Bleaching Natural Hair


Most if you do not know who I am. I’m the ghost that trails behind the scenes, stalking my sisters posts- usually before they happen. I’m the prodigal sister who went out to enjoy the world but is now back, begging for forgiveness. I am that girl who once had a bomb ass twist out all those years ago using flaxseed gel. I am Temi and I am not a myth.

If you follow me on the gram (which I don’t see why you wouldn’t helloooo @temilola_solesi) you would know that my hair is green and a poppin’ bright green at that. I get people all the time coming up to me asking how I got my broccoli hair. People on the train. People on the street. All of the people that I meet (but I’m not a rapper 😂).

First things first, to get your head looking like a jolly rancher, you must bleach. GASP yeah I know. But won’t your hair break endlessly leaving you bald headed and bleary eyed at the loss of three years worth of new hair growth? Yes and no. It all depends on a lot of factors such as how healthy your hair is in the first place, how long you leave the bleach in, what volume of developer you use and how you dye your hair after the bleaching process. Impending baldness also depends on how well you prepare beforehand and so in order to prevent anyone from coming after me if their hair falls out after bleaching let me explain how to do so.

Okay preparation is easy, always bleach dirty hair (at least a week old). This seems pretty self explanatory for me because bleach on clean hair will destroy your scalp. When I say dirty, I don’t mean go and roll around in mud, but leave sufficient time between your last wash and bleaching so that there is sufficient sebum produced on your scalp and maybe even (dare I say it) a little bit of product residue to protect your scalp. The night before bleaching my hair, I put a very generous amount (I’m talking bill gates) of coconut oil in my hair and covered it with a plastic cap so that it could really soak into my follicles overnight as I have low porosity hair. These days, I would probably use a mix of coconut and castor oil because coconut oil alone doesn’t seem to do much for my hair, while castor oil would be too thick for the purpose at hand. I however used coconut oil, and still have hair on my head today.

Another thing to think about for prep is doing a skin and strand test with the bleach in order to avoid severe reactions. Speaking of reactions, you might want to check if you have any plastic equipment because metal reacts with bleach and dyes, so if not, you might want to pop to the shops.

Next up, it’s the day of bleaching, you’re feeling apprehensive (about damage) but excited at the prospect of maybe looking like an entirely different person at the end of it, effectively shocking your friends, family and haters into an instantaneous meltdown because you’re going to look fierce af. You’ve got to get up early champ, and eat a good hearty breakfast, because today is going to be a tough one. To get the ball rolling, take a few pictures with your grease saturated hair for the before and after pictures and maybe even post a cheeky selfie on your snapchat story with an ominous caption like ‘say goodbye to my hair as you know it’ with the see no evil emoji. I got all of my resources together, I had pictures and everything of all the things needed but the phone I took pictures of my first bleach job on is broken and my laptop recently crashed so I’ll just make a list:

An old t shirt
Newspaper
Vaseline
Rubber gloves
Mixing bowl
Applicator brush (if applicable)
Dye powder
30 vol developer
A rat tail comb (you can find applicator brushes which are pointy on one side for parting hair)
A clock, watch or timer
Shampoo
(Deep) Conditioner

And now *drum roll please*

Instructiones (is this even a real word?)

1. Put newspaper down everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE and put on that old shirt. It’s time to get BUSY.

2. Line your hairline with Vaseline. This is to protect the skin there so if you still want edges at the end of this process, I’d advise you to heed my warnings. Also, if you’ve only sectioned of a part of your hair for bleaching, make sure you put Vaseline over the demarcation line so that the bleach doesn’t leach out to a different area of your head.

2. Apply gloves on to hands. Make sure each finger is in the right part of the glove. No messing about.

3. Mix your bleach powder with your developer. I used Jerome Russel Bblonde High Lift Powder Bleach and Bblonde Maximum Cream Peroxide 30 vol. Even though I have very thick and strong hair, I read the 40 vol developer will destroy your hair, and as someone who is too lazy to do the proper natural regiment with lots of deep conditioning and satin bonnets (as you’ll find out soon enough), I wasn’t taking any chances. Mix until both products are blended smoothly. Basically, follow the instructions on the box. The mixture usually gets a bit frothy and creamy.

4. Start at the edge of your section, if you are doing your full head then you should have already sectioned your hair into at least four parts. Apply bleach to the edge of your section using your fingers or the applicator brush, and using a rat tail comb part small sections going in the direction of the other side of the part and continue the applying the bleach. Start from the tip and go toward the scalp stopping about an inch away since hair closer to the scalp lightens faster.

5. This particular bleaching kit states that you can leave the hair anywhere from 20-90 minutes i.e. until you reach your desired colour. However, 15 minutes in, you will need to go back and do your roots stopping about 1/4 of an inch from the scalp.

6. When your desired coloured is reached, rinse the bleach out with warm water, not cold since cold water will close your cuticles, thus trapping bleach inside (at least I’d say so as it makes sense logically). Your hair will literally feel (and look) like straw and so to save those strands, shampoo with warm water to get all of the bleach out, and then condition/deep condition overnight rinsing it out in the morning with cold water to lock in the conditioner.

7. Now you’re a whole new person, so you can either tone your hair if your goal is to be blonde, dye your hair although some people recommend you wait a few days- I didn’t because I’m an independent black woman who does what she wants 💁🏾 (p.s why can’t my emoji have an Afro, although that’s a whole other topic) or you can let it rest for a bit and decide you’d future moves later.

Like I said earlier, I have no pictures from my first bleach attempt, but I have a few from touching up my roots. Well, I say roots, but it’s a years worth of hair 😅😂.

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In the first picture, my hair is saturated in coconut oil, begging to be bleached.

The second one was taken at 1.13pm a few minutes after applying the bleach.

The third one was taken at 1.44pm seconds before I rinsed the bleach out

In this final picture, my hair has been rinsed of bleach and shampooed and I am sure that I was about to apply some conditioner or a protein treatment, I’m not sure which I did first. As you can see, my hair not only feels a bit lit straw but also looks like it. This is because for some reason, my brain told me it would be a good idea to bleach my already bleached hair again as well as my roots. Bad idea guys. However, with the proper treatment my ends did survive and thrive.
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And so to avoid confusion, in the pictures, I bleached all of the hairs from root to tip, which i know now, that you should only do when bleaching for the first time. When you are bleaching your roots, simply bleach just your roots… I mean it’s sounds like common sense but for some of us (ehem, me) it’s not that common.

So take care of yourselves guys, and tell me what you want my next post to be on. Colouring? Things no one told you about bleaching you’d hair? Or being a lazy natural?

See ya. Catch ya. Later.

Temi x

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