The entire spring quarter was going to be online due to COVID-19 which meant I was barely going to see anyone anyways. So as the wisest decision maker to ever live on this planet, I decided to bleach my black hair.
A little background information on my hair prior to bleaching my whole head:
Growing up in a strict, old-fashioned household, I didn't have much prior experience bleaching or dyeing my hair. Not only did my parents disapprove of doing anything to my hair other than cutting it, my middle school in Korea did not allow it. I also never really had a strong urge to dye my hair probably because I knew I was never going to get permission from my parents and I wanted to be seen as a 'good student' that abided by school rules.
Once I grew older, however, I attended school in the States where dyeing your hair wasn't a part of any school rule. My parents grew more lenient and I was getting bored of my black hair so I decided to give it a go. I dyed my hair once some time during my junior or senior year of high school. It was a light brown color but it was only the inner half of my head so it really wasn't even that drastic. Essentially, you could see it when I tied my hair up in a ponytail and only really slightly here and there through my black hair when I wore it down. After that one time, I bleached small sections all throughout my hair to a light brown with a highlighting box dye kit once during my second year in college, which was last year, and once this school year. As you can tell, I never did anything super drastic color wise.
So now was my chance - and I took it.
Do I regret it?
Nope. But there are somethings that I wish I knew before...
For any of you out there that are thinking of bleaching your hair, here are 7 things I wish I knew before I bleached my hair.
1. Getting your hair bleached is fascinating.Giphy
After the bleach product is applied, you can start to see your hair color slowly change lighter and lighter. It's definitely a weird and exciting feeling to see what you thought would be your forever-black hair become this light color you never imagined yourself in.
2. The hair color is different from when the bleach product is in vs. when you wash the bleach product out.Giphy
Right when the hairdresser came to wash the bleach off of my hair, my hair looked an icy blonde color and got me thinking, "Holy shit. I'm going to be Gandalf." But once the bleach was washed out, my hair was a bright lemon color with hints of orange tones. I assume that the yellow was cancelled out by the whitish sky blue color of the bleach product so it looked way whiter than it actually was. Your hair color will also look different when it's damp so you have to wait until they dry your hair with a blowdryer to see the actual hair color.
3. It depends on the color you want, but you’ll probably have to bleach it more than once if you have black hair.Giphy
I only bleached my hair once because I didn't want to completely destroy my hair with multiple rounds of bleach. However, my hairdresser told me most colors, with the exception of blacks and browns, would usually require at least two rounds of bleach for naturally dark hair. The number of bleaching required depends on your natural hair color, thickness of hair, etc.
4. You’ll most likely need to dye your hair after it’s bleached.Giphy
For black hair, when you bleach it once, it usually turns out to be pretty orangey and yellow. The yellow and orange tones can also persist even after two or three rounds of bleach. Now, if that's the color you're going for, then it's perfectly fine to leave it as is. However, a lot of people try to tone down the yellow and orange color by dyeing the bleached hair. Purple is a well-known color that can cancel out the yellow and orange. Not only can you dye it a purple color but you can also use purple shampoo when you wash your hair to help with covering up the yellowness.
5. It takes a few days to get used to.Giphy
I won't lie – every time I looked in a mirror or sent my friends snapchats, I could not get used to my new hair. I never had this much of a drastic change that it took a few days to get used to. Even my parents told me they couldn't recognize me and every time they saw me in the house they would be confused for a hot second.
6. You can experiment with different hair colors.Giphy
The hair color that you dye your hair in after it's bleached won't last forever and slowly fade away. So your hair will be slightly different colors after each wash and ultimately go back to your plain bleached hair color. Each time it goes back to the plain bleached color, you can play with your hair and dye it whatever color you like (especially if you bleached your hair multiple times and your hair is a near whitish blonde). The lighter your hair is, the more the color you dye it in will show.
7. You can change up your overall style.Giphy
I didn't know how much your hair color could affect your overall style. Personally, I think there were outfits or make up styles that fit better when I had darker hair. This is not to say your hair color should limit your wardrobe or looks in any way, but I just personally felt like I could change up my overall style a bit to compliment my new hair.