Questions About Bleach Mixing and Lightening Time.Posted 1 year, 2 months ago
I have decided to bleach my hair in the fall. It will be my first time doing it myself. I have read a lot and watched a lot of videos. Any input would be helpful.
- How do I determine how much bleaching mix to make so that I have enough to really coat the hair?
- How do I compensate for adding something like Olaplex to the bleach mix?
- How do I figure out how long it will take to bleach my hair? How long do I leave the mixture on?
- If the hair needs to continue to process do I rinse the bleach out after say 30 minutes and add a fresh batch to my hair? Or do I spritz the bleach with water to reactivate it?
- For how long is leftover bleach good for?
- Do I rinse the bleach out with cool or lukewarm water?
- Do I tone on wet or dry hair?
Thanks in Advance...
What are you starting with and what's your end goal? There's a lot of things to consider with bleaching, though I did my best to answer your questions.
It depends on how much hair you have, but it's generally better to get a tub of bleach and developer separately so you know it you'll have enough. I feel like box kits never really have enough powder. You want to work in thin sections and really make sure the hair is properly coated, because it's very easy to get dark spots even if you think you absolutely soaked your hair. You can just mix up smaller batches when you run out.
Olaplex has mixing instructions on it, but I believe they suggest bumping up the developer level since it will dilute the mixture.
Issues of timing and developer strength are very dependent from person to person, so it's important to strand test if you don't have a clear idea. Just start with an inconspicuous section of your hair and check up on it every 10 minutes or so to see how much it's lightened. After about 60 minutes, the bleach is pretty much done processing, so at that point, you could rinse it out and do a second round if you need it. Again, strand testing is super important here to check if the damage is acceptable to you, and you may want multiple volumes of developer if you need multiple processes.
Bleach will process for around 60 minutes unless it dries out. You can rewet it, but in general, the best thing to do is to keep it covered, either with foils or just a cap, to prevent it from drying out. Rewetting is tricky, because it probably won't disperse evenly. After 60 minutes, you'll need to second process. If you're doing on-scalp application, it may be best to wait a few days at least for your scalp to recover and regain its oils.
Only mix up what you need. If you're using a powder, it can last for years if you're storing it in a cool dry place. After it's mixed, the reaction will start, so you really can't store it for reuse late. That's why it's better to just make small batches and make more as needed if you're not sure how much to use.
Rinse with whatever temp is comfortable for you. Just be as thorough as you can with it. I usually shampoo and make sure. Also, I'd avoid using a dark towel to dry off if you can as you may have some residual bleach that may stain the towel permanently.
It depends on what you're going for and what kind of toner you're using. In general, you want dry, clean hair, but sometimes damp (not soaking wet) hair helps even out the porosity. A lot of videos recommend the Wella Color Charm toners, and I personally don't think they are the best choice for a majority of circumstances. They are pretty harsh for what they are and often times, people will use them on hair that's too dark to be toned and will both cause extra damage while not achieving what they were trying to achieve.
Thank you so much for your amazing and thoughtful answer! I think bleaching is probably going to be expensive for me, but if the color looks good - it will be worth it!
My starting level is mixed. I have substantial new growth (8 inches) that is a level 2 dark brown. The length and ends of my hair are a level 4-5 copper. I used Schwartzkopf Igora and heavily mixed their orange, red, and copper concentrates to come up with the color I am now tired of. I have worn this color for years.
My goal is a clean level 7 or 8 golden apricot, golden peach, or blorange color. I would love an 8, but will settle for a 7. I would also love a golden blonde, but I read that orange/copper is hard to get out of hair - so I will settle for something in between gold/apricot.
I was professionally bleached a long time ago and my hair went through all of the levels.
I am planning to use Malibu C color remover on the copper hair the month before I bleach and if that doesn't work then I will use Schwartzkopf's color remover.
I am planning on using Schwartzkopf's BlondMe with Trionics developers. I will go no higher than a 25vol developer. I used a 30vol by Schwartzkopf and it was really harsh so I am afraid of it. I will use Schwartzkopf's toners.
I was planning on doing my hair in halves, but after reading your post I think I may do quarters.
