Do you know: How long to leave bleach in hair?

How long to leave bleach in hair is based on several factors. In this article, Jenhair will provide you valuable advice on safely bleaching your hair with damage-free. Let’s get started!

To color your hair, do you know how long to leave bleach in hair? Sooner or later? Bleach should be kept in for 15-30 minutes and not to go beyond 30. You should be aware of some tips, how long you should keep bleach in hair and the effect if you leave the bleach too long. So, let’s dive in and explore these important tips to ensure your hair gets the perfect treatment!

How long to leave bleach in hair?

Depending on your hair type, the timings of the bleaching process will be different. You can keep it in longer if you want a lighter shade but not to go beyond 30 minutes. You can consult the timings are given below:

– 30 minutes for Coarse Hair. Because this type of hair is difficult to work with and usually requires more than one application. 

– 30 minutes for Dark Hair. You can split the process into several sessions to achieve the desired color. 

– 15-20 minutes for Blonde Hair

– 10-15 minutes for Fine Hair. This type of hair has a thinner cuticle layer and will process faster. 

You can do a strand test before bleaching your hair. Applying a small amount of bleach to a hidden section of your hair and check it frequently until you reach your desired result. 

How long to leave bleach in hair
How long to leave bleach in hair (Source: Okskukuruza from Getty Images)

Factors to consider before starting bleach your hair

Assess your hair type 

Each person has a unique hair type and texture, that’s why there are no hair care routine fits for everyone. The same principle applies to bleach. Your first step must be to assess your hair type by some exam. With this information, you can decide how long to leave bleach in hair.

Determine color that you want

Before bleaching your hair, you should have a clear vision about what desired color you are aiming for. As time progresses during the bleaching treatment, the bleach strips away more of your natural hair color and make it lead to a lighter shade. How long to leave bleach in hair directly impacts  the damage of your hair, turning them lifeless and brittle. The most important thing is be careful when processing to achieve the desired color. 

Check the color on hair

When you bleach your hair at professional salon, they’ll checking on your hair consistently to ensure that the proceeds smoothly. They also aware between normal and abnormal reactions. However if you choose to bleach your hair at home, it’s a tricky process that you must be checking on your hair by yourself. You need to be always looking at the hair every 5-10 minutes. The timing is crucial in the home bleaching process. 

For example, individuals with blonde hair can typically leave the bleach on for 15-20 minutes to achieve their desired color, when those with coarse hair may have to go up to around 30 minutes. When applying bleach to curly hair, it’s important to be gentle to avoid damaging the texture, like not pull your hair while processing.

How long to leave bleach in hair
Check color in hair when bleaching Source: Cosmetize

Effects of leaving bleach on your hair for too long

You may encounter certain effects if you exceed the recommended time for leaving bleach in your hair: 

Over lightening and turn white

When you bleach your hair for more than 30 minutes, your hair might over lighten and turn white from the oxidation process. Your hair could potentially lose its natural pigmentation.

Excessive Dryness and Breakage

Bleaching can inflict various damaging effects on hair so you need to use a high-quality bleach. Leaving bleach on your hair for an extended period make it difficult for your hair to restrain the moisture. This is why you should know how long to leave bleach in your hair. Without this knowledge, prolonged bleaching can result in dryness of the hair. Bleaching also weakens the hair and turns hair brittle. 

Hair damage and keratin loss

Keratin is a type of protein that makes up hair. Bleaching process can cause the hair’s loss of keratin and this is very dangerous. The hair structure without keratin is very difficult to style. Unfortunately, preventing this keratin loss is a challenge hard to avoid when bleaching. 


How long to leave bleach in hair
You hair might be over lightening (Source: Uglyducklingcolor)

Precautions to take

Beside how long to leave bleach in hair, there a several precautions you should consider when bleaching your hair:

Do strand test beforehand

Before applying bleach on your hair, you must do a strand test. This test will help you know about allergies you may not be aware of. Strand test of patch test will also provide you the reaction of your hair towards the bleach. 

Read the directions of use carefully

Please read the directions of each bleaching product carefully. Take professional steps just like in a professional salon such as wearing gloves, protective eyewear, etc. Keep in mind that never leave the bleach on your head too long. 

Check the bleaching levels

You should check your hair color every 5-10 minutes once as time progresses.. Some shades may develop more quickly than expected, influenced by your hair type and its response to the bleach.


Natural Hair Color Chart (Source: Weheartthis)


How long to leave bleach in hair 10 vol?

Volume 10 bleach is the most common bleach and typically used for gentle lightening, such as highlights, ombre, streaks and balayage styles in hair salons. When you bleach your hair in 10 vol, it lifts your hair color safely. how long to leave bleach in hair 10 volume depends on your hair natural color and texture. It takes about 10-20 minutes for lighter hair and 20-30 minutes for darker hair. 

How long to leave bleach in hair 20 vol and more?

The rule you should know is to use a 20 vol developer for 1-2 levels. If you want to have 3 levels of lift you can use a 30 vol developer. Therefore, 40 vol is not required with good quality bleaches. If you leave bleach and 20 vol developer in your bleach mixture at the proper time, you’ll get the most lift and best results. The process may only take 10 minutes if you have very fine hair or blonde. But if you have dark hair, it may take up to 30 minutes to process fully. 


How long to leave bleach in hair
Sectioning your hair when bleaching to ensure a perfect result (Source: Bellatory)

What do you need to bleach your hair?

You need to assess your hair level to figure out how many levels you want to lighten your hair. Dark hair can be really hard to bleach so you can use maximum time for your chosen bleach but up to 30 minutes. See the chart below to know about where you need to take your hair to. 


Throughout this article, you have learned about How long to leave bleach in hair. Bleaching is a process that requires time and patience. Each person has a different timeline for completing the process, so it’s essential to seek more advice and identify your specific hair type and texture.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or if you’re still uncertain about the ideal timeframe for your hair, please feel free to leave your comments in the below section. Jenhair will provide you with additional information to assist you in achieving your desired results.