Reinvent yourself with a quick, inexpensive change in hair color that you can do at home by yourself or with a friend. Before you start, find a quality bleaching treatment online at or your favorite hair supply store, and read the directions carefully. It may take several treatments if you have dark hair, especially if you are bleaching your hair to dye it blond or red. Plus, you may need to buy two or three boxes of the solution for shoulder-length or longer hair. Never attempt to bleach your eyebrows and eyelashes, because a mistake can cause serious damage to your eyes. Contact a professional stylist instead.

Here are some other important tips for achieving the salon look at home:

Find the Right Product

You can buy ready-made bleaching solution or a powder that you mix with peroxide. Extremely dark hair typically requires the strongest peroxide solution,usually 60%, while medium and lighter shades don't need more than a 40% solution. The higher the percentage, the more caustic and damaging to your skin it has the potential to be, so use as light a solution as possible.

If you don't follow the directions carefully, you also run the risk of damaging your hair or your skin. Try the bleaching solution on a small, inconspicuous spot first to make sure there's no adverse reaction. If your hair is colored, you'll have to remove it before using the bleach, and you should wait a few weeks after getting a chemical process, too, because your hair needs time to recover.

Prepare Your Canvas

The night before, wash and condition your hair as normal to remove accumulated dirt and oils. The next day, gather your tools and the bleaching solution. You should have at the least a few towels that you don't mind messing up, a bowl and small brush for mixing and applying the solution, rubber gloves to protect your hands, and a timer for proper application. Having a friend on hand to help, especially with hard-to-see parts of your head, is a good idea, too.

Apply the Bleach

Place a towel around your shoulders and apply petroleum jelly to your ears and hairline to prevent the bleach from burning your skin. Start from the back and quickly apply the treatment evenly, one small section at a time. Do your roots last and cover your hair with plastic wrap or a shower cap. Set a timer, checking your hair's progress from time to time. Don't leave the treatment on any longer than directed, and if you feel any burning or pain, remove it and the treatment immediately. To speed up the process, use a blow dryer set on low heat.

Rinse and Condition

Most bleach treatments are removed by shampooing as normal and then using conditioner to restore your hair's natural moisture. If you want to change the color now, leave the conditioner until last. On the other hand, most experts suggest letting your hair rest for a few days before adding a new color or applying a second bleach treatment.

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