How to: Bleaching and dying for pastel hair.

I’ve always bleached my roots myself and never really stopped to think if that was unusual or something many people are scared to do. Last week I attended a hair-dressing event and the stylists I was working with seemed impressed but also a little horrified that I would attempt something as dangerous as bleaching my longish, blueish (direct quote) hair myself without fear of it all falling off.

I know there are millions of hair tutorials and tips available online but I was re-dyeing my hair last week and decided to take some pictures and share what I do. I included the bit at the end with the colouring, just in case anybody isn’t familiar with the conditioner trick.

IMG_5497So fist of all you need to mix the bleach. I use a powder bleach and a 9% peroxide. If you only need to lighten your hair slightly you can probably use a 6% and there is also a 12% but I wouldn’t recommend using this on your own unless you know your hair is very thick and hardy as it could easily cause snappage.

IMG_5498I use two mirrors to do my hair so I can easily see the back and make sure I haven’t missed any bits out.

IMG_5499Tie up the top part of your hair and brush out the bottom section.

diy bleachingYou should be able to clearly see a section of root that needs bleaching.

how to bleach hair yourselfStart applying the bleach using a brush. I always start at the bottom and work my way up as the top of the head doesn’t require as much development time.

IMG_5507Look closely to make sure you don’t miss any bits but be aware that the colour doesn’t lift instantly.

IMG_5509When touching up your roots, try not to overlap the bleached areas too much as it may cause damage to your hair.

IMG_5510Use a comb to section the hair. Straight sections will make it easier to apply the bleach and know where you are up to.

IMG_5512For the bottom layers, I bleach around the head in a semi circle, one layer at a time. This is the last section I treat this way.

IMG_5514The remaining hair is considered the “top section”.

IMG_5516Separate it from the rest of the hair.

IMG_5517Section the hair and bleach one at a time

IMG_5519Try to keep the partitions as straight as possible.

IMG_5520Move your way across the head, from one side to the other.

IMG_5523When you have covered all dark areas, leave it to develop. The time varies depending on the colour you are trying to achieve. I dye my hair very light colours so I wait for it to go a light blond, which takes about 40 mins.

IMG_5526This is what it looks like when I rinse out the bleach.

IMG_5527In the next step, I add the colour. I use mainly directions, but you can try this technique with any semi-permanent hair dye. You will need a bowl of conditioner and the colour(s) you want to add to it. I hardly ever use just one colour as I like to mix my own shade. This time I’m using turquoise and violet.

IMG_5528I have been using these two pots for a few months now but this time I’m adding slightly more turquoise for a slightly more vibrant result.

IMG_5531When mixed, it looks like this.

IMG_5533Section the hair as before and start applying the dye mixture.

IMG_5534Make sure to coat the hair as evenly as possible.

IMG_5536When coated, leave for at least 20mins. If you only used a tiny bit of dye you can even sleep with it on all night. I leave it in for different amounts of time depending on the shade and effect I’m going for.

IMG_5537After rinsing it out and drying your hair you should have a nice pale colour. Newly bleached roots often absorb more colour but it usually balances out after a few washes.

Please let me know if you found this useful or have any questions.





  1. tinylittlesoprano 23rd May 2014 / 12:28 pm

    Ah you mind-reader! I’ve been dying (pun intended) to go lavender for a while now, and I was only wondering just the other day how you maintain that pastel blue. Now I know.

    • aestheticcontradiction 24th May 2014 / 1:00 pm

      I had lavender until a few months ago and I did pretty much the same things but with different quantities. I used a combination of plum, violet and turquoise directions and mixed them to get the desired colour 🙂

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