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How Much to Bleach Hair

I've always wondered how much to bleach my hair without causing any damage.

Recently, my friend Sarah decided to lighten her dark brown hair to a beautiful blonde shade. She wanted to achieve a noticeable lightness without compromising the health of her strands.

Through extensive research and consultations with professionals, Sarah learned the importance of considering factors such as hair porosity, length, and previous treatments.

In this article, I will share the insights she gained and provide a comprehensive guide on determining the right amount of bleach for your hair.

Key Takeaways

  • Consider factors such as hair color, condition, and desired lightness level when determining how much bleach to use.
  • Conduct a strand test to assess hair's reaction to bleach and determine the appropriate processing time.
  • Deep conditioning treatments can help prevent hair damage and restore moisture after bleaching.
  • Take breaks between bleaching sessions and use nourishing conditioners to protect and maintain the health of the hair.

Determining the Right Bleaching Volume

To determine the right bleaching volume for your hair, you'll need to consider its current condition and desired lightness. It's essential to understand that bleaching can have varying effects on different hair types, so it's crucial to assess your hair's unique characteristics before diving into the bleaching process.

Firstly, examine the condition of your hair. Is it healthy and strong, or is it already damaged or chemically treated? If your hair is in good condition, you may be able to handle a higher bleaching volume without causing excessive damage. However, if your hair is already compromised, it's best to opt for a lower volume to minimize further harm.

Secondly, determine the level of lightness you desire. Do you want a subtle change or a dramatic transformation? The lighter you want your hair to be, the higher the bleaching volume you'll need. However, keep in mind that using a high volume can increase the risk of damage, so it's crucial to strike a balance between achieving your desired lightness and maintaining the health of your hair.

It's always advisable to consult with a professional hairstylist before bleaching your hair, especially if you're unsure about the right bleaching volume for your hair. They have the expertise and knowledge to assess your hair's condition and recommend the appropriate bleaching volume to achieve your desired results while minimizing damage.

Understanding Hair Porosity

Understanding my hair's porosity is important in determining how it absorbs and retains moisture. It helps me figure out the best way to care for my hair and keep it healthy and hydrated. Porosity refers to the hair's ability to absorb and hold onto moisture.

Here are a few things I've learned about hair porosity:

  • Factors Affecting Porosity:

  • Genetics: My hair's porosity is largely determined by my genetics. Some people naturally have more porous hair, while others have hair that is less porous.

  • Chemical Treatments: Chemical treatments like coloring, perming, and relaxing can affect the porosity of my hair. These treatments can open up the hair cuticles, making my hair more porous.

  • Types of Porosity:

  • Low Porosity: If my hair has low porosity, it means that the cuticles are tightly closed, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate. I may notice that my hair takes longer to get wet and feels resistant to products.

  • High Porosity: On the other hand, if my hair has high porosity, it means that the cuticles are open and the hair absorbs moisture quickly. However, it also tends to lose moisture just as fast, leaving my hair dry and prone to damage.

Understanding my hair's porosity allows me to choose the right products and techniques to properly moisturize my hair. For low porosity hair, I can benefit from lightweight, water-based products and using heat to open up the cuticles. On the other hand, high porosity hair requires heavier, oil-based products to help seal in moisture.

Considering Hair Length and Thickness

Considering the length and thickness of my hair will help me determine the best hairstyles and products to use. My hair is naturally thick and reaches just below my shoulders.

The length and thickness of my hair play a significant role in how it behaves and what styles work best for me.

Because of its thickness, my hair has a lot of volume and can be challenging to manage. I often find myself spending extra time and effort to detangle it and style it in a way that looks polished and put together. To combat this, I have found that using a wide-toothed comb or a brush specifically designed for thick hair helps me to easily work through any knots or tangles.

When it comes to choosing the right hairstyles, I opt for those that accentuate the natural volume of my hair. Loose waves or curls look fantastic on me, as they showcase the fullness and body of my hair. I also enjoy wearing my hair up in a high ponytail or bun, as it adds a touch of sophistication to my overall look.

In terms of products, I gravitate towards those that provide extra moisture and nourishment to my thick hair. Deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners are a must in my hair care routine to keep my hair hydrated and manageable. I also use styling products like mousse or volumizing sprays to enhance the natural volume of my hair and add texture.

Understanding the length and thickness of my hair has allowed me to tailor my hairstyling routine and product choices to suit its unique needs. By embracing its natural volume and choosing hairstyles and products that work well with its length and thickness, I can confidently rock my thick locks and feel fabulous every day.

Assessing Natural Hair Color

When it comes to assessing natural hair color, there are various techniques that can be employed. These techniques include visual assessment, strand testing, and color charts.

Factors that can affect hair color include genetics, age, and exposure to sunlight and chemicals.

It is important to choose the right bleach for the desired outcome, considering factors such as hair type, condition, and the level of lift required.

