What is Bleach Bathing? What It Is For and How It Is Done

9:02 PM

Did you recently color your hair but the shade does not seem right for you? Here is the quickest way to get that awful dye off your hair.

What is bleach bathing?

Also called soap capping or bleach washing, bleach bathing is a quick and easy way to remove hair color from your hair. It works on almost all kinds of dye. This is the fastest way to remove funky semi-permanent hair dyes, which normally take days to wash off. It can also be used to remove hair color that did not turn out the way it was expected.

To bleach wash your hair, you will need one part bleach and one part developer. How much you will need will depend on how long or how thick your hair is. Mix bleach and developer well. Then you need to add shampoo. Most people recommend clarifying shampoo because clarifying by itself can lighten the hair dyes after several washes. Therefore, it can strengthen your bleach bath.

In my case, I used a damage repair shampoo whenever I do a bleach wash, I am not sure if it really helps, but I use this one because my hair has been bleached several times already and clarifying shampoos make it very dry.

Moving on, some people including me would add conditioner. It makes the bleach wash less damaging given what bleach and developer do to hair. I have also heard from other people that unmixed bleached alone can be added to the shampoo to make a bleach wash.

If you surf the internet there are many ways to do a bleach bath. Some people have done tweaks depending on what works for their hair. I have medium length hair that is very thick. So this is what I often use:
  • 30 g (about 1 packet) of bleach powder
  • equal parts of 9 % (30 vol.) developer
  • Lots shampoo and conditioner -I wish I can be more precise but I just eyeball this
  • Timer
I normally mix it all up then I apply it on my hair with my hands--I use gloves, of course. I wrap my hair with Cling wrap and then a shower cap. It helps keep the heat makes the bleach work faster. Or you may opt not to cover your head it is up to you.

I would let is stay on my hair for 10 minutes tops--again that is because my hair had been bleached before. Some people would let it stay for up to 30 minutes but it depends on the condition of your hair and the dye you have recently applied. While the mixture is in your head, you can check it from time to time to see how it is working.

Then I wash it all of with shampoo. I shampoo twice and then I follow I use deep conditioner after.
What is Bleach Bathing
Bleach Bathing can lighten hair to a certain degree but it should not be used in place of full strength bleach if you are going from very dark hair to blonde.

What Bleach Bathing is For

It should be noted that it is not to be used in place of initial bleaching when you want to go blonde. It can lighten your hair to a certain degree but it won't give you the same results as full strength bleaching will do. In my own experience, and as what I have learned through the internet bleach bathing can be used to:
  • remove semi-permanent dyes. Take note that using box dye or toner over previously dyed hair will not give you the result you want. 
  • remove brassiness or discoloration due to hard water or chlorinated water. I recently got awful green strands on my bleached hair after a month of washing hair with hard water. I used a bleach bath to remove it before I toned my hair. If you want to read more on this you can read my previous post here.
  • make hair a shade or two lighter than it is before doing the bleach wash.
Before and After Bleach Bath
This is how my hair looked like after a bleach bath--It was yellow and it obviously needed to be toned. The inset shows how brassy and greenish my hair was before I did the bleach bath. Based on my previous experience, if I had dye on my hair, I would also get the same results
Marc Anthony Argan Oil Deep Hydrating Conditioning Treatment
I use this product right after each time I bleach bath my hair. I would leave it on for 10 minutes. I also use this product weekly

Words of CAUTION

It is important to take note that bleach in any form will damage your hair. A bleach bath may seem less damaging because of the shampoo and conditioner that dilutes it, but there will be a certain degree of damage so bleach bath carefully and do not leave it on your hair for too long. Other things to remember before attempting to do a bleach wash:
  • use gloves
  • wear a very old shirt
  • use petroleum jelly to protect the back of your ears and the skin near your hair.
  • Avoid bleach if you are allergic to it.
  • Don't let it get into your eye
  • Use 6% (20 vol) developer if 9% or 12% is too strong for your scalp to take.
  • Avoid this if your hair has been previously permed or straightened
  • bleach bathing can strip your hair of any previous toning so you will likely need to tone your hair again
As a parting note, just like the normal way of bleaching your hair, necessary precaution must be taken and seek help strands of hair that you cannot reach or you might miss. Expect your bleach hair to turn yellow after bleach bathing so prepare to tone your hair afterward.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional hair stylist. I am just someone who has been bleaching my hair for a long while now. I wrote this article based on my experience. Even if my post has been written to contain helpful information, I suggest that you also do more research.

If you have suggestions and comments please don't hesitate to write it down below.
What is Hair Bleach Bathing

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  1. ops... i never know this until i read this.. i never dye my hair.. thanks for sharing - Racheal

  2. Great post i really need this tips... Thanx to Share....

  3. I've never dyed my hair before as I am not that adventurous. If I ever try to dye my hair one day and I don't like it, I at least know that I have the option to do something about it :).

  4. this is interesting... I am actually craving some mermaid hair... huhuh

  5. I don't think I will bleach my hair due to the damage it could cause. My hair is already not that healthy due to age!!

  6. I have not bleach my hair but I've been coloring it quite consistently, wonder where did U get that treatment. I really need a good one.

  7. That's good to know. I frequently bleach my hair and thats all damaged.



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