Because bleach is such an efficient product to lighten your hair, it is an essential hair coloring tool. In truth, the only way to dramatically lighten your hair if you’ve dyed it a darker permanent shade of hair colour, or you have dark brown or darker natural hair colour, is to use bleach to lighten it. The drawback is that it can be quite damaging. But worry not; there is a way to minimize the damage and yet achieve considerably lighter hair at home.
Here, the use of a hair bleach bath can be a viable option. To lighten your hair properly, you don’t always need to employ a full concentration of bleach, and using a lightening hair color is often too mild to stand as a bleach substitute. The solution is to use a hair bleach bath. It is a milder choice for bleaching hair, yet it still produces a significant amount of lightening.
If you’d like to learn more about this method, including when it’s best used, how to prepare it at home, and how to apply it like a hair stylist, please watch this video and continue reading.
What is a Hair Bleach Bath?
Typically, when you have bleached hair, the bleach powder is combined with peroxide developer and applied to dry hair according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is a highly efficient method of lightening your hair, but it might be excessive if you don’t require a significant amount of lightening or if you have delicate hair.
While it is possible to lessen the potency of the powder by mixing it with a smaller amount of developer, this can be quite damaging to your hair in the long run. If you want a gentler option to this technique, consider using a bleach bath (also known as a bleach wash or soap cap).
The use of a bleach wash is a fantastic alternative if the thought of lightening your hair intimidates you or if you’re concerned about your ability to apply the solution effectively yourself. It’s less likely to cause major irritation or to provide inconsistent results. It’s also very simple to apply at home at your leisure.
Bleach Bath vs. Bleach Wash vs. Bleach Cap
All three terms mean or refer to basically the same thing or technique, except for a bleach cap, which uses the same kind of bleach mix with the addition of wearing a plastic shower cap or plastic wrap over the bleaching application while it is processing.
Bleach Bath vs. Regular Bleaching
Every stylist has their own unique method for bleaching hair, and bleach baths are no exception. There are a few key differences which are:
- Bleach is mixed then shampoo is added.
- Rather than dry hair, the mixture is applied to wet hair.
- Typically, a lower volume peroxide developer is used.
Because of these factors, a milder bleach mixture can be made, which is better for your hair and scalp. Furthermore, applying the preparation to wet hair makes it much easier to apply it evenly over your entire head.
When Should You Do a Bleach Bath?
The use of bleach baths are beneficial for a variety of reasons, including its gentler lightening impact on hair and simplicity of application. The following are really the key uses or situations:
- Removing or lightening hair colour, especially stubborn hair color, from your hair
- Lightening delicate, fragile hair
- Fixing incorrectly or over toned hair like blonde hair
- When 1 or 2 levels of lift are desired, though, more can be achieved.
Removing or Lightening Hair Colors
In the event that you frequently dye your tresses vibrant or bright colors, a bleach bath can be used to get rid of resistant remnants of color that have yet to wash away. There is far less harm to the hair because the bleach is diluted and only stays in contact with it for a short time.
You may also use a bleach wash if your hair after coloring is excessively dark or if you need to remove an excessive amount of color that may have built up. Hair dye remover, on the other hand, is far more successful in this situation, and a bleach bath should only be used if the dye remover is unable to remove enough color.
A bleach bath is a great alternative for resistant color or heavy hair dye buildup that doesn’t react well to dye removal.
Lightening Delicate or Fragile Hair
In the event that you have already bleached hair that is now delicate, or just damaged hair due to other things and just want to lighten it a bit, this is a great way to do so. But even with this gentler preparation, you should exercise caution when working with damaged hair.
Fix Over toned Hair Colour
If your hair has become excessively dark or has taken on an excessive amount of hair toner, making the hair too dark or an unwanted shade, bleach washing is a tried-and-true solution. Even hair colors that dye remover won’t work on, like semi-permanent hair dye, are swiftly removed with a mild bleach bath within minutes.
Make It Just a Little Blonder
In the same way that a normal bleaching process may be used to lighten hair to various levels, this method may also be used to do so, albeit with a slightly lesser effect. Since it’s a gentler kind of bleaching technique, you won’t get as much lift as you would with a regular bleaching process. It’s also a good choice for someone whose hair is their natural colour and wants to try a not too drastic bleached hair colour
Like with conventional bleaching, the volume of developer used has a significant impact on how much lift is achieved. While a higher strength or volume developer can be used to achieve more lift or blonder hair, this does also increase the possible hair damage. So just bear in mind that there’s a tradeoff to be made.
How to Prep for a Bleach Bath
The following is required:
- Bleach Powder
- Peroxide developer
- Color mixing bowl and brush
- Old teeshirt or hair stylist cape
- Something to put down to protect the floor
The Bleach Bath Hair Recipe
The formula is simple to create at home for any DIY hair stylist, and so only takes a few essential steps:
- Step #1: Place something to protect the floor, put on the old teeshirt or stylist cape, open up windows or doors for ventilation and have all the bleach bath items ready to start mixing.
