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When can I bleach my hair after stripping color?

Bleaching your hair after stripping out color can be damaging if not done properly. It’s important to give your hair enough time to recover before applying more chemical treatments. This article will discuss how long to wait before bleaching after color removal, tips for bleaching safely, and what to expect when lightening hair that was recently stripped of color.

How Long to Wait Before Bleaching After Color Removal

After removing hair color, it’s best to wait at least 2 weeks before bleaching. This gives your hair and scalp time to recover from the harsh chemicals used in color stripping products. Bleaching too soon can cause extreme dryness, breakage, and irritation.

Here are some guidelines for wait times:

  • 2-4 weeks after color remover treatment
  • 1 week minimum if you used vitamin C powder to strip color
  • 2 weeks minimum if you used bleach baths for color removal
  • 4 weeks if your hair feels very damaged or dry after stripping

Let your hair health guide you. If your hair still feels compromised, brittle or dry close to the 2 week mark, wait a full 4 weeks to give your strands maximum recovery time before lightening.

Tips for Bleaching Safely After Color Removal

When you do bleach after stripping, take extra precautions to minimize damage:

  • Use a lower volume developer – try 10 or 20 volume instead of 30 or 40
  • Leave the bleach on for a shorter time
  • Apply a protein conditioning treatment immediately after rinsing the bleach
  • Use a toner, not permanent dye, when coloring the lightened hair
  • Trim any splits or damaged ends after bleaching
  • Limit use of heat styling tools for 1-2 weeks post-bleaching

Doing a test strand first is highly recommended. See how a small section of hair responds to bleach before lightening your whole head.

What to Expect When Bleaching After Color Removal

Even when waiting the ideal time, bleaching right after stripping color can lead to undesired results in some cases. Here’s what you may experience:

  • Hair doesn’t lighten as much as expected
  • Orange, brassy tones
  • Damage like breakage, dryness or loss of curl pattern

The reason for this is that color stripping leaves behind stubborn underlying pigment. Bleach has a hard time getting through this, so you may not see the lightness you want.

Toner can help cancel orange tones. But if hair is still too dark, a second round of bleaching may be needed after 4+ weeks. This allows time for hair to fully recover before applying bleach again.

Have realistic expectations when lightening right after color removal. Be very gentle and don’t over-process. With time and the right techniques, you can achieve your desired blonde without causing excessive damage.


Stripping out old color before bleaching is important for getting maximum lift. But hair should not be bleached immediately after stripping. Allow 2-4 weeks minimum for your hair to rebuild lost proteins and moisture before applying more lightener. Go slowly, use a lower volume developer, and treat hair gently in between sessions. With some patience and TLC, you can safely go from stripped strands to your dream shade of blonde.

Waiting Time After Color Removal Bleaching Tips
2-4 weeks minimum Use 10 or 20 vol developer
Do a strand test Leave bleach on for less time
Deep condition after Expect brassy tones
Limit heat styling May need 2 sessions