How Long to Leave Bleach In Hair?

To colour your hair, how long do you need to leave the bleach on it? Sooner or later, we all crave to do experiments with our hair. We try different styles and looks, to explore and find that one perfect look that suits them best. One of these experiments is bleaching. Now, bleaching is one


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To colour your hair, how long do you need to leave the bleach on it?

Sooner or later, we all crave to do experiments with our hair. We try different styles and looks, to explore and find that one perfect look that suits them best. One of these experiments is bleaching. Now, bleaching is one of those tasks that you should leave to the hair professionals. However, if you are looking forward to saving yourself from the hefty charges of a salon, you can try it at home too.

Wait, are you already delighted by the idea of trying to bleach your hair at home?

Well, you should be. However, there are certain things that you must know before bleaching your hair. For example, It depends on how dark your hair is naturally. On average, you should leave bleach in your hair for a longer time if you have black hair. And, if you’re dying dark brown hair, it will only take a few minutes. The maximum amount of time you should leave the bleach on your hair is 30 minutes. If you leave it on any longer than that, you risk damaging the fragile cell structure of your hair. This article will help you know the tips you should consider before you bleach hair at home, how long you should keep the bleach in and the effects of leaving the bleach longer than the optimum duration, depends on the number of factors. So, here are the important things to keep in mind.

Factors to Consider Before Bleaching Your Hair:

Before you get started with the process, you need to ask yourself some questions to get the desired results. These questions are dependent on certain factors which are as follows:

1. Your Hair Type

As we all know, everyone has a different hair type and texture. That is the reason why no single method or hair care routine works for everyone. Bleach works in the same way. So, firstly you need to examine your hair type first. Based on the collected information, you will be able to decide how long you have to keep the bleach in.

For example, a blonde hair woman just needs to keep the bleach on for 15-20 minutes while one with coarse hair has to go up to 30 minutes. It is due to the reason that coarse hair is more challenging to work with as compared to blonde hair. There is a high chance that it may even require a second application. Also, applying bleach to curly hair can damage the texture, so be gentle. For example, don’t pull on your hair when applying the product.

2. Colour That You Want

Now, isn’t it obvious? Deciding the colour you are aiming for is one of the most important factors before bleaching your hair. A subtle change of hue requires comparatively lesser time than the time taken for a noticeable change in your hair colour. So, with time, the bleach lifts off more colour of your natural hair, thus turning lighter hair.

Also, the application of bleach for a shorter duration does less damage to your hair while a longer duration might even completely damage your hair, turning them lifeless and brittle.

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3. Hair Colour That You Have

The starting colour of your hair plays a crucial role in determining the time of application of bleach. For example, if you have tried bleaching your hair before, you do not have to apply it as long as the person who is trying it for the first time.

Also, women with light hair colour might need less time compared to those with darker hair colour.

4. Your Developer Type

Women, who are new to bleaching, tend to use kits for dying or bleaching their hair. These kits include everything in one place. Buying these bleaching kits is especially necessary for those who don’t have a good idea of hair colour, bleach, or a developer.

Bleach and a developer are mixed and left on your hair for a minimum amount of time depending on your type of hair, desired colour, your hair condition and the colour that you currently have.

Note: People who want to keep the damage as minimal are advised to use a lower amount of developer.

How long should you keep the bleach in your hair?

Bleach should be kept in for a maximum of 30 minutes. You can choose to keep it in longer if you want a lighter shade. However, we recommend you not to go beyond 30. Depending on your hair type, the timings are given below:

Coarse Hair:   30 minutes
Dark Hair:      30 minutes
Blonde Hair: 15-20 minutes
Fine Hair:      10-15 minutes

Dark Haired women can divide the bleaching process into sessions too, while coarse-haired women might require more than one application.

If you are overwhelmed by the idea of bleaching your hair, you can also choose to do a strand test before using it.

Effects of Leaving Bleach for Too Long

1. You Could Lose All Your Hair Colour, Turning Them White

Bleaching is an aggressive process, where your hair cuticles are opened up by the bleach, dissolving the colour at the same time. When you bleach your hair more than the recommended time, your hair might end up losing the coloured pigments present in them.

2. You Might End Up With Orange Hair

Women with dark coloured hair might end up with orange hair if they keep the bleach in for more than 30 minutes. So, in that case, you need to rinse and do it again. However, there are some ways that you can fix it to an extent.

3. Your Hair Becomes Brittle, Weak and Lifeless

Bleaching, as you all know, has a lot of damaging effects on hair So, use a good quality bleach. One of them being, turning your hair highly porous, and weak. Keeping the bleach for longer duration makes it difficult for your hair to lock the moisture in and they, eventually, turn brittle. This, in turn, leads to hair breakage and might even cause irreversible damage.

4. Bleach Might Stop Working

If you are getting an idea of trying the white-blonde shade from the first effect, let us enlighten you with another fact. When bleach is kept for too long, it might end up working beyond a certain point. This implies that it will not change your hair colour anymore and you might end up with an incomplete shade.


1. Do a Strand-Test

You must do a strand or patch test before your bleach application. It will help you know any allergies you are unaware of and also the reaction of your hair towards the bleach.

2. Keep Your Hair Type in Mind

You need to understand some women are not meant for bleach at all. Their hair can’t deal with the aggressive effects of the product. So, if you are one of those women, we recommend you not to try the process.

3. Read the Directions of Use on the Product Label

You must read the directions carefully before using any product. Also, make sure that you use all the necessary accessories like gloves, eyewear, etc.

4. Keep Checking Your Colour Every 5 to 10 Minutes

You must keep checking your hair colour once in a while after you have set the timer. Some colours are achieved earlier than expected, depending on your hair type and its response to the bleach.


So, that was our article to make you know all the basic stuff if you are determined to try bleaching your hair at home. You must read it thoroughly and understand what is affected if you go wrong. Also, make sure you do a patch test to find out your hair response and any unknown allergies. Try to use the information mentioned in the article. For more hair and fashion related articles and products, you can check out our website.

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