- To know how long you should leave bleach in your hair for highlights, you should consider two things. First, the color of your hair, and second, the color you want for your highlights.
- What if your hair is dark, black, or dark brown and you want blonde highlights? You should leave the bleach in for a maximum of 40 minutes.
- What if your hair is light brown and you want super light blonde highlights? You should leave the bleach on for a maximum of 30 minutes.
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Do you want to know how long you should leave bleach in your hair to do highlights? It’s vital you take into account the color of your hair and the color you want for your highlights.
Because if you leave the bleach in your hair longer than absolutely necessary to get the results you want, your hair can dry out and break.
And then you won’t have nice highlights to show off.
I don’t want you to have any doubts. In professional salons, we never leave the bleach on for more than 40 minutes for highlights. Ever.
Because bleach can cause hair loss if you leave it on longer than necessary.
For example, what if I have a client whose hair hasn’t gone as light as I need it to? When the bleach has been on for 40 minutes, I proceed to rinse their hair immediately anyway.
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Because leaving bleach to act longer would endanger your hair.
In that case, I suggest you organize a new visit after a reasonable time. Do a new bleach to achieve the blond you want in your highlights.
In addition, you should also be clear about another very important issue.If you apply bleach and reach the color you wanted for your highlights before 40, or even 30 minutes is up , you should rinse the bleach out immediately. That way you prevent your hair from losing more moisture and nutrients needlessly.
If your hair is black or dark brown, you can leave bleach in for a maximum of 40 minutes to do highlights
Attention! I said you can leave bleach in your hair for a MAXIMUM of 40 minutes to do your highlights.
Why a maximum of 40 minutes?
Because you might achieve the color you wanted for your highlights before the 40 minutes is up. And then you won’t need to let the bleach act any longer.
- If your hair is black 1 and you want dark blonde 6 highlights , you should leave the bleach on for 40 minutes.
- If your hair is brown 4 and you want light blonde 8 highlights , you should leave the bleach on for 40 minutes.
But if your hair is dark and you only want a slight lightening or to gradually scale up numbers in your highlights , you can control the exposure time of the bleach as your hair lightens.
- If your hair is dark brown 3 and you achieved the color you want in your highlights after 20 minutes, you can rinse the bleach out.
- If your hair is brown 4 and you like the color of your highlights even if it’s only been 10 minutes , you can rinse it out.
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As long as you don’t go over 40 minutes of exposure time, you can control the color you want to achieve. So make sure you’re careful during the process.
If your hair is pale already, you should leave the bleach on for a maximum of 30 minutes
This is because your hair has a light base and you don’t need to scale up so many numbers. It’s different starting from black hair and doing highlights compared to starting from light brown hair.
- If your hair is light brown 5 and you want light blonde 8 highlights , you will need to leave it for 30 minutes
- If your hair is dark blonde 6 and you want extra light 10 highlights , you should leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
In professional salons, before applying highlights, we perform a strand test. That means we apply a small amount of bleach mixture to just one strand of hair. Then we check the time it takes to reach the color we’re after.
Now you know how long you should leave bleach to do highlights. But remember, hair coloring, although it has rules, is not an exact science.
Why not? Because everyone’s hair is different. Some hair is more porous, and fades quicker. And dyed hair isn’t the same as virgin hair.
That’s why I recommend that if you decide to do your own highlights, you should do a strand test beforehand. This way, you’ll know how long to leave bleach in your hair to get your highlights just right. You’ll also know the color you’ll achieve with the highlights.