If you’ve ever bleached your hair at home, chances are you know what it’s like to end up with uneven, wonky results. It can be a pain when your results don’t align with your expectations.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to fix unevenly bleached hair. This article will discuss how to fix uneven bleached hair, the best methods for eliminating patchy areas, and how to achieve a more even result.
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What Can Cause Patchy Results When Bleaching Hair?
There are several causes of patchy bleaching results, and knowing about them can help you figure out how to even things out. We’ll get into each cause briefly in the below list:
- Uneven bleach application. If the bleaching mixture isn’t evenly distributed in small sections, you’ll end up with patches of hair that are lighter or darker than the rest.
- Over-bleaching. When you bleach your hair too often or with a developer that’s too strong, you can damage your hair’s outer structure. If that happens, you could experience inconsistent bleach absorption.
- Uneven hair porosity. If your hair’s porosity is inconsistent, some parts of your hair will absorb the bleach more quickly than others. This can lead to patchy results.
- Lengthy bleach application time. If you take a long time to apply the bleach, it’ll sit on some parts of your hair way longer than it does on others, leading to uneven results.
How to Fix Uneven Bleached Hair
Now that we’ve covered some potential causes of patchy bleaching results, let’s move on to how you can fix it! There are several ways to remedy uneven bleached hair, and we’ll cover them here.
Use Semi-Permanent Dye
Semi-permanent hair dye is a gentle way to help even out the tone of your hair. It can darken up those light areas, which helps to blend them in with the rest of your hair.
There’s no waiting period for dyeing your hair with semi-permanent dye after bleaching. Here’s how to use semi-permanent dye to fix uneven bleached hair:
- Choose a semi-permanent dye similar to the darkest part of your hair.
- Shampoo your hair and allow it to dry completely.
- Apply the semi-permanent dye evenly to your hair in small sections, using a tinting brush or your fingers.
- Once the dye has been applied, cover your hair with a processing cap or plastic wrap and leave it on for the recommended time. Most of the time, dye instructions suggest leaving the color on for up to 45 minutes or even longer. Check the product insert for the most accurate time recommendation.
- Rinse the dye out with cool water and style your hair as usual.
- Look at your hair and see if you’ve achieved your desired results. Your hair should be much more even than it was initially.
Use Demi-Permanent Dye
The demi-permanent dye option is a bit different, as it requires you to use a 10-volume developer along with the dye. The point of the developer is to very slightly lift your hair cuticles to allow the dye in.
It results in a longer-lasting result than you’d get if you colored it with semi-permanent dye. Just like with semi-permanent dye, you’ll need to choose a dye that’s darker than your current hair color.
You’ll start by mixing up the demi-permanent dye with the developer per the instructions in the package.
Then apply the dye to all of your hair and allow it to process for the allotted time. After the time is up, rinse your hair and move forward with your typical styling routine.
Try Toning It Out
Toner can help to even out the color of your hair and give it a more polished look. It’s also a great way to eliminate brassiness and make your hair look more uniform.
Choose a toner that’s darker than the darkest tone currently in your hair. You should wait a couple of days after bleaching to tone your hair.
Here’s how to use toner to fix uneven bleached hair:
- Start by shampooing your hair and then towel-drying it until it’s damp.
- Mix the toner with a developer according to the package instructions.
- Apply the toner evenly to your hair in sections, using a tinting brush or your fingers.
- After applying the toner all over, use a processing cap to cover your hair.
- Allow the toner to process. Most toners need about 20 minutes to work.
- Rinse the toner out with cool water and enjoy your new, more even hair color.
Rebleach Your Hair
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, you can try rebleaching your hair, focusing on the darkest portions of the hair.
This is an excellent option if your hair is extremely uneven.
Give Your Hair Some TLC First
Before you start the rebleaching process, it’s essential to give your hair some extra TLC. After all; it’s already been through a lot! Try using a deep conditioning treatment or mask once a week.
This will help restore some of the moisture stripped away during the bleaching process. You should also limit your use of heat styling tools. It also helps to let your hair air dry whenever possible.
Get a Good Look at Your Hair to Assess the Situation
Take a close look at your hair in the mirror – note any light or dark areas. You should also pay attention to areas that seem particularly dry or damaged.
If your hair is still shiny, relatively smooth, and doesn’t show signs of breakage, then you’re probably good to proceed with the rebleaching process.
Get to Bleaching
Now it’s time to focus on those dark areas. Using a tinting brush, apply the bleach mixture directly to those sections.
Be sure to work quickly and thoroughly saturate your chosen areas. Wrap each section in foil after applying the bleach – you don’t want the bleach to get on any unintended areas.
Once you’ve applied the bleach mixture to all the dark areas, it’s time for the waiting game. In most cases, you’ll need to wait around 20 minutes for the bleach to process (on prebleached hair).
Every 5 minutes, check on your hair to see how it’s doing. If your bleached sections lighten up to the same level as the rest of your hair before the 20 minutes are up, move to the next step.
Rinse the bleach out with cool water and shampoo your hair as usual.
Follow that up with a conditioner or deep conditioner, and you’re all done! You should now have much more even hair than you started with.
When to Go for a Color Correction Service
Color correction is a process in which a stylist works to even out the color of your hair. Often, they’ll use a darker shade to balance out the bleached areas.
This can be a time-consuming and costly process, but it may produce much better results than rebleaching your hair at home.
If you’ve tried the above uneven hair color fixes and you still hate your results, we recommend consulting a professional stylist for a color correction.
They’ll be able to assess your hair and come up with a plan to get you the result you were initially going for.
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There you have it – a few different ways that you can fix uneven bleached hair at home. We hope that this article has helped you to understand some of your options and that you now feel more confident about dealing with this issue. Good luck!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care.