Changing your hair color can be exciting and life-altering. However, going to light from naturally dark hair comes with a cost. Most hair-lightening products contain bleach, which can leave your locks looking dry and damaged.
Bleach abuses those cuticles. It rips off the moisture and breaks apart hair proteins to remove color. So, while bleaching sure works like a charm to lighten hair, it can cause some serious damage.
Hair loss, split ends, brittleness, breakage, and frizz are just some side effects of using bleach.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t rock that Khaleesi-blonde look! You can use bleach and choose any hair color, as long as you are ready to show your hair some extra TLC afterward.
Wondering how to hydrate hair after bleaching to reverse that hair damage? You’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to nourish your bleach-damaged hair.
How To Hydrate Hair after Bleaching
Hydrating your hair and reversing the damage caused by bleaching is easier than you might think. All you need to do is tweak your hair care routine a bit.
Here are some simple hair care tips to restore recently bleached hair. These are especially important to follow if you plan to use a toner in your hair.
1. Use a Hair Mask Regularly
Using a repairing mask can make a big difference. Slather your hair with a hydrating hair mask at least once a week after bleaching your hair to ensure adequate hydration and healthy, sexy hair. You can still shampoo and condition, but you usually apply your hair mask in between.
This pre-made hair mask, from Pureology, does a great job of keeping your hair soft and luscious after coloring.
Of course, you don’t need to go to Uncle Amazon just to get a hair mask.
If you enjoy DIY beauty hacks or want to go all-natural on your hair, you can try one of the following DIY super-hydrating hair masks to rehydrate your hair after bleaching.
Olive Oil and Honey Mask for Soft and Silky Hair
Using this hair mask will give you instant results. However, for the best results, slather this DIY hair mask regularly.
- In a bowl, whisk together one tablespoon of honey and three tablespoons of olive oil.
- Wash your hair with shampoo. Once dry, part the hair and apply the mixture.
- Let it sit for about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Rinse out with warm water before washing your hair normally.
Coconut Oil and Brown Sugar Mask for Healthier Scalp
Even a few drops of coconut oil can go a long way to hydrate hair after bleaching and revitalize hair fibers from within. Additionally, this hair mask will also help with scalp health.
- Combine two tablespoons of brown sugar and one tablespoon of coconut oil in a small bowl.
- After shampooing, use your fingers to work the mixture into your hair.
- Massage lightly, focusing on the scalp.
- Leave it in for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water, following with your usual conditioner.
Egg and Strawberry Protein Mask for quick Hydration and Shine
Rich in antioxidants – strawberries bring a healthy shine to dull hair. Egg yolk is loaded with protein and works to hydrate and strengthen the strands. You can also add some olive oil to the mix for added hydration.
- Puree a handful of strawberries in the blender.
- Add in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 egg yolk. Mix well to combine.
- Apply the mixture to the hair, focusing on the tips.
- Cover the hair with plastic wrap or a plastic cap to lock in moisture.
- Wait for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
- Apply conditioner right after rinsing and leave it in for another 5 minutes.
- Rinse out the conditioner and shampoo/condition your hair as usual.
2. Add Hair Oil To The Mix
Applying nourishing hair oil on your hair will help seal in the moisture as hair cuticles rebuild after bleaching. It will help restore the lost gloss and volume. There are several different options that you can consider when it comes to hair moisturizing and sealing oils.
You can start on Amazon, and go for something like this excellent MoroccanOil.
If you don’t want to spend the money on oils, you can use some oil you have on hand already. For example, you can use coconut oil (what can’t it do!?), olive oil, Argan oil, almond oil, etc. Some of these oils are also effective at untangling matted hair.
For best results, make sure you apply hair oil the right way. Here’s how to hydrate hair after bleaching with oil.
- Pour the oil into a small bowl and heat it for a few seconds until it’s warm. This will help penetrate the cuticles.
- Use your fingertips to gently massage the scalp in a circular motion for a few minutes.
- Part your hair into portions.
- Apply hair oil to the strands, focusing on the tips.
- Tie your hair in a bun and wrap a warm towel around your head to open up cuticles and allow for deeper penetration.
- Let the oil sit in your hair for at least an hour. You can also leave it in overnight.
- Shampoo your hair the next day using cold or lukewarm water.
