Whether you’re going white-blonde or adding a touch of caramel warmth to your dark mane, find the best hair bleach kits for your needs in our complete guide.
Looking for the Best Hair Bleach Kit to Use? Start Here.
Today, you’re going to learn how to choose the best hair bleach kit for your specific needs. Whether your hair is short or long, damaged or virgin, jet-black or light blonde, there’s a bleach out there that will give you the salon-quality results you desire.
You’ve just got to know how to avoid the cheap, questionable lightening powders and go straight to the highest-quality bleach powders on the market.
We’ve got a list of the top 5 best hair bleach kits you can safely use at home to get salon-quality results without damaging your hair. We’ll walk you through the bleach selection process step-by-step in this guide.
You’ll be able to:
- Identify your current hair color level and depth
- Assess the current condition of your hair
- Think about the results/lightness you want
- Pick the right application technique for the bleach you choose
- Choose the right developer for the bleach you pick
It’s all here in our guide! See the best bleach kits you can use at home and learn how to choose the perfect type of bleach for your hair’s specific needs. Keep reading to find the best hair bleach for you!
You Need the Best Hair Bleach Kit – Not the Cheapest
We’re all for saving a few bucks where we can, but there are some things you can’t afford to skimp on. Hair bleach is one of those things.
It might seem like any generic or drugstore-branded bleach powder is good enough – after all, don’t they all contain the same thing? – but there are a number of reasons to opt for one of the best hair bleach kits and avoid cheap bleach at all costs.
What’s so bad about generic/cheap hair bleach? Oh, we could write a book on it. But for the purposes of this guide, let’s quickly address why cheap hair bleach is such a bad idea to use.
- Reduced hair lightening effects compared to premium bleach kits
- Doesn’t lift hair color as much, requiring harsh high-volume developers
- Little to no nourishing ingredients to protect and repair your hair
- Harsher on hair with increased damage to hair after use
- No built-in toner to counter brassiness
Cheap bleach is harsher on your hair, more likely to cause permanent damage, and doesn’t offer any protection or nourishment to your hair during the bleaching process.
It’s less effective than premium, salon-quality lightening powders, won’t have built-in toning pigments mixed into the formula, and may require you to bleach more than once to get the lift you want.
Does that sound like a smart plan for your locks? Definitely not.
Using a cheap, low-quality hair bleach can end up costing you hundreds of dollars in color correction services after the fact. And that’s if it doesn’t turn your hair into a gummy, melted mess!
Using a premium, professional-level hair bleach will help you avoid these pitfalls and get salon-quality results without damage when you lighten your hair at home. Read on to see our top picks for the best hair bleach kits and how to choose the one that’s best for your hair!
5 Best Hair Bleach Kits for Salon Quality Results
The votes are in – we’ve got the 5 best hair bleach kits you can use to get salon-quality results at home! See which lightening powders are best for different uses and hair types below.
You’ll learn about each product and what uses and hair type each bleach is best for. Check it out, then read the next section to determine which one will be the best choice for your specific scen-hair-io!
1. Best Hair Bleach Overall: Wella Color Charm
No time to make your way through our list of the best hair bleach kits? Look no further than Wella Color Charm Powder Hair Lightener if you want the best hair bleach overall.
This powerful powdered lightener is strong enough to lift your hair color up to 7 levels in a single session. It’s ideal for all hair types and colors and has a special ingredient inside to protect your hair from harsh chemical processing.
The special ingredient here is nourishing, strand-protecting oil. This oil acts like a protective matrix over your hair, locking in moisture and preventing the harsh bleach from damaging strands during processing.
If you’re worried bleaching at home will ruin your hair, you need to try this one! Wella Color Charm is used by salon professionals and experienced DIYers alike. It’s a reliable hair bleach that gives you the same lift every time without irritation or damaging your locks.
Whether you’re starting with dark, medium, or light hair, you can get the results you want with Wella Color Charm powder hair lightener. The key is picking the right developer for the way you plan to use this powdered bleach.
