First, read my guide called “What you need to know before you bleach your hair.”

Image is a photo of a white-skinned female model of unknown ethnicity with short, white-blonde straight hair. She is making a neutral expression.Got it, now let’s do this!
Remember: bleach can be dangerous. The only way to know how your scalp and hair will react is to try things out on your own body/head/hair, but don’t sacrifice your safety. Testing your personal reactions can be done smartly. To do this responsibly like a real adult, consider performing a strand test.
What this entails is choosing a tiny portion of your hair no one will see (behind your ear is a good spot) and trying the bleach there first before you do a large amount of your hair. It’s the only reliable way to know if you’re allergic, if your scalp will burn, if your hair will survive, and what color it will turn out to be, and it’s also a good idea if you’ve done things to your hair already (coloring, perming, relaxing).
I recommend you do this on your head and not on a cut piece of hair so that you can test your scalp sensitivity. Follow the directions on how to dye and leave the mix on the tiny test portion for the total processing time unless it hurts. If it hurts, stop! After you process your hair wait 24 hours to see if your skin reacts badly. If it does, guess what? The bleach either needs to be tried with a lower strength developer or left on for a shorter time. If the skin is okay, you’re good. Common sense says if you have a damaged scalp (cuts, sunburn, dandruff, psoriasis, etc) you just shouldn’t do it. Sensitive scalps should consider multiple bleaching (with days in between) with lower developer numbers. I personally have never experienced problems even with repeated use of strong bleaching but I know some people who burned their scalps with even 20 developer (which is pretty low strength). I don’t want horror emails and sad scalps on my conscience so take care of this please. It’s on you now.
Okay, really NOW let’s do this!
Image is of a blue plastic bowl, contained within is a pale blue powder bleaching agent. The words: Developer : Bleach and 2:1 are readable on the photo.
1. Use your bowl and mix bleach and developer together according to directions. The directions will say “2:1” or something like that. It’s parts per, so 2 parts of this for every 1 part of that. Some of these kits come with a scoopy, you can measure with that or eyeball it. If you have a lot of hair then mix a lot of product. If you have less hair, mix less. You can always make more but after you make it but you can’t “store” it for later. It will probably explode or worse: breed. Discard the unused amounts you mix.

Image is a photo of a blue plastic bowl, with one hand mixing developer and bleach together. There are words added onto the photo that read: Mix them VERY WELL. Make sure there are no lumps. Make sure it's not too watery (don't get it in your eye).

2. Make sure your hair is clean and completely dry. Section your hair. Follow the pictures to section your hair like I do. Most people make 4 sections (split your hair in half like you’re making pigtails, then split those halves into top and bottom halves).

image is a photo of the back of a woman's head. There are pink lines in the photo, one long line vertically aligned down the center of the hair, and a smaller line perpendicular to the vertical line splitting the hair into top and bottom sections. The picture reads: Split hair vertically into two sections. Then split it horizontally.


Image is a photo of the back of a woman's head. There are 3 pink lines drawn on the photo, one long line drawn vertically to indicate the hair is split down the center, and then two lines perpendicular (forming a "t") to indicate where to split the hair to make quadrants. The words: Secure your quadrants with bleach-proof clippies. Leave one bottom section ready to do first, can be read on the picture.

3. Vaseline your neck, ears, and the skin next to your hairline. I’m not kidding. Do it.

Image is a photo of an open tub of vaseline with a perfectly manicured yet authoritative finger pointing down into it. The words DO NOT SKIP THE VASELINE are written in bold. Next it reads: Put it on the skin around your hairline, neck, and ears.

4. A lot of experts will say to leave an inch or two away from the roots and then when you’re done come back and hit those. The reason is that heat activates bleach and your roots will be lighter than the rest of your hair if you don’t obey this. Also it’s protecting the scalp by causing it to be on for the least possible amount of time. I just don’t have the energy for that so I do the roots at the same time section by section. Avoid putting the mixture on your scalp, and don’t rub it into your scalp (this isn’t shampoo). Start a timer as soon as you begin applying. Pick one of your quadrants and start at the nape of the neck, applying from the underside and working your way up. Follow the pictures below for help. The technique I find best is to create thin-ish lines of hair and apply top and bottom and keep making lines until you reach the last part of the hair in the quadrant. You don’t want to take forever, it doesn’t have to be perfect (just try to apply bleach evenly) and ideally with practice you should be able to get this stuff on your whole head in 10 minutes. Try not to take more than 30 minutes. Get help from a friend if necessary.

Image is a photo of the back of a woman's head. There are pink lines drawn onto the picture to indicate where the quadrants are separated. There are also yellow horizontal lines showing that a thin selection of hair has been made so it can be dyed. The picture has words in black that read: Make a thin selection of hair from your quadrant.


