Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
If you're a fiery redhead who wants to go lighter, you may want to become a blond by bleaching. But instead of opening up your pretty Prada wallet and blowing all your cash at the salon, keep your hard-earned money and do the work yourself. It's a bit of a challenge but you can do it. Plus, you'll have more dough left over to go out with the girls after.
Put on a pair of latex gloves and mix 30 g of powdered bleach with 90 ml of developer creme in a plastic or glass container. Stir with a spoon. The measurements don't have to be perfect, but you want to keep them pretty close; never use more than the instructions suggest you do. Bleach is powerful stuff and is already damaging enough without you overdoing it. Absolutely read those directions before starting.
Scoop up a spoonful of the mixture and apply it onto a bit of hair at the front of your head. Comb the bleach through your hair, ensuring that all of the hair is completely saturated. You're going for blond, not blond with red showing through.
Continue adding bleach around your head until all of your hair is coated. Use just enough to cover all of your hair, but don't pile on the bleach. It should look a bit frothy on your head and that's how you know you've used the right amount. Using too much can cause serious breakage and even -- gasp -- hair loss.
Wait for the recommended amount of time. As a redhead, this will probably be anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes; refer to the instructions on your bleach and developer bottles to be sure. After that, rinse your hair thoroughly to get all the bleach out of there. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.
Prepare the toner and pour it into a container or applicator tube -- or skip this step if it comes premixed -- and apply it to your hair. Apply it the same way you did with the bleach, only coat your hair a bit more thickly with this stuff. Toner is going to be your best friend. It's what's going to change the pale yellow or orange shade your hair is now into a pretty blond color.
Tick, tock. Time's up. Toner usually stays on for about 20 minutes; read the directions to be sure. Rinse the toner out, condition your hair and style it as desired. Good work -- you just bleached your red hair blond and without having to spend a fortune to do it.
Deep condition your hair about a week after coloring -- and at least once a week after that -- to ensure that your color stays fresh and your hair moisturized and healthy looking. If you have access to salon supplies, use a professional hair-coloring bowl and brush in place of a basic container and spoon.