Hair Color

How To Bleach Black Hair Like A Pro

Get ready to slay those blonde or vibrant hues effortlessly!

Written by Rinnie George

On Sep 18, 2023 – 9 minutes read

bleaching dark hair

Let’s start by discussing black hair. It’s often described as lavish, dark, and enigmatic. But black hair requires some extra steps in order to dye it. Unlike lighter hair shades, black hair contains more melanin, which gives it that deep, intense color we all love. It’s this richness that makes black hair truly unique and absolutely stunning. So if you want to color your black hair pink, red, or blue all you have to do is bleach your hair first and then apply your preferred color on top of it.  

Why Bleaching Black Hair Is the First Stop On Your Coloring Journey?

Now, you might be wondering why bleaching is even necessary. Ill, think of it as the foundation of your hair color masterpiece. Just like you wouldn’t paint a bright, colorful mural on a dark, textured wall without a primer, you wouldn’t achieve those dazzling hair colors without bleaching.

how can i bleach my black hair at home

Bleaching is the process that lightens your hair by removing the natural pigments. It’s like hitting the reset button on your hair’s color, creating a blank canvas. Without bleaching, black hair acts as a natural barrier, making it challenging for most colors to show up. 

How To Bleach Black Hair?

When it comes to hair transformations, few styles are as striking as transitioning from a deep, rich black to a dazzling, eye-catching hue. Whether you’re looking to achieve the classic black hair with highlights, or a vibrant pastel shade or platinum blonde locks, learning how to bleach black hair is the first step in your hair coloring journey. 

Understanding The Basics: How Bleaching Works?

In simple terms, bleaching refers to lighting the hair color by removing the pigments from the hair. It is done by using bleach which is a chemical agent. 

This is how bleaching works:

1. Bleach breaks down the melanin molecules in your hair shaft, effectively “dissolving” the dark color.

2. Bleaching first turns the black hair into red, then orange, and finally blonde. 

3. When the hair reaches the desired level of lightness, you can proceed to apply the hair color of your choice to get the desired final look.

How To Bleach Black Hair At Home?

Step 1: It’s important that you keep all the necessary things with you so that you don’t end up running for things at the last minute. 

how to bleach black hair without it turning orange

– Bleach powder

– Developer (peroxide)

– Mixing bowl

– Applicator brush or comb

– Gloves

– Plastic or metal clips

– Plastic wrap or a shower cap

Step 2: To determine how your hair will react to the bleach and to estimate the required processing time, conduct a strand test. Choose a small section of hair (preferably from an inconspicuous area) and follow the bleach manufacturer’s instructions. This test will help you avoid over-processing or uneven results.

Step 3: Before you start mixing and applying bleach, put on gloves and wear old clothes to protect your skin and clothing from potential bleach splatters.

Step 4: Follow the instructions on the bleach product for mixing ratios. Typically, you’ll mix bleach powder with a developer. Use your applicator brush or comb to ensure the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Step 5: Starting from the ends and working your way up, apply the bleach mixture evenly to your hair. Use clips to separate sections and ensure complete coverage. Do not color all the way to your scalp. Leave a few inches of gap. 

Step 6: It is recommended to check your hair every 5-10 minutes.

Step 7: Once your hair has achieved the blond color, rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove all bleach residue. Use a color-safe, hydrating conditioner to restore moisture and minimize damage.

Pro Tip: After bleaching, your hair requires extra care to maintain its health. To prevent further damage, use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners made for color-treated hair, and minimize heat styling.

How To Lighten Dark Hair?

Here are some options that you can consider if you want to lighten your hair without using bleach. 

1. Hydrogen Peroxide: This is a milder alternative to bleach and it is easily available in online stores and retail pharmacies. Do not apply it directly to your hair. Always dilute it with water and then apply it to your hair. Be mindful of the quantity as too much hydrogen peroxide can damage your hair and make it brittle and rough (1). 

2. High-Lift Hair Color: High-lift hair colors are permanent hair colors that can give you the desired color in a single application. You dont have to use a toner and a lighter separately. High-lift hair color kits are available in different shades. These kits can lighten your hair without the harshness of conventional bleach.

How Long Does It Take To Bleach Black Hair?

The timing it takes to bleach black hair depends upon several factors. 

1. Thicker or coarser hair may take longer to bleach compared to fine hair. The density of your hair can affect how evenly the bleach spreads and how quickly it processes.

2. The type of bleach product you use matters. Different bleach brands and formulations have varying strengths and processing times. Some are designed for faster results, while others are gentler but may take longer. Choose the best bleach for dark hair without damage.

3. The bleach mixture’s potency plays a role. The concentration of bleach powder and developer can affect how quickly your hair lightens. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely to achieve the desired result.

With these variables in mind, let’s talk about the typical timeline for bleaching black hair:

bleaching black hair stages

Step 1: Application (30 Minutes To 1 Hour)

The first step involves mixing your bleach and developer according to the instructions. Mix the ingredients as per the quantity mentioned in the manual. Then start by applying the bleach from the roots to the ends. This step takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Step 2: Processing Time (20 Minutes To 60 Minutes)

Once the bleach is applied, it is left on the hair for about 60 minutes. The time could vary depending on your hair’s texture.  

