Can You Bleach Wet Or Damp Hair?

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Bleaching is one of the most damaging processes you can do to your hair. It is highly stressful to the hair, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. 

Even people with healthy hair would expect to have their hair damaged to some extent when they bleach it because of the chemicals used in the procedure. That being said, you should be extra careful when doing this procedure. 

You must know what should and should not be done when doing this procedure. One of the questions you might ask is “Can you bleach wet or damp hair?

Usually, bleach is meant to be applied on dry unwashed hair. But you can use it on your wet or damp hair. However, doing so will change the effect of the bleach.

Let’s get to know those effects so you can decide whether you should use bleach on wet hair or not. 


Can You Bleach Wet Or Damp Hair?

hair bleach

Whether you go to a salon and ask, or read the instructions of a hair bleaching kit, you’ll find that all the recommendations are to apply a bleach mixture to dry, unwashed hair.

You might be wondering why instructions tell you to do that.

The reason for applying it on unwashed dry hair is to prevent too much damage to your hair.

Bleaching your hair involves the use of harsh chemicals. They are formulated to lift the cuticles so they can penetrate the hair. 

Once the chemicals penetrate the hair, they work on the dark pigments of the hair so that your hair lightens, or lifts. The reason why bleach is damaging is that it opens up the cuticles. That is why it is expected for the hair to become dry after the procedure. 

Bleach should be applied to dry, unwashed hair so that the natural oils of the hair aren’t removed. When you apply bleach on freshly washed or shampooed hair, the hair will be more prone to damage or drying. The natural oils act as some sort of protection for the hair.

Additionally, shampoo and conditioner residue can lead to uneven bleach color. For example, if you don’t wash out leave-in conditioner before bleaching your hair won’t bleach properly. Hair should be fully clean and free from products.

Bleach should be applied to dry, unwashed hair so that the natural oils of the hair aren’t removed. When you apply bleach on freshly washed or shampooed hair, the hair will be more prone to damage or drying. The natural oils act as some sort of protection for the hair.

Bleaching is so powerful that it can lead to your hair falling out. Do you really want to be the victim of a self-inflicted “bleach fail“? If you don’t know what you’re doing, you should not be bleaching your hair. Go to a professional!

Even if you aren’t going to shampoo the hair, virtually all stylists would still suggest that you apply it to dry hair because wet hair is a bit weaker than dry hair. 

That’s why you have to be careful when handling wet hair if you decide to apply bleach to it. Even brushing wet hair could damage it if you are too harsh while doing it!

Although most do not suggest applying bleach on wet hair, it can still be done. There are various reasons why some salons would bleach wet hair for clients.

Although most do not suggest applying bleach on wet hair, it can still be done. There are various reasons why some salons would bleach wet hair for clients.

Just remember that when applying bleach on wet hair, it shouldn’t be shampooed or washed. Usually, salons will just use water to get it wet then carefully apply the bleach mixture. 


Bleaching Wet Hair

As mentioned, you can bleach wet or damp hair but you have to be careful during the application. You have to remember that there are a few things that could happen when you do this and they are as follows: 

1. Hair Lightens Faster

One of the most common reasons why people would bleach their hair while it is wet is because it tends to lighten faster. If you are in a rush and don’t have a light of time to sit and wait for the bleach to work on your hair, you can do it on wet hair. 

But honestly, this is not a good reason to bleach wet hair. You’re playing with fire.

2. More Subtle Color Lift

When you use bleach on wet hair, it doesn’t work as well as you would on dry hair. If you prefer to lighten your hair to a more subtle degree, then you can wet it first. 

When hair is wet, there is already water in the hair strands and that will act to dilute the bleach. This is perfect when you want softer results or if you are just planning on lifting the hair color for a few levels. 

Sometimes, this technique is used for highlights if the hair colorist only aims to lighten the bleached hair a few shades lighter than the rest. This could help the lightened hair strands stand out but still blend well with the rest of the hair. 

