How Do I Bleach Hair with Bleach?

Sarah Sullins

Lightening your hair should generally be done by a salon professional, but if you want to use bleach to lighten your hair at home, there are ways to accomplish it. One way is to bleach the hair with bleach, although this approach is frowned upon because of the damage it can do to hair. Using bleach for hair is a risky process when it involves the use of regular household cleaning bleach. It is done to lighten darker hair, but is not recommended for shades lighter than light brown.

A hair bleaching kit.
A hair bleaching kit.

A few days before you use the bleach, take 0.25 tablespoon (3.69 ml) of the bleach and combine it with about 0.25 cup (about 59 ml) of shampoo. Stir this mixture together with a spoon. Plastic spoons are generally recommended because the bleach may cause oxidization to occur in metal spoons.

Using household cleaning bleach in order to bleach your hair is considered a risky process.
Using household cleaning bleach in order to bleach your hair is considered a risky process.

Strip all previous color treatments from your hair. A couple of days before you begin to bleach hair with bleach, use a small amount of the bleach mixture on an unnoticeable strand of hair. This will help you determine how your hair will react to the bleach and what color hair you will end up with after the treatment. Rinse your hair thoroughly after a minute or two and dry it to see the color. Darker shades of hair may turn orange instead of blonde with the addition of bleach.

When bleaching hair, it's necessary to wear gloves to protect the hands.
When bleaching hair, it's necessary to wear gloves to protect the hands.

You may also want to place a small drop of the mixture on your elbow or behind your ear, where it can not be noticed. This will help you gauge your skin's reaction to the mixture. If your skin is not very irritated by the mixture, you may be able to continue to bleach hair with bleach. Bleach is highly caustic, though, so most people will experience itching or even burning; watch carefully for signs of more dangerous allergic reactions, which will be listed on the bleach bottle, and contact a poison control center if you observe any.

Lightening your hair should be done by a salon professional.
Lightening your hair should be done by a salon professional.

When you begin to bleach hair with bleach, use a comb to apply the bleach to your hair. While you are doing this, make sure the clothes you are wearing and the towels you are using can be thrown away, because the bleach will discolor them. Wear goggles to prevent bleach from getting in your eyes; bleach can cause you to go blind if it gets in your eyes. After the mixture is applied, leave the bleach in for just a few minutes, watching it change the color of your hair as you do. Do not leave it in for too long because it can cause serious damage to your hair.

Rinse the bleach out by putting your head under the faucet of either your bathtub or sink. Do not get into the shower; you do not want the bleach mixture to get all over your body. Continue rinsing your hair thoroughly for 10 or 15 minutes, and then apply regular shampoo and wash your hair a few times. You may also want to mix a little vinegar in with your shampoo to stop the bleaching process completely.

Condition your hair every day for the next couple of weeks to limit the amount of harm the bleach causes. If your hair turns orange instead of blonde, do not immediately begin to bleach hair with bleach again. Doing so can cause a lot of damage to your hair. Instead, consult a professional on the next steps to take.

If a woman has naturally dark hair, she will need higher strength bleach to lighten her hair.
If a woman has naturally dark hair, she will need higher strength bleach to lighten her hair.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Maybe use hydrogen peroxide instead?


@bear78-- I think I'm going to have to disagree with you. I have tried bleach on my hair. Thankfully, I was careful and tested a small piece of hair first. The bleach seemed to work but then my hair literally started breaking. I'm so glad I didn't use it all over my hair. I had tried a tiny amount on my scalp too and it made my scalp burn.

I'm not sure how others make bleach work without harming their scalp and hair. I don't think it's possible. Of course, applying bleach directly is the worst thing anyone can do. I recommend testing diluted bleach on a small strand of hair first like the article said.


@donasmrs-- Many people use this method to lighten their hair though. My friend did it and it doesn't look so bad. She said it made her hair a little dry, but that's about it. I think as long as the bleach is diluted with something like shampoo, it's okay.


I had never heard of bleaching hair with household cleaning bleach before. Personally, I think that's a horrible idea. I would not put regular bleach in my hair or on my scalp. I can't even imagine the damage and other side effects it would cause.

Getting hair bleached and dyed at the store may be expensive. If the budget is limited, an over-the-counter hair bleaching and dying kit can be used at home. But household bleach is just meant for cleaning. I even frown upon the use of bleach for cleaning because inhaling the fumes can cause cancer in the long term. But sometimes it's required for cleaning areas like the bathroom and it's acceptable to use it in small amounts. But putting it in hair doesn't sound safe at all.


@Grivusangel -- I know what you mean. My hair was light brown in high school and I decided to try strawberry blonde. The results were not good.

I had a friend who tried bleaching her hair with bleach. She did it and then went and tanned in bright sunshine for about three hours. She ended up with a sunburn and badly damaged hair. Good thing it was in the summer, or she would have had to have worn a wig to school!

After seeing what happened to her hair, I vowed then that I would never try anything remotely weird with mine. So my answer to the question is for people to not be stupid and don’t try using Clorox on your hair!


My first thought was "you don't." I've seen some pretty bad things happen when people used regular commercial hair color. I'd hate to see the results of the untrained (or trained, either) using household bleach on their hair. The idea is appalling.

Hair color can be such a tricky process, to start with. If you have dark hair, even the commercial color kits tell you not to use a blonde formula to go to blonde from brunette! That's a chore only a professional should do. I certainly wouldn't try it. I’m a brunette and I’ve gone a shade lighter and a shade darker, but I would never try going blonde on my own.

Post your comments
Forgot password?