Should You Use Leave-In Conditioner Before Bleaching? Does It Mess Up The Process?

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We all know that bleaching hair can do serious damage to it — especially when your hair isn’t in its best condition and is already damaged. One of the things that many people advise doing on hair is not to wash it a day before bleaching it. 

It is said that the oil that is on your unwashed hair will help lessen the damage that the bleach might cause. Additionally, the healthier your hair is, the less damage it will receive.

So should you use leave-in conditioner before bleaching? Since conditioner can help improve your hair health, is it a good idea to use it before you bleach your hair?

Well, a leave-in conditioner does help improve your hair health! However, it’s not a good idea to use leave-in conditioner right before you bleach your hair. That’s because it may lessen the effectiveness of the bleaching product, and your color may not lift as it should

However, there are still some instances when it is good for your hair. Let’s go over that below.


What Does Leave-In Conditioner Do To Your Hair?

We all know that bleach can damage your hair when you use it. Those who already have damaged hair to a certain point are more prone to breakage, brittleness, hair loss, and dryness due to the use of bleach. 

It would be best to take care of your hair if you plan to use bleach on it. As bleach could be very drying, it is essential to keep the hair moisturized. 

There are a few ways how you can do that and one of them is using products like a leave-in conditioner. A leave-in conditioner is a product that you apply to your hair after washing it and conditioning it.

With a leave-in conditioner  you help moisturize the hair and make it easier to detangle. It has a similar use to a conditioner but the difference is you don’t rinse it out (note that you should not use a regular conditioner in place of leave-in conditioner).

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Leave-in conditioner is mostly used to boost moisture in the hair and add protection to it so it doesn’t dry out. That way, you’ll have healthier hair that is less likely to be damaged. 

Should You Use Leave-In Conditioner Before Bleaching

Some people think that using leave-in conditioner on their hair is a great way to prevent damage due to bleaching. That is somewhat true, because leave-in conditioners will moisturize the hair and make it healthier. The damage brought about by bleach could be lessened. 

However, it would be best to use leave-in conditioners months, weeks, or days before you bleach your hair. Your hair will be prepared and conditioned to be in a healthier state. 

It would be best to use leave-in conditioners months, weeks, or days before you bleach your hair. Your hair will be prepared and conditioned to be in a healthier state

Using a leave-in conditioner right before bleaching isn’t really advisable. Bleach works on hair by opening the cuticle and getting access to the deeper layer where it can oxidize the pigment. 

Although bleach  uses powerful chemicals to open the hair cuticle and get to the hair pigments, using leave-in conditioner right before bleaching the hair will just hinder the action of the bleaching agent. 

Messy, Splotchy Bleached Hair

If you have traces of leave-in conditioner in your hair while you’re bleaching, the leave-in conditioner can block the bleach from effectively coloring your hair.

Oh oh.

This could lessen the efficiency of the bleach to penetrate the hair and oxidize the pigments.

Your hair may not lighten as much as it should because the leave-in conditioner is somewhat preventing or slowing down the effects of the bleach. 

Less Lift

Usually, bleaching could lift your hair color for about two to three levels. However, if you apply a leave-in conditioner to it, it will only be partially lifted and that could lead you to decide to go for another bleaching session, which could be damaging to the hair once again. 

If you really want to efficiently use the bleach and lift as much color out of your hair, don’t use a leave-in conditioner just before bleaching. However, if you only need to lift your hair color slightly, then you could use a leave-in conditioner before bleaching. Just be sure to wash it out thoroughly.

If you really want to efficiently use the bleach and lift as much color out of your hair, it would be best not to use a leave-in conditioner just before bleaching. 

Those who have weak and brittle hair could also use a leave-in conditioner to help protect the hair from damage. However, you must understand that this will also lessen the efficacy of the bleaching product. 

Brittle, Weak Hair

If your hair is already weak and brittle, you should wait to bleach it. Let it recover before bleaching again. Damaged hair that is bleached could be efficiently lifted without the use of the leave-in conditioner, but it is also more prone to break or even fall out

Assess your hair first before bleaching it. Testing the bleach on your hair should also be done to make sure that it would be effective and won’t just ruin your hair. 

Some hair can’t handle intense bleach and will fall off if it’s in bad condition. A patch test will prevent you from regretting having to cut all of your hair off because it has been severely damaged by the bleach. 

Other Things You Can Do To Protect Hair Before Bleaching

Aside from using a leave-in conditioner on your hair, there are still other things you can do to help protect your hair from damage when you plan to bleach it. They are as follows: 

1. Use a Low Volume Developer

A way to help the bleach be less damaging to the hair is to use a lower volume developer. Instead of using a high volume developer, you can switch to a volume 20 developer or a 10 developer  so that it isn’t as harsh. 

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That would be better rather than weakening the bleaching solution by adding another product to your hair such as a leave-in conditioner.

2. Use Deep Conditioning Mask

Another thing you can do is to make your hair healthier and moisturized beforehand so that it could withstand the potential damage from bleaching. You can make your hair stronger by regularly using a deep conditioning hair mask weeks or months before bleaching. 

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).