Can you bleach over permanent hair dye?

While permanent hair dyes are great in having longer-lasting hair color, you certainly can bleach it should you want to change. 

Permanent hair dye changes your hair color by infusing the dye deep inside your hair cuticles. As the cuticles close, your hair color stays indefinitely. You may need to retouch your roots after some time, though.

Stick with me if you want to learn more about bleaching your hair after a permanent dye.


Can you bleach over permanent black hair dye?

Can you bleach over permanent black hair dye

If you are tired of black hair and want a lighter color, then bleaching is the way to go. 

Bleaching is an intensive process that opens our hair cuticles to remove all color pigments. It is composed of bleaching agents like ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. The latter comes in different concentrations: 10, 20, 30, and 40-volume developers.

But before bleaching, use a hair color remover first to remove color pigments from your hair. For permanent black hair dye, you may need multiple applications of hair color remover as black is quite hard to remove.

Don’t leave hair color remover for longer than instructed. Otherwise, you might end up having darker hair. It’s best to wait 48 hours in between applications. 

Can you bleach your hair after using a hair color remover?

Yes, you can, but consider the health of your hair. If it’s not that good (i.e., dry and frizzy), wait for 7-10 days before applying bleach.

Moisturize hair before bleaching. You can apply hair masks, hair oils, and more. Also, refrain from washing your hair 1-2 days before your bleaching session as the natural oil can provide extra protection.

The number of bleaching sessions also varies. Hairstylists would advise never to lift your hair color more than 4 shades lighter in one go. 

If you want to go from black to light blonde, you might want to leave it to a hairstylist as it would require skills and a lot of work to achieve that transformation. That said, if you're going to pursue DIY bleaching, keep reading.

You can get bleaching kits from the beauty supply store. While it's tempting to leave the bleach longer than instructed to lighten your hair more, please don’t. 

Follow instructions to the tee with bleaching kits. The worst you can have is ending up with gummy hairs that easily snap.

Wait at least 1 month between bleaching sessions to give your hair time to recover. 


Can you bleach over permanent brown hair dye?

Yes, you can. Bleaching can remove all color pigments, both natural and artificial. 

Just like with permanent black hair dye, use a hair color remover to remove as many artificial color pigments from your hair before you do bleaching.

The number of bleaching sessions will vary on how light you want to go for. If you use bleaching kits, closely monitor them from time to time and wash your hair immediately after you get your desired lightness. 


Can you bleach over permanent red hair dye?

Can you bleach over permanent red hair dye

Bleaching over permanent red hair dye is very tricky compared to black and brown but doable. 

It would be required if you want to go for lighter hair color, but if you are aiming for a darker shade or of the same level of red, there are other options available. 

If you had your hair bleached before dyeing your hair red, a hair color remover might not 

work significantly. This is because bleaching dissolves melanin, responsible for our natural hair color.

But if you haven’t, apply a hair color remover so you can shorten bleaching time.

Getting an orange color when you are going from red to blonde is unavoidable, but you can fix it with a hair toner.

A hair toner is also another kind of dye product. It doesn’t change the color of your hair but corrects the undertones. You can also use them to restore faded hair colors rather than reapplying hair dye again.

Use a green toner to neutralize red tones and blue toner to orange tones. If you had mahogany red (a combination of red and violet), use a green and gold toner.

Check out a color wheel; opposite colors neutralize each other.


Can you bleach hair over box dye?

Box dyes are marketed as cheap and user-friendly, which is why they’re commonly used. They work by staining our hair proteins to change their chemical makeup. They use the strongest hydrogen peroxide because they are supposed to work on all kinds of hair.

You can still use a hair color remover to remove artificial color pigments on your hair. 

Depending on your desired hair color, if it’s just a few shades darker than your current one, do a bleach wash instead of a full bleach process.

A bleach wash is a gentler alternative because it uses a lower volume of peroxide. It is mixed with shampoo and applied to wet hair instead of dry hair.

