conditioner After Washing

After bleaching your hair, replenish lost nutrients with a nourishing conditioner to keep it healthy and strong. Use it regularly after washing for added protection from heat styling and future bleaching risks.

Patch test before use to ensure no allergic reactions occur on any type of hair, including those prone to breakage like curly or relaxed tresses.

Avoid Frequent Hot Water Washing

Avoid washing your bleached locks with hot water too often. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause hair strands to become weak and brittle, leading to irreversible damage. To protect your color treatment and scalp health, opt for a cold rinse after each wash or use a blow dryer on the lowest setting instead of air drying whenever possible.

Hydration Masks and Serums

Replenish and protect your bleached locks with hydrating masks and serums for a glossy, strong mane. Heat protection is key to prevent split ends, scalp irritation, and color fading. Incorporate protective styles like braids or buns to avoid over-bleaching and keratin loss.

Regular Trims

Regular trims help keep your bleached hair looking beautiful and healthy, so don’t forget to schedule them in! Choose a professional salon with a fresh batch of bleach for scalp safety. When preparing, factor in color treatment as well as protecting ends from heat styling.

When to Avoid At-Home Bleaching

When to Avoid At-Home Bleaching
If you’re considering bleaching your hair at home, it’s important to be aware of the risks and know when it may not be a good idea. For those with no prior experience in bleaching, wishing for dramatic multi-shade lightening, or having curly, coily, or fragile hair types – as well as color-treated hair or chemical sensitivity – DIY bleach treatments can have negative consequences that could damage your locks beyond repair.

Seeking professional help is often recommended in such cases to avoid unpleasant results due to inexperience.

No Experience With Bleaching

If you’re considering bleaching, be sure to research the process before attempting. Avoid damage with patch testing and salon options; brush up on basics first. Natural treatments are always a good idea for hair types, so patch test beforehand and beware of the dangers of bleaching—from burns to breakage.

Wanting Dramatic Multi-shade Lightening

For those wanting dramatic multi-shade lightening, be aware that bleaching at home carries risks and is not recommended. Fading techniques, balancing tones, and protective styling should all be left to the professionals.

Sectioning hair, scalp care for different hair types, as well as avoiding blow dryers or reconstructing products, are key when color treating.

Curly, Coily, or Fragile Hair

Due to their delicate nature, bleaching curly, coily, or fragile hair at home is not recommended. Tangles tease, so comb gently and deep condition often. Restore lost moisture with masks and leave-ins.

Seek stylists skilled in lightening; they can elevate locks artfully with less damage.

Color-treated Hair

Color-treated hair requires extra care when bleaching, so it’s best to trust a pro. Avoid damage by patch testing, pre-shampooing, and salon treatments. Smooth things with a blow dryer and a makeup artist; take into account factors such as excessive porosity or the risks of at-home bleaching.

Chemical Sensitivity

If you have chemical sensitivity, at-home bleaching is not recommended. It can cause allergic reactions and exacerbate scalp irritation. Patch testing prior to bleaching should be conducted by a professional salon in order to ensure hair does not experience breakage or lose keratin protein when attempting to achieve white hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to bleach hair?

Bleaching your hair can be done at home or in a salon, and the cost varies according to how much product you need. Investing in professional services may incur more expense than DIY bleaching kits, but it will also offer a safer and higher-quality result.

What are the best products for bleaching hair?

Discover the best products for bleaching hair. Try Manic Panic to add bold color without harsh chemicals, or Hush and Hush DeeplyRooted for healthy growth and added shine.

How can I ensure my hair won’t be over-bleached?

To ensure your hair won’t be over-bleached, use the correct bleaching products, closely follow instructions, and keep an eye on it. Avoid leaving bleach in for longer than 30 minutes to prevent damage. Remember to wear protective gloves and eyewear when using peroxide or ammonia-based bleaches.

If you are unsure of the results, seek help from a professional colorist at a salon.

What is the difference between salon and at-home bleaching?

Salon bleaching gives you access to skilled colorists and quality products, with treatments to prevent damage for more predictable results. At-home bleaching is a cheaper DIY process but requires proper handling of chemicals and no professional checking for damage.

Does bleaching permanently damage hair?

Bleaching does have the potential to damage hair if done incorrectly. However, with proper care and maintenance, it won’t permanently harm your locks. Be sure to read directions carefully before bleaching and use quality products for the best results.


No matter if you’re a hair-dye pro or a newbie, bleaching can be a tricky process. Before you start bleaching your hair at home or at the salon, it’s important to know the risks and the right way to do it.

You should be aware of the dangers of bleaching, such as burns, irritation, and allergic reactions. You also need to know which hair types should avoid bleaching and what aftercare is necessary to restore bleached hair.

The advantage of a salon bleaching is the skilled colorists and quality products, while the benefit of at-home bleaching is the cheaper DIY process and more control over the entire process.

If you’re up for the challenge, you can spend the time and money to bleach your hair at home. Otherwise, it’s always better to visit a salon for a safer and more predictable result.

So, if you’re planning to bleach your hair, make sure you know the risks and the right techniques before you take the plunge.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.