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Does Bleaching Your Hair Damage It Permanently?

To bleach or not to bleach. Achieve the color of your dreams without the damage.

Written by Amber Belanger
Does Bleaching Your Hair Damage It

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Bleaching causes 15% to 20% of the hair’s protein bands to break. And with improper prep and after-care, you’re even more likely to damage your hair.

That’s why you need to know how to do it right: to avoid hair breakage.

In this article, you’ll learn the dangers of bleach and how to avoid them.

Bleaching Effects on Hair

Wondering about hair bleaching? Learn the facts to help you decide if it’s for you.

How Bleaching Works

Bleaching your hair uses a chemical mixture that lightens your natural hair color.

The mixture consists of bleach, ammonia, and hydrogen peroxide.

Bleach acts as an oxidizing agent. Both ammonia and hydrogen peroxide serve as alkaline agents.

Before and After the Bleach

Before bleaching, your hair has its natural pigments, which give it its original color.

During the bleaching process, the alkaline agents open your hair’s cuticle. The oxidizing agent then breaks down the pigments, making your hair lighter.

Color Change

After the bleaching process, your hair will be much lighter. You can further customize the color using a toner or a colorant to achieve the desired shade.

You may need several sessions to get the color you want depending on your starting shade.

Bleaching is a permanent process. Once it’s done, your hair will not return to its natural color without re-dyeing it or letting it grow out.

Consult a hairdresser to ensure the safest and most effective process for your hair.

Does Bleaching Your Hair Damage It?

Yes, bleaching causes significant damage to your hair.

The bleach penetrates the hair shaft and weakens the hair’s natural protein structure. This can lead to:

  • Dryness
  • Breakage
  • Split ends
  • Frizz

For less damage, use the correct developer. This product determines how much the hair will lighten.

Choose a lower volume developer to reduce your hair’s exposure to bleach. It will prevent excessive damage.

How to Prevent Bleaching Damage

How to Prevent Bleaching Damage

Here are the best practices to protect your hair during the bleaching process.

  • Use high-quality bleaching products
  • Take care of your hair at home
  • Visit the salon for professional advice

Choose the Right Bleaching Products

Always choose high-quality products. Look for bleach containing lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.

Pick bleaching kits labeled for “gentle” or “sensitive” hair.

Expensive does not always mean quality. Research and read customer reviews before buying any bleaching products.

Effective Home Remedies for Bleached Hair

Bleached hair needs extra care to stay healthy. Add these home remedies into your hair care routine to avoid more damage:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil and honey
  • Egg, yogurt, and mayonnaise

Coconut Oil

Apply coconut oil to your hair for 1-2 hours before washing it. Coconut oil has deep moisturizing properties that restore damaged hair.

Olive Oil and Honey

Mix equal parts of olive oil and honey, then apply the mixture to your hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour, then wash it out.

This treatment nourishes and repairs damaged hair.

Egg, Yogurt, and Mayonnaise

Mix an egg, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to create a protein-rich hair mask.

Apply it to your hair for at least 30 minutes, then wash it out.

Go to a Salon

If you’re new to bleaching or have doubts about your ability to bleach your hair the right way, it’s best to visit a salon.

A professional hair stylist can assess your hair’s condition. They can then choose the appropriate bleaching products with minimal damage. They can also tell you how to maintain your hair post-bleaching.

Make sure the salon you choose has positive reviews. Let your stylist know that you’re concerned about minimizing damage and brassy tones.

Can Bleached Hair Still Be Healthy?

Can Bleached Hair Still Be Healthy

Yes, it is possible to have healthy bleached hair, but it requires extra care and maintenance.

Bleaching your hair can cause damage. But you can keep your hair looking and feeling healthy with the right steps.

How to Repair Bleach Damage

You can repair your bleach-damaged hair with the following methods:

  1. Do regular protein treatments for your hair
  2. Hydrate your hair with deep conditioning masks
  3. Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners
  4. Always use a heat-protectant spray with heat-styling tools
  5. Get regular haircuts to avoid split ends

1. Add a Protein Treatment to Your Hair Routine

Use a protein treatment once a week or as advised by your hair care professional. Protein treatments strengthen your hair and cut down breakage.

Look for products containing keratin, a natural protein found in hair.

2. Deep Condition Your Hair

Bleached hair needs extra hydration. Use a deep conditioning mask or treatment once a week to replenish your hair’s moisture.

Focus on the mid-lengths and ends, where damage is most noticeable.

3. Choose Gentle Hair Care Products

Go for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners formulated for bleached or color-treated hair.

These products will be gentle on your hair and help preserve the color.

4. Limit Heat Styling

High heat can further weaken bleached hair and make it more prone to breakage.

Limit heat styling to once or twice a week, and always use a heat protectant spray before using any hot tools.

5. Trim Your Hair Often

Regular trims to remove split ends prevent further damage to your bleached hair.

Ask a hair care professional for recommendations on your hair type and condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe to Bleach Hair At Home?

Yes, it is safe to bleach your hair at home as long as you follow the instructions given on the product. Use high-quality hair bleach. Always perform a patch test on a small section of your hair before applying the bleach to your entire head. Watch out for allergic reactions.

Does Bleaching Cause Cancer?

There is no direct link between hair bleaching and cancer. Some studies suggest a connection between hair dye chemicals and a higher risk of cancer. But the risk is low and not enough research has confirmed these findings. Instead, choose hair bleach products with natural or organic ingredients.

Does Bleaching Your Hair Hurt?

Bleaching your hair may cause some discomfort. Tingling or burning sensations can occur while the bleach is processing. This is normal. If your scalp is sensitive, go for a gentler bleach product. If the pain is too much, rinse out the bleach immediately and consult a professional for advice.

Can I Bleach Dyed Hair?

Yes, you can bleach your dyed hair. It may take a few sessions to achieve the desired level of lightness, depending on the dye’s color. Darker dyed hair may not lift to a light blonde in one bleaching session. Wait at least two weeks between bleach treatments to avoid damaging your hair.

Will Bleach Once Cause Significant Harm?

When done right, bleaching likely won’t cause significant harm to your hair. Your hair can become dry and brittle if you don’t follow the instructions or leave the bleach on for too long. The key is to not over-process your hair and to follow the recommended procedure.

Does Bleaching Hair Ruin Hair Growth?

Bleaching your hair doesn’t impact hair growth. But it can be more prone to breakage. Your hair will appear to grow slower because it breaks from too much bleaching. Give your hair time to recover between bleaching sessions. Use deep conditioning treatments to repair it.

Can Pregnant Women Bleach Their Hair?

There is conflicting information on whether it is safe to bleach hair while pregnant. Some sources, such as the NHS and NCT, suggest that the chemicals don’t absorb through the body. But other sources, such as Allure and Romper, suggest that it is not safe. It is best to consult with a doctor before bleaching.

Photo of author

Amber Belanger

Amber is not just a beauty enthusiast. She has spent countless hours doing the nails of her friends, researching the newest studies on personal care, as well as tried and tested numerous hair products. She prides herself on her factuality and luscious hair.