A Hair Bleaching Adventure (and How-To)

1set-Salon-DIY-font-b-Hair-b-font-Color-Dye-Tools-Multifunctional-Plastic-font-b-KitI am definitely no stranger to changing things up when it comes to my hair. In high school I used semi-permanent dyes, lemon juice, even henna to alter the color. When I got bored, I’d cut my hair (yes, I’d cut my own hair). Hair to me was always temporary–something to have fun with and play around with. In the past few years alone I’ve gone vintage, had bangs, gone pixie, gone natural, gone blue, and even adorned with teacups and tiny hats.

hair changesIt was really no surprise, then, that I needed a change again. The idea was to go with a purple/blue ombre look — something like this. I’d done purple and blue together before (see below), but it wasn’t very bright and faded quite quickly. I decided this time that I would bleach my hair, something that I’ve never done before. I’ve heard horror stories of hair breaking and even falling out, so I’ve kind of stayed away from it. But I figured I’d go for it anyway. I’m trying to grow out my hair but I love it short, so I figured if the ends got crispy, I’d have a nice excuse to go back to a pixie.

I knew that I wanted to do it myself, since I’m kind of cheap like that. I did a lot of research and watched a lot of YouTube videos about bleaching and toning. When I felt I was ready, I was off to the beauty supply market for bleach powder and developer. I forgot the tinting brush. Read on to see how I dealt with it.


On the left you see my blue/purple hair from 3 months ago. Like I said–not that bright, and from the pic on the right you can see how quickly it faded (and how slowly my hair grows!).  I wasn’t really sure how to deal with the roots, but I followed some tips I found online.

Pre-process: Gather your supplies–

bleach tools

*Note: try to use an actual tinting brush–it will work so much better than a shoe brush, and at least a little better than a paintbrush.

1. Mix bleach and developer (some say 1:1 ratio, others say 1:2. The best way to do it is by consistency. You want it like a melty ice-cream or pudding).

2. Divide your hair into sections

3. Apply bleach to the sections EXCLUDING tips and roots.

4. Once you have all the sections done this way, finish by blending in the bleach to roots and tips. Wrap it in plastic wrap and a towel and wait about 30-40 minutes.

5. Rinse and shampoo.

processInevitably, your hair will turn out a little orange. It will most likely not be a pure blond color. This is why you need to tone. If you don’t want to buy an expensive toner or purple shampoo, make your own! Here’s how: toner

And that’s it! It’s super easy! Saturate your hair with the conditioner and wait about 5 minutes. Just be careful not to put too much dye in. My first round didn’t work as well as I had hoped, so I went again, with some blue mixed in, and my hair turned out a little gray. results

I shampooed right after toning, to get rid of some of it, but a lot was left, as you can see from the picture. Fortunately, a miracle occurred and at some point between going to bed that night and meeting a friend for brunch, it faded quite a lot until what remained was a nice blonde.  One thing I would have done differently was mix an entire bottle of conditioner as toner, so I could tone as needed without having to remix.

Here’s the final result. final

I’m kind of enjoying it for now, so I’ll probably hold off on the purple and blue for a couple weeks.

Have you bleached your hair before? How about crazy colors? Tell us in the comments!


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