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Keeping it simple

Certainly, let’s clarify the essential points about bleaching hair. It’s crucial not to exceed the recommended time mentioned in your bleaching kit instructions. The process of bleaching hair, especially at home, can become quite intricate. If not done correctly, you might end up with undesirable greenish or brassy orange undertones. Moreover, prolonged exposure to bleach in your hair can diminish its natural luster and overall beauty. Bleach works by penetrating the hair strands to lighten them, but in doing so, it makes your hair more susceptible to damage. Many individuals experience complaints of hair loss, roughness, and dryness after coloring their hair. Additionally, bleach can contribute to frizz and lead to severe hair breakage.

However, it’s important to note that with the proper techniques, you can successfully bleach your hair at home without causing harm. To address the question, “How long should I leave bleach in my hair?” – let’s delve into everything you need to know before embarking on the bleaching process.

How long to leave bleach on the roots?

The precise duration for leaving bleach in your hair is contingent on several factors, including your unique hair type, thickness, natural color, texture, and the specific bleach and developer products you’re using. Typically, a timeframe of 15 to 30 minutes suffices for most hair types during the bleaching process.

In certain situations, you may find it necessary to reapply the bleach to achieve your desired hair color. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that even during reapplication, it’s advisable not to surpass the 30-minute mark to ensure the safety and health of your hair.

Quick Tip: The duration for bleach application can vary based on your hair type: approximately 10-15 minutes for fine hair, 30 minutes for dark or coarse hair, and about 15-20 minutes for blonde hair. To determine the precise time for your specific hair, it’s advisable to conduct a strand test.

Which Bleach volume should I use?

Hair developer, often referred to as peroxide, is a chemical used in hair bleaching to lift and lighten the hair. Its strength is measured in levels, typically ranging from 10 to 40. Lower levels like 10 and 20 are milder, suitable for minimal lightening or for more delicate hair. 

Higher levels like 30 and 40 are stronger and used for more significant color change but can also cause more damage. The right developer level is chosen based on the desired lighting effect and the individual’s hair type and condition.

What is a developer?

Hair development is a crucial chemical used in hair coloring and bleaching processes. It contains hydrogen peroxide and is categorized into levels indicated by numbers such as 10, 20, 30, and 40, representing their strengths.

  • Level 10: This is the lowest strength and is suitable for minimal lighting or toning.
  • Level 20: Commonly used for standard hair coloring and lightening purposes.
  • Level 30: Offers stronger lighting and is typically used for more significant color changes.
  • Level 40: The highest strength, reserved for intense lightening but should be used with caution due to its potential to cause more hair damage.

The choice of developer strength depends on the desired hair color result and the individual’s specific hair type and condition.

10 Volume Developer

A 10-volume developer contains a low peroxide level of approximately 3%. It’s an ideal choice if your goal is to darken your hair by just one shade or level. This developer primarily imparts a subtle shade or tint of lightness to your existing base color, making it a gentle option for minimal color changes. 

It’s often used in situations where you want to enhance your natural hair color or deposit a slightly darker hue without significant lightening effects. This makes it a go-to choice for maintaining a more subtle and natural look.

20 Volume Developer

Indeed, a 20-volume developer contains a higher peroxide level of 6% and is typically employed when using permanent hair dye. Its purpose is to ensure full coverage, especially for those with 100% white or gray hair, resulting in a vibrant and long-lasting color. 

Additionally, the 20-volume developer is effective at opening the hair cuticle and lightening the hair by one to two levels, making it suitable for achieving more noticeable color changes compared to 10-volume developers. This strength is often chosen when seeking a moderately significant alteration in hair color while still maintaining a degree of gentleness.

30 Volume Developer

A 30-volume developer with a peroxide level of 9% is an excellent choice when you have dark hair and aspire to achieve beautiful brown to honey-blonde shades. It shares similarities with the 20-volume developer but is more potent, lightening the hair by two to three levels. This makes it particularly effective for achieving noticeable color transformations, especially when you’re transitioning from a dark base to a significantly lighter hue. However, it’s essential to use it with care, considering its higher peroxide content, to minimize the risk of hair damage and ensure the best results for your desired hair color.

