One of the most common questions I get asked (besides “Yo gurl, y u so fine?) is “How did/do you bleach/dye your hair?” It’s no secret that I’m a cheapskate and if there’s one thing the internet has taught me, it’s how to be somewhat self-sufficient (that, and not to trust the things people who bleach and color their own hair say). I haven’t had my hair dyed by a pro since I was 12 and if I had the guts to cut my own hair, I’d probably never set foot inside a salon again. Alas, I am not
stupid adventurous skilled enough.
Anyway, I thought I’d put together a quick
(and hopefully detailed) entry on how I bleach my hair. Please keep in mind that I am not a professional so don’t come bawwwwing to me if you decide to do what I do and end up with orange hair, patchy hair, fried hair, or a burned scalp (this has never happened to me). Feel free to ask me questions, though, and I will try my best to answer them (I promise to google and not pull my answers out of my ass :P).
Since I’m doing this “tutorial” on impulse, there won’t be many photos of the process.
1) A plastic mixing bowl (I got mine for PHP25 at my neighborhood “department store”).
2) A tinting brush.
3) A wide-toothed comb (to ensure the bleach is spread out evenly).
4) Disposable plastic gloves. LOL story: the first time I bleached my hair, I used my bare hands. They felt burned for days. Rubber gloves (the kind fancy people wear when doing the dishes or dusting the house) won’t work because it’ll rub against your hair. We don’t want that.
5) Plastic hair clips (optional).
6) Ear caps (optional).
THE HAIR STUFF
Bleach. Personally, I like HBC/Hortaleza’s powder bleach (it comes in a plastic packet).
Oxidizing lotion/creme developer (for bleach). I used to use 12% (the equivalent of Vol 40) until I asked a legit hairdresser what’s better to use. He suggested I go for 9% instead. Something about it being better for your hair etc etc. You can buy this from HBC/Hortaleza, too.
Toner. Unfortunately, you can’t get toner here. I’ve searched high and low for this. HBC had it once, called Clear Tone, but for reasons I cannot comprehend discontinued it. The beauty supply shop I found in Quiapo didn’t have it in stock. GOOD THING YOU HAVE ME TO GUIDE YOU AND SHARE WITH YOU MY SECRET.
(I sent HBC’s customer service an inquiry over SMS once, asking what branch had Clear Tone in stock and they replied saying they had it and what branch should they send the body wash to, ahaha.)
You see, when I first bleached my hair, it turned a horrific shade of orange.
Toner takes the brassiness out. You can bleach your hair twice in a row (eek, please don’t) and you still won’t get it to a nice, forgiving shade of blonde. At best, you will get a bright banana yellow (just makin’ up stuff here, tbh) which is what I had when I bleached for the second and third times (with 2-3 months in between bleaching jobs).
Light gray, gray, or ash dye. No toner? This works as a decent substitute, suggested by a real hair stylist at one of the message boards I post at. She also recommended incorporating a purple shampoo into your/my regimen to counter the brassy tones as the toner/dye fades.
I used 12% oxidizing lotion/developer with the light gray dye.
Okay, this is the part where my laziness kicks in and I tell you to just google for tutorials on the bleaching process; chances are, you’ll find a video on Youtube that will prove to be more helpful than I can ever be. I’m sorry I’m lazy BUT IT IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.
I have a few “tips”, though:
1) Get a friend to help. There will be parts you can’t see in the mirror and these are the parts your brush will miss (resulting in a patchy bleach job). Tara was a great helper ♥
2) Wear an old shirt. I use those souvenir t shirts I was obsessed with when I was in high school.
3) It may or may not burn. The good news is— it’s not chlamydia! YAY! Sit in front of a fan to ease the pain but don’t prolong it that you end up with a burned scalp.
4) It may or may not itch. The good news is— it’s not scabies! The itching is your scalp burning, I think. I just wanted to squeeze in another lame joke. I find that gently/lightly running my fingers though my scalp/hair (still with plastic gloves) on eases it.
5) Comb through to properly distribute the bleach.
That’s it! Personally, I don’t shampoo before bleaching and I always start with dry hair. Shampoo strips your hair off oil and bleaching WILL dry your hair out. The way I see it (aka what Mr Internet told me) shampooing before is like… sanding down wood that’s already been… sanded down.
(I shampoo before coloring, though, so that my hair would be thirsty and will absorb the dye… like a sponge.)
You can ask me questions or tell me that I’ve been doing things wrong (nicely, of course. R00d comments will be LOL-ed at privately before being baleeted) in the comments!