Hair trends pop up over and over again—and experimenting with your hair color from strawberry blonde to smoky ice takes patience, effort, and lots of bleach.
However, when it comes to bleaching your hair, there’s no room for “trial and error.” If you want to refresh your look without damaging your strands, keep on reading for a few things you must know about hair bleaching.
How Long to Wait Between Bleaching Hair? Depending on the condition of your hair, you should wait a week or a month after your first bleaching session before you bleach your hair again. Remember, bleaching is a chemical process that wreaks havoc on your hair, so you shouldn’t bleach your hair two days in a row or twice in the same day.
How Bleaching Works—and Why It’s an Aggressive Process to Your Hair?
Hair bleaching is more of science than art. In the bleaching process, hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are used to remove the pigment in your hair shaft, which lightens your hair.
To remove the color from your strands, these harsh ingredients penetrate your hair fiber and eliminate the melanin, leaving your hair prone to damage.
Depending on the color of your hair and the color you want to achieve, you can only bleach it on certain levels.
Do you know that in each bleaching session, you can only lighten your hair up to three tones? If you’ve got a naturally dark or color-treated hair, you cannot lighten your hair drastically in one bleaching session. Of course, you cannot bleach your hair twice in a day, not even two days in a row.
Before bleaching your hair, you should consider your natural hair color or whether you already color-treated your hair.
This is especially true if you’re going to bleach your hair at home as there are different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide that can only lift pigments to certain degrees. More than that, you should not leave the bleach for too long as it can damage your strands.
When Is the Right Time to Bleach Your Hair Again?
If you just bleached your hair and you’re not happy with the color result, you should wait for some weeks before getting another bleach session.
In fact, even overlapping the bleach during processing could also lead to damage, so how much more on overdoing it. Remember, bleaching is very damaging to your strands, not to mention if your hair is already damaged.
How much time to wait for the second bleaching will depend on your hair condition and the way you took care of your hair after the first bleaching session.
Experts recommend waiting for at least a month before bleaching it again if you have severely damaged hair. If your hair is healthy, you can bleach again after a week or ten days, as long as you prepped your hair and maintained a good hair care routine.
The key here is to let your hair recover from the aggressive process of bleaching before getting another one. If your hair is severely damaged and you didn’t give enough attention to your hair care routine, you should not bleach for the next six months until your hair naturally recovered. But if your hair is healthy and you do everything to keep it hydrated, you can bleach after a week.
More than that, you should consider the treatments and manipulation you just did to your hair such as perming and straightening as these affect your hair condition.
If you’ve got healthy hair but you just chemically straightened it, you must wait at least two weeks before getting another bleach. The chemicals used in straightening and perming also weaken your strands.
If you’re on doubt whether your hair is ready for its next bleach or not, better seek the advice of a professional.
Do you know that you can check the elasticity of your hair by simply pulling it a bit? If your hair couldn’t take its natural form after you stretched it, better not to do the bleaching session on the same week. This way, you’ll avoid further damage of over-processing your hair.
How to Care for Damaged Hair—and Prep It for Next Bleaching
Deep condition your hair and maintain a good hair care routine.
If you’ve already over-processed your hair, do some damage control. Hydration is important for bleached hair as it prevents more damage caused by harsh manipulation and heat.
Experts recommend using coconut oil and deep conditioner to nourish your strands. Do you know that the process of bleaching can also make your hair cuticles permanently raised, resulting to inflexible, brittle hair?
Check out: Best Deep Conditioner For Bleached Hair
Some of the visible signs of damaged hair are dryness, brittleness, and split ends. There might be no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to damage control, but deep hydration will help.
Also, avoid over-washing your hair as it strips off its natural oils, along with using harsh clarifying shampoos. While deep conditioning treatments will help, you should cut off some damages before the next bleach session.
Do you know that you should deep condition your hair right away after bleaching it? If you’ve bleached at night, your hair will likely end up dry, brittle, and rough in the morning.
Deep conditioning your hair the same day you bleached it will keep your hair more manageable and healthier. Also, you must be consistent with your hair care routine to build your hair strength before the next bleaching session.
Go natural with your hair products.
Your bleached hair needs to recover, and going for natural products will mean lesser harmful ingredients and preservatives. Do you know that you can make your own hair mask with aloe vera, coconut oil, castor oil, argan oil, sunflower oil, banana, olive oil, avocado, and honey? These natural products have hydration-boosting properties that will be beneficial to your hair.
According to studies, coconut oil helps in reducing protein loss and prevents damage from constant manipulation. Also, butter, egg yolk, and mayonnaise are rich in amino acids and oils, which you can use as the primary ingredients in your hair mask.
These natural, homemade hair masks are not only effective but also economical, especially if salon treatments are too pricey for you.
Opt for gentle shampoo and turn down your water temperature.
Do you know that bleached strands tend to become more dehydrated? Instead of going for clarifying shampoos that only strip the natural moisture from your hair, opt for gentler hair products.
You might also think of using natural and organic shampoos to boost your hair and make it stronger. Lukewarm water is ideal than a hot shower as heat only strip the natural oils in your hair and skin.
Skip heat styling tools and opt for creative hairstyles.
After the first bleaching process, your hair is already stripped of natural oils and moisture, so you should avoid the things that will make it more dehydrated.
Flat iron, hairdryer, and curling iron will only damage your hair even more. Instead of using a curling iron to curl your strands, opt for heat-free methods like bringing your hair into a twisted bun so it’ll curl naturally after some hours.
You may also opt for fishtail braids, waterfall braids, French braids and such that will keep you chic without the heat.
If you don’t have enough time to do intricate braids, just bring it on with chic hair accessories—wide-brimmed hats, headbands, clips, caps, hair scarves, ribbons, and such.
Protect your hair from sun exposure and chlorine.
Applying heat protectant to your hair, and wearing a scarf or wide-brimmed hat will help to prevent sun damage. However, don’t forget to protect your hair when swimming as chlorine can be damaging too.
If you’ve just bleached your hair, better wear a shower cap before hitting the pool, or simply skip it for a few weeks and limit the amount of time you spend outdoors.
It might take serious effort to achieve the color that you want, but caring for your hair pays off. By heeding our hair bleaching tips, you’ll be able to transform your hair without damage.
Can you lighten your hair with natural products?
Yes, but the lightening effect will not be as visible as the traditional hair bleach. If you have naturally light hair and want to go a few shades lighter, you can opt for natural alternatives like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, and chamomile.
However, if you’ve got naturally dark hair or color-treated hair, these alternatives could not help with lifting the pigment on your hair shaft.
Why you should not skip the strand test before bleaching your hair?
Strand tests will give you a good knowledge of your hair condition, along with your hair history. In fact, the strand test will guide you on how to use bleach properly—how your hair will react to bleach and how long you should bleach your hair.
If the strand test turned orange, it means you should use bleach in moderation, which will prevent allergies and unwanted reactions from chemicals.