Thanks so much Again!
Ah, okay. Since you're aiming for something relatively warm, you should have an easier time than something very icy and cool-toned. That said, your ends may give you some trouble, since permanent dyes have a tendency to leave stains that don't necessarily lift well, especially if you've got several layers of it over time. Your removal plan seems fine, though obviously do a strand test if you end up needing to use the Schwarzkopf colour remover before you commit, because that product is pretty similar to bleach and will do similar levels of damage.
BlondMe is quite strong and does lift quite fast, especially on your natural colour, so I think limiting the developer volume is a good idea and working in quarters. If you're not experienced with application, you might actually want to do one or two sections, let it process and rinse separately before moving onto the next. It's a pain, but since BlondMe works quite fast, you might find yourself in a situation where you've just finished the last area, but the first one is already light enough. One thing I forgot to mention initially is that how much the bleach lifts can vary a lot based on temperature. If you don't live in a relatively warm area, you might want to consider putting on a wool cap over the plastic cap and don't sit near any drafty windows as its processing. You don't necessarily need to actually add heat yourself with a dryer, since it can greatly speed up the reaction and cause a lot more damage and unevenness.
As for toners, I haven't used the BlondMe toners myself, but in general, I'd recommend a very low volume developer (less than 10%), which I'm pretty sure they recommend as well, which helps with evenness and also limits damage to an extent. For general upkeep, try to use thing that don't require developer like coloured shampoos and conditioners. You can make your own with a semi-permanent dye as well, but I'd hold off on purchasing those until you have a sense of what your final result is going to be.
Thanks so much for the response! I hope my ends won't be an issue. I am wondering if I should go ahead and try the Malibu C Color Fix now. Thanks for letting me know that the Schwarzkopf color remover is similar to bleaching the hair. I do want to limit the damage caused to my hair.
Thanks for the tips about using BlondeMe. In that case, I will bleach the colored ends first, then the natural color, and my roots last. How do I know when to apply the bleach to each of those sections so that everything comes up to the same level within the 60 minutes it takes to process?
If BlondeMe works that well/fast could I use a 20vol? I was going to use 25vol on the colored ends and my natural color and then 20vol at the root. My hair is curly if that makes a difference in porosity/processing.
I think this may be a longer process. I may section my hair into 6 sections: 2 in the back, 2 in the crown and 2 in the front. Then do each section one at a time and rinse each one separately as you suggested.
Thanks for the tip on temperature. Summer just started here, but I am aiming to do this in the Fall so it will be cooler by then. The temperatures will range from 75 - 53 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 - 12 degrees Celsius. I am afraid of using a dryer. :)
Schwartzkopf has a 7vol developer and Trionics has a 10vol. I was going to use one of those with the toner. So you recommend less than a 10%. I guess I will go with the Schwartzkopf one.
Schwartzkopf also has a line of BlondeMe pastel blush washes. Or I like the idea of maybe making my own too. :)
I hope I can get my hair to the color in the last picture above. The second picture is nice too. I was thinking of maybe applying two toners in a full head highlight fashion to get the effect of the last picture.
Again...thanks so much!
I'd try a strand test to determine which developer strength to is right for you, since it's mostly dependent on how fast you can apply.
As for the toner, start as low as possible and only bump it up if you're having trouble getting it to absorb on already light hair.
Thanks. Ok. That sounds like a good idea. I will go with the lowest developer in that case for the toner.
I really appreciate your feedback and all of your tips and advice.
Have a great weekend and I will keep you updated. :)
I am going to leave the link to these two videos that I found in case they can help someone else. I searched and Schwartzkop BlondeMe has two new videos up on bleaching curly hair. One is from Feb of 2021 and the other is from May of 2021. Granted both of these ladies have virgin hair, but it is very dark and the stylist was able to get them to a level 9-10 blonde using only their 7 volume developer. I was amazed. They also said to never go higher than a volume 20 on curly hair with their bleach. So I will try to mimic this with my own hair and I will use the Trionics volume 5 developer for the toners since it is lower still than their volume 7.
First video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2NT8qiDCw8
Second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8di6BVzcaLw