How to Fix Bleached Hair Damage: Tips & Tricks
If your hair has been damaged by bleach, you're probably looking for ways to fix it.
Damage can be caused by over-bleaching, using the wrong type of bleach, or applying bleach incorrectly.
No matter what the cause, there are ways to repair the damage and restore your hair to its former glory. In this article, we'll discuss some tips and tricks for fixing bleached hair damage.
What is bleach damaged hair?
Bleach-damaged hair is a type of hair damage that is caused by the use of bleach.
Bleach can be used to lighten the hair or to remove color from the hair.
When bleach is applied to the hair, it can strip away the natural oils and proteins that are in the hair. This can leave the hair feeling dry, brittle, and damaged.
How to identify bleach damaged hair
If you are noticing that your hair is feeling straw-like, breaking more easily, or looking very brassy, then it is likely that you have bleach damage.
There are a few ways to identify bleached hair damage:
1. Natural shine
Loss of natural shine can be an indicator that you have bleach-damaged hair. Where the previously glossy hair used to have a perceptible sheen, now it appears dull and flat. The good news is this often indicates there's still some life left in those locks so don't fret. There are plenty of things you can do to nurse your bleached hair back to health and restore its natural shine.
2. Tangled hair
Tangles are a common symptom of bleach-damaged hair. They are caused by the lifting of the natural cuticle layer exposing the cortex which is dry and fragile. The cortex absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, leading to frizz and knotting.
In severe cases, the cortex can break off, leaving bald patches. To prevent tangles, it is important to keep your hair well-hydrated with a good quality conditioner. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair after showering.
3. Split Ends
Split ends are one of the most common and obvious signs of hair damage. They occur when the protective outer layer of the hair shaft is stripped away, leaving the delicate inner cortex exposed.
This can happen due to excessive exposure to heat styling tools, chemical processing, or simply rough handling of your hair. The result is a dry, frizzy, and often split end. If left untreated, split ends can eventually lead to hair breakage and loss.
There are a few things you can do to help prevent and repair split ends:
1. Use a good quality conditioning treatment after every shampooing.
2. Avoid using hot tools on your hair on a regular basis. If you must use them, always use a heat protectant spray.
3. Be gentle when styling your hair. Don't tug or pull on it unnecessarily.
4. Get a trim every six to eight weeks to remove any damaged ends.
Bleach damaged hair vs. heat damaged hair
Bleach damaged hair occurs when the natural protective oils and proteins in the hair shaft are stripped away, leaving the cuticle open and vulnerable to damage.
This type of damage is usually caused by over-processing or using bleach on previously untreated hair. Heat damaged hair is caused by excessive exposure to heat from styling tools, such as blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners.
Both bleach-damaged hair and heat-damaged hair can cause the hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.
However, there are some key differences between the two types of damage. Bleach-damaged hair is usually characterized by split ends, while heat-damaged hair is often accompanied by a frizzy or straw-like texture.
How to fix bleached hair damage: 10 Tips
1. Bleach less frequently
When it comes to hair care, bleach is one of the harshest chemicals you can use. It strips your hair of its natural oils and color, leaving it weaker and easily breakable.
If you have bleached hair that is damaged, you need to give it a break. Bleach less frequently (or not at all) and give your hair time to recover.
2. Prepare hair before bleaching
Knowing how to prepare your hair before bleaching is essential. It will lessen the chances of dry, brittle strands and prevent any added damage to your tresses.
Having healthy hair can make all the difference in getting that desired platinum blonde or bold red shade you're looking for. Here are the necessary steps to take before bleaching your hair:
- Shampoo your locks with a clarifying shampoo. This will help strip away any build-up or products that may have been left on your scalp and hair shafts, which could potentially hinder the lightening process.
- Condition your hair using a deep conditioner. This will replenish any lost moisture and keep your strands healthy and strong.
- Use a heat protectant on your hair before applying the bleach to prevent excessive heat damage caused by the bleaching process.
3. Use sun protection
Lots of sun and heat can be the death of your hair, but you don't have to trade in your sunglasses for a hairdo. There are plenty of ways to protect your tresses from getting unsalvageably fried.
Your first line of defense should be thickening treatments; add a fiber filler like meringue, pectin or eggs to help reinforce the proteins in cuticles with protein-rich foods like avocado and lentils as they break down away naturally over time.
These will also fill up any space between follicles that lightens hair's color while protecting it against damage caused by UV rays - especially when used together with a leave-in conditioner that contains SPF.
Another option is to style your hair in a way that keeps it off of your neck and shoulders - like a high bun or braid - so it doesn't rub against your skin and scalp as much.
You can also look for shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are labelled "UV-protective."
While you're outside, try to avoid using heat tools as much as possible. If you can't go without them, use a heat protectant spray before styling and always make sure your tools are fully heated up before touching them to your hair.
4. Try to avoid chlorine
Chlorine is a strong chemical that you should be careful with, especially when it comes to hair. Chlorine can cause bleaching and damage which makes your hair unhealthy and dry.
If you started to notice some of these symptoms after getting out of the pool or ocean, you may have chlorine damaged your skin as well. Here are some preventive measures:
If you're into swimming pools, we recommend wearing a swim cap because loose ends have natural protein bonds in them that will lock in chlorine and release it back onto your scalp each time you shower or hop into the pool.