40 Volume Developer

The 40-volume developer, boasting a peroxide level of 12%, is the most potent among all developers. Its high peroxide content allows it to lighten hair by up to four shades, making it the most suitable choice for dramatic and drastic color changes. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution when using this developer due to its strength, as it can also result in more significant hair damage if not applied correctly. 

It’s typically reserved for experienced individuals or professional hairstylists and should be used sparingly to achieve the desired intense color transformations while preserving the health and integrity of the hair.

Note: Don’t use 40 volume developer at home; use it under the guidance of a colorist. Its high-level peroxide can damage your hair up to a significant level.

If you have ultra-soft or damaged hair, then use volume 10 points lower because a high volume tone may lighten hair to a great extent or even make it white. It can even remove Keratin from your hair, leaving them more damaged and dry.

So do not use a high-volume tone on damaged hair. 

Also check: I dyed my hair and it turned orange how do I fix it?

How Long Is It Safe To Leave Bleach In My Hair?

As we answered earlier, hair bleach time is usually between 10-45 minutes. But the exact time to leave Bleach is determined according to some other factors, such as the hair type you have and the bleach volume you are using. 

Have a look at some gathered factors to keep in mind when you are looking for how long I should leave Bleach in my hair.

1. Hair Type

The hair type is the primary factor that decides the time limit of having Bleach in your hair.

  • If you have blonde hair, it is best to leave only for 15-20 minutes. More than that may cause unwanted hair color results. 
  • If you have fine hair, leave the Bleach for 10-15 minutes only. 
  • If you have a dark brown or black hair tone, leave the Bleach for about 35 minutes. It is recommended to do the process in different sessions. 
  • If you have coarse hair, use Bleach for 30-45 minutes, depending on the level of coarse hair and the results you want. 

2. Starting Color

Your starting color also contributes to determining the time of bleaching time. For example, if you start with a black and dark brown base, you need to leave Bleach for a longer time on your hair to achieve your desired lightness.

In addition, more than three shades demand a high volume of peroxide to lighten your hair, which is more likely to damage your hair.

According to AAD(American Academy of Dermatology), you should consider natural hair color when deciding on dye. 

3. Dream Color

Hair color goals are also a significant determinant in the bleach application time. If you’re seeking a subtle change, a shorter duration suffices. But for more substantial transformations, such as transitioning from a dark base to platinum blonde, an extended bleach application time is necessary. The desired outcome influences the duration to achieve the ideal hair color.

Note: It can turn your hair color into orange if you leave the Bleach for a long time.

Check our article to fix such an issue: How much does it cost to dye your hair

4. Developer Type

It’s crucial to meticulously adhere to the instructions provided on a hair color kit, especially when determining the bleach application duration. Conversely, when visiting a salon, experienced colorists possess the expertise to calculate the precise bleach-to-developer ratio tailored to your hair’s specific needs. 

To achieve your desired hair color, it’s essential to select the appropriate developer based on factors such as your desired hue, hair type, and other individual considerations. This ensures a successful and safe coloring process, whether at home or in a salon.

5. Cuticle Thinness

It’s essential to assess the thickness and condition of your hair cuticles before embarking on a bleaching process. Thin and delicate hair cuticles are more vulnerable to damage from bleach, so extra caution is necessary.

Furthermore, strictly adhere to the recommended bleach application time provided in the instructions. Exceeding this time can lead to excessive damage and unwanted outcomes.

Additionally, selecting the appropriate bleach volume is crucial. Using the right type of bleach volume ensures a controlled and effective lighting process, minimizing the risk of over-processing and harm to your hair. These steps collectively contribute to a safer and more successful bleaching experience.

Read Also: How to check which hairstyle suits my face online

How To Tell When It’s Time To Remove Bleach

How do you determine the time to wash your Bleach out?

Don’t worry; we will tell you two methods for this.

Firstly set a timer and keep checking your hair if it is lightening or needs more time.

Another way is to do a test strand before applying Bleach to the entire head.

