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Master the Art of How to Do Bleach Highlights at Home

by | Dec 11, 2023 | How To

Bleaching your hair at home can be a challenging process, but with the right technique and products, you can achieve salon-quality bleach highlights in the comfort of your own home. Follow these step-by-step instructions and expert tips to master the art of how to do bleach highlights at home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to achieve professional-looking bleach highlights in the comfort of your own home.
  • Follow step-by-step instructions and expert tips to ensure successful results.
  • Save time and money by doing your own bleach highlights.
  • Customize the shade and placement of your highlights to your desired look.
  • Use high-quality products and safe bleaching techniques to protect your hair and scalp.

The Benefits of DIY Bleach Highlights

Doing bleach highlights at home can save you both time and money. You have complete control over the process and can customize the highlights to your desired shade and placement. By following a step-by-step method, you can achieve professional-looking results. Here are some tips to ensure successful bleach highlights at home.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Products

When it comes to bleaching your hair at home, using high-quality products is essential for achieving the best results. Look for a bleach kit that includes a developer, bleach powder, and toner. It’s also important to choose a developer strength that suits your hair type and desired level of lightness. Additionally, consider using a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment to nourish your hair before and after the bleaching process.

Tip 2: Protect Your Hair and Skin

Bleaching can be harsh on your hair and scalp, so it’s important to take proper precautions to minimize damage. Before starting the process, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around your hairline to create a barrier between the bleach and your skin. This will help prevent irritation and staining. Additionally, consider using foils to isolate the hair strands you want to highlight, as this will help protect the rest of your hair from unnecessary exposure to the bleach.

Tip 3: Follow a Step-by-Step Process

To achieve consistent and even bleach highlights, it’s important to follow a step-by-step process. Start by sectioning your hair into small, manageable sections and applying the bleach mixture evenly. Use a highlighting comb or brush to distribute the bleach and ensure each strand is covered. Keep a close eye on the development of the color and follow the recommended processing time. Once the desired level of lightness is achieved, rinse out the bleach thoroughly and apply a toner if necessary to achieve your desired shade.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently embark on your journey to achieve beautiful bleach highlights at home. Remember to always prioritize the health of your hair and seek professional help if you have specific color needs or concerns. By taking the time to properly prepare, protect, and follow the step-by-step process, you can achieve salon-quality bleach highlights and enjoy the benefits of DIY hair transformation.

Required Products and Tools for Bleach Highlights

best products for bleach highlights

To achieve professional-looking bleach highlights at home, you will need a few essential products and tools. These items are crucial in ensuring safe and effective results. Here are the best products for bleach highlights and the safe bleaching techniques:


Using foils is essential for isolating and processing individual strands of hair during the highlighting process. Foils help to achieve a more controlled and precise application of bleach. Make sure to choose foils that are suitable for hair highlighting purposes for best results.


The developer is a key component in the process of lightening the hair. It works together with the bleach powder to lift the color from the hair strands. It is important to choose the right developer strength based on your hair type and desired level of lightening. Consult a professional or follow product instructions to determine the appropriate developer percentage for your needs.

Bleach Powder

High-quality bleach powder is crucial for achieving the desired lightening effect. Look for bleach powders that are specifically formulated for highlighting purposes and consider the desired level of lift you want to achieve. Keep in mind that using a higher volume developer with bleach powder will result in more noticeable lightening, but it may also be more damaging to the hair.


Toner is an optional but highly recommended product for achieving the desired tone and neutralizing any unwanted brassiness after the bleaching process. Toners can help to enhance the final result and create a more natural and even color. Choose a toner that is suitable for your desired hair color and follow the instructions for application.

Mixing Bowl, Brush, and Comb

A mixing bowl and brush are necessary for preparing and applying the bleach mixture. Look for a bowl and brush set specifically designed for hair coloring to ensure precise and easy application. Additionally, a highlighting comb with fine teeth is useful for sectioning the hair and applying the bleach to the desired strands.

Hair Clips

Hair clips are essential for sectioning the hair and keeping the foils in place during the highlighting process. Use clips to separate the hair into manageable sections and secure the foils for a neat and organized application.

