What is Hair Lightening and Bleaching?

What is Hair Lightening and Bleaching

Do you intend to lighten your hair, or are you just interested in how it works? You’ve arrived at the right location! You’ll discover everything you need to know about whitening your hair in this article.

It’s all about bleaching and lightening your hair.

Do you enjoy highlighting your blond hair? Do you prefer vibrant or pastel hair colors? Do you want to go blonde after being a brunette? The only way to achieve your dream will almost certainly be to lighten your hair. However, getting a truly attractive blond color is not straightforward, and unskilled interference can permanently harm your hair. This is why, if at all feasible, you should have your hair done by a professional. A professional hairdresser knows how to mix and apply a hair lightener, as well as which color developer to use and how much your hair can take. If you still have no choice but to lighten your hair at home, read the instructions carefully to avoid disaster.



Hair lightening or bleaching is a procedure that involves combining special lightening solutions (powders, lotions, etc.) with a developer to lift your hair by up to 8 tones. Keep in mind that lightning and bleaching are not the same thing! There is a major difference between these two procedures.

The mechanism is the same in both cases: the cuticles open after applying the bleaching solution, allowing the product to readily penetrate the cortex, where natural pigments dissolve due to oxidation (removal of color from the hair), lightening the hair. The outcome is permanent, which means your hair will stay light while progressively growing out.

Because the hair, as well as the hair bonds, is severely damaged, many specialists utilize bond-protecting chemicals. These specialized products (the most well-known of which is Olaplex) protect existing bonds from major harm while also repairing and renewing the bonds that have already been damaged.

It’s a little different when it comes to coloring. The hair is bleached and a new color is applied in a single phase, i.e., the natural hair pigment is removed in the first stage and replaced with artificially generated pigments in the second.

When compared to hair bleaching products, a hair color can reach any hue, but the tone can only be changed by 3–4 levels (with the exception of special high-lift hair colors).


Keep in mind the following key distinctions between coloring, lightening, and bleaching:

  • Hair lightening: Is a technique for lightening natural hair. A method of artificially reducing and dissolving color in hair is known as lightning.
  • Bleaching: Lightens hair that has already been colored. This procedure should be used if the consumer wants to change the color of their hair (which has already been colored) from dark to light. Bleaching hair that has already been colored with a permanent hair color is not possible (rule of thumb: one color does not remove another color).
  • Bleaching and coloring: Simultaneously bleaches and colors the hair. If we work with already chemically colored hair, however, we must keep in mind that the end result will never be lighter than the present shade, as the color will not lighten in this situation (the color cannot be lightened with color). As a result, the final product will always be the same depth or slightly darker.



It’s a good idea to double-check that you have all of the necessary hairdressing tools before you start dyeing:

  • A high-lifting color (for example, Igora Royal Highlifts, Koleston Perfect Me+ Special Blonde, Matrix SoColor Ultra Blonde, Majirel High-Lift) or a special bleaching powder (for example, Igora Royal Highlifts, Koleston Perfect Me+ Special Blonde, Matrix SoColor Ultra Blonde, Majirel High-Lift).
  • Developer (keep in mind that professional color developers are always supplied separately!)
  • Gloves and an extra layer of clothing (old towel or t-shirt)
  • A hair coloring brush as well as a mixing bowl
  • Use a comb to ensure even color distribution.
  • Watches or a kitchen timer
  • Hair regeneration shampoos and treatments


There are a variety of bleaching products available. Powder, cream, or color are all options. Make your choice based on the desired effect and the number of levels you want to lighten your hair.

  • Bleaching Powder:

If you want to go from dark to blonde hair quickly, you’ll need to use a lightening powder, which is significantly stronger and can lighten your hair up to 8 levels in one application. The disadvantage is that powders do not control tone.

As a result, many professionals utilize a toner to improve the tone of their skin. It’s the best solution for color-treated hair since it offers the most protection during lightning and a high level of warmth neutralization.

If you’ve previously colored your hair brown and now want it lighter brown, your hairdresser will most likely use a lightening powder, which breaks down the artificial pigments in your hair and then colors it light brown.

  • Lightening cream:

Unlike lightening powders, lightening creams are gentler on your hair and scalp because they contain more nutrients.The other hand, cream lighteners have a limited ability to neutralize warm tones, which is one of their major downsides. They’re best for hair that isn’t dyed and isn’t too dark.

  • High-lift hair colors:

Are permanent dyes used to permanently lighten hair to a desired shade. Essentially, they’re a mix of colors and lighteners.

They include pigment, which helps to regulate the tone, unlike whitening creams and powders. They’re perfect for achieving a unique blonde tone (for example, a golden or copper shade).

Due to the lower dosage of hydrogen peroxide, it is the gentlest technique to lighten your hair, but it is not as effective if you have dark hair.

Use these types of colors only on uncolored hair if you want consistent results. They should not be used to lighten or hide white hair that has already been colored.


