How to Bleach Asian Hair

How to Bleach Asian Hair

This is an article on how to bleach Asian hair.

I’m a full-blooded Asian so I have Asian hair through and through. I also like playing around with hair colors. Seeing as I’m Asian, my hair is all black. And as much as I love my hair and the state it’s in, I can’t help but find it boring at times. This is why I enjoy hair coloring. From browns, reds, highlights, bleaching, and fun pinks and purples – I’ve tried them all.

I know for a fact that Asian hair is far different than Caucasian hair. This means Asian hair has different structures and composition. Because of this difference, Asian hair also proves to be different when it comes to products that work and products that don’t work. Bleaching Asian hair also proved to be quite more difficult than it is to bleach Caucasian hair.

For today’s article, I have below things you might want to remember and keep in mind before, while, and after bleaching Asian hair. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to bleach Asian hair. But with the right know-hows, achieving the perfect blonde shade is not a far dream.

What Makes Bleaching Asian Hair Difficult?

Asian hair is typically a dark hair color, often black or a much darker brown. Bleaching Asian hair means starting off with a very dark color which would need you to lift many more levels. And at the bleaching stage, very dark pigment like in Asian hair passes through many warm tones that would need lifting as well.

These warm tones, aside from the starting point of black, include brown, red, orange, and yellow. Because black Asian hair passes through these many layers when bleaching, hair often encounters brassiness, especially when the process is not done the right way.

Aside from the color factor, Asian hair is also different in terms of structure. Asian hair cuticles are larger in diameter, thicker, and grow more compact than that of its Caucasian counterpart. This could mean that Asian hair lightens far slower than other ethnicities. When lightening and bleaching, Asian hair may need more time for color and bleach to develop and lift.

Read more about what makes Asian hair different from other hair types.

How Long Does It Take to Bleach Asian Hair?

The time it takes to lift color and bleach hair all depends on each person. Factors to consider include prior hair color, hair length, and the look you want to achieve.

Depending on the shade of blonde you’re after, 1-3 appointments should suffice. The technique used by your colorist will also affect the processing time.

When you go into a salon to get your hair bleached, the stylist/colorist will assess your hair and will walk you through the process.

Choosing the Perfect Blonde Hair For You

Selecting the blonde shade you’re going for is up to personal preference. But if you want to make sure that it complements you, one thing to always consider is your skin tone and skin’s undertone.

Your skin undertone can be cool, warm, or neutral.  

Generally, you’d want to go for a blonde shade opposite of your tone. If you have a warm undertone, go for cool shades of blondes. If you’re someone with a cool undertone, a warm shade of blonde will do you better. Neutral undertones have both hints of warm and cool tones so they can pretty much get away with any blonde shade.

If you aren’t sure of your undertone or what to choose, always ask your stylist and colorist as they have enough knowledge about it and will know what to suggest.

Bleached hair levels

Bleached hair levels

Before we proceed to the know-how of bleaching Asian hair, let’s first learn more about the hair level system. According to the level system, 1 is the darkest hair color and with 10 being the lightest hair color. To be considered a shade of blonde, hair must be at least a level 7 and above. Anything below a level 7 is a lighter hair color but isn’t necessarily considered blonde.

If your hair is currently at a level 1, you’d need to lift up to 6 levels for a pretty blonde shade.

How to Bleach Asian Hair

Coloring dark Asian hair can be a challenge, let alone bleaching it. But with the right tips and tricks to keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be such a daunting task!

And with the proper knowledge on how to do it, you can enjoy and flaunt a pretty blonde shade sooner and easier than you think.

  1. Check your hair’s condition

Bleaching hair can be a fun way to amp up your style. But before proceeding to bleaching your hair, assess and check first your hair’s current condition.

Bleaching can cause a lot of damage to hair. Before applying bleach onto your hair, ask yourself if your hair looks and feels like it can handle the damage.

If you have previously dyed or colored your hair, this is an especially important first step to take. If, upon inspecting, your hair feels like it couldn’t handle the bleaching process, wait it out for another month or two. This will give your hair enough time to repair and rejuvenate so it’s able to handle bleaching better.

This is also true for hair that has undergone any kind of processing or treatment. Whether they’re perms or chemical relaxers, wait a few months before bleaching your hair.

Bleach works best on virgin hair or hair that has undergone very minimal chemical processing. It’s healthier, stronger, and therefore can handle the damage better.

Once you’ve determined your hair is ready for the bleaching process, you can proceed with the next step.

  1. Prepare everything you need

To ensure that you go through the bleaching process without any hiccups, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need within a hand’s reach. You don’t want to stumble and scramble around the house in the middle of bleaching your hair for things you would need.

Before starting the bleaching process, have the following ready:

  • Bleach powder
  • Volume developer
  • Dye applicator brush
  • Gloves and old t-shirts or clothes
  • Mixing bowls to mix the bleach and developer in
  • Some hair clips for sectioning hair

Once you have everything you would need, it’s time to start bleaching your hair.

  1. Section hair

Now that you’re ready to start bleaching your hair, it’s time to start preparing your hair. One would do this by sectioning hair into 4 parts with the hair clips you’ve gathered.

Coconut oil is a good product to add to hair from roots to tips. This creates an extra barrier and protects hair from too much damage. Leave it on at least an hour before your bleaching session to ensure that it works. You can even leave it on the night before and overnight to maximize its protection benefits.

