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When it comes to hair color, going lighter is usually something that you want to see a professional for, but if you truly feel bold enough to take the plunge on your own (and by that, we mean DIY blonding via an at-home bleach-and-tone), you need to be equipped with the right knowledge, technique and of course, products. Going blonde (or even just to a lighter brunette shade) can cause major damage—breakage split ends, and dryness to be specific, but there are ways you can lighten up your mane while also minimizing potential harm to your precious mane—and seriously, this is important because a bleach job gone wrong can leave you with gummy “cotton candy” like strands or even worse, no hair left behind at all.
Given the chemical makeup of bleach and comparable hair lightening substances (including both bleach as well as peroxide), the likelihood that you’ll see some form of damage (whether mild or moderate) is kind of inevitable, but we’ve highlighted a few safe at-home lightening products to help you combat the breakage and the brass without the help of a professional colorist.
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1. Wella Blondor Multi Blonde Powder Lightener
This purple-tinted hair bleach helps to prevent brassiness and overly warm tones in the hair thanks to counteracting yellow and orange shades without the need for a toner.
2. L'Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach
This blue-hued bleaching product quickly lifts (lightens) color up to seven levels with just one pass. The brass-reducing formula is also drip-free, preventing stains.
3. Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Premium Lift
This salon-quality bleach is perfect for transforming just about any color of hair to a shiny, healthy-looking blonde without excessive damage or risk of breakage. The dust-free formula is concentrated and easy to apply.
4. Manic Panic 40 Vol Lightning Hair Bleach Kit
This dust-free bleach powder can lift up to seven levels of color off of your hair. In this set, you receive dust-free bleach powder, one 40 volume cream developer, one mixing tub, one tint brush, one plastic cap and one set of plastic gloves. Plus, the formula is vegan.