Bleach is one of the most powerful chemicals that professional stylists use on hair. When used incorrectly, bleach can cause irritation, burns, hair damage, and even hair loss. However, if it's used correctly, bleach can yield pretty impressive results.
One of the most important steps to achieving your perfect shade of blonde with bleach is starting with the right product.
Salon vs Generic Brands
Not all bleach is created equal. Some products are stronger and work faster than others, while others are more gentle and meant for hair that is delicate or previously lightened. There is also a big difference between salon-quality bleach that the professionals use and the generic bleach available at drugstores and discount beauty stores.
With a professional bleach, you will get even results and the product is made with quality ingredients. These often include extra conditioners that will nourish your hair to prevent dryness and damage. Many include toners as well to warm up the lightened color.
Generic brands, on the other hand, are often made with inferior ingredients. Rarely do they contain nourishing ingredients, so your hair is at great risk for damage. Even if your hair survives the lightening process, there's a lot of potential for uneven color.
When it comes to hair bleach, you really do get what you pay for. Your hair's health is worth it, so let's look at the best bleach options that are used by the pros.
L'Oreal Blond Studio Platinum Plus Lightening Paste is the Cadillac of bleaching products. This is hands down one of the most effective and least damaging lightening products on the market.
L'Oreal Platinum comes in two different formulas. Platinum Plus contains ammonia and is for darker hair that requires a higher level of lift. Platinum Ammonia Free contains no ammonia and is suitable for lifting lighter levels. This gives you more control and allows a stylist to tailor the formula more specifically for each client's needs.
Unlike traditional lighteners that come in powder form, L'Oreal Platinum is more of an oily paste. The texture is much easier to work with than traditional bleach as it doesn't expand or travel very much at all. This is a great help when you are trying to avoid overlap with any previously lightened hair.
L'Oreal Platinum is a bit pricier than other bleaching products, but it is the favorite among professional hair stylists. Once you use it, you'll have a hard time going back to other brands of lightener.
L'Oreal Quick Blue Powder Lightener lives up to its name. This bleach works fast.
It's a great product when adding a few quick highlights at the shampoo bowl while the client's toner is processing. It's also a nice option when you're doubling up an all-over-color with some ombre ends and you need the highlights to process quickly.
Another advantage of this bleach is that it has a blue base tone that slightly tones highlights as it lifts. It won't completely replace the need for a toner if the hair is really brassy, but it can help when you need a little toner.
Blondest Blonde Ionic Lightener by CHI never disappoints, and their bleach is truly one of the best.
This ammonia-free lightener can lift up to eight levels. It's one of the most comfortable bleaches to use when doing an on-the-scalp treatment. Built-in far infrared helps to neutralize warm tones from the inside out, giving it excellent toning capabilities.
The bleach conveniently comes in a cream or powder form, which gives the stylist options and control.
Igora Vario Blond Extra Power has a great consistency and doesn't dry out like other lighteners. It has been a top choice among stylists for many years and it continues to be one of the favorites.
This dust-free lightener has a creamy, gel-like consistency along with a pleasant fragrance. It also has a reliable anti-yellow effect, and it can successfully lift up to eight levels. This bleach is great to use when trying to achieve an extra cool-toned blonde.
It's a bit on the pricier side compared to other bleaching products, but the extra money will be well spent.