How Long After Dying Hair Can I Bleach it? [Expert Advice]

You’ve just dyed your hair a beautiful shade, but now you’re itching for another change, perhaps a dazzling platinum blonde, or maybe even a lighter shade of your new color.

The question is, how long should you wait after dying your hair before you can safely bleach it? It is something we’ve all wondered at some point.

So, let’s get the lowdown on how you should wait to bleach your hair after dying it as safely and effectively as possible.

How Long After Dying Hair Can I Bleach it? 

Typically, it’s best to wait at least two weeks after dyeing your hair to bleach it

We know, we know, it’s hard to be patient when it comes to hair color! Here are some top ways to bleach your hair after dying it without frazzling your strands:

1. Wait at Least Two Weeks

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to bleaching hair after dyeing is to wait a minimum of two weeks.

This is because hair dye contains products like peroxide or ammonia, which can damage your hair when mixed with bleach.

The hair fiber is already weakened, so applying bleach too soon can lead to excessive breakage, unwanted color tones, and even hair loss.

2. Pay Attention to Your Hair Condition

The truth is, your hair’s condition determines how soon you can bleach it. 

For example, if you notice that your hair has become extremely damaged, dry, or brittle after your dyeing session, you should avoid bleaching it altogether, and instead, focus on restoring its health.

If you notice that your hair is still in good condition after dyeing, you might be able to get away with bleaching it before the two weeks is up.

3. Perform a Strand Test

Before you commit to bleaching your hair after dyeing, you need to do a strand test to assess the level of damage your hair can really handle. 

To do this, mix bleach and developer in a ratio of 1:2, and apply it to a small section of your hair, then leave it for 15-20 minutes.

Rinse the bleach completely and observe the results. If your hair looks healthy and strong with no signs of damage, it’s safe to assume that you can bleach your hair without much trouble.

But, if your hair turns brittle, frizzy, or looks damaged, you will need to hold off on the bleach for a little longer.

4. Consider Getting Professional Help

Bleaching your hair after dyeing isn’t always the best DIY job.

If you aren’t confident about doing it yourself, it’s best to consult a professional hairstylist who can give you personalized advice on the best way to bleach your hair without damaging it. 

A pro can also help you identify your hair’s needs and suggest products that can improve your hair’s texture and health.

5. Take Care of Your Hair After Bleaching

Finally, after bleaching your hair, you’ll need to properly to look after its health and strength to keep it looking fabulous.

This includes using gentle hair products like conditioner, oil treatments and avoiding heat styling tools that can further damage your hair.

Staying away from chlorinated water so your hair doesn’t turn green! And don’t over-wash your hair.

How Long After Dying Hair Can I Bleach it lady bleaching dyed hair in a salon

Why can’t I bleach my hair after dying it?

It’s understandable to feel frustrated if you’re desperate to bleach out your hair color!

But here are a few reasons why it’s best to wait before bleaching your hair so soon:

  • Let your hair rest: Dyeing and bleaching are chemical processes that can significantly damage your hair. They strip off essential oils, leaving your hair dry and brittle. Even if you’re raring to go, it’s crucial to give your hair sufficient time to recover.
  • Avoid uneven color: If you bleach your hair too soon after dyeing, you risk having unexpected color outcomes. Bleaching doesn’t erase the dye; instead, it lightens everything, including the color pigments of your recently dyed hair.
  • Maintain hair health: Repeated chemical treatments and processing can weaken your hair over time. Allowing some recovery time between dyeing and bleaching can help maintain its strength and health.

“When my clients come to me to go brown after being blonde we have a therapy session so they understand it’s not safe for the hair to go back to blonde any time soon. My suggestion is to have a stylist highlight you with a gentle formula and Olaplex as an additive. Even then you will likely need a fairly healthy haircut.”

April Hanley, Hair stylist/Salon Owner
How Long After Dying Hair Can I Bleach it woman with freshly bleached hair

What is safe to use instead of bleach on freshly dyed hair?

So, you’ve just had your hair dyed and you’re not quite happy with the result.

Or maybe you’ve just waited a little too long to touch up your roots and want to remove the old dye before applying a fresh coat.

Fortunately, there are safer and gentler alternatives to bleach that you can try at home. 

1. Baking Soda and Shampoo

A mixture of baking soda and shampoo is an effective way to strip hair dye from your hair.

