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Blondes really do have more fun, but not everyone is naturally blonde. Rather than spending the money to have a professional bleach your hair, you can safely and effectively bleach your own hair to a blonde shade at home. At-home bleaching can be done safely, but to prevent orange, frizzy and overly damaged hair, you first need to get down to the basics. The key to preventing frizzy and damaged hair is protecting it before, during and after bleaching.
Prepare your hair by performing deep conditioning treatments once a week for a month prior to bleaching — the earlier you start, the more protected your hair will be.
Pick up a bleaching kit at a local beauty supply store. Check the back of the box for the grid that displays the natural hair color and select a kit that is appropriate for your natural shade. If you are unsure about which bleaching kit works with your shade, consult a professional rather than risk overbleaching. Try to find the mildest bleaching kit for your hair type. Also, be realistic — black hair will not go platinum, so don’t purchase a kit that is not safe for your natural hair color. The bleaching kit you select should not be higher than 20 volume, especially if you are bleaching from root to tip.
Wash and condition your hair the day you plan to bleach. Don't use any styling products, and blow-dry it fully. You should wear an old, raggedy shirt that you don’t plan to wear in public again, since drips will ruin the fabric and color.
Wear the gloves provided in the kit and mix the developer and lightener according to the product’s instructions.
Apply the bleach by lifting up small sections of hair at a time. Fully saturate each section before moving on to the next, and make sure you've applied the bleach from root to tip evenly. Too much is better than too little; blotches will occur when hair is not dyed evenly.
Cover your head with a plastic shower cap. Now it’s time to wait. Sit down in a chair, rather than on the couch and risk getting bleach where it won’t come up. Wait the time instructed on the bleaching kit, but check on your hair every 10 minutes to make sure it is developing.
Test a few strands of hair during the developing process by lifting up the cap and wiping away the bleach with a damp towel. Very blonde hair should be pale yellow during processing while naturally dark hair should turn yellow-orange before being rinsed and toned. If the shade is just right, pull off the cap and rinse your hair thoroughly. If not, allow it to develop longer. Don't bleach hair until it turns white because minutes before hair begins to disintegrate, it turns white.
Apply a violet toner during rinsing to get platinum blonde, a red toner for strawberry blonde and a gold toner for golden blonde.
Deep condition the hair immediately after bleaching to help protect the hair from blow-drying or styling.
Test your hair before you actually bleach. After showering, pull out a single strand of damp hair. Stretch the hair as far as it will go. If the hair bounces back and stretches easily, your hair is safe to bleach. Hair that breaks or appears brittle is not ideal for bleaching, since the damaging effects of bleach will only make the brittle hair worse.