Step 3: Rinse And Condition (15-30 Minutes)

Keep checking your hair every 10 minutes. After your hair has lightened to your desired level, thoroughly wash your hair with lukewarm water. You can repeat the washing if some residue of the bleach is left. Make sure to condition your hair after you shampoo. This step takes about 15- 30 minutes. 

Step 4: Toning (If Needed) (15-30 Minutes)

If your hair has unwanted brassy or yellow tones after bleaching, you have to use a toner. Toning can neutralize these unwanted shades and create a more balanced color. Toning usually takes 15- 30 minutes. 

Taking all these steps into account, you’re looking at a total time of approximately 1.5 to 3 hours for the entire bleaching process. 

After-Care Tips

Aftercare for bleached black hair is as important as the bleaching process itself. 

✅Start by getting yourself a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for color-treated hair. Your hair will remain vibrant and the dye will look great. 

✅Rinse your hair with cool water rather than hot – it helps seal the cuticles, preventing color fade. Washing your hair with hot water will not only fade away the color but it also leads to dandruff and hair fall. 

✅Try not to wash your hair every day. Overwashing can strip your hair of its natural oils and your fabulous new color. Aim for 2-3 times a week or as needed.

✅If you’re a fan of heat styling, who isn’t, right? Always use a heat protectant spray to shield your hair from damage. 

✅Treat your hair to some deep conditioning love once a week. It’ll help maintain moisture and keep your hair looking luscious.

❌Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools without a swim cap, as chlorine can be a real color killer.

✅If you’re out in the sun a lot, consider using hair products with UV protection to shield your color from the sun’s rays.

✅Keep up with regular trims to get rid of those pesky split ends and keep your hair looking healthy.

Pros And Cons Of Bleaching Dark Hair


Vivid And Unique Colors

Bleaching opens up a world of vibrant and unique hair colors that can make you stand out in a crowd. Think pastels, bold neons, or even platinum blonde – the options are endless.

Creative Expression

Bleaching your hair allows you to express your creativity and change your look dramatically. It’s like having a new canvas to experiment with different styles and trends.

Keep It trendy

Many trendy hairstyles and colors require bleached hair as a base. So, if you’re into following the latest hair trends, bleaching is often a necessary first step.


Damage Potential

Bleaching is a chemical process that can be harsh on your hair. It can lead to dryness, breakage, and overall damage, especially if not done correctly or if overused.


Bleached hair requires regular maintenance to keep it looking fresh. Frequent touch-ups and special hair care products are often necessary to maintain the color and health of your hair.

Risk Of Uneven Coloring

Achieving an even color when bleaching dark hair can be challenging, especially for beginners. Uneven coloring may require additional treatments to fix.

Hair Porosity

Bleached hair tends to become more porous, which means it can absorb colors quickly but also lose them faster. This can lead to fading over time.

Potential Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the chemicals in hair bleach. It’s crucial to do a patch test and be cautious if you have sensitive skin or allergies.

How To Lighten Black Hair Without Bleach?

If the thought of bleach makes you cringe? I get it – bleach can be pretty harsh on your hair. But don’t worry there are gentler ways to achieve lighter hair without resorting to bleach. Here are some ways in which you can dye black hair without bleach. 

how to bleach black hair without bleach

1. Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a natural hair lightener (2). Squeeze a few lemons and remove the seeds. Apply the lemon juice to your hair directly and expose your hair to sunlight. But keep in mind that you have to keep repeating this multiple times because you start seeing any noticeable results. 

2. Honey And Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains natural bleaching agents. Mix one-fourth cup of honey with half a cup of distilled water one table spoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of olive oil. You can leave this mask for a couple of hours overnight. 

3. Chamomile Tea: Brew strong chamomile tea, pour it on your hair and expose your hair to the sun for a couple of hours. Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo to remove the tea. 

4. Baking Soda: You can use baking soda to lighten your hair, but it won’t work on its own. You’ll need to mix it with shampoo, apple cider vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide to achieve the desired results. Apply this prepared mixture to your damp hair and leave it on for about 30 minutes before washing your hair.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix one part of Apple Cider Vinegar with 6 parts of water. Spray or apply to hair. Keep it for 30 minutes before washing your hair. 

To Sum Up

Bleaching plays a vital role in enhancing black hair because, without it, achieving vibrant colors like red, pink, or blue on black hair can be challenging. It’s the canvas that brings these shades to life. Yet, if you prefer a more natural approach, there are gentler methods to lighten your hair.

The choice is yours, and your hair is your canvas – so, how will you paint your story?

  1. JEONG, Mi‐Sook, et al. "Significant damage of the skin and hair following hair bleaching." The Journal of Dermatology 37.10 (2010): 882-887.
  2. Sanke, Sarita. "Ways to Get Yellow Out of Your Bleached Hair Naturally."

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Rinnie crafts professional articles on a wide range of topics, including beauty, lifestyle, fashion, and motherhood. Her aim is to express her thoughts through words and share them with the world via social media captions, blogs and YouTube scripts.

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