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How To Do A Bleach Bath, AKA The *Milder* Option For Lightening Your Hair

Hello, blonde hair!
how to do bleach bath
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Courtesy of Cheska Santiago, Shutterstock

Are you interested in going blonde and getting your hair colored? Here's a little truth bomb for you: It simply can't be done without bleach. Add that to the fact that Asian hair is *notorious* for being hard to lighten, and you're pretty much stuck in that salon chair for an entire day. Bleach also has a reputation for hurting like a bitch, especially when it gets on your scalp, so you have to endure that for multiple sessions—a must if you're aiming for a pastel hue.


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There is, however, an alternative method you can try if you want to gradually lighten your hair: A bleach bath! Keep on scrolling to learn more about this milder procedure:


Everything You Need To Know About Doing A Bleach Bath

What is a bleach bath?

Normally, when you lighten your hair, you mix bleach powder with an oxidizing cream or developer and apply it on dry locks. The mixture will cause a strong chemical reaction in your strands, resulting in it being a few shades lighter. While this is certainly an effective way of getting lighter hair, it can also damage it if it was thin and fragile to begin with. The less aggressive alternative to this is a bleach bath.

bleach bath
A full bleach procedure is much more damaging to the hair than a bleach bath. Shutterstock
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A bleach bath is essentially like the normal bleaching process that consists of bleach powder and developer, except that you add an anti-dandruff shampoo in the mix. It is also applied to towel-dried or damp hair. This further dilutes the bleach, resulting in a slower processing time, but you can ensure that your locks won't be damaged as much.

When should I do a bleach bath?

You should do a bleach bath if:

  • You want to lighten your hair by one level.
  • You want to remove your existing permanent or semi-permanent hair color.
  • You have fragile hair that can't take the normal aggressive bleaching process.
  • You want to correct over-toned hair.

You also need to take note of the condition of your hair to see if you can work with just a bleach bath or you need to do a full bleaching procedure. Check out this easy guide from Bellatory:

  • Over-toned hair - Bleach bath
  • Over-processed hair - Bleach bath
  • Stubborn hair color that can't easily be removed - Bleach bath
  • Mild lightening - Bleach bath
  • Going blonde from naturally dark hair - Full bleach
  • Removing dark hair colors - Full bleach
  • Regrowth touchups - Full bleach

What items do I need for a bleach bath?

For your bleach bath, you would need the following items:

  • Bleach powder
  • Developer (we recommend 20 or 30 volume)
  • Anti-dandruff shampoo
  • Plastic bowl and brush
  • Gloves
  • Shower cap

Follow a 1:2:1 ratio for your bleach powder, developer, and anti-dandruff shampoo respectively. Mix everything in your plastic bowl.

bleach bath mixture
Make sure to mix everything properly! Shutterstock

How do I apply the bleach bath mixture?

Editor's note: Before proceeding with the bleach bath, make sure that you haven't washed your hair for at least two days. The natural oils in your strands will serve as extra protection from the chemicals!

Apply the mixture to damp—not soaking wet or dry—hair. Start on your tips and work your way up to your roots. Once you're finished, massage it to your strands like you would with shampoo to make sure that each strand is soaked with the solution. Next, put on a shower cap to trap the heat inside. This will allow your locks to process faster.

Check its process every five to 10 minutes. Do *not* leave it on for more than 30 minutes. Once you're satisfied with the color, you can rinse off the mixture with cold water. Make sure to use a nourishing hair mask or conditioner after this procedure to bring back the moisture and nutrients that were stripped away.


Watch this informative video if you need a visual guide:

How To: BLEACH BATH (minimal damage) | Evelina Forsell


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