If your goal is ultra blond hair, basic box hair dye won't get the job done. For platinum or white locks, you need a hair bleaching product that can strip your existing color so you can go as light as you want. At-home hair bleaching products can be a little scary if you've never used them before, which is why choosing the right one is so important.
If you're not sure how to find the best hair bleaching product for your needs, our buying guide is full of helpful tips for choosing the perfect bleach to use at home. Our top pick is from Wella, a trusted brand in the professional hair color game. It can help transform even the darkest hair to light blond.
Considerations when choosing hair bleaching products
When you're bleaching your hair, you need several types of products to lift the color.
Lightening or bleach powder is the actual powdered bleach that strips the color from your hair and lightens it.
Developer is a liquid or cream product that's mixed with the lightening powder. It contains hydrogen peroxide, which opens up the hair cuticle so the bleach penetrates more effectively.
Toner is a product that corrects yellow tones when you lighten your hair, so it's essential if your goal is platinum blond or silver hair.
When you're purchasing hair bleaching products, it's important to determine what developer strength is appropriate for your hair color goals. Developer strength is measured in terms of volume -- you can choose from 10 volume, 20 volume, 30 volume, and 40 volume. 10-volume developer is the weakest, while 40-volume developer is the most potent.
If you've never bleached your hair before or have extremely thin hair, a lower volume is usually best. A 40-volume developer is so strong that it can actually cause burns on the scalp, so it should be avoided unless you have extremely dark hair. Even then, it's best to speak to a hair color professional to determine if it's the best option for you.
Kit vs. individual products
You can purchase lightening powder, developer, and toner as separate products, so you're able to choose the right lightening or bleach powder for your hair type and pair it with the developer that fits best. You usually wind up paying more if you buy the products individually.
If you're looking for the best value and most convenience, you can purchase a home bleaching kit, which contains the powder and developer so you have everything you need. Keep in mind that a kit doesn't allow you to mix and match the lightening powder and developer to suit your hair exactly.
Some hair bleaching products include accessories that make bleaching your hair as easy as possible. You may want to look for products that come with:
A mixing bowl for combining the bleach powder and developer
Plastic gloves to protect your skin from the bleach mixture
A tint brush to apply the bleach mixture to your hair
A plastic cap to place over the bleach mixture when it's on your hair
Hair bleaching product prices
Most hair bleaching products cost less than $40. Considering how much it costs to have your hair bleached and colored at a salon, you can save significant money by doing it at home. However, you can run the risk of damaging your hair, and you need to buy other products to help maintain your color, such as a deep conditioner to help with dryness and purple shampoo to help with brassiness.
Q. Is it safe to bleach your hair at home?
A. Bleaching your hair can dry and damage it, particularly if you have extremely dark and/or coarse hair. If you've never bleached your hair before, stick to a low-volume developer to be safe. Don't attempt to lighten your hair too quickly either -- you shouldn't apply bleach more than once a day if you don't want your hair to break off.
Q. Are there hair types that should avoid hair bleaching products?
A. If you have extremely thin hair, bleach has the potential to be very damaging. It's also a bad idea to bleach already dry or damaged hair. If you have these hair types and want to lighten your hair, you should have your hair professionally colored to reduce the chance for mistakes.
Hair bleaching products we recommend
Best of the best: Wella Blondor Multi Blonde Powder Lightener
Our take: A professional-grade bleach powder that can deliver salon-worthy results at a fraction of the price.
What we like: Can lighten even the darkest hair to platinum when paired with the right developer and toner. Works for nearly all lightening techniques. Contains anti-yellow molecules to reduce orange and yellow tones.
What we dislike: May require 40-volume developer to get to the lightest shade of blond, which could lead to damaged hair.
Best bang for your buck: Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Premium Lift
Our take: An effective bleaching product for those who have experience with at-home bleaching.
What we like: Capable of lightening hair up to nine levels. Doesn't have a strong bleach odor. Contains ingredients to help protect the hair fiber to minimize breakage.
What we dislike: Causes a warming sensation on the scalp as the bleach processes.
Our take: A good basic bleaching kit for those who are new to at-home bleach products and are interested in highlighting or creating an ombre effect.
What we like: Budget-friendly kit that contains bleach powder and developer. Can lighten hair up to seven levels. Also includes bowl, application brush, gloves, and cap. Cruelty-free vegan formula.
What we dislike: Doesn't offer enough bleaching product for your entire head.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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