3. Brighten The Tips

Some people would first use the bleach on dry hair, then rinse it out. Even when the hair is still wet, another round of bleaching sessions is done on the tips to further lighten and brighten it up. 

The second session of bleaching will further lighten the hair. However, when it is done while it is wet, it lessens the damage received by the tips. It doesn’t overly lighten the tips as well. 


The Difference Between Bleaching Dry Hair Vs Wet Hair

Hair colorists have their reasons why they might want to bleach your hair while it is damp or wet. They may be after the results that can be produced by wet hair and bleach combo. 

But we remind you: they are professionals who have worked with bleach hundreds of times. If you’re doing it on your own, Don’t. Be. Stupid!

But we remind you: they are professionals who have worked with bleach hundreds of times. If you’re doing it on your own, Don’t. Be. Stupid!

Do you know what happens to your hair when it is bleached while it is dry or wet? There is a difference in outcome, but the process will lift your hair regardless. 

When bleaching dry hair, the first thing that the bleach does is open up the cuticles so that it can penetrate them. Bleach is formulated to do this because the melanin pigments are found in the cortex or inside of the hair shaft. 

Once the cuticle is lifted, the bleach can work on the melanin to decompose it and make your hair lighter in color. The bleach also oxidizes some of the proteins in the hair, which is why hair tends to weaken after the procedure. 

When hair is wet, the cuticles are already opened. The bleach doesn’t need to open them up to gain access to the melanin. They could easily pass through and gain access to the pigments. 

This is the reason why your hair lightens faster when you apply bleach to wet hair. However, when the hair is wet, it also absorbs some of the water, which can dilute the bleach solution. 

Although wet hair results in a faster hair-lightening reaction, the color change isn’t as drastic as when you apply it to dry hair. It produces a more subtle lightening of the hair.

Although wet hair results in a faster hair-lightening reaction, the color change isn’t as drastic as when you apply it to dry hair. It produces a more subtle lightening of the hair.


Precautions On Bleaching Your Hair At Home?

There are a lot of people who want to do hair procedures on their own. Whether it is out of boredom, you just want to experience DIY your hair procedures or you want to save some money out of it, we’ve all done different things with our hair at home. 

There are hair bleaching kits  available with complete instructions as to how to use them properly. However, bleaching is one of the hair procedures that you should avoid doing on your own at home if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

It is best to leave bleaching in the hands of the professionals for the first few bleaches. Learn the ropes from them, then try it yourself if you’re ready.

Bleaching the hair should only be done on healthy hair. If your has already been chemically treated and is damaged, it skip bleaching because you could end up losing the hair you have. 

When you are sure that your hair is healthy enough for the bleaching procedure, make sure you know how to bleach your hair properly. Don’t just dump the bleaching solution on your hair and use it like a shampoo. 

Bleaching your hair should be done in sections so you should comb your hair beforehand. If you are planning to apply the bleach on your hair while it is damp or wet, be careful while brushing or combing it.

Remember that wet hair could be weaker than dry hair.

Proper sectioning helps make sure that you bleach the areas evenly and properly so you don’t have to bleach your hair again in case you are not satisfied with the first session.

Make sure that you don’t over-soak your hair in bleach. Bleach works faster on wet hair, so you don’t have to soak it there for a long time before you see results. 

Soaking hair in bleach for a long period is unnecessary and could just damage it. If you have fine hair, 10-15 minutes should be enough. You shouldn’t leave it on your hair for more than 30 minutes even if your hair is healthy.

You should also know how to properly care for your bleached hair. There are  hair conditioning  products that you can use to help make your hair healthy again after being damaged by the bleaching session. 


Conclusion

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you should not be bleaching wet hair. And since you’re reading this blog on the internet, you probably don’t know what you’re doing enough to try bleaching wet hair.

The risks are real, and you may find yourself wearing a hat for months after bleaching wet hair. Be careful, and do a consult with a stylist before you bleach!

Written by Kayla Young

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