Lightening hair with bleach – risks, care tips and styling ideas
Today there are pretty trends for every hair type, hair length and color. At the same time, trends with lighter hair or unnatural and vibrant hair colors are becoming increasingly popular. So it is hardly surprising that more and more women are keen to try them. However, many are hardly aware of the risks. Because to achieve a shade like platinum blonde or pastel pink, you first have to lighten your natural hair. Only then can another, lighter color be applied. In today’s article we would like to inform you about the damaging effects of this procedure. We show you how to properly care for bleached hair and also give you trendy styling ideas that you can discuss with your hairdresser.
The results are magically beautiful, but at what cost
White, gray and platinum blonde hair colors still remain relevant
What exactly is hair bleach?
Despite having the same name and similar effect, the bleach we use to whiten fabrics or for disinfection is completely different from the bleach that hairdressers use to lighten hair. The first is a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite while the second is hydrogen peroxide mixed with ammonia. The combination of these chemicals creates an alkaline solution that when applied opens the hair cuticle, the outermost layer of our hair, and dissolves the hair’s natural melanin. The longer the bleach is left in the hair, the lighter it becomes and the more damaged it becomes as well.
Timing is of the utmost importance when it comes to hair lightening
Preparation for lightening hair with bleach
If used incorrectly or if you wait too long, bleaching hair can lead to truly disastrous results. One only has to search “hair bleaching fails” on YouTube to see the horrific effects. From straw-like hair ripping out of the head in whole strands to severe scalp burns requiring a hospital visit. It is therefore extremely important to take some precautions before lightening your hair.
Find a good barber: Although you can easily buy all the products you need at a cosmetics store, a DIY hair lightening project is a recipe for disaster. But the end results can be just as terrible if you go to an inexperienced barber.
From scarecrow-like hair to bald patches, this isn’t a DIY project
A professional will know which products to use in what exact amounts for each hair type and for each natural hair color. Reputable hairstylists ensure that the end result resembles that of Hollywood stars and not those seen on YouTube. They can also provide you with expert care tips for your individual hair as well as the new color you have chosen. Pastel colors, for example, can fade completely within a few weeks without the right care products.
To find a good barber in your city, you need to do a little research. Scroll through social media, look at Google reviews and finally call the chosen one. Don’t hesitate to ask about their level of experience with bleach.
A good barber is crucial to the success of your hairstyle
Prepare your hair properly and on time: It’s not a good idea to go for a lighter color today and have your hair lightened tomorrow. These chemicals work best on natural hair that has not been exposed to other coloring agents in the past few months. You should also avoid hot hair styling devices such as curling irons, flat irons or hair dryers for at least a week before bleaching. The last tip may sound gross to you, but it’s just as important as the other two – don’t go to the salon with your hair washed. Your scalp’s natural oils help protect your hair during the bleaching process.
Be prepared for an investment of time and money: Hair lightening is not a one-time investment. While blondes can often get away with just one treatment, brunettes often need to visit their stylist for several months to achieve the targeted light color.
Hair lightening is undoubtedly best for natural blondes
Properly care for hair after bleaching
While it’s important to prep your hair for bleaching, it’s equally important to take care of your hair afterwards. As previously mentioned, hair bleaching works by opening up the hair cuticle and breaking down your hair’s natural pigment. However, after treatment, the hair cuticles no longer close completely, leaving your hair permanently porous, brittle and prone to damage.
While your grooming routine before whitening might have been just shampoo and conditioner, now it takes a lot more time, effort, and money to invest. Your new routine is all about reversing the damage done by bleaching. At the same time, the new color of your hair should be preserved.
Hairstylists often recommend alternating between high quality moisturizing, repairing and protein shampoos and conditioners. You should also use purple shampoo, which is specially designed for lightened hair. Nourishing hair oils and masks are also part of your weekly to-do list.
Aside from these products, you generally need to be much gentler on your hair. Tight ponytails, buns and braids are a big no-no as they pull at the root of the hair and further damage already fragile hair. Hot hair styling tools, as well as chemical hair products like mousse, gel, and spray, must be avoided for at least a month or two to allow your mane to regain its strength.
Your hair will initially feel extremely dry
Still want to lighten your hair? This is a decision that should not be taken lightly. The procedure damages your hair and requires a lot of attention and care afterwards. However, when done properly, the end effects are truly stunning.
Platinum blonde bob with pastel blue highlights
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Pastel colors like this blue will instantly turn you into a real ice queen