The pearl of conventional wisdom states that going from brunette to blonde is what can change a person’s life. Case on point: Marilyn Monroe is a platinum blonde bombshell who would have remained a regular lovely brunette factory worker if she hadn’t purchased a bottle of peroxide for her screen audition in the 1950s.
We’ve all thought about going all Marilyn Monroe with our hair. Anyone who is naturally is born with dark hair, at some point, fantasized about platinum blonde locks. While some types of hair absorb the light color without the hassle, transforming a black pigmented hair to blonde is virtually impossible without going through hair bleaching.
A hair bleach (or hair lightener) works to lift hair’s shade to a great extent. If you want to achieve the perfect shade of blonde that you want, you need the best bleach for dark hair that does the job without the unduly damaged — exactly what this post is all about.
Read also related articles: Soap cap, best purple hair dye, best conditioner for bleached hair, and best keratin treatment.
- The Best Bleach Products to Lighten Dark Hair
- 1. Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Premium Lift 9
- 2. Wella Blondor Multi Blonde Powder Lightener
- 3. Manic Panic Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit
- 4. L’Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach
- 5. Jolen Creme Bleach Formula
- 6. Clairol Professional BW2 Powder Lightener
- 7. Redken Flash Lift Blonde Idol Lightening Powder
- Why can’t I just dye my dark hair directly instead of bleaching?
- The Types of Hair Bleach
- Things the Packaging Box Does Not Tell You About Hair Bleaching
- And The Best Bleach for Dark Hair is…
The Best Bleach Products to Lighten Dark Hair
Those generic bleaching kits in drugstores may be cheap but are not going to cut it when you want to turn your dark hair into bleach blonde. You will need a professional bleach that is strong enough to turn your hair into the shade of blonde that you want.
Whether you’re looking for a bleach that you can use as a pre-color treatment or just want to achieve the highly-sought bleached blonde, you’ll find your match with our following list of top-notch hair bleach products that effectively lighten dark hair in the least damaging way possible.
1. Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Premium Lift 9
High lift bleaching powder for platinum blonde
You won’t need another layer of blonde once you bleach your hair with Schwarzkopf powder lightener. It offers an easy to control lift levels that can reach up to 9 levels. This makes it easier to achieve icy to platinum shades. And although the formula is potent it won’t leave your hair an overpowering bleachy scent. For best results, use the powder with the Schwarzkopf developer.
- Up to 9 levels of lift
- Easy to control shade levels: from ash blonde to platinum shades
- Can be used with or without developer
- Delivers result in just one session
- Potential scalp irritation
- Brassy tones appear in lower levels as the bleach settles in
2. Wella Blondor Multi Blonde Powder Lightener
For an intense and quick lift
Lift your dark hair up to 7 levels with this bleaching powder from Wella Blondor. Its lightening performance lets you achieve results in less than an hour. And you don’t even have to worry about the brassy tones that usually occur after bleaching. This powder bleach is equipped with anti-yellow pigments that work to ward off unwanted warm tones after lightening. It’s best as hair color or pre-color treatment but is also ideal if you want dramatic highlights or whenever you need maximum lightening to a distinct contrast.
- Delivers result in less than an hour
- Lightens hair up to 7 levels
- Easy-to-mix bleach powder
- Prevents uneven brassy tones
- Can be mix with any developer
- Needs improvement in packaging
3. Manic Panic Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit
Best bang for your buck
For those who are tight on budget, the Manic Panic has the best value bleaching kit. At a price that won’t break your bank, you get a dust-free bleach powder, a developer, mixing tub, brush applicator, cap and plastic gloves. Mixed with the 40-volume developer, the bleach can get you to level 5 lift. While the result may only be a subtle medium blonde, it is ideal if you still testing the waters and cannot completely dive into the whole idea of going completely bleach blonde.