It’s safe for on- and off-scalp use as long as you use 20 vol developer (which limits you to 2 levels of lift). This means you can bleach all the way to your roots as long as you use a 20 volume developer.
Try balayage or ombre highlights with this powdered bleach using 20, 30, or even 40 volume developer if you so choose! The formula, like any hair bleach worth considering, is dust-free for lessy messy mixing, easier application, and less product waste.
You get a one-pound container with enough powdered lightener for dozens of uses. We say you can’t go wrong with Wella Color Charm powdered hair lightener. Give it a try!
2. Best Hair Bleach for Dark Hair: Schwarzkopf BlondMe
- Lifts hair color up to 9 levels
- Reduces damage with Bond Enforcing Technology
- Neutralizes brassiness and warm undertones
- Dust-free formula
- 15.8 ounce tub
Dark or very coarse hair needs a strong bleach to achieve lift, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Schwarzkopf BlondMe Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+. This stuff is no joke and it’ll get you all the way to level 10 – extra light blonde – if that’s what you want.
Because it’s so powerful, Schwarzkopf made the formula with their patented Bond Enforcing Technology to help protect your hair from damage when you use it.
This bleach is formulated with succinic acid that penetrates your hair and forms a protective “shell” around it during processing. The result? Your hair stays strong and keeps its elasticity for beautiful, undamaged results.
Schwarzkopf thought of everything for this powerful bleach formula. It’s perfect for dark hair because it contains anti-yellow pigments that neutralize any brassiness or warm undertones that may pop up when you bleach dark hair.
It’s like a bleach and toner all in one!
You get powerful lift (up to 9 levels!), built-in toner, hair damage defense, and flexibility to bleach your hair with any technique you want with BlondMe 9+. For dark, coarse, or lift-resistant hair, this is an excellent option that’ll give you salon-quality results.
3. Best Hair Bleach for Neutralizing Brassiness: Wella Blondor
- Lifts hair color up to 7 levels
- Neutralizes brassiness and warm undertones
- Safe for on- and off-scalp use
- Safe for use on color-treated hair
- Dust-free formula
- 28.2 ounce tub
If brassiness is the bane of bleaching for you, we found the solution. It’s Wella Blondor Multi Blonde Powder Lightener! This powdered bleach can lift your color up to 7 levels in a single session.
It acts like a bleach and toner in one because it neutralizes brassiness and warm undertones as it lifts. The formula is powerful enough to achieve high levels of lift with the right developer, but gentle enough to be safe for use on color-treated hair.
If you’re all about experimenting with different colors and bleaching techniques at home, this needs to be your go-to product. It’s a dust-free formula and mixes to a super-creamy consistency for easier application.
It also comes in a larger tub than most at-home lightening powders (nearly 2 pounds) so you’ll get more uses out of it. Make it safe for on-scalp use (if you plan to apply bleach all the way up to your roots) by mixing this bleach with 20 vol developer.
Get faster results and more levels of lift by mixing it with 30 or 40 vol developer. We love the variety of ways you can use this bleach kit!
4. Best Hair Bleach for Light to Medium Hair: L’Oreal Quick Blue
Super-strong bleach kits are great for jet-black and dark brown hair, but you don’t need that much power if you’re bleaching light or medium hair color. That’s why the best hair bleach for lighter hair colors is L’Oreal Paris Quick Blue Powder Bleach.
This gentler dust-free formula is strong enough to give you up to 7 levels of lift in a single session without damaging your hair in the process. You’ll get all the lift you need without the brittleness, dryness, and damage when you use L’Oreal Quick Blue powder.
You can use it on- or off-scalp safely, so whether you want to lighten all-over or just create a few face-framing highlights, it’s going to get the job done without irritating your scalp.
The formula is made to mix up super-creamy and stay moist longer. That means no remixing during application and easy hair saturation! If you start with medium or light hair, you can get all the way to level 10 (extra light blonde) if you want with this bleach.
Or try a slightly darker warm caramel when you use a lower developer volume or process for a shorter time. You’re going to love the professional-level results you get with this at-home bleach!