Remember, while these are some of the best products for bleach highlights and safe bleaching techniques, it is important to follow the instructions provided with the products and consult with a professional if you are unsure. Prioritizing the health of your hair and scalp throughout the highlighting process is crucial to achieving beautiful, salon-quality results at home.

Preparing Your Hair for Bleach Highlights

Before diving into the process of applying bleach highlights to your hair, it’s crucial to properly prepare your hair for the treatment. Taking the time to prepare your hair can help minimize damage and ensure a successful outcome. Here are some important steps to follow when preparing your hair for bleach highlights:

Gather the necessary materials:

  • Plastic gloves
  • Old towel or cape to protect your clothes
  • Petroleum jelly or a barrier cream to protect your hairline and ears
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Clarifying shampoo

Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup of styling products or oils. This will ensure that the bleach can penetrate evenly and achieve the desired effect. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair and remove any knots or tangles. This will make it easier to section your hair and apply the bleach.

Next, protect your hairline, ears, and any exposed skin by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly or a barrier cream. This will prevent the bleach from coming into contact with your skin and causing irritation or burning. Be sure to apply the protective barrier evenly and thoroughly.

Finally, make sure you are wearing plastic gloves to protect your hands from the bleach. It’s important to follow safety precautions and avoid direct contact with the bleach solution. Once you have gathered all the necessary materials and prepared your hair, you are ready to move on to the next step: applying the bleach highlights.

Applying Bleach Highlights

Technique for applying bleach highlights

Once you have prepared your hair for bleach highlights, it’s time to apply the bleach mixture to achieve your desired color. The application technique plays a crucial role in the outcome of your highlights. The foil weave method is widely used for its precision and control. Here’s how you can apply bleach highlights at home:

Technique for Foil Placement

Section your hair into manageable parts using hair clips. Take one section and divide it into smaller strands. Place a sheet of foil underneath the first strand, making sure it is wide enough to cover the entire length. Apply the bleach mixture to the strand, starting from the roots and working your way down to the ends. Wrap the strand with the foil, folding it securely to prevent any leakage. Repeat this process for each strand you want to highlight.

Remember to vary the placement of the foils for a natural-looking result. Instead of highlighting only the top layer of your hair, mix in some strands from underneath to create dimension. This technique will give your highlights a more blended and seamless appearance.

Achieving Desired Color

The timing is crucial when it comes to achieving your desired color with bleach highlights. Different hair types and desired levels of lightness will require varying amounts of processing time. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep a close eye on your hair’s development during the process.

If you’re unsure about the processing time, you can perform a strand test before applying the bleach to your entire head. Take a small section of hair and follow the same steps as for the highlights. Monitor the color development and adjust the processing time accordingly. This test will help you determine the ideal timing to reach your desired shade.

Once your highlights have reached the desired level of lightness, you can remove the foils and rinse out the bleach thoroughly. Be sure to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to restore moisture and minimize any potential damage caused by the bleaching process.

Processing and Checking the Highlights

processing bleach highlights

Once the bleach is applied, it’s crucial to allow it to process for the recommended amount of time. The processing time will vary depending on your hair type and the desired level of lightness. It’s important to follow the instructions provided with the bleach product and not exceed the maximum processing time to avoid damaging your hair. During this time, the bleach will work to lighten the hair and create the desired highlights.

While the bleach is processing, it’s important to check the color development regularly. This will help you gauge how quickly your hair is lightening and whether it has reached the desired shade. Gently open a few foils and check a small section of hair to see the color progression. If the hair has lightened enough, you can proceed to the next step. If not, reseal the foils and continue to monitor until the desired level of lightness is achieved.

Remember that hair can lighten at different rates, so it’s important to check each section individually. The processing time may vary for different parts of your hair, especially if you have different colors or textures. Take your time and be patient to ensure you achieve the best results. If at any point you feel that the hair is lightening too quickly or not enough, you can make adjustments by slightly extending or shortening the processing time accordingly.