- Lifts hair 5 levels
- Best price value for a bleaching kit
- Developer and other bleaching basics included
- PETA certified: not tested on animals and vegan free
- Very affordable
- Not for someone who is looking for an intense lift unless mixed with a developer
- You will need more than one box if you intend a full hair coverage
4. L’Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach
Concentrated bleach for on and off scalp application
It’s hard to go through the hair roots sometimes without enduring scalp burns here and there. Some gentler formula is available but does not really deliver results. If you want to effectively lift your hair minus all the drama, rely on L’Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach. This one lifts your hair 7 levels without the slightest scalp irritation. As far as the result goes, this is the most raved bleach if you want to go a few shades lighter but can also be mixed with a stronger developer for the sheerest platinum blonde.
- Safe to use on the scalp
- Lightens hair up to 7 levels
- Easy and simple application
- Helps you achieve various shade effects
- Reasonably priced
- You will need a separate 40 volume developer for the whitest shade
- Can be overdrying for some types of hair
5. Jolen Creme Bleach Formula
The simplest and safest way to lighten eyebrows
If you don’t want to dead giveaway that your lightened locks are not close to real, your brows need a little touch-up too. Jolen Creme Bleach Formula is the safest way to bleach your brows so that it blends beautifully with your new hair color without causing skin irritation thanks to the aloe vera infusion. It’s great for lightening brows but the formula is meant to lighten dark hair too or just anywhere you wanted to lighten dark hair in your body so that it’s less noticeable.
- Lightens dark hair and eyebrows without irritation
- Infused with moisturizing aloe
- Best for sensitive skin
- Comes with a mixing cup
- No-drip formula
- More rounds of application are needed if you want to achieve a paler shade
6. Clairol Professional BW2 Powder Lightener
The strongest bleach powder to take resistant darker hair to perfect blonde
Formulated to be extra-strength, this powder lightener can lighten even the darkest of the darkest shade. The perfect blonde shades can only be achieved after a few rounds of applications, possibly twice or thrice bleaching, however. Nonetheless, because the lightening action will only lift your hair in 1 to 3 levels in the initial rounds, it will give you the total control on the shade that you really wanted. If the re-application process does not bother you, this is the best lightener you can go for to help you achieve the highly-coveted bleached blonde.
- Extra strength to lighten hard-to-color dark hair
- Creates a consistency that holds well
- Gives you the optimum control in the lightening process
- Easy to apply and great for beginners
- Will take a few sessions to achieve the whiter shades
- Not for fine hair
- Strong distinct smell
7. Redken Flash Lift Blonde Idol Lightening Powder
Best bleach for fine and dry hair
Given the fact that bleaches strip hair of its natural moisture, it’s good to find one that is formulated with conditioning ingredients to replenish moisture that is lost. This lightening powder form Redken will deliver just that due to the provision of a nourishing pro-vitamin B5 that works to lock in moisture so your hair stays hydrated. This bleaching product also does not disappoint in terms of lightening action. It lifts dark shade up to 8 levels without less than the time you normally spent bleaching.
- Bleaches hair to 8 levels
- With nourishing pro-vitamin B5
- Leaves hair hydrated and smooth to the feel
- Ideal as a pre-hair color treatment
- Can be used with or without developers
- So far, no negative review is found on this product
Why can’t I just dye my dark hair directly instead of bleaching?
For those who have light-colored hair, going blonde is just very a simple process. But working with a dark base is another story. Changing your black hair color to a lighter shade — be it dyed or natural — is unattainable without bleaching it first.
You see, bleach does not work the same as hair dye even though both changes hair color. A dye alters color in the hair by injecting pigment. But without directly breaking the bonds responsible for the dark pigment, layering another hair color is not possible. This is where bleach comes in handy.
Instead of directly altering the hair color, bleach works to strip hair of its pre-existing color whilst opening hair cuticles, creating a perfect base to dye hair. It relies on a certain compound (usually a hydrogen peroxide) which baths hair with oxygen and an alkalizing agent that raises hair cuticles. In the oxidization process, molecules are release to break up the bonds of the atom group responsible for the compound color a.k.a the melanin (or chromophores).
Because of its ability to remove hair color, bleach is often used as a chemical treatment in between hair dyes. But since the after-result is a shade of blonde finish, there are also those who keep it as it is. Depending on how long you let the formula saturate on your hair and the number of bleaching sessions, it first turns hair into a reddish tone, then a lighter shade of yellow and then finally into a pale blonde.