5. Best Hair Bleach Kit for Balayage and Highlights: Clairol BW2
- Lifts hair color up to 3 levels
- Ideal for off-scalp use (balayage, ombre, etc.)
- Safe for on-scalp use
- Dust-free formula
Clairol Professional BW2 Lightener is a professional-quality bleach powder that works especially well for off-scalp techniques like highlights, balayage (hand-painted bleach/color), ombre color, and shadow root techniques.
It’s a milder lightener that won’t give you as much lift as others, but is also a lot less damaging for your hair. Since you can achieve 3 levels of lift maximum with this bleach, it’s important to know what kind of results you can expect when you use it.
If you start with medium brown hair (level 3), you can get to level 6 dark blonde with this bleach. If you start with dark blonde, you can get all the way to level 9 (very light blonde). You can use it to lighten all-over as long as you use a milder 20 vol developer.
This limits you to 2 levels of lift, so if you want to get as much lift as possible, you’ll need to stick to off-scalp application techniques like hand-painted balayage highlights or shadow roots (leave your roots unbleached) and use a 30- or 40-vol developer.
For limited lift with less damage to your hair, this is a great product. You’ll love the natural-looking, professional results you’ll get with BW2!
How to Choose the Best Hair Bleach Kit for Your Needs
So far, we’ve looked at the best hair bleach kits you can buy for at-home use with salon-quality results. Our top 5 picks are:
- Wella Color Charm Powder Lightener
- Schwarzkopf BlondMe Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+
- Wella Blondor Multi-Blonde Hair Lightening Powder
- L’Oreal Paris Quick Blue High Performance Powder Lightener
- Clairol Professional BW2 Powder Lightener
The next step here is determining which hair bleach is going to be the right one for your specific needs.
That means considering your current hair color and condition, the results you want, the application technique you plan to use, and the developer you’ll be using. Keep reading to learn how to pick the best hair bleach powder for your needs!
Identify Your Current Hair Color Level
Hair color depth is measured in levels from 1 (darkest black/brown) to 10 (lightest blonde). Identifying your current hair color depth is essential to choose the bleach powder that will work best on your locks.
Take a look at the chart below to determine what your current hair color depth level is.
If you have a color not shown on the chart (reds, vivid/non-natural colors), try to identify which level of depth is most similar to your hair color. For example, a deep burgundy red may be at a level 5, but a lighter strawberry blonde could be a level 8.
Your level determination doesn’t need to be exact. Just get a general idea of how dark/deep your color is to make choosing the best hair bleach a little easier.
Once you’ve identified your hair color depth from the chart, take a look to see which bleach powder is going to be the best fit for your current color level.
- Level 1-3: If you are currently level 1 (black hair) to level 2 (dark brown) or 3 (medium brown), you’ll need to grab a powerful bleach like Schwarzkopf BlondMe Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+ if you want to go blonde. This is the only bleach strong enough to lift your hair to a light blonde. If you’re aiming for a darker blonde, you have more options. Any bleach on our list except Clairol BW2 will be able to produce dark blonde to light blonde results on level 1-2 hair. We like Wella Color Charm’s powder lightener if you want a less-harsh option than Schwarzkopf BlondMe!
- Level 4-6: Level 4 (medium brown), level 5 (light brown), and level 6 (dark blonde) will find that L’Oreal Quick Blue powder lightener is ideal. This bleach works best for hair color depths that range from medium to light. It lifts up to 7 levels, depending on the developer you use, and can get you to light, very light, or lightest blonde easily.
- Level 7-8: Lighter level 7 (medium blonde) and level 8 (light blonde) hair responds very well to Wella hair lighteners. We like both Wella Color Charm and Wella Blondor, depending on how damaged your hair is currently. Wella Color Charm has built-in nourishing oils in the formula to better protect your hair from damage. Both powdered lighteners will give you up to 7 levels of lift, so you can easily achieve blonde as light as platinum if you want!
