Medically the review by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — written by buy it Kester ~ above September 21, 2020

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Lusting ~ lighter hair yet don’t want to go the shop route?

You can be tempted come bleach your own hair, i beg your pardon is when you strip the hair the your shade to make it lighter.

You are watching: How long is hair bleach good for

While this DIY method isn’t encourage by hair professionals, it can be done.

This short article will give you advice on just how to bleach her hair in ~ home, including exactly how long you have to leave it on her hair, and how to avoid irreversible damage.


Bleaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all process.

How lengthy you leaving it ~ above the hair relies on a number of factors, such as your hair color and also texture.


Hair color and also textureHow lengthy to leave on
blonde hair15 come 20 minutes
dark hair30 minutes; it’s encourage you split the process into several sessions
fine hair10 come 15 minutes; this type of hair will process faster because it has actually a thinner cuticle layer
coarse hair30 minutes; this form of hair is more difficult to job-related with and may need a minimum of two applications

Additional determinants that impact how lengthy you leaving bleach on, include:

the color you’re hope to achievewhether your hair has been previously colored

Bleach is called an “aggressive” product for a reason.

It water the hair by opening the hair cuticle and dissolving the color (melanin). The much longer you leave it on, the an ext the protein bond (keratin) space destroyed.

The two many widely used bleaches room ammonia and also hydrogen peroxide. Unfortunately, over there aren’t many alternate products to assist avoid damage.

For instance, Nikki Goddard, a certified hairstylist and also makeup artist, claims to not be fooled by assets with a “peroxide-free” label.

All this means is that an additional oxidizing agent was provided — one that could be even much more harmful come the hair.


What wake up if you leave bleach on her hair for also long? 

There’s a misconception the bleach will certainly work much better the longer you leave it on.

The maximum lot of time you must leave bleach on her hair is 30 minutes. Any kind of longer than that and also you operation the threat of significant damage, consisting of brittle strands.

Other risks of bleaching

In addition to leave bleach on your hair for too long, there room other dangers related to utilizing this form of dye.

Your hair could lose all pigment and turn white

Your hair can turn white indigenous the oxidation process, de-coloring the pigment.

Your hair could come to be weaker and also less able to maintain moisture

One study found that the hair was substantially weaker after ~ bleaching. Even skin that the bleach had actually touched was affected.

Bleach has also been well-known to revolve the hair extremely porous. This is when the hair cuticles are too extensively spaced, do it daunting for the strands to maintain moisture.

“Moderate porosity makes the mane look an ext voluminous and easier to organize curls,” explains Goddard. “However, extreme porosity and dehydration leader to the devastation of the hair shaft and might reason irreversible damage.”

Your hair could lose keratin

One that the critical — and most significant — dangers of bleaching is the hair’s loss of keratin, which is a form of protein that provides up the hair.

Without keratin, the hair structure is compromised, making it brittle and complicated to style. Unfortunately, keratin ns is tough to avoid when bleaching.


Before you go the DIY route of bleaching her hair at home, there are three essential things to keep in mind:

1. Finish a patch check beforehand

Before dying her hair at home, finish a spot test. You could have one allergy the you’re not conscious of.

In 2012, a 16-year-old girl to be admitted come a burn unit for a 1 percent full-thickness chemistry burn top top the nape of she neck from bleaching.

Testing the hair beforehand likewise determines whether your hair is as well damaged for bleach.

“If the end kink up, look frizzy or frayed, execute not lighten your hair,” stress Kerry E. Yates, founder of colour Collective and trichologist in training.

“Instead, go find a clean gloss to apply to smooth things out till your end are cut away and also you have much more healthy-looking strands.”

2. Review the directions carefully

Always take skilled steps, such as wearing gloves and protective eyewear, recommends Vincent De Marco, hairstylist and also owner of Vincent Hair Artistry.

And just like in a professional salon, inspect on the hair because that the level the lightness. The an initial check should be ~ 10 minutes, states Yates, and then again every 5 to 10 minutes until you struggle 30 minutes.

Yates adds, “If the outcomes you want aren’t over there after 30 minutes, rinse that out and mix a fresh batch. Apply and also follow the exact same directions.”

Never leave the bleach on her head for much longer than 1 hour.

3. Take into consideration your hair type

Some hair varieties simply can’t stand up to the strength of bleach. If you have relaxed, straightened, or chemically-treated hair, Yates says to stop bleaching.

“This product is no for you and your hair will literally turn to dust if you use lightener,” Yates says.

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While bleach deserve to be used on curly hair, you’ll want to store your texture safe by being really gentle. For example, don’t traction on the hair when applying the product.