Well, actually, pretty much everything can go wrong. Playing with bleach is risky business that can lead to patchiness or worse, damaged hair beyond repair (we're talking bald).
That's not meant to discourage you — bleaching hair on your own can be really exciting. But you should be aware of the fact that bleach and hydrogen peroxide are harsh chemicals that should be handled with knowledge and great caution. So before you even make the trip to the store, read this and avoid making the worst mistakes when bleaching hair at home.
Image via Imaxtree
Mistake No. 1: Not doing enough research
First, are you sure your hair is suitable for bleaching? If you have previously processed your hair, you might want to skip bleaching this summer, since it's best to bleach virgin hair (whether you're alone or in a salon) for lesser damage.
Knowing the right bleach developer to use is also vital. The higher the volume, the lighter you can go in one sitting, but also, the harsher and more dangerous it is for your hair — trust us, you don't want to just guess on this one.
Another issue is managing your expectations. For girls with jet black hair, going light blonde after 30 minutes of bleaching is an impossible wish. You'll have to be realistic with the outcome to avoid double processing (we'll get to this later).
Try: Manic Panic Flash Lightning Bleach Kit 40 Volume Cream Developer, $12.99
Mistake No. 2: Not preparing the hair
Another important thing to remember? Don't wash your hair at least 24 hours before bleaching: You see, it's actually better if your hair is oily. Along those lines, it's also often recommended to treat your hair with coconut oil before bleaching. It will help the process and create a protective barrier for your hair and scalp against the damage.
Try: Mother Nature's Essentials Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil For Skin, $16.95
Mistake No. 3: Using the wrong tools
One important note: You must NOT use any metallic tools, since they will be burned by the bleach mixture. Instead, opt for all plastic home hair bleaching kit to have a smoother experience. Also, be sure to wear an over-sized shirt that you don't care for (because no one likes bleach stains).
Try: Diane 7-Piece Hair Coloring Kit, $6.37
Mistake No. 4: Skipping strand and skin tests
When you do the patch test, go for a strand test as well. This way, you'll have a realistic idea of how the bleaching process will go.
Image via RUNSTUDIO/Getty