So, you’re thinking about bleaching your hair, perhaps in preparation for further coloring. We’ve all heard time and time again how damaging or complicated the bleaching process can be. It dries out your hair, makes it frizzier, etc.
The question is, how bad is bleaching your hair? There’s no doubt about it, bleaching your hair will cause damage. But we’re here to tell you how to make the process easier and things to do to ensure healthy long-lasting results.
How Long Does Hair Bleaching Last?
Before bleaching your hair, there are a few questions to ask yourself. Is this a style that you’ll be prepared to commit to for months and months? Are you going to add additional semi-permanent dyes or toners on top, or stick with the peroxide blonde look?
You’ll be keeping the bleached hair for the next 6 months or so, there’s no undo button!
How Does Hair Bleaching Work?
The first thing to know is that everybody’s bleaching experience will be different based on their hair texture and previous treatments they have done.
If you’re going to a salon, it’s important to tell your colorist your full hair history before starting any coloring or bleaching.
When it comes to bleaching, if your hair is thicker, the process will be different from someone who has thin or fine hair.
The reason is because of our hair cuticles.
The cuticles in the hair are the cells that make up our hair’s texture and color.
The color in your hair is made up of melanin cells. When you lighten the color of your hair, the chemical process works to change the melanin structure of the hair.
When bleach is applied, it will open up the hair cuticle, expanding the pores to allow the color to be absorbed.
When lightening your hair, the cells and pores are opened. This can change your hair texture.
In some cases, this will make fine hair more full and voluminous. And in other cases, this can open the pores so much that your hair is more susceptible to damage.
This may result in your hair not holding any style or heat that you apply to it, or even changing your natural curl structures.
Sometimes you need to give it some hydration TLC.
How Bad is Bleaching Your Hair?
After the bleaching process has been done, your hair cell structure has been changed. So any changes that you do after this time will likely be more complicated.
If you are looking to do this as a temporary style we would say, think twice!
This type of style will take a lot of maintenance and commitment.
Returning to your natural hair color after bleaching is something that you may want to talk to your colorist about in depth. This could be even more damaging of a process than bleaching your hair in the first place, due to the changed cuticle structures.
Get used to the split ends!
After opening the cuticles of the hair, in some cases, they open so much that there’s nothing bonding that strand of hair.
This leads to, simply put, breakage.
When we open the cuticle to an extreme point you will have to work harder to maintain healthier locks.
How bad is bleaching your hair? We’d argue that it’s pretty bad.
Minimizing the Damage Caused by Hair Bleaching
You’ll have to create an at-home routine with products and treatments to maintain your healthy hair. We recommended products used at home that include a bonding agent that will help repair your hair’s cuticles and allow your new color to stay healthier longer.
Another tip that we often hear, no matter if your hair is bleached or not, is to avoid heat styling. Using daily heat on our hair is damaging. Always take a break from using your blow dryer, flat iron, or curling iron, and allow your hair to air dry at least once a week. And don’t forget to use heat protectant!
After you wash your hair, it’s best to stick to towel drying. Using a blow dryer on your wet hair can really be damaging, when hair is wet is it at its weakest point.
Now add this to your bleached wet hair, you are really setting yourself up for easy damage to be done.
Try getting a wide-tooth comb or a wet brush to use after the shower, followed by towel drying for the least amount of damage.
The Salon Bleaching Process
When you’re going to a salon, the bleaching process is not usually a one-appointment treatment. This process could take up to three sessions to achieve your desired results.
This has to do with your hair texture and previous coloring that you have applied to your hair.
This comes back to how important your consultation truly is. After your bleaching treatment, we recommend giving your hair a break for at least 6 to 8 weeks before bleaching a second time.
Your hair’s cuticle has been opened, causing damage, and what your hair needs more than ever are moisturizing treatments and less heat.
In order to have the easiest bleaching journey, be sure to do your at-home care to keep it as healthy as possible.
Lastly, this process can be very expensive. Along with having multiple appointments and treatments, as well as the at-home products that we would recommend, it’s definitely an investment and a commitment.
Make sure this is something that you really want to do, that you’re willing to maintain, and you have the products at home to support this change.
Of course, coloring your hair should be fun! Who doesn’t love a complete makeover and a great change that can totally transform the way we feel?
Don’t forget that everyone’s hair bleaching journey is going to be different.
We hope we have answered the question: how bad is bleaching your hair? Simply put, bleaching your hair is the only way to lighten your hair color and it does come with a cost.
But, hopefully, you have learned some tips and tricks before starting your hair transformation.