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Best Salon Bleaches to Lift & Lighten Dark Hair

Best Bleaches for Dark Hair

Jackie Mcilroy |

If you're searching for the best bleach to lighten dark hair, you've come to the right place! We’ve lined up our top 10 salon-quality bleaches, each uniquely formulated to tackle the toughest dark tones and ensure your clients leave the salon with a flawless lift every time.

When choosing the best bleach for clients with dark hair, it's important to consider a few things:

    • Your client's hair history - have they previously coloured or bleached their hair? Knowing this helps you predict how their hair will react to bleach.
    • The current condition of their hair - is it dry or strong? This will help you figure out what bleach strength to use, or if a pre-treatment is needed.
    • Their desired level of lift - does your client want a subtle or dramatic colour change? This helps you choose the best bleach product and technique to achieve their desired look. 

    However bleaching isn’t just about achieving that lighter shade - it's also about keeping hair healthy.

    That’s why it's always important to pair your bleach with the right additional products. For instance, high-quality toners can refine the colour, bond builders can protect the hair structure during the bleaching process, and deep conditioners help replenish moisture and strength post-bleaching.

    With all this in mind, let’s check out our list of the best bleaches for dark hair (and what we’d advise pairing them with) ...

    Top 10 Best Salon Bleaches for Dark Hair

    1. Best Bleach to Prevent Damaging Dark Hair: Schwarzkopf Vario Blond Plus Powder Lightener


    Meet Schwarzkopf Vario Blond Plus Powder Lightener, your go-to bleach for safely taking dark hair up to seven shades lighter (without stressing about damage).

    Packed with “Fibre Bond Technology” this bleach actively protects hair bonds during the bleaching process to drastically reduce breakage. It’s a game changer for those with fragile hair types, and is your best bet for keeping dark hair strong and intact.

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it: 

    It’s great at managing breakage for challenging client hair types, like thin dark hair, heat damaged dark hair, or curly dark hair.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    After rinsing, bring some moisture back into the hair with a post-bleach treatment. One of our favourites is the Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Hyaluronic Moisture Kick Treatment. It helps restore the hair's strength and smoothness, making it ideal for post-lightening care.


    2. Best Bleach for Coloured Dark Hair: Temora Premium Blue Bleach Powder



    Second on our list is Temora Premium Blue Bleach Powder. It’s perfect for tough jobs like lifting hair that's been coloured dark from dreaded box dye!

    This is a strong bleach that really gets into those hard-to-shift artificial colours, making it great for a serious colour corrections. It's got a blue tint to help knock out any orangey tones as it lightens, giving a cleaner lift.

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    Temora Premium Blue contains extra conditioners to protect hair during the bleaching process, meaning less hair damage and fewer sessions are needed to lighten stubborn box dye.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    When bleaching previously coloured hair, aftercare is extremely important. Encourage your clients to invest in salon grade shampoos and conditioners, like the Milk_Shake Integrity Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner.


    3. Best Value Bleach for Dark Hair: Crazy Color Bleaching Kit

    Next we have the Crazy Color Bleaching Kit - exceptional value for money, offering salon-quality lightening for dark hair at an affordable price.

    This all-in-one kit includes a high-powered bleach powder and a creamy developer that work together to lift hair up to eight levels. Its consistent mixture and smooth application helps avoid patchy results.

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    It's an ideal choice for freelance hairdressers keen to stretch their budgets without compromising on the quality of their client’s results.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    After achieving the desired lift, thoroughly rinse the hair with lukewarm water and use a neutralising shampoo to restore the hair’s pH balance and secure the colour. One of our trusted favourites is the Schwarzkopf Goodbye Orange Neutralising Bonding Shampoo.


    4. Best Bleach for Brown or Black Virgin Hair: Wella BlondorPlex Powder Lightener


    Wella BlondorPlex 400g - Franklins

    At number four, we have Wella BlondorPlex Powder Lightener. It’s a perfect choice for professionals tackling naturally dark virgin hair, particularly brown or black tones.

    This clever bleach not only lightens hair but also cares for hair health. It comes packed with bond-enforcing technology that can lift up to 9 levels while keeping hair strong and intact.

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    Virgin hair can be a dream base colour to work with, and with this bleach product you won’t have to worry about damaging it either!

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    For extra care during the lightening process, we always use a bleach additive like Milk_shake Color Specifics Safe Lightener Complex. To lock in moisture, we also follow up with a post-colour treatment, like Milk_shake's Whipped Cream Leave-In Foam


    5. Best Bleach for All-Over Blonde on Dark Hair: Be Blonde Deco Powder Silver with PLEX

    If you’re trying to lighten dark hair to a sleek “all-over” blonde, try the Be Blonde Deco Powder Silver with PLEX. With built-in silver tones, this bleach allows you to tackle any brassy tones from the start, resulting in a cool and even blonde.

    PLEX stands for “polyamino sugar condensate”, a combination of sugar and amino acids that retain water - meaning this bleach is extremely high conditioning!

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    It's a top pick for stylists who want bold changes without too much hassle, as it streamlines the bleaching process while keeping hair strong and evenly toned.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    Encourage your all-over blonde clients to use a blonde coloured mousse in between salon sessions, like the Milk_shake Colour Whipped Cream. This allows them to maintain an even blonde look, right up until their next hair appointment.


    6. Best Bleach for Platinum Blonde on Dark Hair: Schwarzkopf Vario Blond Powder Super Plus Lightener

    Next on our list is the Schwarzkopf Vario Blond Powder Super Plus Lightener - a top choice for those wanting to transform dark hair to platinum blonde. 

    This bleach stands out for its ability to lift dark hair up to nine levels, fast and evenly. It offers good saturation, as well as strong anti-yellow agents that tackle brassiness as you lighten. 

