Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Safest Way to Bleach Dark Hair to Light Brown- Least Damaging [PHOTOS]

I often get asked about how I bleach and maintain my hair colour, and still maintain moisture and smoothness.  THIS IS THE ONLY POST YOU'LL EVER NEED TO READ.
This year my hair has been a very bright light brownish/blonde.  In general, I'd call it "Light Ash Honey Blonde".

There are so many tutorials out there. Bleaching your hair is one of the worst things you can do to it- You are literally stripping it down. Nothing you do will completely avoid damage. The chemicals are also terrible for both your system and the environment, and because of failed attempts some people will re-bleach their hair and make matters even worse.

I've discovered a way to lessen bleaching damage to something sooo minimal, that I don't do any extra post-colour treatments on my hair (except the occasional hair mask). YOU ONLY NEED 1 INGREDIENT. This method ALSO evens out colour tone, and even protects your skin from dye chemicals. Finally, this is as eco-friendly as colouring can get- Healthier hair means less need for additional colouring and hair products. The secret is...

Organic virgin, cold-pressed Coconut Oil! 

I get the brand above Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce from Amazon. It's MUCH cheaper than in stores and Amazon will ship it in days. Lasts me between 6 months to a year!

Yep, once again.. COCONUT OIL!  I might as well write a book about all the amazing goodies that result from coconut oil. Here is the step-by-step for how I retouch my hair roots and colour:

STEP 1:   Pre-Colour Oiling
1. You must first MASK YOUR ENTIRE HEAD in coconut oil, at least 1 hour before colouring.  This gives the oil time to absorb into your hair. Also, it's best to not wash your hair for 1-2 days if you're colouring.  Literally, scoop a handful of oil and lather your hair from root to tip until it feels completely soaked and greasy. Massage it into the scalp and surrounding skin, and this will form a safe barrier between your skin and the chemicals. I know it feels uncomfortable, but you'll thank me later!

The darker orange colour I had before retouching.
STEP 2:   Bleaching Hair

 After 1 hour has passed, it's time to pull out a good hair bleach. I used the Ice Cream brand at 30% vol (higher vol for darker hair.. I don't recommend 40 because it's extremely strong and damaging to hair). You will apply the bleach ON TOP OF YOUR OILED HAIR. And no, doing this will not weaken the bleaching effect- In fact, it will make application smoother and more even.

Typically if you have black Asian hair like mine, it will take 2 bleached to achieve a fair tone. However since my hair was already bleached before, I only bleached my roots first, and then used the left over on the remaining hair. It's a lot harder on Asian hair, since we have many red undertones that are difficult to cancel out.

FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS properly so you don't burn yourself! You will likely need a plastic cup and/or brush to mix it. DO NOT leave bleach on your hair longer than 30 minutes (after this, the chemical reaction slows down and you are only damaging hair). So I put it on roots first (they bleach faster due to the warmth from your scalp), and then used leftover product for the rest.

STEP 3:  Apply a Colour
When time is up, wash out the bleach and follow instructions to condition and cleanse your hair. After drying gently with a towel, I coloured using this Clairol brand, "Natural Medium Ash Blonde". However if your hair is already damaged from previous colouring, I don't recommend dying immediately after bleaching.

Whichever brand you use, make sure to follow the instructions on the box. Condition it well after you are done. And, you're finished!

My hair is in really healthy condition, with no "straw-like" ends, even though it has been bleached. As you can see, the coconut oil also helps even out colour, so my roots don't look lighter than the rest of my head:

The even-coloured roots that blend well into the rest of the hair.

The colour evens out very well! Thank you, coco oil!
In addition to using coconut oil, I also use a purple shampoo from Pantene to maintain the colour. Basically, the purple cancels out brassy tones.

How the roots look- No uneven or splotchy tones!
In photos, the colour comes out nice and even:

In very bright lights, however, my hair tends to have a reddish/orange glow to it (you can see by this picture):

Well, there you have it! Another miracle produced by the amazing coconut oil!

Again, the best brand I use is Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce from Amazon. It's MUCH cheaper than in stores and Amazon will ship it in days. Lasts me up to a year!

You see, you don't need to spend tons of money on expensive "repair" products, because the best way is always turning to natural products. You'll have healthier, nicer looking hair and save money as well.

Comment Below: Was using Coconut Oil helpful for you?


  1. Do you shampoo your hair or just rinse and condition on step 3?

  2. Hey @alexandra bravo ! I definitely always shampoo hair when I wash it out, otherwise the harmful chemicals may still be lingering. What about you?

  3. Never done it on my own, and last time I got it done was a while ago. Where did you buy the coconut oil? and is it ok to get any other coconut oil?

  4. I haven't done it myself and it's been a while since Ive gotten it done. Can I buy any coconut oil? Where did you buy that one at?

  5. Hey Alexandra! The one I bought was actually from Costco, but it doesn't matter which brand :) Although I recommend for QUALITY coconut oil, that is should be virgin and cold-pressed and of course, organic (It usually will say right on the bottle!). Let me know how it goes, and if you have pictures!!

  6. Crystal Kelly YzaguirreOctober 11, 2014 at 1:23 AM

    I have used the coconut oil method although I left it on overnight and I can say not only was the bleaching process more even but it lifted slightly more than usual and the damage to my hair was extremely minimal. No breakage, no mush ends and no hair that stretches until it snaps when wet. Stuff is a miracle in a bottle.

  7. @Crystal Kelly Yzaguirre .... I am SO happy it's worked out for you!! I agree- it does feel like a miracle in a bottle :)

  8. Dina F. Abou el OulaNovember 13, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    I cant find coconut oil anywhere around :( its ok if i use olive oil instead?

  9. Would it work over dyed hair? i have like 2 inches of regroeth, along with the rest of my hair being a redish color from a box dye. i havnt bleached it either

  10. josdmichele@gmail.comMay 16, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Hi Dragons for Angel. I am going to try this today. It is extremely helpful and will save me over $125 from Salon. I already have to coconut oil at home. I wanted to suggest to use a Dark Blonde or just plain Light Brown for your hair - so that you will not pull and experience the reddy, orange, brassy tones. I hope this helps !