Image is a photo of the back of a woman's head. Her hair is sectioned into quadrants, and a selection of hair has been made. The top of the selection is painted with hair dye. The picture also has words that read: Apply  bleach to the topside of the hair (I'm only doing my roots today).


Image is a photo of the back of a woman's head. Her hair is sectioned into quadrants, and a thin selection of hair has been made. The underside has been painted with hair bleach. The picture has words that read: Now apply bleach to the underside (You'll be glad you used the Vaseline.)

5. Continue with the next bottom quadrant. Then hit the top quadrants. Be careful to get the hair on the hairlines covered well, if you miss a spot here everyone will see it and it will be annoying. Don’t get the mixture on your face. Don’t use this to bleach your eyebrows or mustache. Don’t eat it. Don’t be dumb.
6. After you’re done applying the bleach, gather your hair on top of your head, and if necessary clip it there. Then stick your cap on your head. This is optional but it keeps it all from getting on things while you wait. Skip this if you’re worried about your scalp burning (the heat from your head makes the bleach work better).
7. Check your timer. If it’s been only 10 minutes, you rock! Now you want to leave your bleach on for 30 mins to 1 hour (or less if you feel burning scalp horrors). It takes an hour to get full “lift” but it’s also important not to hurt yourself to have blonde hair. If it took you a long time applying (30 mins) maybe don’t leave it on for a full hour unless you know your scalp and hair are durable.
8. Time’s up? You’re done! Wash that out. Wash it really out. Important: don’t get it in your eyes.
9. Condition it. Dry it. Look at it. How does it look?

  • It’s a really light color but it’s orange and ugly wtf? Chances are you need to add more toner. Use that toner shampoo we talked about already and leave it on for like 3-5 mins. If you do that, then dry your hair, and it’s still orange you may need to wait a couple of days and try bleaching again (20 is probably a good developer to mix for this). After your second bleaching tone again. You also need to thoroughly dry your hair to be certain of the color. It will always look a bit orangey when wet.

  • Looks pretty good! Maintain it with toner, and every time your roots annoy you bleach them the same way you did to get this color that you’re happy with.

  • It’s still too dark.
  • If it’s dark but the problem isn’t just an orange color, you may need to dose your hair with another round of bleaching. Sensitive scalps and delicate hair should wait a day or a week before doing this again. If you are concerned about your scalp strand test before doing the whole shebang! Idiots like me can just dry their hair thoroughly and put a round of 20 developer mix on for an hour right away. Then rinse, tone shampoo, and dry.

  • The color is patchy! This happens to me all the time. When I bleach I start with 40, and then I inevitably miss a spot. I wash and dry my hair and then I put a 20 developer mix on the whole thing (not just the spot you missed) and wait an hour. After that I rinse, tone shampoo, and dry, and then I look like Daenerys Targaryen. If you’re sensitive you may need to wait a day before putting more bleach on, or use a weaker developer than 20. After your hair is dry test it if you’d like to be certain.

Congrats! You should have achieved your goals! Now you can leave it blonde or apply cool colors. Some of my looks:


image is a photo of The Cakepie, her hair bleached almost white, smiling and posing like a fool. She doesn't seem to care but the ends of her hair are still a bit pink from halloween last year.


Image is a photo of The Cakepie smiling again. She has mostly white hair, with the ends made pink. Her hair is styled in a ponytail with a poofy bangs that look like Wilma Flintstone's hair. Whatever, her makeup looks pretty good and smiling fixes dumb hair ideas.
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19 Responses to “How to bleach the absolute shit out of your hair (part 2 of a series)”

  1. Cake Pie » Blog Archive » What you need to know before you bleach your hair (part 1 of a series) Says:

    […] Continue to part 2 here! Share […]

  2. OverlordTomala Says:

    Is that you and your hair? If so that’s pretty cool!


    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    It is indeed (: Thanks I like to experiment ^_^


  3. Megan Says:

    Awesomeness, and I don’t think you left anything out. I know my hair was hella dry, so for one hour a night once a week for the first two weeks I used an awesome conditioning mask in my hair. How often do you usually touch up on your roots? I know I can’t do anything crazy at work, but I might ask if platinum blonde is acceptable.


    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    I do my roots every 4-8 weeks depending on my energy levels. It helps a lot to have bangs/fringe because it masks the roots, giving you longer in between when it starts to look like hell.

    If you’re thinking about going plat, do it! I think sometimes it can be easier to ask forgiveness than permission (: and if you don’t like it/have to change it, it’s the easiest color to cover up. I hope one day my guide will help other people be free to experiment.


