So, you want to lighten your hair, but you’re not thrilled about the idea of spending hundreds of dollars at your local salon. At the same time, the prospect of lightening or bleaching your own hair is a little terrifying; you don’t want to damage your hair or end up with the wrong shade, after all. Believe it or not, learning how to lighten hair at home is easier than you think. It’s all about having the right tools and knowing your hair.
Start With the Right Supplies
First things first: if you want your hair to look like it was lightened by a professional, you need to start with professional-quality supplies. This means ditching the little applicator bottle that comes with your typical drug-store lightening kit and getting yourself a nice hair color kit that includes gloves, a tint brush, and a bowl. Applying your lightener with a tint brush will help you achieve more accurate results and better coverage.
Know Your Hair
It also helps to truly know your hair before selecting a lightening product. Specifically, you should have an idea of your hair’s current color as well as its porosity. Knowing your hair porosity is important because this can determine how easily and quickly your hair can be colored or lightened.
A good way to test your hair porosity is to take a few clean strands and drop them into a bowl of water. Over the next five minutes, see what happens. If your hair immediately floats to the bottom, this means you have high-porosity hair that will be easier to lighten. If your hair remains at the top, you have lower-porosity, which means it may be more difficult to lighten.
And of course, your current hair color can have an impact on how easy it is to lighten your hair. The darker your current color, the stronger the product it will take to lighten. Always read the product packaging and inserts for complete directions, instructions, and warnings, and make sure to perform both the strand test and the patch test before applying your lightener or color.
Select a Professional-Grade Lightener
No matter what type of hair you have, it’s recommended that you stick with a professional-grade lightener and developer to achieve the best results. To minimize damage to your hair, use an ammonia-free lightener, and always conduct a strand test before lightening your hair to get a better idea of your expected results.
When lightening your hair, it’s best to begin with hair that is free of other products and that hasn’t been recently washed; this way, the natural oils in your hair can provide additional protection against damage. Furthermore, remember your hair’s porosity when lightening; if your hair is higher-porosity, you will want to leave the lightener in for less time than if your hair has low-porosity. Regardless of your porosity, you’ll want to make sure to check on your hair every few minutes so you can determine the best time to rinse out the lightener.
Finally, remember that the natural tones in your hair will also dictate your end results. If you have red tones, for example, your final result may be more of a reddish-blonde. If you want more of a pure blonde, you’ll need to use a toner with complementary tones (such as green) to cancel out the red in your hair.
For more assistance in choosing the right products and techniques to lighten your hair, feel free to contact the friendly and experienced ion Professional Colorists at 1-800-859-3112.