Bleaching your hair can damage your hair cuticle, the outermost layer of your hair. If not managed correctly, your hair can get dry, rough and brittle – a total nightmare. If you have found yourself in this hairy ordeal or feel like you’re getting there, don’t get yourself defeated. There is still a way of saving your bleach damaged hair. Remember though that damage has been done and you can’t restructure hair to its original state. The following is a helpful guide to make the damage less visible.
Let’s start with the Do’s of Post-bleaching
Feed your hair with proteins
Proteins like keratin, casein, silk and collagen can attach themselves to the hair and fill in the gaps of irregular hair cuticles. Our hair consists mostly of keratin. For obvious reasons, keratin is the most common protein used in hair treatment products. Keratin Hair Treatment is not for everyone, but is definitely for a bleach damaged hair where hair shaft is porous and lots of pot holes need filling.
Here’s what you have to remember when using keratin hair treatment:
- Keratin in hair is an irreplaceable protein. Keratin hair treatments are temporary and are stripped of from hair during repeated washing. Hence, it is important to stay committed on your hair saving ritual.
2. More is not necessarily better. Most keratin-containing products are marketed as hair treatments that are ought to be used once or twice a week – follow these instructions religiously. Keratin can build up in hair when applied too soon and too often.
Take out your heavy moisturizing arsenal
On days when you’re not applying keratin hair treatment, moisturizing your hair should be a high-priority task, so use conditioner regularly. Conditioner mimics the hair’s natural outer lipid layer that has been stripped off by bleaching. It seals and lubricates the cuticle so that water cannot easily escape through its porous structure.
Conditioning is important after you apply shampoo. Shampoo is effective in cleaning but leaves a slightly negative charge on hair. Shampoo slightly opens hair cuticle which can make hair dry and less manageable. Conditioner is necessary to neutralize negative charge left by shampoo.
Choose shampoos addressing to damaged hair
Shampoos intended for “damaged hair” contains oils and proteins that may not be present in products intended for “normal hair”. I’m telling you this because, for example, a shampoo for “normal hair” may contain silicones that provide luster and shine to normal hair. This will not guarantee the same effects to damaged hair. Many silicones attach better to undamaged hair than to damaged hair.
Use Leave-on Products on damp hair
Leave-on products are meant to be left on hair without rinsing. Applying leave-on products like hair serums on damp hair is important to seal-in moisture. Hair serums are usually a combination of nourishing oils and silicone.
Though both are leave-on product, hair serum is very different from hair wax. Avoid using hair wax too frequently. Though hair wax don’t directly cause any damage, hair wax builds up easy on hair and require frequent washing with shampoo. Read on.
Now we’re done with the Do’s, let’s go to the Dont’s
Don’t shampoo your hair too often
As mentioned earlier in this blog, shampoo slightly raises and opens your hair cuticle. If your hair is already damaged, it can easily go rough and unmanageable when washed with shampoo too often. Plus, too much shampoo can strip off moisture from your hair, making matters even worse.
Don’t comb your hair wet
Combing your hair wet is a matter of your hair’s porosity. Bleaching can increase your hair porosity where it absorbs too much water when wet. While hair is saturated with water, your hair shaft is actually swelling. Combing is only putting more pressure to your hair strands in addition to the water-weight it’s already in to.
Don’t Worsen the problem by adding more bleach
Come on, your Instagram-worthy-pastel-hair can wait for your hair to at least recover from its traumatic bleaching experience.
Avoid too much sun exposure
UV rays from the sun causes degradation of hair protein and pigment. UVA rays are responsible for discoloration (brassy hair) and UVB rays are responsible for protein loss.
Melanin absorbs and filters adverse UV radiations. In bleached hair, melanin is already oxidized and can no longer protect hair proteins making your hair susceptible to further damage. Avoid too much sun exposure and your skin will thank you too.
Avoid Chlorine and Salt Water
Chlorinated water in swimming pools are highly alkaline. Alkaline environment opens hair cuticle and worsen condition of bleached hair. Salt water, on the other hand can dehydrate your hair by a process called Osmosis.
Avoid ironing your hair… especially when wet
Repeatedly ironing your hair wet can increase your hair’s porosity. Give our hair a break and steer clear from too much heat if you don’t want weightlessness like that of a popcorn.
Never go for a hair rebond
Straightening chemicals like those found in Hair Rebonding uses highly alkaline substances to break chemical bonds of the hair and re-align hair by creating new bonds (hence, the term REBOND). Breaking the bonds of your damaged hair is the last thing you want to do at this moment.
So that’s it, It’s not too late to follow these do’s and don’ts to save your bleach damaged hair. Right choice of hair care products and proper care can salvage your hair. Know the present condition of your hair before undergoing treatments that uses strong chemicals, like bleaching.
Do you have frustrating experiences with bleach damaged hair? How did you manage it? Feel free to comment below. We’d love to hear from you
Dias, M (2015) Hair Cosmetics: An Overview, International Journal Trichology, 7(1) pp 2-15
Sebetić K1, Sjerobabski Masnec I, Cavka V, Biljan D, Krolo I. (2008) UV Damage of hair, Collegium Antropologicum, Suppl 2, pp 163-165