The Types of Hair Bleach
Bleaches are available in three different types namely oil, cream, and powder. No matter what you choose among the three, it is worth notetaking that since you are working with dark hair, you need a bleach with more of the oxidizing agents, preferably 30-40 volume, to optimally lighten your hair without unduly damage. Never go beyond 40 volume as this can destroy your hair. Bearing all of these in mind, here are your options for bleaches.
This type of bleach is based on a kind of sulfonated oil but has the primary ingredient of hair lightening hydrogen peroxide mixed with volume developers and other lightening activators. An oil bleach can lighten hair up to 3 colors. They are great for lifting color off stubborn roots and also ideal for highlights.
Because cream bleach has a thicker consistency than that of oil, they do not run or drip and it is easier to apply. They contain thickeners and bluing agents alongside conditioners that minimizer possible hair dry. While cream-based bleaches may not be the fastest, it will gradually lift your hair color so you can stop at the shade that you want.
Powder bleaches deliver results the fastest among its counterparts. The procedure includes making a paste out of the powder. This can be done by mixing a developer which contains the main ingredient peroxide to give the mixture a thicker consistency. You will need to be cautious of using this type of bleach, however, as they contain little to no conditioning ingredients and can be overdrying to the hair.
Things the Packaging Box Does Not Tell You About Hair Bleaching
Bleach parches hair of moisture and will surely dry your hair.
Having this said, make sure your hair is in good condition beforehand. Prior to bleaching, you can treat your hair to a moisturizing treatment to alleviate possible hair damage. If your hair is just recently processed or dyed, you may need to wait more time before you dab your hair with chemicals.
Patience is the key. The safest way to bleach without compromising the health of your hair is to bleach it in multiple sessions, with two to three weeks wait after each session. This way your hair can rest from each chemical exposure. Virgin hair or hair that has was never chemically processed, on the other hand, should be fine with one session.
Once you bleach your hair, you are now part of the high-maintenance club
Bleaching alters the porosity and elasticity of your hair, it will make it less soft. If left untreated, this could result to split ends and hair breakages. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of moisturizing your hair.
You may need to visit the salon every now and then for regular trims and conditioning treatments to keep your hair healthy. There are also other hair treatments you can buy, such as restorative masks, that recover the integrity of your hair.
Additionally, you’ll need to adjust your hair care routine. Only use shampoos and conditioner that is protein-rich and sulfate-free to meet your hydration needs. If you’re someone who frequently styles hair with a hot tool, always apply heat-protectant beforehand. Check our article about the best shampoo for bleached hair.
Every hair type responds to bleach differently
The harsh truth about bleaching is that your hair will certainly be out of texture. Most commonly, fine hair will become rough and thicker. If you got curly hair, bleach will revert the wave pattern. If you want to protect or recover the texture of your hair, leave-in treatments help strengthen damaged protein and ward off breakage.
Any attempt to re-color hair with a darker shade will only go in vain
A bleached hair only accepts shade that is lighter. The only real way to get back to your natural color is to outgrew your bleach hair. Hair growth vitamins and supplements can help.
You can always perform the strand test to determine if the product or bleaching in general, is something that you can commit to. The technique involves dabbing the formula onto a little portion of your hair and letting it sit for about five minutes. Repeat until your satisfied with the shade. When you still have questions or concerns, consult with your colorist.
And The Best Bleach for Dark Hair is…
If you want to achieve the shade of blonde in one sitting, rely on Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Premium Lift 9. Even if you are going for a subtle change or perhaps just wanted to conceal your dark, you can easily control the lightening action as this premium bleach delivers gradual transformation so you can stop at the shade that you want. So feel free to channel Khaleesi’s ice blond in GOT or play with dramatic highlights on your dark hair, this bleach is the holy grail for lightening dark hair.
Thanks for this, it’s helpful! Just a note, hair can never be ‘blonde’ (with an e). I know, it’s often spelled wrong, even by hair dye companies apparently. But I’m an editor and I can assure you it’s ‘blond’ (in fact, blond without an E is never wrong).