Bleach-Out "The Easy Way"

Some of the most asked questions that always come up in my haircolor classes are about the "Bleach-Out" for a Double Process Blonding service.

The list goes on and on.

In todays lesson I will share with you some of my methods for doing a great bleach-out in all the above situations.


What to Look for in a Good Bleach-out

The appropriate color to look for in a good bleach-out will depend on the toner used. The toner manufacturer will usually advise a pre-bleach-out to a specific color like gold, yellow or pale yellow.

The reason for this is because the tertiary colors in toner are specifically designed to work with that specific shade of prelightened hair.

When doing a Double Process Blonding, the bleach-out is the most important step in the whole process. If the bleach-out is not done correctly, there is no way that the finished product will look right. So, take your time and do it right the first time.

Doing a Virgin Bleach-Out

There are two methods of doing a virgin bleach-out. I will explain both in detail. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Neither one is perfect. The first one that I will explain is the one which most of us learned when we were in beauty school. The second one is the one that I have been using for the past 20 years or so. The choice is yours.

METHOD #1 (Traditional Method)

First, begin applying the lightener on the midshaft keeping about 1” from the scalp, and then bring the bleach-out to the porous ends but not on the ends yet.

Allow the lightener to process until the midshaft becomes a light gold.

When the midshaft becomes a light gold, apply lightener to the re-growth area and over the porous ends.

Process until the desired pre-lightening color is achieved and even from scalp to ends.

Good luck!

METHOD #2 (David’s Method)

First, apply lightener on to all of the hair, from scalp to ends.

Keep a close watch at root area.

When the root area becomes the desired pre-lightened shade, rinse off the lightener.

Reapply a new lightener mixture from the gold midshaft area to the porous ends.

Allow it to develop until the midshaft and ends match the root area.

If hair is stubborn or if the hair has been tinted dark, you may need to reapply the lightener to the midshaft several times.

Doing a Bleach-Out on Tinted Hair

When doing a bleach-out on tinted hair, use method #2. Be aware that the tinted ends may require several lightener applications to remove the old tint. At this point, you may consider using an off-the-scalp powder lightener with a higher volume peroxide in order to lighten the old tint faster.

Never promise light blonde results in one visit, especially on dark tinted hair.

Doing a Bleach-Out on Previously Highlighted/Bleached Hair

Note: This procedure applies to clients that are heavily highlighted with lightener. If your client has a subtle highlighting where tint is used instead of lightener, use one of the above techniques.

When taking a client from heavy lightened highlights to a Double Process Blonde, you must be very careful not to over-lighten the already lightened hair or your client will get major breakage. The following is how I recommend handling this situation.

1) Bleach-out the re-growth area (virgin hair) to your desired prelightened shade, as you would do a touch up situation (don’t tone yet).

2) Dry under a cool dryer.

3) Go back with foil and weave out the dark hair and bleach it separately (this can be a pain, but do the best you can).

4) When the dark hair inside the foils becomes the desired pre-lightened shade, take the client to the shampoo bowl and remove the foils rinsing all the hair with water.

5) Next, while at the shampoo sink and with the hair wet, run a mild bleach solution through the entire head just for a minute or two. This will freshen the old highlights and prepare them to better accept the toner.

6) Shampoo out the lightener and use an anti-oxidation treatment to neutralize any lightener residue that may be left in the hair before toning.

7) Dry hair before toning.

8) At this point, the hair should be dried (use a cool dryer only) before the toner is applied. Check to see if the bleach-out is even. If it is not, go back and spot bleach the areas that need to be lighter.


Haircolor Secret



If you find this blog post interesting and want to learn more about how to do awesome Double Process Blondes, check out my book "Stunning Double Process Blondes".