If there are unwanted undertones leftover that you want to eliminate, use the appropriate toner to neutralize them.


How soon can I bleach my hair after dying it?

If you’re wondering how long should you wait to bleach your hair after dying it dark, waiting two weeks is a good rule of the thumb.

Before you bleach your black-dyed hair, let the color set in for at least 15 days. This would allow your hair to repel excess pigments too. 

If you still don't like it after that, decide on your new hair color and how many bleaching sessions you need to achieve it.

In choosing a new hair color, try not to go more than 3 shades lighter than your current hair color. Why?

If you do, it’s hard to figure out what color you may get if it’s very far from your previous shade. It’s also a good way to avoid uneven patches caused by bleaching if your new and old hair colors are closely similar in shade.

You can also use a hair color remover if you only want to go one shade lighter. If you may also need multiple bleaching sessions, take 2-4 weeks of rest in between.

Use a keratin mask every 48 hours to repair your hair fiber, hair oils, or cuticle repairing treatments. Just don’t use a combination of both at once, or it may be too heavy.

Can I color my hair right after bleaching?

Yes, you can if you have healthy hair. But if you do, the color will tend to wash out faster because your hair cuticles are very open. 

After coloring your hair, refrain from shampooing for at least 72 hours for your hair cuticles to close fully.


How to lighten dyed hair naturally

How to lighten dyed hair naturally

If you can afford to wait longer and go for natural methods to lighten dyed hair, your locks will thank you for it. Here are some steps you can try

1. Lemon juice 

Add lemon juice and water to your conditioner or hair oil. Spray it all over your hair and let it sit there for a while. You may also opt to go out under the sun; just don’t forget your hair sunscreen. 

The heat coming from the sun will open up your hair cuticles, and the lemon juice will work its way in removing as much of the color when you rinse your hair. The conditioner or hair oil will ensure your hair doesn't lose so much moisture.

2. Vitamin C 

The citric acid in Vitamin C is the reason why it can help in lightening your hair. You can crush a few tablets or use the powder form and mix it with your water. 

Have the mixture in a spray bottle so you can spritz it over your hair. Apart from its brightening effects, it can also remove mineral buildup.

3. Saltwater solution

Do you remember how swimming on the beach can make your colored hair lighter? The presence of salt and the heat from the sun are the reason for this. 

If the beach is out of the question, you can use a sea salt spray instead.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Spray a mixture of 1:6 parts of ACV to water and spray it over your hair. If you have no ACV available, regular vinegar will just do. Leave it on your hair between 15-30 minutes before rinsing it. 

Vinegar is also great for removing oil and residue buildup in our hair, promoting health for the scalp

5. Use non-color safe clarifying shampoos

Clarifying shampoos are intended to remove chemical buildup in our hair. 

Go for a non-color safe so they can remove as many color pigments.  Do not use them every day as they can also be drying. Condition as usual to replenish the lost moisture. 

6. Rinse with warm water

When rinsing your hair after shampooing, use warm water. This will open up your hair cuticles, washing out as much color pigment as possible. 

7. Chamomile spray

Grab around 7 seven bags of chamomile tea and let it sit for a while in warm water to get a stronger flavor. Let it cool down before pouring it into your spray bottle. 

After spraying your hair with this solution, let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Do not overdo it as it can be drying.

Quercetin is the active ingredient in chamomile that prevents melanin production in hair, making it an excellent hair-lightening option. 


Wrapping Things Up

You may need multiple applications of these methods until you achieve your desired lightness. Do not forget to replenish hair moisture with a conditioner, hair oil, or deep conditioning treatment. 

Just because they’re natural doesn't mean they can’t cause damage. 

At the end of the day, it's your hair, your rules. 

Before you go for that next treatment, it's always best to make informed decisions by research if you can’t consult a professional colorist. 

Last Updated: July 31, 2022

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