5 Ways To Minimise Damage When Bleaching Your Hair
If you've been following my posts then you'll most likely know that after over three years of having jet black hair, I recently made the decision to change my hair colour to a copper red which of course involved bleach -lot of bleach I might add- to lift out the stubborn colour.
With damage to hair being an inevitable factor, I have always feared using bleach and I know that many other people do too which is why I spent a lot of time researching products and methods of ''safely'' bleaching.
Before we get into it, I just want to say that I am not a qualified hair professional and any advice listed below is purely what has worked well for me in the past. If you can avoid bleaching your hair and instead are able to use a colour remover, I highly advise that you try that first of all.
However, If you are still thinking of going ahead with bleaching your hair whether it be the first or hundredth time (hopefully not though) then I recommend following these 5 easy steps to minimising damage.
1. Choosing The Right Bleach!
Though it may seem blatantly obvious, choosing the correct bleach for your hair is vital when it comes to minimising the damage. If you want good results, opt for a reputable company that gives thorough instructions and not some unknown, plain packaged kit you found on eBay for £1. No. Just no.
As I only use cruelty free brands, my personal go to is Jerome Russell B Blonde bleaching kit which is an affordable high lift bleach that comes in two parts, one box of bleaching powder (containing 4 sachets) and cream peroxide which you buy separately allowing you to choose the strength.
If your hair is very dark (like mine was) then you are going to want to opt for the 40 vol peroxide but beware that this is very strong and should be used with caution on hair that is already in good condition. Alternatively, if you have lighter hair or have manage to pre-lighten it with a colour remover then you can use a weaker volume cream peroxide.
I was a little skeptical about using coconut oil at first as this product seems to be getting used for everything these days, but I thought it was worth a shot as it couldn't cause any harm. The general idea of using coconut oil on your hair is to emulate the hairs natural oils which will protect your scalp from being burned by the chemicals.
Before bleaching I completely saturated my hair in coconut oil for around 2-3 hours, but you can leave it in overnight if you feel your hair is in a particularly fragile state or if it has been recently washed. I then applied the bleach mixture straight on to my coconut oil covered hair. Another benefit to the coconut oil is that it helps to spread the bleach further through your hair though be sure you don't miss any sections.
3.Protein and Hair Masks
It sounds scary, but whilst bleaching, the chemicals react with your hair by breaking the bonds between the hairs protein causing dry, damaged and possibly broken hair.
This is why after bleaching you will want to treat your hair to a deep conditioning protein mask and wash your hair with a protein enriched shampoo and conditioner. The best hair mask for bleached hair that I have used to date, is the Bleach London Reincarnation mask which you can learn a bit more about from my previous hair care article.
4. Be Patient
Even professional hair stylists will take reasonable length breaks between bleaching sessions. No matter what anyone on the internet tells you, you simply cannot go from black to bleach blonde in one session without frying your hair.
Be patient and give your hair time to rest between sessions and in the meantime, keep up with step 3. Trust me, your hair will thank you for it.
5. Avoid Heat
While your hair is recovering from the toll that bleach takes, avoid styling your hair using heated tools. This includes straighteners, curling irons and yes, even hair dryers are a no. It may seem like a lot of work but it's completely worth it once you achieve the result you've been striving towards.
I hope these tips help you out and if you have recently bleached your hair or plan to soon then let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!
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