Hair Color Assessment Techniques

Have you ever tried assessing your hair color through different techniques? I've tried and let me tell you, it's an adventure in itself.

There are numerous ways to assess your hair color, each with its own pros and cons. Here are two popular techniques I've tried:

  • Natural Lighting: This technique involves standing in natural light and observing the color of your hair. It's great for getting a sense of your hair color in different lighting conditions. However, keep in mind that lighting can vary throughout the day, so it's best to assess your hair color at different times.

  • Hair Color Charts: These charts are widely available and provide a range of colors to compare your hair to. They usually have swatches of different shades, allowing you to find the closest match. However, keep in mind that hair color can vary depending on factors like texture and porosity, so it may not be an exact match.

Assessing your hair color can be a fun and informative process. Just remember to consider multiple techniques and factors for a more accurate assessment.

Factors Affecting Hair Color

Factors like genetics and environmental exposure can influence the color of your hair. Your hair color is determined by the amount and type of pigment called melanin present in your hair follicles. Genetics play a significant role in determining the baseline color of your hair, whether it's blonde, brown, black, or red.

The amount and distribution of melanin can vary from person to person, resulting in different shades and tones. Environmental factors such as sun exposure, pollution, and chemicals can also affect the color of your hair over time. For example, prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays can lighten hair, while exposure to certain chemicals can cause discoloration.

Understanding these factors can help you better care for your hair and make informed decisions about color treatments.

Choosing the Right Bleach

To find the right bleach for you, it's important to consider your desired hair color and the level of lightness you want to achieve. When choosing a bleach, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

  • Hair color: If you have dark hair, you may need a stronger bleach to achieve a lighter shade. For lighter hair colors, a milder bleach may be sufficient.

  • Hair condition: If your hair is already damaged or chemically treated, it's important to choose a bleach that is gentle and won't cause further damage.

  • Developer strength: The developer is the liquid that activates the bleach. Higher strengths will lighten the hair more quickly, but they can also be more damaging. It's important to choose a developer strength that matches your desired lightness and hair condition.

Factoring in Desired Lightness Level

You can determine the desired lightness level by considering the shade you want your hair to be after bleaching. It's important to have a clear vision in mind before starting the bleaching process. Do you want to achieve a platinum blonde look or just a few shades lighter? Understanding your desired lightness level will help you choose the right bleach and avoid any potential mishaps.

When determining your desired lightness level, it's essential to consider your natural hair color and its underlying pigments. Darker hair will require more bleaching sessions to reach a lighter shade, while lighter hair may achieve the desired lightness level with fewer sessions. It's important not to rush the process and be patient, as bleaching can cause damage to your hair if not done correctly.

To achieve a subtle lightness, you may only need one or two bleaching sessions. This is ideal for those who want a natural sun-kissed look or to lighten their hair just a few shades. On the other hand, if you want a dramatic change and aim for a platinum or silver hair color, you may need multiple sessions to get the desired lightness level.

Keep in mind that the strength of the bleach and the developer you use will also impact the lightness level. Higher volume developers will lift your hair more, but they can also be more damaging. It's crucial to follow the instructions provided with the bleach and developer and perform a patch test before applying it to your entire head.

Evaluating Previous Hair Treatments

Considering any recent treatments, it's important to evaluate their impact on your hair before proceeding with bleaching. As someone who loves experimenting with hair color, I understand the excitement and desire for a drastic change. However, it's crucial to take into account the condition of your hair before diving into the world of bleaching.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Chemical Treatments:
    Have you recently had a relaxer, perm, or keratin treatment? These processes can weaken the hair and make it more susceptible to damage during bleaching. It's important to wait at least two weeks after such treatments before considering bleaching. This allows your hair to recover and reduces the risk of breakage.

  • Color Treatments:
    If you've recently colored your hair, especially with a dark or vibrant shade, it may require more effort to achieve the desired lightness level. Bleaching over previously dyed hair can lead to uneven results and potential damage. It's essential to consult with a professional hairstylist to determine the best approach.

Remember, your hair's health should always be a priority. Assessing the impact of recent treatments on your hair is key to avoiding unnecessary damage. If you're unsure about the condition of your hair or how it will react to bleaching, seek professional advice. They can provide personalized recommendations and guide you through the process, ensuring the best possible outcome.

Hair Texture and Bleaching Time

Now that we have evaluated the previous hair treatments you've undergone, let's dive into the next important factor to consider when determining how much to bleach your hair: hair texture and bleaching time.

Hair texture plays a significant role in the bleaching process. Different hair types, such as fine, medium, or coarse, require varying amounts of time to achieve the desired level of lightness. Fine hair tends to lighten more quickly, while coarse hair may require a longer bleaching time. It's crucial to understand your hair's texture to ensure you achieve the desired results without causing excessive damage.

In addition to hair texture, the bleaching time also depends on the starting color of your hair. If you have darker hair, it will naturally take longer to lighten compared to lighter hair shades. It's essential to exercise patience during the bleaching process, as rushing it can lead to uneven results or hair damage.