If you want to know what suitable bleach volume and bleaching time are for your hair, the best way is to do a strand test. It will be easy, non-problematic, and will not even affect your whole hair. The easy four-step procedure is as follows – 

  • Prepare a small amount of bleach mix of 20-volume bleach developers. 
  • Apply the mixture to a small strand of hair. 
  • Now, check the strand; after every 2-3 minutes, you will see changing color. 
  • When you see the desired result, it is best to remove the Bleach and check how long the Bleach was on. 
  • If Bleach does not work for a long time, it means your hair needs a high bleach volume developer.

What will be the consequences of using the wrong bleach volume type or leaving Bleach for too long?

There is a misconception that using a high-volume bleach or leaving Bleach for a long time will give a better hair tone. But it is entirely wrong. , High bleach volume or leaving it for too long can damage your hair, cause dryness, and even more severe issues.  So, If you don’t know how long should I leave bleach in my hair, It can result in in-

1. Complete Loss of hair pigment 

Firstly, the oxidation and de-coloring of hair can result in hair pigment loss. This will turn your hair completely white. So don’t even think about leaving them for a long time. 

2. Hair will become weak.

Leaving Bleach for a long time or using high-volume bleach will weaken hair. In addition, during Bleach, hair cannot retain moisture, making them vulnerable. 

3. Loss of Keratin

The prolonged use or hard bleaching can result in hair losing Keratin. Keratin is a component that makes hair and is also responsible for hair being soft and manageable. If Keratin goes off, your hair will become brittle, unmanageable, and difficult to style.

How to take care of hair post-bleaching?

Just bleaching your hair is the complete process; after bleaching, you need to take care of your hair to avoid any damage. So, the below tips will help you restore your hair’s health and softness after bleaching.

  1. 3 days before and after bleaching, use pre-shampoo conditioners to nourish hair.
  2. It is recommended to do a post-color treatment, for instance, Olaplex.
  3. Apply a hair mask for nourishing from time to time.
  4. When you are going to style your hair with a blow dryer or iron, don’t forget to apply a thermal protector to avoid heat damage.
  5. Apply a lightweight, protective serum or spray regularly.
  6. After shampooing, do not forget to use a hair conditioner.
  7. Comb the hair gently without pulling too hard.
  8. Wash your hair with lukewarm or normal water.
  9. Don’t bleach your hair before 6 to 8 weeks again.

Some Best Bleach Recommendations 

When you know exactly how long should I leave bleach in my hair, here we are recommending to you some best bleach brand recommendations. Moreover, You can use these products to have a better result.

ImageProductDetailPrice
Satin Silicone Enhanced Developer #10

Satin Silicone Enhanced Developer #10

  • Satin Oxide Developers are silicone-enhanced to provide optimal shine and conditioning during any chemical service.
Buy Now
Clairol Professional 20 volume Hair Developer

Clairol Professional 20 volume Hair Developer

  • The demi-permanent formula delivers color so luminous it reflects. Exclusive deep conditioning SOY4PLEX formula boosts shine up to 65%,* and nourishes and smoothes hair.
Buy Now
MANIC PANIC Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit 30 Vol

MANIC PANIC Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit 30 Vol

  • Manic Panic Electric Amethyst Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Dye is a glowing, medium violet hair dye with cool, blue-ish undertones. For best results, we recommend lightening hair to the lightest level 10 blonde before use.
Buy Now
MANIC PANIC Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit 40 Vol

MANIC PANIC Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit 40 Vol

  • Cotton Candy Pink is a lovely, bright cool-toned pink dye. This shade glows under a black light, so we recommend using Cotton Candy Pink on hair that’s been lightened to a very light level 9 blonde.
Buy Now

Bottom Line

In conclusion, we hope you found the answers you were looking for regarding the use of Bleach and the bleaching time. Here is a pro tip for first-time bleach users. However, do a strand test to know the right bleach volume to use on your hair, and the time you will have to leave the Bleach. 

Let us know what you think of our article, ”How long should I leave bleach in my hair?”

Thank you for reading!

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