I am almost 20 years into my experience with bleaching hair, and I’m still fine tuning my technique and knowledge and learning more. Bleaching hair is a very involved process, and takes alot of consideration. Hair texture, density, color at the root, color at the ends, length, condition, and integrity are all elements that need to be carefully considered when determining your bleaching route. Every head of hair is different and should be treated accordingly.
I am of the mind that if you do it right the first time, you spend way less time fixing it at the end. So have a plan of action before you start slapping bleach on the head.
Here’s Xi. She is an artist and an inventor. A builder of things, both practical and dreamed. She likes to keep her hair bleached, because it looks great on her, it makes her feel like herself, and it sets her apart just enough, and in just the right ways.
She came in today with 2 and a half inches of very dark roots, and very bleached ends. Her hair is thick and medium course with some texture. I divided her hair into 4 sections, top, sides, and back.
Here was my carefully considered plan of action. I wanted to get it all in one bleaching. It had to be a perfect cloud of almost white, no brassy patches of yellow or orange. So, I mixed up bleach and 40 volume. (BTW dont try this on yourself at home until you have enough experience with bleach to feel comfortable. you don’t want to dive into this process inexperienced) I worked my way through the 4 sections starting at the top, than each side, and finally the back.
My first time through, I applied bleach to my subsections from 1/2 inch down the root to where her previous bleaching had left off, being meticulous not to overlap bleach onto already bleached hair. Not something that you want to do when using 40v. When I got that done, I started back at the top and worked back through my sections, applying bleach to just the root.
*note- The first half inch of root always bleaches way faster than the rest. This is because it is so close to the scalp and much warmer, and heat activates bleach to work faster.
*another note-The volume of developer you use, 10,20,30, or 40, determines the speed at which it lightens. It is possible to achieve the same level of lift with a 10 as with a 40, it just takes more time and more heat. This is important to remember, as the volume of developer can be changed halfway through a bleach job to compensate for working slowly.
Xi sat under the heat with a cap on her head for about 10 minutes, then without heat for a good 25. Then, I shampood her out, and mixed up her toner.
Her toner was something I wanted to experiment with. We wanted her hair to be soft and steely, and almost electric white. I reached for my special effects in Blue Haired Freak, and mixed a small smear of it in with 2 ounces of conditioner and 1 ounce of 10 v developer. It made the shade of blue that a smurf could leave on a white pillow after going to bed with wet hair. Why the hell not? i slapped it on her head, and let her sit for another 10 minutes. Shampoo, conditioner, and trim, And Xi’s hair was the color of a cloud!
I will do a tutorial for my premium subscribers on bleaching hair in the coming months, but I cant advise anyone to bleach their own hair unless its 2 inches or shorter in length.