African-American hair has a unique structure and texture that make it insanely versatile. Black men can rock anything from 360 waves to a short ‘fro to natural curls that go past their shoulders.
But if you want to kick it up a notch and make a bold statement with your hair, you can bleach it straight-up blonde.
In recent years, blonde hair has become quite the trend among black men.
Many celebs and athletes have sported this edgy look with pride, including Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown, and Dennis Rodman.
It gives a cool and striking look because of the contrast of dark skin to extremely light blonde locks.
It’s no secret that bleaching is one of the harshest and trickiest hair processes out there.
But it’s pretty much the only way you can get that dramatic dark-to-light color change, so it’s a non-negotiable for men wishing to go blonde.
In this post, we’ll look at how to dye black male hair blonde.
Is Black Hair More Difficult To Bleach?
African-American hair is coarse, thick, and curly.
Because of this unique texture and structure, it usually takes longer to bleach it than other hair types, especially when it’s thick and long.
Thankfully, it gets a bit easier if you’re dealing with short hair, like most men usually do.
Very short hair is relatively easy to bleach.
It takes a shorter amount of time and is less messy than doing an entire mane, which often leads to spills and stains.
Plus, there’s a natural heat that emanates from the skin on your scalp, speeding up the process of lightening your hair once the bleach is on.
But one thing that makes bleaching a black man’s hair a bit laborious is that you’re likely starting from a very dark color.
If you have brownish hair that is fine and delicate, you may be lucky enough to get away with going blonde in one bleaching sesh.
But if you have thick, black hair, it’s going to take more work.
Super dark, raven-colored hair might not end up as light as you want after bleaching it just once.
If you’re looking to go from black hair to platinum blonde, manage your expectations.
You might need more than one bleaching session to get your dream color, spaced out by several weeks to minimize damage.
Bleaching Can Deal A Lot Of Damage To Your Hair
Because blonde hair looks cool and edgy on black men, it’s easy to make a snap decision about going that route for your next makeover.
But it’s important to understand just how damaging bleach can be if you’re not careful using it.
It’s especially hazardous on textured hair that’s delicate and sensitive.
Any hair lover knows that bleach is extremely potent, almost to the point of toxicity.
It’s full of reactants that are activated by hydrogen peroxide (also known as liquid developer) and then brushed onto the hair to strip it of its natural color.
This concentrated bleach emits high levels of oxygen, which penetrate deep into your hair shaft, roughly lifting your cuticles while it’s at it.
It then works to break down the melanin or natural pigment in your hair’s cortex, releasing it to lighten up your color.
Effects of Bleaching
Bleaching is the fastest and most effective way to get your hair as light as possible, but it isn’t without its cons.
It’s infamous for how much damage it deals to the hair.
Bleach breaks down the bonds and proteins in your hair that are responsible for maintaining your locks’ strength and ability to retain moisture.
This leads to hair that is dehydrated, fragile, and weak after your bleaching session.
And the more you bleach your hair, the more damaged it will become.
You can also end up burning your skin if you’re not mindful of how you mix and apply your bleach.
It can cause rashes, burns, and blisters, which can be super painful if you don’t seek medical attention right away.
Burning patches of skin with bleach can even lead to hair loss in those areas.
Needless to say, it’s always risky business dealing with bleach, especially if you’re not a professional.
To get your dream blonde cut, you need to be extra careful when dealing with the bleaching process.
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Preparing For The Bleaching Procedure
Before you get cracking on the bleaching process, you need to take extra precautions by preparing your tools, products, and at-home set-up beforehand.
Choose an area of your home that is spacious so you can move around freely.
It should also be well-ventilated so that you won’t have to deal with the fumes and odors emanating from your bleach and developer.
Set up a big mirror in front of your seat so you can see your head from all angles.
Make sure you have all the tools you need to make the bleaching process a success.
Gather Your Products And Tools
You’ll need latex gloves to protect your hands, a non-metal mixing bowl, and a soft applicator brush.
Choose the right developer for your hair type.
A 20-volume developer is usually safe enough for at-home bleaching.
But for super dark, black hair, you might want to go for 30-volume or 40-volume, especially if your hair is very coarse.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to avoid using 40-volume, as it’s highly toxic and dangerous for non-professionals to use.
Nourish Your Hair
You also have to make sure that your hair and skin are as protected as possible before bleach even touches your scalp.
Use a nourishing shampoo and conditioner in the days leading up to your at-home bleaching job.
Moisture keeps the hair healthy and ready to take on chemical processes.
A day or two before your bleaching session, make sure to treat your hair out to a protein-rich conditioning mask.
This helps fortify your hair and build up the bonds in it, giving it a better chance at dealing with the damage of bleach gracefully.
Protect The Scalp
Right before you start bleaching, you might want to slather on some coconut oil, shea butter, or petroleum jelly on the skin nearest your hair.
Apply it around your edges, behind your ears, and by your nape.
This will protect your skin from getting burned if it comes into contact with bleach.
How To Dye Black Male Hair Blonde
The following is a step-by-step guide when dyeing a black male’s hair blonde:
Mix Bleach Powder And Developer
Mix your bleaching powder and developer in a bowl.
Make sure there aren’t any clumps in your mixture and that it’s super smooth, or else you’ll end up with patchy hair.
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Apply The Mixture
Using your soft applicator brush, cover your hair with the bleach mixture.
Ensure that your hair is completely saturated.