  4. Chloe Says:

    Oh my, this post is so relevant to me right now!!
    I’ve been dying to go platinum blonde but i’m just far too scared to take the plunge.
    Mainly because i can’t seem to find the salon that would do it for me (They’re too scared to ruin my hair) and i’m too scared to do it myself.
    Also because i have asian hair. Black to platinum blonde seems like a huge leap.


    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    Yeah, no salons do this! I asked around and they were like “It takes too long, and every woman is different so it’s a crapshoot finding out who burns or loses their hair and we don’t need THAT risk” lol, it’s a little sensational because a strand test can help find that stuff out–but a salon really just doesn’t have the TIME, which is the bigger problem for them.

    Aw don’t be too scared, asian hair is okay for bleaching, in fact I learned a lot of my tips and products from asian women who had bleached their hair. You may have to do a lot of toning depending on how black your hair naturally is. If you’re scared make sure you test your hair first, and maybe don’t do the whole thing, just the hair underneath or just a section to see if you like how it turns out.

    I was SO SCARED the first time I bleached my hair but after it was done I was like “WOW this looks so amazing, I wish I did this years ago!”

    I really hope this guide is helpful to you, no matter what you decide ^_^


  5. Ella Says:

    what hair dye do you use?


    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    When it comes to bleach, I use whatever is on sale, I pick powder bleaches with violet and blue tones. I usually get my products at Sally’s.

    As for other dyes, like what I used to make my hair pink, I use manic panic, special effects, etc, I get whatever has a color I like, or can be made into one if I mix it. A lot of people are very particular about which is best, but I think they’re all okay.

    I also started experimenting with chalk hair dye and so far it’s pretty awesome. Have you ever tried those?


  6. Malkin Says:

    Have you ever tried using coconut oil as a pre-bleach treatment? It seems to be sworn on by people who bleach who have long hair.


    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    I’ve never used it but feel like I recently read another article that explained coconut oil has terrific penetrating powers in dyed hair but I can’t find it.


  7. Eugenia Says:

    I bleach my sister hair because she wanted to have platinum blonde hair…
    it was easy, but in the bleach mixture I add some essential oil so it does not dry out the scalp so much…


    Tiffany Martin Reply:


    That sounds like a cool formula, there are so many bleaching options today!

    It’s so cheap and much easier than people think. I was just thorough with my guide so that people had all the info in one place ^_^


  8. Doinkle Says:

    I LOVE YOU. You made the best tutorial I have ever read. I used to think bleaching was so scary but you made me feel like I could do it tomorrow. Even though I decided I should get it done professionally for the safety factor. If it fucks up, they’ll be accountable. HA!


    Tiffany Martin Reply:


    Thank you, wow, that’s so sweet. I don’t even…


    With the guide, I made it because when I first started bleaching my hair it cost me $175 at the salon, which is way too rich for my budget. Then googling I found good info but not all in one guide. I was hoping to create something that would help a lot of people save money and safely dye their hair too ^_^ an all-in-one guide!

    So glad to know it was helpful. You CAN do it. If one day, like me, you don’t want to blow hundreds you can try it yourself or have a friend help~


  9. Sue Says:

    Hello, a few quick questions, (you may have answered these previously, so I apologise), I have shoulderblade-length medium brown hair. I am 44, so have scattered grey/white hairs in my regrowth. Should I start at the roots, or mid-length? My hair takes extremely well to bleaching/colours, but I have never done it myself – it’s just too expensive in the salons here! Also, can I comb through the bleach to distribute it more evenly? Cheers, Sue. 🙂


  10. Tammantha Shaw Says:

    Thanks for the input i have look and look on the web for info how to turn orange hair into white, thanks again. Tammantha


  11. Doinkle Says:

    Hehe, I didn’t even recognize my own comment at first. (I rarely use the name Doinkle, obviously not my real name, hehe.) I’m happy to report that I have gained the courage to bleach it on my own, as soon as I receive my order from Sally’s. I’m so excited about it that I’ve been nonstop reading about bleaching. What really gave me the courage was knowing I could do a strand test, which will show any problems that could occur. I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of a bleach bath? You don’t seem to need it but some of your readers might appreciate the process, it involves diluting it with clear shampoo to supposedly make it less damaging. I think I’ll end up doing two bleach baths. I hope my hair will be better for it 🙂


  12. JeskaBitchh Says:

    Just had my hair bleached for the first time today I had kind of a red in my hairhair where several several months back I had put a pomegranate red in.
    And I have a question my scalp hurts so bad and it feels blistered and all over I have scabby like places. Is this a chemical burn…? I am supposed to go back toget it platinum (its a pretty ash champagne blonde as of right now). But if this is a chemical burn idw to take the chance of hurting myself severely to look pretty


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Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 27th September 2012
Filled Under: Beauty, Solutions