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To change your look, give your hairstyle a glow up, or just to try something new, it’s tempting to lighten your hair. But before diving in, it’s important to be well informed on the topic. What is bleaching and how does it work? What happens when you lighten your hair? What advice should you follow dye your hair at home?
First step before lightening your hair: determine its natural color. It is done using a " tone scale " ranging from 1 to 10, from black to very very light blonde or platinum. Between each number, there's a difference of one tone:
All you have to do is look at your hair carefully to find out which tone is yours. This step is important as it allows you to choose the right (and more specifically the right amount of) bleaching product. To define your hair tone, simply look at your hair and eyebrow color in natural daylight.
If you’re starting with an already blonde hair base, but want to lighten it further, there are also techniques that don’t bleach the entire hair mass. Highlights, Balayages... these types of discolorations only affect a section of the hair. These techniques make it possible to create a more lightweight and subtle lightening experience that will revive natural blonde locks and add extra highlights. Plenty to mirror the effect of summer sunshine all year round!
Much more aggressive than a dye, bleaching completely eliminates the hair's natural pigments (or pigments from previous hair color).
Although harsh on your hair, it’s often the only way to lighten your natural shade as much as possible, or to achieve a bleached base that will serve as a canvas when dyeing.
This step consists of applying a bleach formula, where its composition opens up hair scales to remove pigments.
Bleaching hair can be used to achieve a “ neutral ” basis before applying color. This step is needed to achieve the desired hair color.
However, the result when bleaching your hair also depends on the base color. A hair coloring professional can find the right formula and strength to optimally bleach hair and then color it to achieve the desired effect.
To go from a brown base to platinum blonde or ice blonde hair bleaching is the solution: the only technique that can lighten natural hair up to 6 tones or eliminate a previous color before redyeing.
Ultra-effective in a single step, super brightening bleaching helps to brighten the base 3-5 shades and to exchange out a light blonde or even a very light blonde hair color.
More subtle, balayage adds an irresistible sun-kissed effect to the hair, thanks to a very fine light widespread and play on strands. A technique more recommended for light brown or blonde bases.
Highlights: the ultimate way to lighten hair. More or less pronounced, they allow control over the hair lightening intensity, bringing a sublime depth to the hair.
Today, many brands offer at-home brightening formulas or balayage and highlighting kits. For a brunette with brown or dark brown hair, the expertise of a hair stylist or colorist is irreplaceable to take the leap to blonde. On bleached or naturally blonde hair, you can dare to color your hair at home, but be sure to ask your stylist for some tips before you start.
Bleaching your hair at home can be risky and difficult. To keep your hair healthy it is always advisable to rely on a hairdresser. If you would still rather dye your hair at home, here are some tips.
After choosing a bleaching formula and the correct amount for your hair, it is strongly recommended that you follow these steps to get the expected result:
When applied, roots bleach faster than the tips, so start at the ends and work your way up to the roots. The product should be applied in a thick layer for an even result.
Then, it is essential you follow the time stated to obtain the desired bleaching effect. Regardless, we recommend not leaving the product in for over an hour, to avoid damaging and burning hair.
Bleaching acts on the inside of the hair fiber. There are two simultaneous stages:
1. Ammonia (or another alkaline agent) swells the hair shaft to open up the hair’s scales. The formula used is very powerful and very aggressive with a pH11 (on a scale of 1 to 14) faced with healthy hair’s PH5 and classic hair color’s pH9.
2. Powerful persulfates and oxidants simultaneously penetrate the hair fibers to completely dissolve and remove melanin. Oxygenated water, denoted in volume (10V, 20V, 30V) indicates the bleaching power. The higher the volume, the more the hair is bleached and damaged.
The degree of hair lightening depends on how long the product is left in after application.
A patina or dye can then be applied to add the desired highlights or shade of blonde.
Lightening your hair without bleaching it means a super bright dye: it is easier, quicker and changes 3 to 5 tones in a single step.
Less aggressive than bleaching, super brightening hair dye still changes the nature of the hair. Regardless, it’s still a good alternative to satisfy the urge to go blonde, responsibly.
Super brightening dye follows the same process as a classic oxidation dye, but uses an alkaline agent—like ammonia—which is a more concentrated dosage.
The ammonia opens hair scales to allow colorants to penetrate. Meanwhile, oxygenated water dissolves hair's natural pigments for new color pigments to attach. This technique combines the stages of the bleaching and dyeing process, so it's quicker.
" I'm interested in a balayage. ”
A sun-kissed effect that drapes your hair in gold is the balayage’s treasure. A brightening technique with fine highlights for a blended, naturally beautiful finish.
Balayage lightens one or two tones. It creates a beautiful luminous finish all over the hair.
Balayage: a blended bleaching technique that can be done by hand, with a brush or sponge.
Brightening is carried out along the length of the hair and over a multitude of extremely fine strands that melt into the hair as though kissed with the sun’s golden rays. This technique subtly adds light to the hair, without a marked highlight and a visible “ roots ” effect during the regrowth. It’s the perfect technique to give your hair a boost of radiance without radically changing your head and style.
I’m mad about highlights.
A partial bleaching technique, highlights allow you to lighten hair in a more or less intense way depending on the oxidant’s power. More or fewer highlights can be added depending on the desired result.
The highlights can create sharp contrasts or create a relief effect in the hair.
The technique for getting beautiful, bright highlights is to select strands of hair more of less thick for the oxidant to act on to lighten the natural base. The thicker the strands, the more visible the effect.
From platinum to adding a sun-kissed touch to your chestnut hair, there is a whole range of shades to choose the right blonde for you.
Brightens up to 6 shades
Brightens up to 3-5 shades
Brightens up to 2 shades. Adds highlights
Creates contrasts, adds depth