Can’t wait to dye your hair but unsure about what is bleach or how to use it? Scared of technical sounding terms like “pre-lightening” and wondering why you even need it in the first place? Don’t worry, we are here to solve all your bleaching woes and put your worries to rest!

Why do you need to bleach/pre-lighten in order to achieve bright colors?

Let’s use a simple analogy here. Imagine coloring a paper black with crayons. Now try to color over it with blue/orange/green. The color will probably not show up, and even if it does, its probably going to be quite subtle. Now imagine coloring another paper a light shade of yellow and then trying to color over with brighter shades like blue and green. Voila, the color definitely shows up more vibrantly. Bleach works the same way, lightening your natural shade of brown/black hair to a blonde, so that it becomes easier to deposit vibrant shades on top of it.

Does Bleaching cause damage to my hair?

Bleaching works by opening up your hair cuticle, changing the porosity of your hair. As a result, your hair might be less soft or shiny after bleaching. This isn’t irreversible damage though. Depositing Paradyes Semi-Permanent Hair dye on top of bleached hair actually makes it softer and shinier due to our hydrating and ultra-nourishing formulation, so your hair is back to its original luster. And of course, using a good quality conditioner/hair mask will keep your hair in great health even post bleach and color.

What are hair levels in the context of pre-lightened hair?

Most Indian hair is either black or a dark shade of brown, which is known as level 1 or 2. The more you bleach your hair, the lighter it gets, and the hair level increases. So, a light brown shade will be achieved around level 5/6 and more bleaching will give you a blonde shade which is technically level 9/10.

Different colours show up as different hues on different hair levels. For example, our Rubra Red shows up as a subtle maroon with crimson undertones on levels 4-5, and as a vibrant fiery red on levels 7 and up. For colors such as Mayeri Green or Crinkle Violet however, the hair level must be lifted to 8 or above to achieve a vibrant result. Know about hair levels in detail here.

Finally, how do you bleach your hair?

Bleaching essentially is made up of two elements, namely the blondor/bleach powder and developer. The blondor or bleach powder is the light pigment itself, whereas the developer is a peroxide liquid that activates the blonder. Developer works by removing the natural black/brown pigment in your hair to make it lighter. It comes in Volumes 10, 20, 30 and 40 depending on the concentration of peroxide. Level 10 developer has lowest amount of peroxide and thus has no lifting power, meaning you can’t use it to lighten your hair. Volume 20 lifts your hair for about 2/3 levels and Volume 30 and 40, being the strongest peroxide concentrations provide the highest lift of about 4/5 levels above your current hair level. For most of our shades, choosing a volume 30 or 40 developer should do the trick.

Pro tip: Use a vol 40 for the tips and vol 30 for the roots

Here’s a step by step guide to bleaching:

The most important thing is to first do a strand test to ensure your hair is not sensitive or irritated by bleach. Also always remember to wear gloves and use towels to avoid any kind of skin irritation. Take utmost care to not get the bleach into your eyes or mouth.

  1. Start out with clean and dry hair, preferably washed a couple of days before. Mix the bleach and developer in 1:2 ratio until a smooth consistency is achieved and no lumps remain. For every 1 part of bleach, you must add 2 parts of developer.
  2. Apply it with a brush to the mid-lengths and ends first as they take longer to lighten than the roots. Now do the roots or higher sections.
  3. Wait for around 45 mins for the bleach to work its magic, then wash off with only shampoo, and let your hair air dry.

PS: You may not need to bleach all your hair if you don’t want a global color. You can even just do the tips of your hair for an ombre look or only certain strands to get colorful highlights. Voila, you have successfully bleached your hair and its now ready to be dyed. If you are still unsure about the whole process you can always visit a salon for the same.

Do I need to bleach my hair every time I want a new shade?

ABSOLUTELY NOT, and this is the beauty of it. You can deposit multiple colors over bleached hair. Once the applied color fades out, you can simply go ahead and deposit a new color darker than the previous shade, over it! New shades on top of old faded shades give new, exciting hues every time, so you can keep switching up your look as you please, just keep the color wheel in mind!

Moreover, every time you deposit color, your hair regains its softness and luster.