Table: Color Development Guide

Hair Color Before Bleaching Desired Highlight Color Processing Time
Natural Light Blonde Platinum Blonde 30-45 minutes
Natural Medium Blonde Golden Blonde 20-30 minutes
Natural Dark Blonde Caramel Blonde 15-25 minutes
Natural Light Brown Honey Brown 25-35 minutes
Natural Medium Brown Copper Brown 15-25 minutes
Natural Dark Brown Auburn Brown 10-20 minutes

Table: A guide to the expected processing time based on natural hair color and desired highlight color.

Shampooing and Conditioning After Bleach Highlights

shampoo and conditioner

Once you have successfully removed the bleach from your hair, it’s crucial to give your hair the care it needs to recover and maintain its health. Proper post-bleach hair care is essential for preventing dryness, breakage, and maintaining the longevity of your bleach highlights. Follow these shampooing and conditioning tips to ensure your hair stays nourished and vibrant after the bleaching process.

Shampooing Tips:

1. Use a gentle shampoo: Opt for a sulfate-free shampoo that is specifically formulated for color-treated hair. This type of shampoo will cleanse your hair without stripping away the color or essential moisture.

2. Rinse with lukewarm water: Avoid using hot water, as it can further dry out your hair. Instead, rinse with lukewarm water to maintain the natural oils and hydration in your hair.

3. Focus on the roots: Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp to remove any product buildup or excess oils. Avoid vigorously scrubbing your hair, as this can cause tangling and breakage.

Conditioning Tips:

1. Use a hydrating conditioner: Look for a conditioner that is specifically designed for color-treated or damaged hair. These conditioners are formulated to restore moisture, repair damage, and enhance the vibrancy of your bleach highlights.

2. Apply from mid-length to ends: Concentrate the conditioner on the mid-length to the ends of your hair, as these areas tend to be the most damaged and dry. Avoid applying conditioner directly to your roots, as it can weigh down your hair and make it look greasy.

3. Leave it on for a few minutes: Allow the conditioner to soak into your hair for a few minutes before rinsing. This will give the nourishing ingredients enough time to penetrate the hair shaft and provide maximum hydration.

Remember, post-bleach hair care is an ongoing process. Regularly shampooing and conditioning your hair with the right products will help maintain the health and vibrancy of your bleach highlights. Additionally, consider incorporating a weekly deep conditioning treatment, using a hair mask, or applying leave-in conditioners to provide extra moisture and protection.

Benefits of Proper Hair Care After Bleach Highlights: Consequences of Neglecting Hair Care:
  • Keeps hair hydrated
  • Prevents dryness and breakage
  • Enhances the vibrancy of bleach highlights
  • Maintains the overall health of hair
  • Dry and brittle hair
  • Increased breakage
  • Fading of bleach highlights
  • Split ends and frizz

Styling and Enjoying Your Bleach Highlights

Now that you’ve successfully achieved salon-quality bleach highlights at home, it’s time to style and enjoy your new look. With the right techniques and products, you can ensure that your bleach highlights not only look stunning but also last longer.

To maintain the longevity of your bleach highlights, it’s crucial to incorporate hair care products specifically designed for colored hair into your routine. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate-free and formulated to nourish and protect color-treated hair. These products help to seal the cuticle, reducing color fading and leaving your highlights vibrant and shiny.

When it comes to styling, keep in mind that bleached hair can be more fragile and prone to damage. To prevent further damage, always use heat protectant products before using hot tools such as straighteners or curling irons. Additionally, opt for lower heat settings and avoid excessive heat exposure to minimize the risk of heat-induced damage.

Experiment with different hairstyles to showcase your bleach highlights. Whether you prefer sleek and straight, loose waves, or voluminous curls, let your creativity shine. Don’t be afraid to try new hairstyles and accessories that complement your bleach highlights and accentuate their beauty. Remember, styling is an opportunity to express yourself and confidently rock your new look.

Table: Hair Care Tips for Maintaining Color Longevity

Tips Description
Use color-safe hair products Opt for shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for colored hair to maintain the vibrancy of your bleach highlights and prevent color fading.
Avoid excessive heat styling Excessive heat from styling tools can cause damage and fade your bleach highlights. Use heat protectant products and lower heat settings whenever possible.
Protect your hair from UV rays UV rays can fade hair color, including bleach highlights. Wear a hat or use UV protectant sprays when exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period.
Deep condition regularly Keep your hair hydrated and nourished with regular deep conditioning treatments. This helps to prevent dryness and maintain the overall health of your hair.
Avoid chlorine and saltwater Chlorine and saltwater can strip color from your hair. Before swimming, wet your hair with clean water and apply a leave-in conditioner to create a protective barrier.

