Step Away From The Bleach – Here's How To Safely Lighten Your Hair At Home

The safest, most effective DIYs right this way.

Long story short, have a little patience when it comes to transforming your once dark hair to bright, blonde strands. 

As the old saying goes, blondes supposedly have more fun—but truth be told, they also have an extremely difficult time keeping their hair from turning into a brassy, knotted mess. Lightening your hair is a lot of upkeep. It means frequent trips to your colourist, more advanced haircare, and at least some damage (no matter what products you use). 

But due to the spread of COVID-19, salons across the nation are closed for the foreseeable future, leaving many blonde bombshells in search of a manageable at-home solution. Although the most risk-free maintenance hack would be to simply let your hair grow out until you're able to reunite with your trusted hairstylist, we totally get it if you're itching to tame your roots and banish that brass.

While an array of Tik-Tokers and celebrities have taken to applying domesticated bleach to their hair in order to lighten a strand or two, that doesn't mean you should. In fact, it means that under no circumstances should you so much as think of applying bleach to your hair. The good news, however, is that it is possible to lighten your hair colour at home, safely.

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Before you do anything, it's important to chat to your hairdresser first. Granted, they may try and talk you out of it but they'll also be able to help you determine what kind of developer will best-react with your existing hair, recommend a specific product, and can guide you on proper placement. They might even be willing to guide you through the process over Zoom—just be sure to respectfully compensate them as you would with a normal in-salon appointment.

So, whether you're looking to get lighter ends, root touch-ups, or your current blonde is looking a little too brassy, here is how to naturally lighten your hair...

COVER UP

Some of us might be happy to wave the white (or grey, or dishwater) flag and just let nature take its course, but if you’re not ready for that quite yet, a root touch-up works in a pinch. Enter Colour Wow Root Touch Up. You apply this one like eye shadow, making it very easy to use. It might require a few extra strokes to make sure everything’s concealed, but this formula, which comes in eight shades, doesn’t run or rub off, and it lasts until you shampoo it out.

Colour Wow Platinum Root Cover Up, €39, SHOP HERE

End Game

If the transition from blonde to brown is a totally untrodden path, then the balayage method is a fantastic way to introduce an (almost) effortless sun-kissed effect that’s super low-maintenance. The L'Oreal Colorista Effects Balayage kit contains everything you need to achieve balayage highlights at home, and is really simple to use, making it ideal if it’s the first time you’re colouring your hair at home.

L'Oreal Colorista Effect Ombre Hair, €6, SHOP HERE

BANISH BRASS

If you're a cool-toned, silver, or platinum blonde, you may notice that the more time you wait in-between appointments, the more your colour errs on the side of yellow (or even orange). Before you take matters into your own hands by trying to touch up your highlights at home, try this easy-to-use conditioning mask. It's basic colour theory; the purple pigment in the mask helps cancel out those unwanted yellow tones.

Kérastase Blond Absolu Masque Ultra Violet Treatment, €33.95, SHOP HERE

GLOSS IT

If you were lucky enough to go into quarantine already being a blonde, then chances are your blonde has started to go a bit brassier than you'd like. Well, the good news here is you can revive your colour safely with an at-home gloss. This treatment takes just 15 minutes and is virtually foolproof—just coat hair evenly, let sit, and shampoo-out to effortlessly tone down brassiness and infuse shine.

Josh Wood Colour Shade Shot Gloss Icy Blonde, €19.99, SHOP HERE

HONEY, I DYED MY HAIR

Klorane has given your early 2000s Sun-In spray a glow up in this updated formulation, which features natural ingredients like honey and chamomile. This product gradually lightens hair with each use, and is most effective on light brown to blonde hair. 

Klorane Sun Lightening Chamomile & Honey Spray,€18, SHOP HERE.

GO AU NATURALE

There are surprisingly quite a few things you can do to naturally lighten your hair up without the use of any bleach or peroxide. Saltwater, sunshine, and lemon juice all fall in line with a natural route towards lighter strands. Typically, these methods will work best on naturally lighter base colours, and less so on darker brunettes. They can be applied all over, or you can use them to brighten up your ends and face-framing strands. Just note that these natural methods can strip or dry out your existing blonde when used in excess (and saltwater, specifically, can make your blonde more brassy).

Main image by @nitsanraiter on Instagram

READ: So, You Hate Your New Hair Colour – Here's How To Fix Every Type Of Box Dye Disaster

READ MORE: How I've Kept My Bleach Blonde Hair From Turning Into A Dry, Knotted Mess

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