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How to Bleach Bath Hair to Remove Color | Step-by-Step

A bleach bath is a mixture of bleaching powder, shampoo, and developer used to remove hair color. Learn how to bleach bath hair to remove color in a softer way.

Bleaching Bath Hair to Remove Color: A Summary

  1. Choose the right shampoo for your hair type
  2. Pick a developer with the right strength
  3. Apply the bleach bath to your hair from bottom to top
  4. Rinse your hair and apply conditioner

How to Bleach Bath Hair in 4 Steps

Before you start your bleach bath, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare. First, you’ll need to choose the right shampoo and developer for your hair type. These depend on the kind of hair you have and the level of color you want to remove. 

1. Pick the Right Shampoo

You should use a moisturizing shampoo to counteract the harshness of this treatment. Look for shampoos that were designed for dyed hair, as these will contain natural oils that will hydrate your hair. 

Clarifying shampoos are a no-no, as these are too strong for the bleach bath mixture. Do not use toning shampoos either; toning is done separately.

Sulfate-free shampoos will reduce the effectiveness of the bleach powder, so these are not good as well. Bleach will cause itchiness, but not applying shampoo a day or two before helps.

2. Pick the Right Developer

It’s crucial to select the right hair developer. A more potent developer contains more hydrogen peroxide. Strengths range from 10 to 50. Start with a 10 or 20, but do not go higher.

3. Mix the Ingredients

To prepare a bleach bath, mix one-part bleaching powder with two parts of developer. Combine with shampoo in a plastic bowl. Use the same quantity of shampoo you use on your hair in the shower. 

4. Apply the Mixture to Your Hair

Wear gloves to prevent damaging your skin, and clip your hair into chunks to make it easier to apply the bleach bath. Wear clothes you don’t mind staining or wear a cape. Cover all surfaces with old towels.

Apply petroleum jelly to your ears, eyebrows, and any area the bleach mixture might touch. This jelly acts as a barrier to protect your skin. Be sure your hair is damp but not dripping wet.

Apply the mixture to the bottom half of your hair in each chunk. Once everything is covered, move to the top half. The top half is last because the roots of your hair bleach faster. Work the mixture through your hair.

Rub the mixture into the roots while trying to avoid your scalp. Let the bleach wash sit for about thirty minutes. Check every five minutes to see how it’s working. Rinse your hair until all of the bleach mixture is gone.

Condition your hair to eliminate the dryness caused by the bleaching process. If the bleach bath didn’t lighten your hair as much as you would like, wait about a week before applying another treatment.

Read Next: How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Skin

What a Bleach Bath Does

Hairdresser teaching client how to do a bleach bath to remove hair color

Arturs Budkevics/Shutterstock

Unlike regular bleaching, which uses a concentrated bleach solution, a bleach bath uses a much weaker solution. This solution makes it a more gentle option for removing color. A bleach bath will not create intense color effects but lighten your hair by one or two shades.

But bear in mind that even if the risk of hair damage is low, it is still possible. This process works well to remove small amounts of old dye from hair.

The result will be a solid base on which you can build new colors. You can use a bleach bath to lighten hair that you accidentally dyed too dark, for instance. A bleach bath will gradually lighten your natural hair color so you won’t experience a shocking result.

You can fix overtoned hair with a bleach bath by removing some pigment from the hair, which will help to make the color more even and make it manageable.

Bleach baths are a great way to remove the color from hair without damaging it too much. However, they can be harsh on the scalp, so do a patch test before use. You may want to avoid using a bleach bath if you have sensitive skin.

Helping Your Hair Recover From a Bleach Bath

To keep your hair healthy, use a deep conditioner and consider using a leave-in conditioner to prevent dryness. Do not heat your hair with a blow dryer or curling iron. Heat can damage sensitive hair too soon after a bleach bath.

Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to your conditioner will help adjust the pH level of your hair and reduce recovery time.