You’ll also need a developer for each color. You must first determine how many degrees you want to lighten your hair before selecting a developer.

This is because the amount of lift is proportional to the amount of hydrogen peroxide used. In general, the larger the percentage, the quicker the whitening, but also the greater the hair damage! As a result, most stylists recommend using a 3% or 6% developer.

The lightening process may take longer, but it will not be as dangerous as when applying higher peroxide concentrations. If in doubt, go with the 6% developer, which is the most popular and offers the most efficiency and mild treatment. Keep in mind that the strongest developer you can use on your scalp is 9%.



Let’s take a look at how it works! Now we’ll show you how to bleach your hair properly. However, keep in mind that each lightener/technique may have somewhat different stages, which is why you should always read and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

It’s better to have it on hand for the duration of the coloring session. Remember to take a skin allergy test.


  • In a suggested ratio, combine the lightening agent (typically powder) with the developer (usually 1:2).
  • To begin, combine the lightning powder and developer in a plastic cup.
  • Then stir until the mixture is smooth and uniform with no lumps. It’s preferable to use a whisk to combine the ingredients. If the combination is not thoroughly mixed, some areas of the hair may be treated just with the developer, while others may be covered only with the lightener. If used separately, these two components will not lighten your hair.
  • As soon as the mixture is ready, apply it to your hair with a hair dye brush.


  • Apply the mixture in thin strands section by section, usually on dry, unwashed hair, but exceptions may apply. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions while using a product.
  • Apply the bleaching solution in one-centimeter sections starting at the back of the head, where the hair is the healthiest and least damaged.
  • Then, proceed to the front parts of the hair and, finally, the hair around the face, which is the most damaged and soft, and thus lightens the fastest.
  • Don’t skimp on the lighting solution! The hair should ideally be totally covered. Only in this manner will you be able to produce the greatest and most consistent results, free of stains and other imperfections.
  • When whitening the roots, only use the solution on hair that has grown out; otherwise, you will have an unsightly overlapping.



Begin with the ends and lengths and work your way up to about 2.5 cm from the skin. The reason behind this is that hair that is closest to the skin lightens the fastest. It’s due to the heat produced by the head. As a result, leave this section of hair close to the scalp until the end. Go from the back to the front of the head. Leave it on for the specified amount of time.


A few minutes before the application timer expires, make the same mixture and apply it evenly to the roots, then leave it on for a few minutes more.



Apply the mixture just to the roots, avoiding the areas that have previously been colored. Leave it on for the amount of time specified in the instruction booklet.


After the application period has ended, wet the hair with water if necessary, emulsify the color to the lengths and ends, and leave it on for a while. Overlap between the old and new colors will be naturally hidden.

Tip: Don’t let your hair grow out too much. Apply bleach again as soon as possible, especially when the roots are at least 2.5 cm long. Your hair will appear more even in color this way.


  • The amount of time it takes to apply depends on the quantity of lift you want, as well as the quality, texture, and structure of your hair. It normally takes between 30 and 50 minutes. After this period, the lightening effect of the created mixture is lost. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. Every product has the potential to work in a unique way.
  • During the application period, check the procedure frequently (every 10 minutes or so), and keep in mind that dry hair will lighten a tone.
  • While applying the bleach, your head may begin to itch and you may feel a minor stabbing sensation. Don’t be concerned! It’s very natural to experience a minor burning feeling.
  • Keep in mind that if you lighten your hair, you will constantly be up against warm tones. As a result, it’s critical to keep track of the exact time when bleaching. Because the bleaching process progresses from red to yellow to blonde, if you wash the color away too soon, it can leave a reddish or yellowish tinge in your hair
  • Even if you don’t get the ideal color, don’t go over the development time. This is a regular occurrence, particularly among those with darker hair or hair that is more resistant to coloring and bleaching. To achieve the required blond color, you’ll need to apply it multiple times.


  • When the application time is up, wash your hair with a damaged hair shampoo and use a suitable hair care product (conditioner, mask, etc.).
  • Don’t forget that proper post-coloring therapy is critical for restoring your hair’s acidic pH, so don’t skip it.


  • Give your hair at least two weeks between coloring appointments to allow it to heal.
  • If your hair does not achieve the desired color after two weeks, repeat the bleaching process with a lower concentration of intense lightener.
  • Be mindful that bleached hair, even in its best state, is fragile and damaged, so treat it with care.
  • Use products made specifically for blonde hair, such as violet shampoos, blonde shampoos, blonde conditioners, and blonde hair treatments.
  • In the coming months, avoid using color-removing shampoos such as deep cleansing shampoos and anti-dandruff shampoos.
  • Avoid thermal styling if at all feasible, as it can damage your hair. Use heat protection products if you can’t live without thermal styling. However, remember to use a blow-dryer rather than a hair straightener because it is softer.


Read more:

Does Bleaching Your Hair Make It Thinner?

Does Hair Bleach Expire?

How To Get Hair Bleach Off Hands?

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