Bleaching your hair at home can be tempting. Once you start seeing those dark roots sprouting from your head or crave a balayage like those models in magazines, it’s only a matter of time before you’re adding bleaching powders and developers to your shopping cart.
There’s one thing that you must absolutely know before trying this stuff at home: How to mix bleach powder and developer.
The thing is, there are tons of advantages to bleaching your hair at home.
You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars as you would at the salon, and you can customize what parts of your hair you want to lighten without risking miscommunication.
If you know the right way to lighten hair and how to care for your locks after, bleaching at home should work out.
But it’s not all about the technique or what tools you should use that make your bleaching process successful.
Sometimes, the make or break of your lightening session at home is getting your bleach and developer mixture just right before you start.
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Should You Bleach Your Hair At Home?
The first thing you need to ask yourself before mixing your lightening powder and developer together is whether or not you should bleach your hair at home in the first place.
Bleach can deal a lot of damage to your hair since the hydrogen peroxide in it lifts open your cuticles to let the melanin or color seep out.
This process dries out the hair, leaving it weak, brittle, and prone to breakage.
If you’re not meticulous with applying the bleach, you could even burn your scalp.
It’s an intense and stringent process that takes years for professionals to master.
So even though there are easy at-home bleaching kits available for anyone to buy, you still have to be extra careful and attentive when you use them.
You should only decide on bleaching your hair at home if you’re confident in your skills and have had the proper practice and training with a friend or family member who knows how to lighten hair professionally.
If you’re a first-timer, make sure you have someone at home with you in case something goes wrong and you need backup.
What’s The Difference Between Bleach Powder And Developer?
When it comes to bleaching, lightening powder and developer are partners in crime.
They’re the king and queen of the hair-lightening world.
They work together, and without the other, each is rendered useless.
They need each other to work.
Hair bleach is not the same as skin bleach or the cleaning agent you use on your bathroom floor.
It’s designed explicitly for hair to strip pigment out of your cuticle and lighten it.
It usually comes in powder form and has a blue or purple hue to lower the risk of turning your hair too brassy.
Then, we have developers.
These are runny liquid chemicals that contain hydrogen peroxide, which activates your bleaching powder and gets it ready to lighten your hair.
Developers come in levels of 10, 20, 30, and 40, depending on how much of a color lift you’d like.
If you want to lift your hair color by one shade, go with a 10.
If you’re going up two shades, grab the 20, and so on.
For at-home bleaching, it’s best to stick with 10, 20, and 30 developers, which lift your color from one to three shades up.
Volume 40 developer is way too strong to be used by a non-professional.
It can melt your hair strands and even cause harsh chemical burns on your scalp with one wrong move.
So leave this developer level to the salon experts.
Ideally, the lightening powder and developer you purchase are from the same brand, just to make sure they will work together great.
But if you prefer products from different brands, you’ll still get good results as long as you create your mixture correctly.
How to Mix Bleach Powder and Developer
The recommended bleach to developer ratio is 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer.
Before you create your bleaching powder and developer mixture, you need to ensure you have the right tools at home.
You’ll need a plastic mixing bowl to combine the two, rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemical burns, and a brush to mix everything together.
You might also want to secure a sectioning brush, crocodile clips, and strips of foil for when you apply the bleach to your hair the easiest way possible.
Now, getting a good mixture of bleach and developer is pertinent to your hair lightening’s success.
You cannot afford to mess up your mix.
If it’s not smooth and at the ideal consistency, you may end up with an uneven color. Yikes!
It all starts with the ratio.
All lighteners are different – some are stronger than others and need the extra developer dilution.
As mentioned above, a good rule of thumb to go by is that one part bleach needs two parts developer.
So if you’re using two ounces of bleach, set aside four ounces of developer.
The volume level of your developer shouldn’t affect how much of it you put in.
You will always mix in two parts developer per one part bleach whether you have a 10 or 40.
The golden ratio stays the same.
It’s crucial to get this ratio right for many reasons.
If your mixture has too much bleach and not enough developer, your hair cuticle won’t lift enough.
And if you lack bleach and have way too much developer, you could end up damaging your hair without even lightening it to the shade you want.
To ensure you have the right measurements, use a kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoons for accuracy.
Mix thoroughly in a plastic bowl
Start by putting the bleaching powder in your plastic bowl.
Next, put in the developer gradually, adding a little bit at a time and mixing until the two are well-combined, super smooth, and lump-free.
Add more little by little and repeat the process until all your developer is in the mixture.
Each time you add a bit more developer, make sure you’re mixing it with the bleaching powder thoroughly.
This will help dilute the granules better, enhancing spreadability to ensure an even, uniform lightening on your hair.
Don’t add your developer into the mixing bowl all at once.
You’ll have a hard time diluting the powder and be left with a lumpy, chunky mixture – the secret to hair looking uneven and streaky after lightening.
You don’t want a consistency that’s too watery and runny.
A mixture on the verge of being liquid will leak out of your foils and create spots and patches in your hair, making some parts look more lightened than others.
What you’re looking for is a smooth and creamy consistency that’s not too thick and not too runny.
It should be similar to your favorite nourishing conditioner.
This texture makes it easy to apply to your hair later on.
The only time you’ll want a thicker consistency for your cream is when you’re doing a balayage, or free-painting your highlights.
This is so that the mixture doesn’t drip to your feet and floor as you paint your locks.
Your mixture should look homogenous.
It shouldn’t look like two ingredients lazily thrown into a bowl and stirred a few times.
It has to look like one solid cream that is smooth and free of lumps, chunks, and granules.
And once you’ve perfected your mixture, you’re ready to roll.
How To Apply Bleach To Your Hair Evenly
Applying bleach on unwashed hair is excellent because your natural oils protect your scalp from the damage that the potent lightener and developer mixture can deal.
To ensure that you have an even distribution of product, section your hair before applying bleach.
If you’re bleaching all your hair, use a stiffer brush that isn’t so flimsy to give you more control of the application.
If you’re doing highlights or a balayage, opt for something softer, like a makeup brush.
Start applying at the back of your hair, where your thicker locks are.
Slowly but surely, work your way to the outer sections of your hair.
Use crocodile clips to keep sections of hair from touching as you go, and foils to layer them once the bleach is applied.
Start with the darker parts
One tip to make sure your color comes out evenly is to first apply your bleach to the darker parts of your hair.
These strands need extra processing time, so get them out of the way as you start.
On the flip side, save your roots for last.
Bleach can process this area of your hair quicker, thanks to the heat of your scalp.
Leave your bleach mixture on your hair for around 20-30 minutes, or whatever the instructions on your lightener say.
Check on your hair color every five or so minutes to double-check if things are going smoothly.
When you’re happy with the shade, you can rinse the mixture off in the shower with a sulfate-free shampoo.
Now, you can and start toning your freshly lightened locks to get that magical hue you’ve always wanted.
Bleaching at home can be intimidating, especially for first-timers.
But as long as you know exactly what you have to do to obtain that perfect, creamy mixture of lightening powder and developer, you’ll be all set.
It’s important to know how to mix bleach powder and developer.
Just always remember not to settle for anything chunky or lumpy so that you get an even lightening across your locks.
Set the bar high for your hair and be meticulous with your bleaching technique, and you’ll come out of your at-home bleaching sesh look fabulous.