To determine the appropriate bleaching time, it is recommended to perform a strand test. Select a small section of hair, preferably from an inconspicuous area, and apply the bleach mixture according to the instructions. Monitor the hair closely, checking the color every few minutes. Once you achieve the desired level of lightness, note the time it took to reach that point. This will serve as a guide for how long the bleach should be left on the rest of your hair.

The Importance of Strand Testing

Before diving into the process of bleaching your hair, it's crucial to understand the importance of strand testing. This step helps prevent hair damage by allowing you to assess how your hair will react to the bleach.

Additionally, it helps determine the processing time needed to achieve your desired results, whether it's a slight lightening or a dramatic color change. By taking the time to strand test, you can ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome while minimizing the risk of damaging your hair.

Prevent Hair Damage

To prevent hair damage, it's important to always use a deep conditioning treatment after bleaching your hair. Bleaching can be harsh on your strands, causing dryness and breakage. Deep conditioning helps replenish moisture and nourish your hair, leaving it soft and manageable. Here are a few reasons why deep conditioning is essential after bleaching:

  • Restores moisture: Bleaching strips your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. Deep conditioning helps restore moisture and hydration, preventing further damage.

  • Strengthens hair: Bleaching weakens the hair shaft, making it more prone to breakage. Deep conditioning treatments contain proteins that help strengthen and repair damaged hair, reducing breakage and promoting healthy growth.

Determine Processing Time

After bleaching, it's important to determine the appropriate processing time for your hair. This step is crucial in achieving the desired level of lightness without causing excessive damage. Each person's hair is unique, so it's essential to take factors like hair type, color history, and desired result into consideration.

To help you understand the general processing time guidelines, I've created a table below:

Hair Type Processing Time Result
Fine 15-20 minutes Lighter, delicate
Medium 20-30 minutes Noticeable lightness
Coarse/Thick 30-45 minutes Significant lightness

Remember, these are just general recommendations. It's always best to do a strand test before applying bleach to your entire head. This will give you a better idea of how your hair will react and allow you to adjust the processing time accordingly.

Achieve Desired Results

Now that we have determined the processing time for bleaching our hair, let's move on to the exciting part - achieving the desired results! When it comes to bleaching, it's important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

Here are some tips to help you get the look you desire:

  • Choose the right bleach: Opt for a high-quality bleach powder and developer that suits your hair type and desired level of lightness. This will ensure better results and minimize damage.

  • Consider your current hair color: If you have dark hair, you may need multiple bleaching sessions to reach your desired level of lightness. It's important to be patient and take breaks between sessions to protect your hair.

  • Start with a strand test: Before applying bleach all over, do a strand test to see how your hair reacts to the bleach. This will help you adjust the processing time and prevent any unwanted surprises.

  • Protect your hair: Use a deep conditioning treatment before and after bleaching to nourish and strengthen your hair. This will help minimize damage and keep your locks looking healthy and shiny.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Bleach My Hair at Home or Should I Go to a Professional Stylist?

I can bleach my hair at home, but it's safer to go to a professional stylist. They have the expertise and products to minimize damage and achieve the desired results.

How Often Can I Bleach My Hair Without Causing Damage?

How often can I bleach my hair without causing damage? It's crucial to strike a balance. Over-bleaching can lead to dryness and breakage, but waiting too long may result in uneven color. Consult a professional for personalized advice.

What Are the Potential Risks and Side Effects of Bleaching Hair?

The potential risks and side effects of bleaching hair include damage, dryness, breakage, scalp irritation, and allergic reactions. It's important to carefully consider these risks and consult a professional before deciding how much to bleach your hair.

Can I Bleach My Hair if It Has Been Previously Dyed or Chemically Treated?

Yes, you can bleach previously dyed or chemically treated hair. It's important to note that the amount of bleach needed will depend on the current color and condition of your hair. Consulting with a professional is recommended to avoid any damage.

How Long Does It Take for Bleached Hair to Grow Out and Return to Its Natural Color?

It typically takes several months for bleached hair to grow out and return to its natural color. During this time, it's important to properly care for your hair to minimize damage and maintain its health.


In conclusion, determining the right amount of bleach to use on your hair is crucial for achieving the desired results. Factors such as hair porosity, length, thickness, natural color, and desired lightness level all play a role in this decision.

It's also important to consider any previous hair treatments and the texture of your hair, as these can affect the bleaching process. To ensure the best outcome, don't forget to perform a strand test before proceeding.

Remember, finding the perfect balance of bleach will help you achieve the stunning, lightened locks you've always dreamed of.


With a unique male perspective on grooming and skincare, I challenge stereotypes and foster a more inclusive beauty community. Together, we'll explore grooming routines, skincare essentials, and redefine what it means to be a modern gentleman in a world that's embracing beauty in all its forms.

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