Keep an eye out to ensure the bleach doesn’t drip onto other parts of your skin.
If it does, wipe it off immediately to avoid any burns.
Cover The Hair
Wear a plastic wrap over your head to trap some heat that can activate the bleach even more.
Because you’re bleaching so close to the scalp, the heat from your skin should help, too.
Let The Bleach Process In The Hair
Allow the bleach to settle and process in your hair for about 40-60 minutes.
During this period, you can sit back and relax while the bleach works its magic to lighten your hair.
Take a peek now and then to see how your color is doing.
If you’re happy with the lightness, you can wash it out even before it hits the 60-minute mark.
Wash Out The Bleach
Hop into the shower and wash out the bleach.
Use a shampoo that is gentle and sulfate-free but can still thoroughly cleanse your hair of the harsh chemicals laced in it.
Tone The Hair
Now that your hair is lightened, it still might not be the perfect blonde shade you had hoped for.
It could look insanely yellow instead of a cool blonde.
At this point, you need to tone your hair.
Use a purple toner to cancel out the stark yellowness in your bleached hair.
Purple pigments neutralize warmth and cancel out any unwanted yellow tones in your hair.
You can either use a professional toner or gloss, or keep it simple with a purple shampoo in the shower.
Either way, it will give you that ashy or platinum blonde tone while adding shine.
Use Some Conditioner
Finish off by rinsing your hair again.
Replenish the moisture your hair lost from the bleaching and toning process by using a hydrating conditioner to finish the job.
Jump out of the shower and there you have it!
Now, you have perfectly blonde hair achieved through safe and mindful bleaching.
Make Sure You Moisturize Your Bleached Hair
Now that you’re flaunting snatched, bleached blonde hair, it’s time to move on to the next step – proper aftercare.
When it comes to nursing damaged hair back to health, moisturization is crucial.
Textured hair is dehydrated as it is, but when it’s bleached, it’s even more parched and thirsty for hydration.
Bleach makes the hair more porous.
It lifts your cuticles during the lightening process, leaving behind gaps in your hair fibers.
These gaps make it easier for your hair to absorb moisture, but release the water just as quickly, leaving your hair super dry, rough, and weak.
Amping up your hair care routine with moisturizing products is a must when you’re rocking bleached hair.
You don’t have to build up a fancy routine with expensive products – just tweak and adjust the routine you’re used to so that it includes more nourishing options.
Ideal Routine For Black Men With Bleached Hair
A simple hair routine can help keep your bleached hair moisturized and healthy.
Pre-Shampoo Your Hair
Before shampooing your hair on wash day, carve out an extra half hour to do a pre-poo with coconut oil.
Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and proteins, helping to repair and deeply moisturize your hair.
It penetrates deep in your hair cuticle to nourish it and bring it back to life.
Oiling short hair can leave your skin and scalp feeling greasy, but it’s no problem during a pre-poo because you’re about to hop in the shower to shampoo everything off anyway.
Use A Hydrating Shampoo
Speaking of shampoo, you should also select a hydrating shampoo now that you’re rocking bleached hair.
Use something that is sulfate-free so that you don’t wash out your toner that quickly.
To maintain an ashy tone in your blonde ‘do, make sure you have a purple shampoo for once-a-week usage, too.
One moisturizing shampoo that’s terrific for black men is the SheaMoisture for Men Moisturizing Shampoo.
It’s formulated especially for men of color with coarse hair that needs deep and intense moisture.
The shampoo is sulfate- and silicone-free, making it perfect for curly hair.
It’s infused with raw, creamy shea butter and rich mafura oil, keeping your dry hair moisturized all day.
Deep Condition Your Hair
Conditioning is also extremely important to keep your hair soft and shiny in your daily showers.
But once a week, use a deep conditioner for a more intensive hydrating treatment.
Hair masks with super-moisturizing ingredients help repair hair damaged by bleach.
You can either use a store-bought hair mask or DIY it in your kitchen.
A good, fuss-free, basic DIY deep conditioner could be a combo of coconut oil, egg yolks, and yogurt.
They’re protein-rich and highly moisturizing to fortify and strengthen your bleached hair.
When you’re done with your shower, it’s time to style your blonde hair.
You might also consider swapping your current stylers with something more moisturizing since a typical pomade or wax is rarely ever that nourishing.
Opt instead for a moisturizing styler rich in hydrating botanicals and oils.
The Bumble and Bumble Grooming Crème is excellent for men.
This smooth cream is a great finisher when styling your hair.
It provides separation, flexible and subtle hold, and leaves your hair feeling soft to the touch.
It’s rich in highly nourishing oils, including avocado, jojoba, castor, and sweet almond oils.
Because the formula is so hydrating, it can even double as your leave-in serum for the day.
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If you’ve been wondering how to dye black male hair blonde, then this piece is for you.
You may get a couple of silly looks and double-takes in the street when you’re a black man sporting short, blonde hair.
But it’s part of going for a bold and daring look.
The key to perfecting this look is bleaching the right way -that is, in a way that’s very safe but very effective as well.
It takes a lot of guts to rock this look, but it takes even more technical skills in bleaching and toning to get it done.
So if you’ve been wanting to rock lighter-colored hair, use this guide as your blueprint and map to going blonde.
Remember to do the proper prep, aftercare, and maintenance to keep your hair healthy and looking tight.
Before you know it, bleaching and going blonde every time your roots grow back will be second nature to you.