Expert Tips and Considerations for DIY Bleach Highlights

When it comes to achieving perfect bleach highlights at home, there are a few expert tips and considerations that you should keep in mind. These tips will help you navigate the process with confidence and ensure the best possible results for your hair.

Conduct a strand test

Before diving into the full bleach highlighting process, it’s essential to conduct a strand test. This test will help you determine how your hair will react to the bleach and give you a preview of the final color. Take a small section of hair near the back or underneath, apply the bleach as instructed, and monitor the results. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments before applying the bleach to your entire head.

Be realistic about achievable results

While DIY bleach highlights can yield stunning results, it’s important to be realistic about what can be achieved at home. Factors like your starting hair color and texture can affect the outcome. For example, if you have dark hair, it may take multiple bleach sessions to achieve a lighter shade. It’s also important to consider the overall health of your hair. If your hair is already damaged or compromised, it may be best to seek professional help to minimize further damage.

Seek professional help for complex coloring needs

If you have previous color treatments or complex coloring needs, it’s best to seek the assistance of a professional hair colorist. They have the expertise and knowledge to navigate challenging color situations and ensure that your hair stays healthy throughout the process. They can also help you achieve the desired color outcome more efficiently and effectively.

By following these expert tips and taking the necessary considerations into account, you can approach DIY bleach highlights with confidence. Remember to prioritize the health and integrity of your hair, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. With the right preparation and technique, you’ll be able to achieve beautiful, salon-worthy bleach highlights from the comfort of your own home.


By following these step-by-step instructions and expert tips, you can master the art of how to do bleach highlights at home. With the right technique, high-quality products, and proper care, you can achieve natural-looking, salon-quality bleach highlights in the comfort of your own home. Remember to always prioritize the health of your hair and seek professional help if needed.

Doing bleach highlights at home allows you to have complete control over the process, saving both time and money. You can customize the highlights to your desired shade and placement, achieving a personalized look. By following the provided tips, you can ensure successful bleach highlights that rival those done in a salon.

It’s important to note that the key to achieving beautiful bleach highlights is using safe bleaching techniques and high-quality products. Take the necessary steps to prepare your hair properly before applying bleach, and regularly check the progress to prevent under-processing or over-processing. Don’t forget to care for your hair post-bleach by using gentle shampoo and conditioner, as well as heat protectant products when styling.

With these techniques and considerations in mind, you can confidently embark on your journey to create stunning natural bleach highlights at home. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t exactly what you envisioned. Keep refining your skills and experimenting with different techniques to achieve the perfect bleach highlight look.


Can I achieve salon-quality bleach highlights at home?

Yes, by following the right technique and using high-quality products, you can achieve professional-looking bleach highlights in the comfort of your own home.

What products and tools will I need for bleach highlights at home?

You will need foils, developer, bleach, toner, a mixing bowl, brush, highlighting comb, and hair clips.

How do I prepare my hair for bleach highlights?

Before applying bleach, properly wash and dry your hair, remove any styling products, and protect your hairline and clothes from bleach stains.

What application technique should I use for bleach highlights?

Use the foil weave method to section your hair and carefully place the foils to isolate the strands you want to highlight. Apply the bleach mixture evenly, blending new growth with existing highlights.

How long should I leave the bleach on for?

Follow the recommended processing time based on your hair type and desired color. Regularly check the progress to prevent over-processing or under-processing.

How should I care for my hair after bleach highlights?

After removing the bleach, shampoo and condition your hair to remove any residual bleach and restore moisture. Use heat protectant products when styling and incorporate hair care products designed for colored hair.

What should I consider before attempting bleach highlights at home?

Conduct a strand test, be realistic about achievable results, and seek professional help if you have previous color treatments or complex coloring needs.