So, you're looking to lighten your hair.  Say you want to go from black to blonde or even a brown to platinum
blonde. You try as much as you can to find a way to lighten your hair WITHOUT bleach. I mean, a bleach-free way to lighten your hair is always good thing, right? Well, sometimes there really is no way to reach our desired shade without bleach. In this article we're going to focus just on bleach and why it's a good/bad thing. Let's get started!

What is bleach?

-- Well, bleach is pretty much a lightener. It is made so that it can lighten hair. Most bleaches claim to lighten the hair 5-7 levels. so, if you're looking for a drastic change, bleach is definitely for you. Usually bleach comes in 1lb tubs or little packets. They also comes in colors of white, blue, or purple. Most bleaches contain persulfates and harsh chemicals.

Does the color of the bleach even matter?

--Yes, it actually does! Whenever someone asks me about what bleach to use, you should always get one that is either blue or purple. Why? The color of the bleach can make a huge difference when it comes to the final outcome of the color. The color of the bleach actually tones the hair while it's lightening. Say you know your hair is going to pull orange, you would buy a blue toned bleach so that it can tone away some of the orange. Same thing going for the purple/violet bleach so that it can tone any yellow that can occur when lightening.

So, is bleach safe for my hair or . . .?

-- Personally, I believe bleach is a person's best friend. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it kind of is. You see, if used properly, bleach can actually be extremely helpful. There's so many videos out there with people explaining how to bleach hair and when you see the final results, their hair looks fried, damaged, and frizzy. The problem is that they don't take in to consideration the condition of their hair before proceeding to bleach. this is why I recommend you do a strand test or start small and keep a constant watch on the bleach. Remember that it's always better to start small when dealing with your hair. For example, if you use a 20 developer and it only got to the orange stage, you can always bleach it another time and get it to the yellow stage. This is much better than using a 40 developer and then finding out your hair did lift or barely lifted but it's way too damaged and dry now. Working gradually is always the best way to go.

But I heard bleach can destroy your hair.

-- True, it can. But like I said, you must handle it properly. It's usually recommended that you never use heat when dealing with bleach because in reality, it can actually make your hair fall out. However, this can only happen if you process the bleach with heat for the longest amount of time. So don't be alarmed if your stylist is using heat when bleaching your hair. This is because they have other clients other than you so they're crunched for time. Trust me, most stylist know what they're doing. But, if you have lots of time to spare, don't use heat! Only use heat when you're running out of time or if your hair isn't processing enough.

One of the most hardest things to do is to get black hair to the yellow stage. Actually, it's really easy to get the roots to the yellow stage because they have some heat already there to help them. But, it's always hard for the lengths. If it doesn't lift to the desired level all at once, be patient! It's fine! Do a second bleaching if you please. If you really don't want to bleach it another time in one day, wait a day and do it then. I personally wouldn't recommend bleaching your hair more than 3 times (it should have lifted to at least yellow by that point) The most time you should process bleach is 50 mins WITHOUT USING HEAT FOR THE FULL 50 MINS!

What signs do I look for to know if my hair is damaged?

-- The first thing is to see if your hair feels nice, soft, and silky when washing it out. This isn't necessarily a good thing. When your hair feels this way when washing it out, this means your hair isn't in good condition and you should be very careful if you plan to proceed with another bleaching process. Who knew soft and silky could mean dry and damaged? Also, if your hair starts to feel "gummy". This means the hair will stretch and it will feel really icky. This is EXTREMELY bad! You probably shouldn't continue if your hair feels this way. The worst case is if you processed the bleach with heat for the longest amount of time and your hair falls out. That's pretty much a no-brainer.

What do you do after bleaching?

-- Most likely you will have to tone your hair to get rid of any brassiness or do some highlights. Do not touch your hair approximately two days after bleaching. This part is crucial so that you can let the cuticle heal. Also, your hair deserves a good break after all those chemicals. Do not use heat or dye for about a week. Just let your hair rest! Wait two days, wash it if you want, and just let it air dry. Continue doing this for a week or two and then you can go back to your normal hair routine. It's just always best to let your hair rest after doing any processes that involve harsh chemicals.

So, what's the verdict?

--Bleach really isn't that bad! There's many common misconceptions that bleach is the WORST thing in the world and that it should never be used. Truth is, bleach is awesome! It gets your hair as light as you want that regular dyes can't do. I've gotten my hair bleached and so have my friends. None of us have gotten terrible hair or split ends. The worst thing was a little dryness which can easily be fixed with some deep condtioning. Just remeber that working gradually is the BEST way to go and the choice of bleach is very important. Always choose a high quality bleach and go to the salon if you're really unsure about doing it yourself. Also, make sure you're bleaching your hair properly! Hope this article helped! Please leave any questions or concerns in the comments section or correct any information you find wrong.

Happy bleaching!

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