How To Bleach Gray Hair The Right Way

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Gray hair is the body’s subtle way to notify us that our hair follicles are losing melanin with age (1). Other factors like vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid disease, vitiligo, and alopecia areata can speed graying (2). And with that, it often gets tough to cover gray hair. So, you may bleach gray hair strands or dye them dark to cover them. Gray hair is often dyed, but it is harder to cover it at the roots, particularly as hair grows out. Bleaching can help address this issue. Scroll down to find out how to bleach gray hair at home.

Can You Bleach Gray Hair?

Yes. Bleaching gray hair can help remove the existing dye in your hair. It is especially recommended if the shade of your dye is darker than your natural hair color.

Otherwise, you can gradually shift from using a dark-colored dye to a lighter shade that blends well with your gray hair. For example, gray hair can be colored platinum blonde or brown, based on the natural color of your hair.

Curious to know how bleaching works on your gray hair? Check out the next section for the answer.

What Happens When You Put Bleach On Gray Hair?

Bleaching gray areas of your hair will not show any visible difference. However, the bleaching mix helps lighten the hair that is still dark. This imparts a uniform blonde or white look to your hair, based on how long you leave the bleach mix. If you dye your gray hair, shift to a lighter shade before bleaching.

Now that you know the effects of bleaching gray hair, lets go about the process.

Bleaching Gray Hair The Right Way

You Will Need

  • Bleach powder (1 part)
  • Developer (2 parts)
  • Gloves
  • Old t-shirt
  • Applicator brush
  • Shower cap

Keep the items mentioned above ready before you start bleaching your hair at home.

The Process

Step 1: Prepare the bleach mix with the bleach powder and developer. Pick the ideal volume of the developer as per your needs. Follow the instructions carefully as mentioned on the product packaging. You can also add coconut oil to this mixture to neutralize the drying effect of the bleach.

Step 2: Wear the gloves and part your hair into four sections.

Step 3: Apply the bleach mix to your hair using the applicator brush. Make sure to coat each section of your hair evenly.

Step 4: Cover your head with the shower cap. This helps retain heat so that the bleach can lighten your hair color effectively.

Step 5: Leave the bleach mix on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 6: Rinse your hair with a mild shampoo and conditioner.

Note: Do a patch test on a small hair section from the back of your head. Wait for at least 24 hours to observe for any allergic reaction before the bleaching process.

Can You Bleach Gray Hair To White?

Yes. If you leave the bleach on your gray hair for a long time, it might turn white. However, there is no guarantee for this, and the results might not always be effective.

Also, keeping the bleach on your hair for an unnecessarily long time will cause dryness and brittleness. Instead, you can use a purple toning shampoo to make your gray hair appear whiter.

Bleaching gray hair will help you get a uniform look and efficiently maintain your hair. Depending on your hair’s natural color, you can color your gray hair platinum blonde or brown. It is recommended to use a shade darker than your natural color. Bleaching your hair may leave it fragile and dry. Therefore, you may have to take care of your hair by moisturizing it. You may use a nourishing mask to keep it strong, healthy, and soft. Wait for at least 15 days before your next bleaching.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I lighten my gray hair white?

You can use bleach and other natural ingredients or silver toner to lighten your gray hair.

Can I bleach my silver hair?

Yes, you can bleach your silver hair. It removes any yellowish hues.

Does gray hair need bleaching?

Gray hair is difficult to color at the roots. Bleaching it can make your grays lighter and easier to color.

Key Takeaways

  • Bleaching your gray hair also helps lighten it to give it a uniform color and even look.
  • Bleaching also gets rid of any dye from your hair if it was previously colored.
  • Using purple shampoo prevents yellow tones and makes your bleached hair appear whiter.


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  1. Histopathology of aging of the hair follicle
  2. Why does hair turn gray?
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