A Stylist’s Guide to Coloring



Fast Facts

  • (+) unique colors, easier to style

  • (--) lost moisture, weaker hair  

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Oxidation = swells hair, dissolves color (melanin)

  • Max 2x/day, 3x if short hair

  • Don’t wash before

Bleaching is a popular service at Japanese hair salons. While we love beautiful colors, here are a few things you should consider before you bleach.

How it works

Bleaching is a “coloring service” that breaks down your hair’s melanin. 

To make your hair lighter you have to use a bleaching/oxidizing agent, usually hydrogen peroxide.

The agent penetrates the cortex and dissolves the hair’s natural pigments (melanin) via oxidation; it will go through several levels depending on your natural pigment and base color.

Typically a hair’s pH is acidic: 4.5 - 5.5. An alkaline agent raises this number and opens the cuticle. 
Once your cuticle has expanded the oxidative agents do their work. This process swells and roughens the hair, making it look fuller, it means bleaching can create the appearance of volume as well as disguise thinning hair.

Bleaching can make your hair feel rough and fragile.
Bleached hair absorbs and releases moisture faster, and becomes slightly porous*. Slightly porous hair holds curls better than healthy hair, however, bleach can damage hair the point where your hair can't hold any shape or style. 

*Porosity: ability to absorb and retain moisture.

After your hair is bleached it will be easier to style, but the hair’s shine will be compromised and the strand will be weakened.


Before you bleach

Ask your stylist how many levels (Lv) to raise your hair, then decide on bleach strength. “We’ll need to bleach twice” means your hair is stiff and/or rich with red melanin.

The longer you leave in a bleaching agent, the lighter your hair will become. After a certain amount of time the bleach will only cause damage, so you’ll need to rinse + reapply. 

▲Bleached once, Twice ( Same person ). Red melanin / thick hair

▲Bleached once. Yellow melanin / Thin hair

Don’t wash your hair before bleaching; it might sting if your scalp is dry or lacks oil. Scalp damage increases in dry seasons, like winter, so assess your scalp before treatment. 



We set the maximum bleaching to 2x/day (short hair, 3x/day). You can bleach more, but the damage will hurt the overlaid color.

More bleach = more damage.
Too many bleach = dry, frizzy hair, prone to breakage and split ends



▲4 times bleached hair ( brakeage )


Most unique colors (over 16Lv) require a bright hair base to work; semi-permanent dyes can’t lighten hair.

If you are interested in unique color by semi-permanent dyes, it is necessary to prepare with bleach. 


Sometimes you need to remove your current color before adding a new one. Returning your hair to its natural color isn’t difficult, but dark pigments are harder to remove

Previously lightened hair is fragile and sometimes unable to be re-bleached.

At Number76 Tokyo we only bleach as much as needed and have top products for restoring dry or damaged hair. 

Don't despair; let's repair!



Hair care


"Fibreplex" strengthens your hair and protects it from damage.

Hair is made up of polypeptides bound with amino acids, and healthy hair is unified by these internal tissue bondings. Fibreplex strengthens the hair by protecting and rebuilding these connections. 

Dicarboxylic acid, which is the main component of Fibreplex, penetrates the hair and firmly adheres to the fibers inside, protecting the hair from bleach, color and permanent damage. Furthermore, by coating the surface of the hair, the dicarboxylic acid makes your hair appear glossy and the effect lasts longer.


Fibreplex Shampoo / treatment  ¥1,100

Use for 3 consecutive days after bleaching at the salon, and then once or twice a week.



After bleaching, your hair’s cuticle will be compromised and your hair will be prone to moisture evaporation. Heat protectant serums will help shield your hair from moisture evaporation when using heated tools, including blow-dryers and curlers.

    LINK oil ¥3,520



Apply a lightweight, protective spray or serum throughout the day. These products will help keep your strands hydrated, shiny and shielded from environmental damage like air conditioning, wind, friction and UV rays. It will also shield your cuticle from further harm.


Jemile Fran - Melty butter balm  ¥2,420

  Promille Oil  ¥3,300



Bleaching opens your hair’s cuticle and causes strands to interlock and tangle. Use a conditioner after shampooing to flatten the cuticle, seal in moisture, reduce knots and add shine.
We highly recommend using a high-repair hair mask several times a week.



Global MILBON treatment



To help prevent breakage, gently detangle your hair, starting from the ends and gradually working up to your roots. When you brush your hair, it is better if the hair is totally dry. Do not pull too hard or your hair will snap.

  Tangle Teezer  ¥2,300