How to Bleach Your Hair Without Damaging It
The truth is... bleach is not good for your hair. After all, it's an invasive process where the main goal is to break down the melanin that gives the hair colour, breaking protective barriers along the way. This does not mean that hair bleaching automatically equates to severely damaged hair. While it is tough on the hair, you can still get the coloured hair of your dreams without zapping your tresses dead.
Preparation is key. How well you prepare your hair for the toll it is inevitably going to take is going to make all the difference. The goal is to reinforce the hair’s natural defences so it can take in the chemical onslaught. Let's dive into the key steps you need to take before your next bleaching session.
Coat Your Hair with Coconut Oil or Argan Oil Before Bleaching
Oils like coconut and argan protect the hair during bleaching in a chemical process called chelation. See, the peroxide in hair bleach reacts to the naturally-occurring copper and iron contents of the hair and this reaction causes severe damage to the hair.
Coconut and argan oils contain certain substances that bond with the copper and iron in the hair on the molecular level, isolating the copper and iron thus preventing any reaction with peroxide from taking place.
The good news is, the oils work only against that specific damaging reaction but they do not stop the bleach from penetrating the hair shaft and breaking down the hair’s keratins. This means you still get the desired effect without the damage-causing reaction. You can do this treatment the night before bleaching your hair
Don't Wash Your Hair Before Bleaching
Natural oils are your best friend. Aside from coating your strands coconut and argan oils to protect the length of your hair, you should also make sure you're protecting your scalp from the harsh bleach. Luckily for us, our sebum is a naturally-occurring oils that provides a highly protective layer between your scalp and the bleach. It's best to keep your hair unwashed for at least 3 days to allow the sebum to build up before your bleaching session.
Bleach Slowly and Steadily
Darker hair will, naturally, take longer to completely bleach as there is more melanin to wash out. It can be tempting to do it all in one go but that can be fatal to your hair. Plan out your bleaching session in phases instead of doing it all in one go. It will require more time and patience, but the difference to the health of your hair will be extremely noticeable.
Check The Bleach Quality
Hydrogen peroxide, the chemical responsible for lifting the colour from the strand, is not always manufactured to high quality standards. Some countries have tougher regulations on how these chemicals are made. For example, in China, bleach will tend to be manufactured without the same quality standards as in Germany. As a result, poorer quality bleach tends to be harsher on the hair and the scalp. This ends up making your hair more prone to damage and your scalp more prone to irritations during and after the bleaching session.
Make sure to ask your hair colourist about which brand they are using so you can rest assured knowing that only the highest quality bleach is being used on your tresses.
Hair colouring is as much a precise science as it is an art form – and it takes a little bit of both to help you achieve the best results. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving the vibrant and fun hair of your dreams - with a little research, due diligence, and some extra care... you'll be able to have it all.
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