3. Give Aloe Vera a Try
Upgrade your hair care routine by bringing in aloe vera, like this one from Honeyskin. Aloe vera is a famous ingredient for beauty and hair hacks for all the right reasons. Its healing and anti-inflammatory properties help heal damaged scalp to improve overall hair health.
Moreover, it acts as a moisturizing agent to hydrate hair after the powerful bleaching process. All in all, topically applying aloe vera to hydrate hair after bleaching can produce some significant results.
However, make sure you use pure aloe vera gel. Many people prefer using fresh aloe vera gel straight from the leaves. Here’s how to do it.
- Use a knife to cut a leaf from a live aloe vera plant.
- Using a knife, cut the leaf open, and scoop out the gel.
- Apply the aloe vera gel directly to the scalp or blend it with a carrier oil of your choice before rubbing it on the scalp.
- Let it sit in for around an hour.
- Rinse with cold or normal water using a mild shampoo.
- You can repeat the process 2 to 3 times a week.
4. Consider Rice Water Rinse
If you want to hydrate hair after bleaching and strengthen the strands from within, try rinsing your hair with water that has been used to boil rice.
Rice water contains some powerful nutrients, including inositol, which causes a repairing action to reverse the damage. Let’s take a look at how to rinse hair with rice water.
- Boil rice in a large pot for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Collect the rice water in a bowl or bottle and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Rinse your hair with the rice water after washing and conditioning your hair as usual.
- Repeat the process as required. For extremely damaged hair, use rice water every day!
Of course, you can always just purchase a rice water rinse if you aren’t in the habit of making rice all the time!
Lifestyle Tips To Repair Damaged Hair
While we are at it, let’s take a look at can some healthy lifestyle changes that can boost hair health and bring back that healthy shine!
- Drink plenty of water to ensure your body stays hydrated inside and out!
- Making some healthy dietary changes may help. Try eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, iron, and Vitamin B.
- Give heat styling a rest. Your hair will thank you for it!
- Sleep on a silk pillowcase to keep your hair from damage while you sleep.
- Trim your hair frequently.
- See does toner wash out?
How to Limit Further Damage After Bleaching?
While you try different tips and tricks to hydrate hair after bleaching, make sure you also take measures to avoid further damage. Here’s how to do just that!
Avoid Excessive Washing
Your hair is weak and highly susceptible to breakage after bleaching, especially during the first three weeks of receiving a bleach treatment. At this point, washing it excessively can cause further damage.
Avoid washing your hair daily. Instead, wash it once every 3 to 4 days.
Use Sun Protection
You probably already know that the harmful UV rays of the sun can damage hair. But did you know that bleached hair is even more susceptible to sun damage? Use sun protection to avoid further damage.
You can opt for a UV protection hair spray or simply wear a hat or a scarf.
You might be tempted to take a dip in the pool and get that Instagram-worthy photo with your newly-bleached hair. But it’s best to steer clear of pools for the first few weeks. Chlorine in the pool water can further damage your hair and even add a green tinge to your hair.
If you must swim, rinse your hair with fresh water before going into the pool. Also, wash your hair thoroughly as soon as you get out of the water.
Be Patient Before You Bleach Again
If you’re looking to bleach again in order to achieve a specific hair color, give your hair a chance to heal before you nuke it again.
Be patient planning that next bleaching or dye session. Let your hair guide you as to when it’s ready to be bleached, rather than the calendar.
How to Avoid Damage Caused by Bleaching?
While you can always work to hydrate your hair after bleaching, nothing beats avoiding the damage caused by bleaching in the first place. While you can’t avoid it completely, you can certainly minimize it.
Here are a few tips to protect your hair from bleach damage.
- Be sure your hair dye is fresh and not expired. See this article on reusing and storing hair dye for more info.
- Take the time to deep condition your hair before applying bleach.
- Choose a low-volume developer.
- Don’t wash your hair right after receiving a bleach treatment. Wait at least 2 to 3 days.
- If you are bleaching at home, make sure you rinse thoroughly after bleaching. Any leftover bleaching agent can cause damage.
- Be patient when going to your next color after bleaching.
The Bottom Line
Bleaching will damage your hair – there’s simply no way around it. However, a little damage should not keep you from achieving your hair goals, whether they’re beautiful blonde locks, or the blonde is a stop along the way to another color.
Follow the tips and tricks mentioned above to minimize the side effects of bleaching, hydrate your hair after bleaching, and bring back that healthy glow to your hair!