Can You Mix Bleach With Hair Color? (No, Here’s Why)

can you mix bleach with hair color

If your hair dye is close, but not quite light enough for your goal color, you may be wondering: Can you mix bleach with hair color?

According to Briogeo Hair, bleach, or bleach powder mixed with hair developer, should not be mixed with hair dye. However, hair developer alone can be used to lighten hair without stripping it of color entirely. 

So while it looks like the answer is, no, you can’t mix bleach with hair color, there does seem to be a lot to learn about how to lighten your hair! In this article we’ll cover what you can mix with hair dye to make it lighter, how to mix colors with bleach if that is what you decide to do, and a few other related questions!

What Can I Mix With Hair Dye to Make It Lighter?

Hair dye can be mixed with a few things to make it lighter, even if a strict bleach mixture isn’t the healthiest option for lightening hair. These options can be found below:

  • Hair Developer – Hair developer is technically peroxide, and is usually combined with bleach powder to make what we think of as “bleach.” However, peroxide can also be added to simple hair dye, on it’s own, to lessen the saturation of the color and make it appear lighter.
  • Hair Conditioner – That’s right, the conditioner you use for your hair can also be an ally in the fight to make dye lighter in color! Simply mix one part hair dye, one part peroxide, and two parts conditioner to achieve a slightly lighter, more diluted color of dye.
  • Shampoo – This method works best when using a white shampoo; using a shampoo that has added color can wind up turning your hair shades of the same! Instead, fill a bottle with one part shampoo and one part hair dye, then shake it until they are well incorporated with one another!

These three options are the best candidates for mixing with your hair color of choice to lighten it up. 

How Do You Mix Colors With Bleach?

Though it isn’t wise to mix hair dye with a bleach mixture that contains both bleach powder and peroxide, you can choose to do so without disastrous results. How? First, take the bleach powder out of the equation! Only mix the hair developer, otherwise known as peroxide, with hair coloring dye. If this is your plan, continue by following these steps:

  1. Purchase Hair Dyeing Kit – This kit will be most useful if it gets close to the color you want (even if that color still needs to be lightened) and comes with peroxide. It means that the dye and peroxide are already compatible for mixing.
  2. Protect Your Skin – According to, peroxide can always lead to a risk of irritating your skin. Petroleum jelly is a good option when you’re hoping to protect your scalp, but gloves should work just as well for your hands while mixing the dye and peroxide.
  3. Use Double the Recommended Amount of Peroxide – If you did purchase a hair dye kit that came with peroxide, it will likely contain measurements for how much peroxide to use with the hair dye. Simply find that number and double the amount of peroxide.
  4. Check the Coloration – Check to see that the coloration of your diluted mixture is as light or as dark as you’d like it to be. Looking at the actual color of the liquid is helpful, but you can always conduct a small test to be sure!
  5. Expose Hair to the Mixture – After protecting your skin, diluting correctly, and making sure the color is what you want, it’s time to cover your hair in the color mixture! Leave it on for at least 15 minutes, and consider waiting a minute or two longer for the dye near the roots.

After following these steps, you’ll have successfully diluted the hair dye enough to enjoy your lighter color!

Can You Bleach Developer With Box Dye?

You can use bleach developer to coat over a hair dyeing job done with box dye, but there are a few catches.

The most prominent issue that you should be aware of is that any time bleach is used on hair, it is causing damage. The peroxide is a chemical that is harshly stripping away all color, natural and artificial, from your hair shaft. It can also cause skin irritation, which is why salons and professionals take extra care to protect your scalp.

All of this to say, if your hair is already unhealthy, it isn’t a good idea to stack bleach on top of a color job that already used bleach as recently as less than three months prior. Therefore, yes, you can cover a box dye job with bleach developer, but you should consult a professional or examine the health of your hair before doing so.

If your hair is rough, dry, difficult to manipulate, and has been bleached (even during the previous coloring process) as recently as two months ago, wait a bit longer before adding bleach again!

To let your hair recover, it is recommended that you condition thoroughly, mask your hair with oil or banana mixtures before showering, and even refrain from using hair styling methods that include heat.

What Comes First, Bleach or Hair Color?

When dyeing your hair at home, your bleach mixture should always come first! This is because hair dye’s only responsibility is to add color. It cannot take your natural or previous hair color away.

That’s what the peroxide in the bleach powder-peroxide combo is for! This chemical will, as we’ve discussed, strip your hair of any previous coloration. It will leave it light and ready, like a blank sheet of paper, for your hair dye to cover over.

The best way to apply bleach before hair dye is by sectioning your hair off and starting with the bottom layers of your hair. After these are covered in bleach, move on to the upper layers. Let your hair remain in the bleach until about fifteen minutes have passed, then wash your hair thoroughly and allow it to dry.

After this, it is safe to begin applying hair dye!

In Summary

In summary, no, it is not a good idea to mix hair dye with the combination of bleach powder and peroxide that makes up what we call “bleach.” Instead, remove the bleach powder from the equation and replace half the hair coloring dye with peroxide to lighten it. Alternatives include diluting the peroxide with shampoo or conditioner, as long as they are white!

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