You can mix equal parts of baking soda and shampoo and apply it to wet hair.

Leave the mixture on your hair for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Repeat the process as necessary until you achieve the desired result.

2. Vitamin C and Shampoo

Another effective way to remove hair dye is to use a mixture of crushed vitamin C tablets and shampoo.

Crush up some vitamin C tablets into a fine powder and mix it with your shampoo.

Apply the mixture to your hair and let it sit for about an hour. Rinse with warm water.

Repeat the process as necessary until you achieve the desired result.

3. Vinegar and Water

A mixture of vinegar and water can help to strip hair dye from your hair.

Combine equal parts of white vinegar and water and apply it to your hair.

Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Repeat the process until you achieve the desired result.

This method can be harsh on your hair, so be sure to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment.

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent that can help to remove hair dye from your hair.

Squeeze the juice of one or two lemons into a bowl and apply it to your hair.

Let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour, then rinse with warm water.

Repeat the process until you achieve the desired result.

Be sure to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment, as lemon juice can be drying to your hair.

5. Dish Soap

Dish soap is a powerful degreaser that can help to strip hair dye from your hair.

Mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water and apply it to your hair.

Let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Repeat the process as necessary until you achieve the desired result.

Be sure to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment, as dish soap can be drying to your hair.

6. Hair Color Remover

Hair color remover products can help to strip out permanent or semi-permanent hair dye.

Follow the instructions on the packaging, applying the product evenly to towel-dried hair.

Leave on for the recommended time, rinse thoroughly, and repeat if needed until the color is removed.

Be sure to condition hair well after using a hair color remover!

lemon juice as a natural hair lightener

Can you bleach over permanent hair dye?

The short answer is yes, you can bleach over permanent hair color.

However, it’s important to proceed with caution and do your research before taking the plunge.

Bleaching over previously dyed hair can be a tricky process and if not done correctly, can leave you with damaged, brittle locks.

So, before you grab that bleach kit, make sure to consult with a professional hairstylist or do plenty of research to ensure you achieve the look you want without sacrificing the health of your hair. 

How soon after bleaching hair can you dye it with box dye?

So you’ve just bleached your hair, and now you’re itching to mix it up with some box dye.

The good news is that, yes, you can indeed dye your hair with box dye soon after bleaching it – but you’ll need to be cautious.

Bleaching can take a toll on your hair, leaving it weak and more susceptible to damage.

That means you’ll want to opt for a box dye that’s gentle and nourishing, with natural ingredients that won’t exacerbate the damage.

In fact, using a hair dye with added oils, like argan or coconut oil, can help replenish your hair’s moisture and keep it healthy and shiny.

So go ahead and experiment with some new hues – just make sure to choose your next box dye with care!

Can you bleach and color hair on the same day?

While it is possible to do both processes in one day, it’s important to keep in mind the health of your hair.

Bleaching can be harsh on your strands, and adding color immediately after can cause even more damage.

It’s best to consult with a professional stylist about whether it’s safe and recommended for your specific hair type and condition.

What can I do to prevent damage when bleaching hair after dyeing it?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your hair is in the best possible shape for bleaching:

Before Bleaching:

  • Get personalized advice from a pro
  • Use a deep conditioner prior to bleaching
  • Give your hair 2 weeks to recover after dyeing

During the Bleaching Process:

  • Choose a lower volume developer for less damage
  • Do a strand test to check how your hair reacts
  • Strengthen and repair with a bonding treatment
  • Try to achieve desired lightness in one session if possible

After Bleaching:

  • Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
  • Avoid heat styling to prevent more damage
  • Deep condition regularly for nourished hair
  • Protect your hair from the sun and use leave-in treatments
  • Get the beautiful, lightened locks you want while keeping your hair healthy and strong.

Parting words

And there you have it, a thorough guide to answering your question, “How Long After Dying Hair Can I Bleach It?” It’s not just about counting hours (or days and weeks!); it’s about understanding your hair’s health and its unique process too. 

Remember, coloring and bleaching are major decisions for your precious locks. It’s essential to prioritize your hair’s health over the desired hue or style.

We hope this article shed some light on the process and has offered some valuable tips for navigating your hair dye and bleach journey.

Take this knowledge, treat your hair with kindness and walk the path of fabulous hair color with utmost confidence while keeping damages at bay. 

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Nicola Freeman

Creative Director & Owner

With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during Covid for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!