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    The high level of lift is great for stripping even the darkest of hair colours, and helps avoid banding when used consistently for touch ups every 6 weeks.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    After lightening hair, follow up with Milk_shake Silver Shine Shampoo to really enhance the icy platinum tone and neutralise any lingering yellow.


    7. Best Bleach for Dark Brown Balayage: Schwarzkopf Blondme Bond Enforcing Premium Clay Lightener

    At number 7 is the Schwarzkopf Blondme Bond Enforcing Premium Clay Lightener - an ideal choice when going for dark brown balayage look.

    This unique clay-based formula spreads easily and stays put, allowing for precise freehand application to create natural-looking balayage transition without harsh demarcation.

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    The clay texture allows for complete control during application, which can help you create a natural look that blends beautifully with a darker base colour.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    To create the perfect balayage blend, use the Schwarzkopf Blondme Bond Enforcing Premium Clay Lightener with a balayage board and paddle. These tools are great for precision and help grip the hair as you create a natural-looking balayage.


    8. Best Bleach to Highlight Dark Hair: Trulites Rapid Blue Powder Bleach


    Trulites Rapid Blue Powder Bleach 80g - Franklins


    If your brunette clients ask for subtle highlights, try the Trulites Rapid Blue Powder Bleach.

    This quick yet gentle formula is ideal for creating soft sun-kissed highlights on darker bases. It's also enriched with protein, which helps condition the hair during the bleaching process.

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    The low-dust formula is a safer and cleaner choice for salon environments, and also offers creamier consistency for precise application.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    When using Trulites Rapid Powder Bleach for highlights on brown hair, consider using a highlighting cap. This piece of kit is great for beginners, as it allows you to see how quickly the hair lifts and therefore avoid over-bleaching.


    9. Best Cream Bleach for Dark Hair: Hair Passion Atomic Blonde 9X Hair Bleaching Cream



    One of our favourite cream bleaches is the Hair Passion Atomic Blonde 9X Hair Bleaching Cream. This creamy formula is enriched with Keratin & Jojoba oil, meaning it helps  maintain the hair’s moisture, and fights dryness and damage after bleaching. 

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    The cream consistency is ideal for beginner colourists, as it’s easy to apply and drips less compared to other bleaches.

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    For best results, use bleach creams with cream developers. Try mixing this bleaching cream with Osmo Ikon Cream Developer, it’s also vegan friendly!


    10. Best Vegan Bleach for Dark Hair: Schwarzkopf Blondme Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+

    Sticking with our vegan trend, last but not least is the Schwarzkopf Blondme Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+. This powder lightener is a classic for a reason, and is widely trusted by hairdressers for its ability to lift hair up to nine levels.

    It’s a great fit for salons and clients preferring vegan options, as it’s a cruelty free bleach that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.

    ❤️ Why you’ll LOVE it:

    It offers the same top-tier, bond-enforcing technology as its cream counterpart, providing powerful yet protective lightening capabilities. 

    ⭐ Pro Tip:

    Pair Schwarzkopf Blondme Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+ with the Schwarzkopf Blondme Premium Developer, to achieve your best blonde results.


    The Best Salon Bleach for Dark Hair - Our Verdict! 

    That concludes our roundup of top bleaches for dark hair.

    For us, the Temora Premium Blue Bleach Powder (number 2 on our list) stands out as an exceptional choice for lightening dark hair. We also highly recommend the Hedco Professional Blueberry Bleach, which offers a unique fruity scent that hair clients always comment on and remember!

    For those seeking a gentler option to traditional bleach, lighteners serve as a fantastic alternative. They're ideal for removing artificial colour effectively while preserving the natural pigment of the hair.

    Explore our full range of bleaches and lighteners to find the perfect solution for every hair type. Whether you're lifting dark tones or seeking a subtle colour change, we have something to suit every professional need:

    Shop Bleaches & Lighteners



    Still got some questions on hair bleaching and toning? Check out our bleaching FAQs below:

    How long should you leave bleach on dark roots?

    The time bleach should be left on dark roots varies, typically between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the desired level of lift and the original hair colour. It's crucial to check the hair every 5 to 10 minutes during processing to ensure optimal lightening without damaging the roots.

    Should you use high lift blonde or bleach on dark hair?

    For dark hair, bleach is generally more effective than high lift blonde dyes if you're aiming for a significant colour change. Bleach removes natural and artificial pigments more effectively, whereas high lift dyes are better for achieving lighter shades without drastic colour changes.

    Can you bleach dark hair if clients have a sensitive scalp?

    Bleaching dark hair on clients with sensitive scalps is possible but requires extra precautions. Using a lower-volume developer, applying a protective scalp barrier, and choosing bleach formulations designed for sensitive skin can help mitigate scalp irritation and discomfort.

    How often should you bleach dark hair clients?

    Ideally, you should space bleaching sessions for dark hair clients at least 6 to 8 weeks apart. This interval helps minimise damage and allows the hair to recover, maintaining its health. Frequent bleaching can lead to excessive dryness, breakage, and scalp issues.

    Does hard water affect bleaching dark hair blonde?

    Yes, hard water can affect bleaching dark hair blonde as it often contains minerals like iron and calcium that can alter the bleach's effectiveness and lead to brassiness or uneven colour. Using a water softener or a chelating shampoo before bleaching can help mitigate these effects.

    What's the difference between bleach and colour remover?
    Bleach removes both natural and artificial pigment from the hair, making it a more aggressive option for lightening hair. Colour remover, on the other hand, primarily targets artificial dye molecules, breaking them down so they can be washed out, which allows for colour correction without significantly lightening the natural hair colour.