How Do You Lighten Your Hair Without Bleach?

To lighten the hair without bleach, select a hair coloring dye up to four shades lighter than your natural hair color. Apply the hair color to the middle, scalp and ends of the hair in that order. Process and rinse as instructed by the color manufacturer.

  1. Select the color

    Choose a color that is no more than four shades than your natural hair color because anything more requires bleaching. Use a 30-volume peroxide for three levels of lift and a 40-volume for four levels of lift.

  2. Prepare the hair

    Wash and condition the hair as usual. Remove excess water from the hair with a towel before blow-drying the hair. Make sure your hair is completely dry before applying color.

  3. Separate your hair into sections

    Draw a part from the center of the forehead to the center of the nape. Draw another part from the top of one ear to the other. Clip the four sections of hair out of the way.

  4. Mix the color

    Mix the hair color in a plastic bottle according to the manufacturer's directions, typically at a one-to-one ratio. Shake well.

  5. Apply color to the middle of each strand

    Starting with one section of hair, divide out a 1/2-inch segment of hair. Because hair processes more quickly at the scalp and the ends, start by applying the color 1 inch away from the scalp and 2 to 3 inches away from the ends. Work your way through all four sections of hair.

  6. Apply color to the scalp area

    As soon as you finish applying color to the middle strands, apply color to the scalp area of each strand.

  7. Pull the color through

    When you've finished applying the color to the scalp area, work the hair color through to the ends of the hair. Add more color to the strands as necessary.

  8. Process the hair

    Process the hair according to the manufacturer's instructions. Rinse the color out thoroughly.