And to avoid staining your hands and clothes, put on a pair of gloves and an old t-shirt.

  1. Mix, mix, mix

Now that you’re all prepared and ready, it’s time to mix your bleaching solution.

Take out your bleaching powder, developer, and mixing bowl.

When it comes to ratio, it depends on the specific brand and product. Make sure to read and follow what your product says. But as a rule of thumb, the recommended bleach to developer ratio is 1:2 aka 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer.

It’s important that you don’t eyeball this part. Following the right proportion is very important!

What we’re aiming for is a runny mix. This consistency allows for easy and even application on hair. This prevents patchy results. And because the mixture is runny, it will dry slowly and will give you more time to apply and work it on your hair for better and beautiful results.

  1. Apply the bleaching solution

Now, this is it – it’s time to start applying the solution to your hair and start bleaching!

From each of the 4 sections you did on your hair, you want to take only small portions out and cover them with the bleaching solution. You have to make sure that the small portion is completely covered to prevent patchy results.

Remember, roots develop and lighten faster than the tips of the hair. When applying bleach on the entirety of your head, do the tips first, going up, with applying bleach to the roots last. Doing the opposite (from roots to tips) will result in much lighter roots than the rest of your hair.

Make sure you have enough bleach in your bowl to cover everything that needs to be covered. Also check and make sure that all your strands are now with the bleaching solution.

Once that’s done, cover your head with a shower cap or plastic bag.

  1. Now, we wait

After applying the bleaching solution all over and covering your head with a shower cap, it’s time to start your timer and wait.

The time to process and develop bleach depends on the recommendation of the product you’re using. It would also vary depending on the lift and how light you want your hair to be. If you want lighter hair, leave it on longer, though keep in mind to never leave bleach on for more than 45 minutes!

  1. Wash and rinse

Once your timer sets off, hop into the shower to wash and rinse your hair. Use lukewarm water. Too hot or too cold of a water can only do more damage to your already fragile hair.

Gently wash your hair with a balancing shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner. Once you’re sure everything is out of your hair, let it dry.

  1. Fight brassiness with toner

Now, this is an optional last step. Basically, a toner eliminates and gets rid of any warm, yellow, orange, red, and brassy tones on bleached hair. If you don’t want any of that, it’s best to follow-up with a toner.

Toner is used and mixed the same way as bleach. It also follows the same 1:2 ration (1 part toner and 2 parts developer). Apply it the same way all over your hair.

Toner is not permanent so it will not affect hair color at all.

  1. After-care and maintenance

Going from dark to blonde is all fun and games until one is faced with upkeep and maintenance. To make sure it stays the way you want it to and that it repairs and rejuvenates for optimal hair health until your next appointment, it’s very important that you keep an after-care routine.

One important product in any bleached hair after-care routine is purple shampoo. Purple shampoo is a great way to eliminate any brassy and yellow tones on bleached blonde hair.

Because your hair has become drier due to the bleaching process, a good conditioner is your new best friend. You can also have moisturizing oils ready to impart moisture and shine.

Because your hair is dry and fragile, you might want to keep away from too much heat styling. This can overfry hair and cause even more drying and damage. This is especially true right after bleaching your hair.

Before You Decide to Bleach Your Hair!

Bleaching hair is a big decision to make, especially because it can be drying and damaging on hair. We have below some things to keep in mind before you decide to bleach your hair.

Remember, bleach is a very strong chemical. Bleach on bare skin can cause itching and irritation. This is why it’s important to cover yourself up with old clothes to prevent contact. Gloves, and good quality ones at that, are also an important thing to keep in mind. You don’t want to be touching the solution with your bare hands.

Because bleach is a strong solution, it can cause severe dryness and damage to hair. Bleached hair, as a result, is also prone to frizz. To counter these effects, you would need a good after-care system including a good conditioner. This will make sure your hair is properly taken care of.

Bleach can cause hair to take on a very fragile form. This makes bleached hair more prone to damage and breakage. Avoid too much heat damage and tying your hair up in very tight ponytails a while after your appointment.

And lastly, bleached hair needs a lot of upkeep to maintain hair health, especially if you bleached right from the roots. If you don’t like a high-maintenance hairstyle, you might want to rethink going from dark to blonde.


Bleaching hair and sporting a blonde do is the perfect way to upgrade your personal style. And while it is more difficult to bleach Asian hair, it is not, however, entirely impossible. And with the right steps and tips to keep in mind, you can enjoy a beautiful blonde hairstyle in no time.

One of the first things to keep in mind is the quality of your bleach powder and developer. You want to get something from a trusted manufacturer and brand. On top of that, keep in mind the blonde result you want. This can help you decide on the level and developer to go for.

Before going ahead and bleaching your hair, make sure your hair can handle the chemicals and aftermath drying. Bleach solutions can be very drying and damaging on hair. Make sure you’re ready for the effects and are ready to care and maintain bleached hair.

If you’re not confident in what shade to choose or if you’re not confident enough to do it at home by yourself, give your stylist and colorist a visit for a consultation or appointment.

To achieve certain tones, you might have to follow these bleaching steps first. If you’re game to try dying your hair yourself, check out the best hair dye for asian hair.