- Step #2: Combine bleach powder and peroxide developer in the typical way. Usually a 1:2 ratio of bleach powder to developer is the most common, however this might vary somewhat depending on the brand, so double check manufacture instructions too.
- Step #2: At least one part of shampoo should be added. As a result, the bleach powder to developer to shampoo ratio becomes 1:2:1. You should use the same amount of shampoo as you used of the bleach powder. For example, 1 oz. of bleach powder, 2 oz. of developer and 1 oz. of shampoo. You will likely need more than this, unless your hair is very short, but you get the idea.
Which Products To Use?
To really insure the best outcome and integrity of your hair, you need to be sure you are using a shampoo, bleach, and developer for your bleach bath hair recipe, that is healthy for your hair doing the least damage possible.
Choosing Bleach Powder
It’s important to use a specific product while bleaching your hair. The best way to lighten your hair while avoiding damage and getting consistent results is to use the best hair bleach.
Deciding Which Volume Developer to Use
Most developers come in 10, 20 30 or 40 volume, these numbers depict the percentage or amount of peroxide in a developers’ container. In other words the higher the number the more peroxide in it which also results in more lift or hair lightening.
It’s essential to remember that the actual concentration of peroxide in the final mix will be substantially lower than the specified concentration on the developer bottle. This is due to the addition of the shampoo to the mixture and the amount of water that is in your hair at the time you apply the treatment.
Therefore, while using the same amount of developer as a typical bleach, a bleach wash will lighten your hair less than a traditional bleach can. Remember to take this milder impact into consideration when formulating your blend to ensure that you receive the results you want.
Normal Shampoo or Purple Toning Shampoo
Although in theory, using purple shampoo in your bleach bath might seem like a brilliant idea, the problem is bleach is lighting and removing color, and that would include the purple in the shampoo there for wasting the toning part of the shampoo.
Purple shampoo is fantastic for toning down unwanted hair dyed tones, but it must be used correctly, which is after bleaching your hair.
Try instead using a keratin-containing or bond strengthening shampoo in the bleach bath mix, and save the purple shampoo for after you lighten your hair with a bleach bath.
Applying the Bleach Bath
With the bleach bath mixed and ready, the application of a bleach wash is fairly straightforward.
- Wash: First wash your hair well to remove any possible product build up and towel dry.
- Apply: Begin by quickly applying the bleach bath to wet hair using either your hands or a colorist brush.
- Massage: Work the the bleach bath through your hair by massaging it to ensure even coverage.
- Watch: Time and watch the color carefully checking it often, leaving on no longer then indicated by the bleaching powder manufacturer instructions.
- Rinse: When the desired color is reached. Quickly begin washing hair with bleach out using some purple-toned shampoo if needed.
- Condition: By using a hair masks deep conditioner treatment after rinsing the bleach bath out, your rebalancing the hair Ph and closing the hair cuticle back. If you have a purple toning conditioner now is a great time to use it too.
- Rinse & Style: Rinse out the conditioner and style
Caring for Your Bleached Hair
Protection: When using hot styling tools, make sure to use a heat serum or spray to preserve your hair. This is especially crucial for newly bleached hair. If at all possible, refrain from using a blow dryer, straightening iron, or curling iron for at least a few days. Bleach strips the hair of its natural oils, making it more vulnerable to heat and style.
Beaching your hair may change its texture, so be aware of this before you do it. You’ll notice your hair might be drier and rougher after the bleach bath. Of course, it is dependent on each individual’s hair andthe condition your hair was in prior to that. Here are three things to pay attention to:
Condition: Hair that has been lightened with a bleach bath requires the same level of maintenance as hair that has been bleached regularly. To do this, you should use a daily leave-in conditioner and a weekly hair mask in order to preserve and hydrate your hair. Because bleaching removes moisture from your hair, the goal of post-bleaching care is to replenish it in your hair regularly. You should also consider a hair protein treatment too.
Frequency: To minimize straining your hair, you should only conduct a bleach bath no more than once a week or every other week till your hair reaches the desired lightness, much like you would with ordinary bleach. By leaving the bleach bath on for shorter periods of time and repeating the process several times within a few weeks, you reduce the risk of breakage or even burning your scalp. Yikes!😱🤯
Pros vs. Cons of a Bleach Bath
Using this method is an efficient approach to remove old hair colour.
You may use it to lighten your hair’s base color so that you can dye it pastel or bright fashion tones that require a super light base.
Compared to other methods of processing, this one is a lot gentler.
As with any color dye or hair lift lightening, your hair may likely experience possible damage, leaving it looking and feeling frazzled afterward.
It may not have the desired impact on how much lighter your hair color lifts.
If you have or tend to have brassy, orange, or yellow undertones following the bleach bath or any bleaching process, you will need to tone or color your hair further.
The use of a bleach bath for hair is less damaging compared to full-process bleaching. Inevitably, both or any bleaching method will require careful maintenance throughout and after bleaching. Do not forget about your aftercare and keep it in good condition every time you wash your hair.
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