EDIT: We have had a LOT of people say this works wonders and a lot of hairdressers saying they think this is good advice. I have had 1 person suggest it’s not perfect and I have never, in any way, said that you should follow all tips you read on this blog. Any advice is from personal experience of mine or a follower. I always stress that you should go to a salon first - however I am well aware that many people will not do this and I would rather there be at least some rough guidelines for these people so they don’t ruin their hair.
White hair is a great look that, when done properly, can look amazing on girls, guys, all skin colours, most age groups… It opens you up to a world of other great styles and colours too. Neon, bright, pastels, contrast dyes etc.
It can be tricky to achieve so I have put together a few tips below.
This is by no means a full, comprehensive list. It is just a few ideas and tricks that may help you out a bit. If you want to add anything further, please let me know!
Go to a salon.
I will always recommend that you go to a salon, even if you have done it before.
I know loads of people bleach and dye their hair themselves and nothing bad happens, but I have also heard about and witnessed a lot of disasters!
Salons can be expensive, especially if you have to have your hair bleached a few times, and it is time consuming and inconvenient, but I have heard of so many girls (and guys) who have left bleach on too long, bleached it one too many times, just didn’t look after their hair after multiple bleaching, and they’ve ended up having to have it cut short to attempt to get it healthy, or in worse scenarios, it’s snapped and broken off, leaving the hair uneven, dry, brittle, straw-like and generally hard to manage.
Going to a salon isn’t necessarily going to stop this happening, however professionals obviously have a lot more knowledge and experience and will be able to recommend the best way to achieve the look you want with minimal damage possible.
Prepare your hair.
If you are going to bleach it yourself (and I stand by the above point that you should go to a salon!) make sure it is in the best condition it can be before you start. Use good deep conditioners, moisturising treatments, strengthening products etc. Try not to use heat on it for a while as this is not good for your hair.
If your hair is dyed already, try using a colour remover before you use any bleach or lightening product – this can mean you end up bleaching it less.
tasha-of-the-whim suggested: something to consider right off the bat is the thickness of your hair shaft. Thin hair, in most all cases, does not have a cortex. The cortex is the middle layer of the hair. This makes the hair shaft smaller and weaker. Therefore, if you do not have strong hair, I would not recommend going white. Unless you are only lifting a few levels.
Try it in stages.
Some people will bleach their hair in stages so they can try and look after it a bit between bleaching. This may well mean you have a gingery colour for a while – think about it; some people are happy to have a colour they don’t particularly like for a short amount of time if it means getting to their colour goal with less damage than doing it all at once. Some people can’t do this and want to bleach it all at once. It’s your hair so it’s up to you.
Do a test strip.
Get a small amount of your hair and either cut off a section or just do it when it’s still attached if you don’t mind having a little patch of bleached hair. Mix up a small amount of bleach and leave it on for the time recommended. This will allow you to see what the colour will look like after a certain time and how your hair copes with the bleach. It helps you to not over-process your hair or wash it out too soon. Everyone’s hair is different so just listening to advice is not always 100% helpful – you need to learn how your hair reacts.
Toner will help lift your hair more and remove the brassy tones, making it closer to a white colour. Some people will not be 100% happy with the blonde colour they achieve and will chuck more bleach on – try toner first! It tones down leftover colours. For a toner to work you need to have your hair quite light already - it’s no good using it on really orange hair and hoping for a miracle!
Be just as careful with toner – don’t just put it on and leave it for hours, hoping it will make it super white. Read the instructions!
rebeliousfolk said that Manic Panic’s Virgin Snow fades very quickly and she uses L’Oreal’s toner shampoo for 5-10 minutes a few days a week and it works great! :)
Always use conditioner when you wash your hair. Especially if you have bleached it a lot. Try to find a good conditioning mask, apply it after shampooing, wrap your hair in a towel and leave for as long as you can.
Also, try to use a shampoo that will help maintain the colour – purple or silver shampoos work wonders.
Apparently Sebastian Penetraitt Deep Conditioning Treatment is pretty good.
Do less to your hair.
After bleaching it loads your hair will need a rest. Many people try to wash their hair as little as possible and use dry shampoo between proper washes to keep it looking fresh.
If you have the time, leave your hair to dry naturally when it’s been washed to save using heat.
Don’t over-style it all the time; give your hair days where you leave the straighteners, curling tongs, hair dryer, hair spray, back-combing etc. a break. It will thank you!
Bleaching you hair can be quick, easy, and disaster free. It can also be very damaging! Just be careful, do some research, ask other people who have done similar things to their hair… If you don’t go to a salon, make sure you are well informed just to be extra sure nothing will go wrong!
Good luck! :) xx
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