Fall is the perfect time to try a new hair color, and blonde hair is always in style. However, bleaching your own hair at home can be a daunting task because if done incorrectly, it can seriously damage your hair. Follow these simple tips, and you'll be able to safely bleach your hair at home without damaging it.

Start with Healthy Hair

If your hair is already damaged, bleaching it will only make the damage worse. Before you even think about bleaching your hair, make sure that it is healthy and free of damage. If you're not sure whether or not your hair is healthy enough to withstand bleaching, consult with a professional stylist. Once you've determined that your hair is healthy enough to be bleached, follow these steps for safe, at-home bleaching.

Choose the Right Bleach

Not all bleaches are created equal. When bleaching your hair at home, you'll want to use a gentle bleach or consult your stylist for a professional treatment.

Prepare Your Work Area

Before you start bleaching your hair, lay down an old towel or t-shirt on the floor or counter where you'll be working. This will protect surfaces from accidental bleach spills. You'll also want to open a window for ventilation or turn on a fan to circulate the air and remove any fumes generated by the bleach.

Mix the Bleach According to Instructions

Once you've assembled all of your supplies, mix the bleach according to the instructions included in the kit. It's important to follow the instructions exactly so that you don't accidentally damage your hair.

Apply the Bleach Evenly to Dry Hair

Once the bleach has been mixed, apply it evenly to dry hair using a disposable applicator brush or gloved hands. Work in small sections so that the bleach doesn't dry before you have a chance to evenly distribute it. Avoid getting any bleach on your skin as this can cause irritation. Also avoid getting any bleach on surfaces other than those that you've protected as it can discolor them.

Leave the Bleach in for the Recommended Time Frame  Depending on how light or dark your natural hair color is, you'll want to leave the bleach in for different lengths of time. Consult the instructions included with your kit for recommended times based on your starting color. As a general rule of thumb, lighter colors will require less time than darker colors.  Don't leave the bleach in for longer than recommended as this can cause damage to your hair.

Rinse Thoroughly with Cool Water

Once the recommended amount of time has elapsed, rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water until all traces of bleach have been removed and rinse until water runs clear. Be sure not to remove any plastic gloves or other protective gear until after you've rinsed all traces of bleach from your hands and nails. Condition as usual. Once all traces of bleach have been removed from your hair, shampoo and condition as usual using products designed for chemically treated hair.

If you're looking for the best shampoo to use on your newly bleached hair, check out our list of the top five shampoos for bleached hair. These shampoos will help to keep your hair color bright and beautiful.

You may also want to use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to help repair any damage caused by the bleaching process.

Follow Up with Your Stylist

After safely bleaching your own hair at home, it's always a good idea to follow up with a professional stylist. They can assess any damage caused by the bleaching process and recommend products and treatments to help repair it.