- Level 9-10: With ultra-light hair already, you can use almost any bleach and get nearly platinum results. We suggest Clairol BW2 for level 9-10 hair since it’s a little milder and won’t damage your fine or pre-colored texture. You can achieve up to 3 levels of lift with BW2, which is more than enough for a blondie like you!
Assess Your Current Hair Condition
Your hair’s current condition is another important thing to think about when you’re choosing the best bleach for your needs. Get ready to be honest with yourself and take a realistic look at the state of your strands.
You want an accurate assessment of your hair’s current condition to choose the right lightening powder. Assess the condition of your hair and match what you find below to see which hair-lightening product will be best for you.
- Damaged: If your hair feels brittle, breaks easily, has a lot of split ends, and drinks up moisture quickly, it’s damaged. Damaged hair calls for a milder bleach to avoid frying your hair and making things worse. If you’re seeing signs of damage, opt for Wella Color Charm powder lightener. It has protective oils in the formula to protect your hair from chemical damage during processing. L’Oreal Paris Quick Blue lightener also works well and won’t cause a lot of damage to your hair if Wella doesn’t fit in your budget.
- Color-treated: Have you recently colored your hair, or is permanent color still on your strands from months or years ago? You should choose Wella Blondor Multi-Blonde powder lightener, which is safe for color-treated hair and gently lifts your color up to 7 levels. This formula is strong enough to bust through artificial dyes to give you the color you want without damaging your colored hair in the process.
- Fine texture: Fine hair is more easily damaged than medium or coarse hair, so you need a bleach powder that is a little more gentle on your mane. Wella Color Charm is ideal for fine hair, but Clairol BW2 is a good choice, too. You’ll get more lift with Color Charm (up to 7 levels) than with BW2 (up to 3 levels), so make your choice based on how much you need to lighten your hair.
- Coarse texture: If your strands are coarse (thicker than the average thread), it takes a little more work for bleach powder to bust through and decolorize it. You should grab Schwarzkopf BlondMe 9+ powder lightener to ensure you get the lift and results you want on coarse hair.
- Brassy: If you regularly lighten your hair and always seem to deal with brassy color, you should check out Wella Blondor. This powder lightener has brass-neutralizing pigments built right into the formula to give you perfectly-toned color all in one step. You’ll do fewer chemical treatments on your hair if you can start bleaching and toning all in one!
Think About Your Ideal Results
Another thing to consider when choosing the best bleach for your hair’s needs is the results you want. Are you on a mission to go white-blonde or platinum?
Do you want subtle caramel or honey-toned highlights? Are you trying to create light blonde face-framing highlights? How about all-over blonde with a darker shadow root?
Any of the bleach powders on our list can make it happen, but it’s important to know what types of results you’re going for (and what color level you’re starting from) to choose the best one.
- From dark to light: Schwarzkopf BlondMe Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+ has enough power to lift your hair up to 9 levels and take you from dark to light.
- From dark to medium light: Wella Color Charm Powder Lightener or Wella Blondor Multi-Blonde Hair Lightening Powder are perfect for dark hair going a little lighter because these formulas have damage protection and brass-neutralizing toning pigments built-in.
- From medium to light: L’Oreal Paris Quick Blue Powder Lightener can easily take medium hair color levels to light blonde shades. Lift medium brown all the way to light blonde, extra light blonde, or lightest blonde with this powdered lightener.
- From light to lightest: Clairol Professional BW2 Powder Lightener only lifts 3 levels in a session, but that’s all you need if you already have light blonde or light brown hair!
Choose Your Application Technique
How will you be applying bleach to your hair? You might be planning to apply your bleach all-over, with hand-painted balayage, foil/cap highlights, ombre, or a low-maintenance shadow root.
Your planned application technique can actually help point you toward the best bleach powder for your needs. All bleach application techniques fall under one of two categories: On-scalp and off-scalp.
- On-scalp techniques: If you’re planning to use an on-scalp technique, like all-over color, doing a root touch-up, or ombre color with lighter roots, you need to choose a bleach powder suitable for on-scalp use. These gentler formulas won’t irritate your scalp when the bleach makes contact with your skin. All of the lightening powders on our list are safe for on-scalp use as long as you use 20-vol developer. This limits you to 2 levels of lift.