1. Rinsing off excess chlorine with water after swimming
2. Applying a deep conditioner to your hair after swimming, and leaving it in for at least 20 minutes.
3. Using a chlorine removal shampoo or treatment before each swim (this is especially important if you have color-treated hair)
5. Only comb wet hair
If your hair is left to dry after being washed, the natural oils that it has lost might be restored and you will have shinier, healthier locks in no time.
Gently cleanse your scalp with a shampoo or soap-free of undesirable alkaloids, fragrances or harmful chemicals. This may also result in softer tresses and less damage overall as well!
After washing thoroughly all the way through to the ends, gently towel completely dry and do not rub unnecessarily, this motion can lead to breakage causing knots that are difficult to unpin without applying pressure.
Avoid rubbing vigorously with a towel for prolonged periods of time as well; instead pile up sections of hair and twist, squeezing the water out as you go.
If needed, a wide-tooth comb can be used to detangle from the bottom up on slightly damp hair. Apply a leave-in conditioner or serum to seal in moisture if desired (the ends are often most susceptible)
6. Wash with cold water
Cool water washes are perfect for people with damaged hair. When washing your hair with cold water, you’ll be cutting down on the porosity of the strands and locking in hydration that can help it recover from damages like split ends and breakage.
This is also great for people who have naturally curly or frizzy hair because colder temperatures allow the wax to adhere quicker to lock in a tighter, more manageable curl pattern.
It can cut wash time by as much as 50%! There is no need to apply shampoo when washing with cool water and there are many methods that you can try if you want a custom approach.
7. Hair masks
A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment that is applied to the hair to restore moisture, strength, and shine. There are many different types of masks, but all of them work by coating the hair in a thick layer of conditioning ingredients.
This layer helps to seal in moisture, add nutrients, and smooth the hair cuticle. Masks can be used as often as you like, but it is important to make sure that you use a shampoo and conditioner that are compatible with your type of hair.
If you have damaged or dry hair, using a hair mask every week can help to repair bleach-damaged hair. There are many different types of masks available, so it is important to find one that suits your needs.
If you have a lot of damage, you may need to use a mask that is packed with nourishing ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil. If your hair is just feeling a little dry, a light moisturizing mask will do the trick.
8. Get good hair ties
A good hair tie is essential for protecting your style and preventing damage to your hair. Not only does the thin fabric leave no unwanted creases in the strands, letting you sport a textured do with no worries but it also features elasticized backings that grip snugly on all types of hair without stretching too tight.
9. Get a keratin treatment
The gel used in this treatment is made of a protein that helps hair rebuild. When it reacts with the natural oils in your hair, the strands are strong and healthy again.
The process saturates your hair with keratin and leaves it shinier than before. If you want healthier-feeling locks or are beginning to notice dead ends, this treatment is for you!
10. Use a mixture of shampoo and an egg
The mixture of shampoo and egg can be a great way to treat damaged hair. The combination of ingredients will help to nourish and strengthen your hair, while also helping to restore its natural shine.
The egg contains proteins that can fix bleach-damaged hair, while the shampoo helps remove any residue or build-up that may be causing your hair to look dry or dull.
This treatment is very simple to make and only takes a few minutes. Simply mix together your shampoo and egg, apply it to wet hair, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Then rinse thoroughly and style as usual. If you do this treatment once a week, you should start to see a noticeable difference in the health and appearance of your hair.
How often should you bleach?
Bleaching your hair is an effective way to transform your look, but it can also damage the hair. Frequent usage combined with harsh chemicals and heat styling can contribute to bleach drying and breakage. So when should one bleach?
There are a few different factors you should consider before getting any highlights or other processes done on your tresses.
There are different shades of blonde hair depending on how long you want the lightening process to take in comparison to how dark the dye is that is being lifted. For example:
• 2-4 levels = Platinum Blonde,
• 3-6 levels = Champagne Blonde,
• 6-8 levels = Gold Blonde, and
• 8+ levels= Silver Blonde.
The number of times you bleach your hair in a month also impacts how healthy your locks will be.
We recommend bleaching no more than twice a month as it can really strip the hair of its natural oils and proteins, which are essential for keeping it strong and shiny.
If you want to go lighter, we suggest spacing out the treatments every four to six weeks.
If you have previously highlighted your hair, the bleaching process will be a lot quicker and less damaging.
If you are starting with a dark color, it is best to bleach gradually in order to avoid unnecessary breakage. It is also important to use quality products that will not damage your hair such as Olaplex, which helps to rebuild and strengthen the hair shaft.
How to hydrate your hair for better hair growth
Hydrating your hair is important for keeping your hair healthy. When you don't hydrate, the scalp becomes dry and absorbs water less efficiently.
The best way to maintain these levels low is to try some of these quick tips:
1. Use Conditioner: Conditioners act as a moisturizer when your shampoo doesn’t have anything left over after washing it out
2. Apply Olive Oil: Apply an oil treatment before bedtime
3. Wash Your Hair Every Day or Frequently Enough: If you wash your hair regularly, you’re less likely to have a dry scalp
4. Avoid Sulfates: Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium laureth sulfate (ALS)—the most common surfactants in shampoos—can be quite drying.
Damage to your hair can be repaired, but it takes time and effort. We’ve outlined the steps you need to take to restore your bleached hair to its former glory. We recommend using a deep conditioner every week, along with a hot oil treatment once a month.
These treatments will help to strengthen, rebuild your hair shafts and repair damaged hair. If you want quicker results, consider using a hair mask or serum in addition to these treatments.
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