Bleach London’s Creative Director Alex Brownsell's Ultimate Guide on How to Colour Your Hair at Home
Updated: Apr 17
Unleash your inner home-hair-colourist with BLEACH LONDON’s ultimate guide to colouring your hair at home.
Hair-wise, there are two types of people in the world. Those who would only consider a colour change under the reassuring conditions and safety blanket of a Hair Salon’s roof. And the fearless, brave home hair dye-ers. Myself? Partially due to my impulsiveness, and partially due to my habit of always thinking I know best- I fall into the latter category.
Upon deciding one morning that there was no way I could possibly live another day with the hair colour I was born with and that I’d lived with for 14 years, by lunchtime, me and my best friend were stood in the home-hair-dye isle of Superdrug. And low and behold, by dinner time, I was sneaking around the back of my house. Drawstrings of my hood tied suffocatingly tight in an effort to conceal the patchy brown, white and weirdly luminous orange travesty that was hiding underneath- in a self-less effort not to give my mother a heart attack.
From this point to the present day has given me 9 years of home-dye expertise under my belt. Giving me the knowledge, that this hideous, mottled disaster was inevitable with the £3 ‘20 vol’ bleach kit my friend smothered over my head with no particular method.
With age, comes wisdom, and if I fancy a colour change now, I am a little less inclined to run to Superdrug, pick up the cheapest dye I see and get my friend to slap it on my scalp. Nevertheless, (clearly) I’m no stranger to my home salon- AKA the bathroom. If you try to look on the bright side of isolation, we currently don’t even have the worry of having to fix any disasters before having to go into the office.
There has literally never been a better time to experiment with your hair.
But what about those of you out there who are now in the irritating predicament of craving a colour change but are stuck in isolation without having ever braved a home hair dye in your life? In these times where the salon seems like a distant memory, Voir has teamed up with the elite of home hair dying- Bleach London. To give you the confidence to dare to be different and unleash the home-hair colourist we know you all have in you!
“Colouring your hair at home is much easier than you think and we’ve developed a new digital salon appointment feature, the ‘Bleach London Hair Party’ series, on our website to make dying, maintaining and caring for your hair at home foolproof.
If you head to chat.bleachlondon.com, you’ll have a virtual consultation to talk about your current hair condition and colour, and the final look you want to achieve. From there, we’ll put together a ‘Party Pack’ of all the products you need to create your hair colour. Order these online, stay home and we’ll deliver your pack and send a link to join the Hair Party.
You’ll be joined by one of our Bleach London Colour Experts by a video call, who will talk you through each stage of the process from the comfort of your own bathroom. They’ll give you all the tips you need and answer any questions you have along the way.”
1. How would you recommend to dye your Pink / Blue/ pastel at home and avoid a disaster?
“To create pastel hair, your base needs to be bleached as light as possible or the colour won’t show. Use our Plex Bleach Kit to lift the hair to a very light, creamy yellow. You want to achieve a similar colour to the inside of a banana skin.
"Then, to neutralise any brassy or yellow tones, use our White Toner Kit to colour correct and create a blank canvas. If you apply pastel pink to a yellow-toned blonde, it will create a warm peachy colour, or if you dye your hair blue before toning the brassy tones out, it will create a green hue.
“Follow with your pastel colour of choice, and use our virtual consultation tool to figure out which colours and maintenance products you’ll need. For pastel pink use our Pinkcess Party Pack or for pastel peach use our Juicy Party Pack. Our Violet Femme Party Pack is great for a pastel lavender look or if you want a more subtle lilac, our Pearlescent-ville Party Pack creates a really soft, opalescent effect.”
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2. Do you have any tips on how to highlight your hair at home?
“I’d suggest trying balayage at home rather than highlights as it’s not quite as fiddly. Balayage is less meticulous and uses a freehand painting technique which looks really natural and grows out beautifully without having to maintain your roots.
Use our Plex Bleach Kit to lift your hair to your desired level of blonde while minimising damage. You might need a friend to help out with the application, especially around the back of the hair, but if not set up two mirrors so you have full visibility. We have a balayage guide on YouTube here – the steps are as follows:
● Step 1 - Prepare dry hair by brushing and sectioning into thirds: one large section at the bottom of your hair from the top of the ears down to the nape of your neck, then two on top of the head, from the ears up and parted in the middle.
● Step 2 – Work through each third at a time, starting from the bottom. Use a tint brush to weave through the hair and create smaller, thin sections. Gently backcomb to secure the weave before applying the bleach. This prevents the bleach applying in a thick block and creating a chunky effect.
● Step 3 – Use a tint brush and your hands to ‘smoosh’ the bleach into the weaved section and softly smooth it up to meet where the backcombed hair sits.
● Step 4 – Place the bleached section into a piece of tin foil to separate from the hair you don’t want to lighten, folding the edges to secure.
● Step 5 – Continue with the same sectioning pattern until the back is complete.
● Step 6 – Carry on with the front sections, this time taking the bleach slightly higher up on the pieces around the face for a framing effect.
● Step 7 - Develop for up to 45 minutes, checking the progress every 10 minutes. Once it is ready, rinse thoroughly, shampoo, condition and towel dry.
● Step 8 – tone and colour as desired”
3. Any tips on shampoos to use to maintain the colour?
“You can prolong your colour using our Toning Shampoo and Conditioners for a 5 minute, in shower top-up. If you need to boost a vibrant colour, you can make your own colour toner by mixing your Super Cool Colour in with a conditioner and wearing the mixture like a mask for 5-10 minutes. Keeping the hair nourished also helps prolong colour, as healthy hair holds on to the pigment better than dry hair. Use a rich mask to keep the hair hydrated, my favourite is our sell-out Reincarnation Mask (£15) for an intensely moisturising treatment once a week.”
4. Are there any other products/ tools we need to dye our hair at home other than the box dye?
“If you purchase a Bleach Party Pack through chat.bleachlondon.com you’ll receive our reusable Eco-Conut Mixing bowl and brush. I’d also recommend having an old t-shirt or towel to hand to avoid staining your favourite clothes, and a shower cap to wear whilst the bleach or dye processes. If you don’t have a shower cap, cling film works perfectly too. If you’re creating a bleach bit or balayage and need to keep sections of hair separate from the bleach, you cause strips of kitchen foil.”
All quotes by Alex Brownsell, co-founder and creative director of Bleach London. www.bleachlondon.com
To join the hair party, discover your look at chat.bleachlondon.com
Words by Ella Winfield
Graphics by Katie Janes