- Off-scalp techniques: You have a lot more freedom if you’re planning to use an off-scalp application technique like hand-painted balayage, all-over bleach with a shadow root, or ombre/dip-dyed color with natural or darker roots. You can use any lightening powder on our list for off-scalp techniques and you can use a stronger developer (30- or 40-volume) if the bleach won’t touch your scalp.
Consider Developer Volume
The final thing to consider is the developer volume you plan to use with your new bleach powder. To lighten your hair, you’ll be mixing bleach powder and developer in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio to get a creamy, gravy-like consistency that’s easy to apply to your hair.
The developer volume you’ll be using will help you narrow your bleach options to pick the best one for you.
- 10 volume developer: Not recommended for lightening hair because 10 volume developer only deposits color and cannot lift hair color.
- 20 volume developer: Used for on-scalp and all-over applications where you don’t need a ton of lift. Use with Clairol BW2 or L’Oreal Quick Blue to achieve up to 2 levels of lift.
- 30 volume developer: Used for off-scalp and all-over applications where you need a little more lift (like going from medium brown to light blonde). Use with Wella Color Charm, or Wella Blondor powder lightener to achieve up to 4 levels of lift.
- 40 volume developer: The strongest developer, used for off-scalp and all-over applications where you need the most lift possible (like going from black or dark brown to blonde). Use with Schwarzkopf BlondMe Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+ or Wella Color Charm to achieve up to 9 levels of lift.
Things to Consider
By now, you’ve probably got a good idea of which bleach powder will give you the results you want. We’ve looked at the 5 best hair bleach kits that can help you achieve salon-quality results in the comfort of your own home.
You’ve seen all the things you need to consider to pick the best bleach powder for your needs. Now, let’s tie it all up by addressing a few more key concerns before you bleach.
- Should you be bleaching your hair right now? Assessing your current damage will help you determine whether or not it’s a good idea to bleach your hair right now. Have you processed your hair recently? Are you noticing lots of breakage or new split ends? Does your hair feel dry and straw-like? Does your hair look dull and struggle to hold onto moisture? If you answer yes to any of these, your hair may be too damaged to bleach. If you must lighten it, opt for a gentler 20 volume developer to avoid causing more damage.
- Are you confident in your bleaching ability? Bleaching at home is one of the easiest things to mess up when you’re not a professional. It’s totally doable and many women love the results they get from lightening their hair at home, but you shouldn’t try it unless you’re fully confident that you know what to do. Check out our guide to learn how to do it: How to Bleach Your Hair in 7 Easy Steps
- Do you really need that 40 volume developer? If you already have 40 volume developer on-hand or are planning on buying some to bleach your hair, think long and hard about it first. You may need 40-vol if you have very dark or coarse hair that you want to lighten considerably. If your hair is lighter in color, fine in texture, or already damaged, skip the 40 volume and reach for milder 20- or 30-volume instead.
- Are you prepared for the maintenance? Bleaching your hair will give you a drastically different look that you’re sure to love, but don’t forget about the maintenance involved. You’ll need to maintain your new lighter color by bleaching your roots every 4-6 weeks if you’re doing all-over bleach. Make maintenance less of a headache by opting for off-scalp application techniques that leave your roots unbleached.
- Do you have all the right stuff? Bleaching your hair at home means you’ll need to gather up all the supplies that would normally be on-hand for a stylist. That includes powdered lightener, cream developer (20-, 30-, or 40-volume), color mixing bowl, color brush, gloves, a plastic shower cap, and maybe a toner to neutralize brassiness. These items won’t be expensive, but getting all the supplies means making a small upfront investment before you bleach.
So, What Are the Best Hair Bleach Kits?
Now that you know the best hair bleach kits for at-home use and how to choose the right one for your needs, you’re ready to move to the next step: Learning about the process.
Check out any or all of the following guides to learn about the ins and outs of bleaching your hair at home with excellent, salon-quality results!