To help your hair recover, mix one teaspoon of olive oil and one cup of coconut oil. Apply this mixture throughout your hair and cover with a shower cap for an hour. Shampoo and rinse until you get all of the oil out. 

Things a Bleach Bath Does Not Do

A bleach bath will remove some color from your hair, but there are problems that it won’t solve. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Removing Orange and Yellow Tones in Blonde Hair 

Orange and yellow tones sometimes appear in blonde hair because of your natural hair color. A bleach bath will not correct this issue. It is meant only as a way to remove the color from the hair.

A color-correcting shampoo is required to remove certain tones. You can also use toner or dye to cover these areas.

Purple shampoo removes brassy or yellow tones from blonde hair. Do not mix purple shampoo into your bleach bath. The peroxide will dilute the pigment, and there will be no noticeable change to your hair.

Removing Black Color

Working with black hair requires different rules than other hair colors. If you want to eliminate your black hair color, bleaching is the way to go. But bleaching can be harsh on your hair, so a bleach bath may be a better option. 

You will need several bleach baths to lighten your hair so that you can apply another color. Since you want to wait about a week between bleach baths, you must be patient. 

Using a Bleach Bath With Red or Brown Hair

Understanding how bleaching works is essential, so you’re not surprised at the end of the process. There is pigment in every hair color, and it affects the color you will be left with after the bleach bath. 

Red or brown hair might turn orange. You can use a toning shampoo to deal with this, or you can wait and perform another bleach bath. 

Pros and Cons of Bleach Baths

Pros:

  • A bleach bath can be a gentler way to remove color than regular bleaching.
  • It can be a good option if you only want to remove a small amount of color.
  • It can be less damaging to your hair than other bleaching methods.
  • It’s easy to execute.
  • You can do it at home.
  • You can do it on any type of hair.
  • A bleach bath is an inexpensive procedure.
  • A bleach bath prepares hair for new dye.

Cons:

  • A bleach bath can take longer than regular bleaching.
  • It may not be as effective at removing color as other bleaching methods.
  • Your hair may be left feeling dry and brittle after a bleach bath.
  • You can’t turn your hair blonde.
  • It can irritate your skin and eyes.
  • You can’t do it to damaged hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Image for a piece on how to bleach bath to remove hair color

ninaveter/Shutterstock

Here is some more information about applying a bleach bath to your hair to remove color.

How Does Bleaching Change Hair Color?

Bleaching alters hair color through oxidation. Hair bleach makes your hair more permeable and allows hydrogen peroxide to penetrate. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes hair pigment and strips away color. The longer the oxidizing agent remains in your hair, the lighter the color.

Is a Bleach Bath Faster Than Normal Bleaching?

One difference between a bleach bath and traditional bleaching is the process’s time. A bleach bath mixture can be quickly rubbed into your hair, while standard bleach uses a brush application.

Can I Perform a Bleach Bath on Dry Hair?

A bleach bath only works on wet hair, while bleaching works on dry hair. A bleach bath often produces more even color since the mixture coats every strand.

Can a Bleach Bath Give Me Blonde Hair or Remove Dark Colors?

Full bleach can produce full blonde or platinum blonde tones, which a bleach bath is not powerful enough to accomplish. Likewise, a bleach bath is not strong enough to totally remove dark colors, so full bleach is required.

Will a Bleach Bath Damage My Hair?

Misusing bleach can have devastating effects on your hair in terms of color and damage. A bleach bath’s subtle impact is easier to correct. Bleach is an aggressive substance that must be approached with caution. That’s why many people opt for a milder bleach bath instead.

So, How Do You Bleach Bath Hair to Remove Color?

A bleach bath is a softer way to remove color than regular bleaching. It can be a good option if you only want to remove a small amount of color, and it can be less damaging to your hair than other bleaching methods. 

However, a bleach bath may not be as effective at removing color as other bleaching methods, so you should always consult a professional colorist before bleaching your hair to ensure that you use the best process for your hair type.