How to Bleach Dark Hair at Home Step by Step

If you don’t fancy going to a hair salon to bleach your hair, it is possible to do it at home. Home bleaching won’t leave you with a golden shade of blonde; however it can leave you with a shade that you can add other exciting colours to, such as pink or purple. Keep reading for a step by step guide on howto bleach dark hair.

How to Bleach Dark Hair
Photo by Maria Geller on Pexels

Bleaching dark hair involves several steps:

  • Prepare Your Hair: Ensure your hair is clean and free from any product buildup.
  • Section Your Hair: Divide your hair into sections to ensure even application.
  • Mix the Bleach: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare the bleach mixture.
  • Apply the Bleach: Start from the tips and work your way up, avoiding the roots initially.
  • Process and Monitor: Leave the bleach on for the recommended time, checking the hair’s lightening progress.
  • Rinse and Condition: Rinse thoroughly, then apply a deep conditioner to hydrate your hair.

Which hair types are suitable for DIY hair bleaching?

Hair TypeSuitability for DIY Bleaching
Fine HairGenerally suitable. Requires shorter processing time.
Thick HairSuitable but may require longer processing time.
Curly HairSuitable, but caution required due to potential dryness.
Colored HairMay require color removal before bleaching. Consult a professional.
Damaged HairNot recommended. Consult a professional for damage control.
Hair bleaching suitability varies by hair type.

Prepare Your Hair

Bleaching can damage your hair, so before you do anything, it is imperative to make sure your hair is as healthy as possible. Make sure that you are conditioning your hair regularly; deep conditioners and hair masks work best. If shop bought conditioners aren’t appealing to you, you can make your own conditioner from ingredients around the house, or even use olive oil. Make alre that you leave the conditioner on your hair for at least ten minutes before rinsing to make sure that it has the desired effect.

Buy the Products and Tools

You can either buy a bleach kit directly from the store or you can improvise by buying your own bleach powder and developer. Whichever method you choose, you will need some plastic gloves, tin foil, an old brush, and a mixing bowl. If you want blonde hair and aren’t planning on adding any colour to it, you will also need to buy a toner. This will stop the result from looking too yellow or orange.

Prepare and Mix the Bleach

Put your gloves on and place the product in the mixing bowl. If you are making. the product yourself, you will need to mix one scoop of powder with three scoops of the developer. The amount you need will depend on the length of your hair, though it is better to have too much than too little. Next, rip the tin foil into sections around five inches wide and divide your hair into sections so that it will be easier to bleach.

Start with a Test Strip

Take a section of your hair from the bottom and brush some bleach on to it from the root to the end. Fold some foil around the bleached hair and check it every ten minutes to gauge how long you need to leave the bleach in. When you feel satisfied, make a note of the time, and rinse your hair.

Apply the Bleach

Next, you will need to bleach the rest of your hair. Make a note of the time that you start this and which sections you bleached first. Try and dye your hair as quickly as possible to make sure that the colour is the same throughout. It is best to start at the bottom and work your way up to the scalp. Use the dye brush to apply bleach starting from the roots and finishing at the ends.
Add foil to each section of bleached hair and wrap it up securely. Try not to get any bleach on your skin whilst you are doing this.


Keep checking the foiled strips of hair. When you feel satisfied with the colour it is time to rinse. Remove the foil and rinse the bleach out with cold water. If it took you a long time to bleach your hair and add the foil, you may want to rinse your hair in sections to make sure the colour is even.

Toner and Colouring (Optional)

If you want to add some extra colour or a toner to your hair, now is the time to do it. If using a colour, follow the instructions on the packaging to make sure that you leave it on for the correct amount of time. If using toner, mix one part ofthe developer with one part toner and masmge it into your hair. Leave this in for between 15 and 40 minutes. When you are happy with the colour, wash your hair again.


After bleaching your hair, it is vital that you condition it. It is a good idea to wash your hair with a deep conditioner, and apply a leave-in conditioner to your damp hair. Try and avoid using hair straighteners or a hair dryer on your hair for a few days to give it time to recover.

  • Is it necessary to use a developer with bleach?

    Yes, a developer is necessary when using bleach. It helps activate the bleach and determine the level of lift. The developer strength (e.g., 20, 30 or 40 volume) depends on the desired results and your hair’s current condition.

  • Can I bleach my hair at home if it’s previously dyed?

    Bleach Dark Hair at Home

    It’s possible to bleach previously dyed hair at home, but the results can vary. Darker dyes may require color removal before bleaching. (Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels)

  • How do I care for my hair after bleaching?

    After bleaching, use a sulfate-free shampoo and a deep conditioner to maintain moisture and prevent damage. Minimize heat styling and protect your hair from the sun to prevent further damage.

If you followed the tips above, hopefully your dark hair is now a lovely lighter shade.

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