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Gummy Hair After Bleaching: 10 Ways to Repair It

Gummy hair can be a scary hair problem. But the good news is, there are ways to fix it. This article

Written by Danish Bodycare
Gummy Hair After Bleaching

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Gummy hair after bleaching is a frustrating issue that leaves your hair sticky and weak.

If you’ve never had gummy hair before, it’s described as stretchy and mushy. It even breaks off sometimes.

This problem occurs when the chemical process of bleaching damages the hair’s structure. If you’re experiencing gummy hair, don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Keep your hair looking and feeling its best after bleaching with these tips.

What is Gummy Hair?

What is Gummy Hair

Gummy hair can be a terrifying sight to see. But how does it happen? What does gummy hair look like?

Gummy hair is a condition where the hair feels sticky, limp, and rubbery to the touch. Too many products or improper hair treatment often result in gummy hair.

You can fix it by clarifying your hair and using a better hair care routine.

What Causes Gummy Hair?

Bleaching your hair breaks down its natural proteins and oils. It weakens the protective outer layer called the cuticle.

Over-bleaching or strong peroxide strips away essential oils and proteins in your hair. The gummy texture happens when the hair gets damaged by the chemical process.

Recognizing signs of gummy hair will help you find solutions to restore hair health.

  • Your hair’s porosity level
  • Over-bleaching or over-processing your hair
  • Excessive use of clarifying shampoos
  • Using products with sulfates
  • Products that contain paraben
  • Presence of ethanol in hair products
  • Showering with hard water

Hair Porosity

Gummy hair after bleaching is because of high porosity. It means the hair absorbs and retains moisture too much. This condition can result from various factors.

Damage can happen from over-processing, heat, or chemicals, to genetics. Some people are born with hair with higher porosity levels.


Over-processing during bleaching causes gummy hair. This occurs when you leave bleach on for too long or if you use strong bleach.

When done right, bleaching can be safe for the hair. But, excessive bleaching can damage the hair shaft and cuticles, leading to dry and gummy hair.

Avoid frequent bleaching and allow your hair time to recover between sessions.

Clarifying Shampoo

Gummy hair can result from using clarifying shampoos after bleaching. They strip away natural oils, leaving the hair dry and brittle.

Instead, choose gentle products that don’t over-clarify the scalp and hair. This is crucial, especially during chemical treatments like bleaching.

Prioritizing proper hair care will keep your hair healthy and manageable after bleaching.


Sulfates are cleaning agents found in personal care products like shampoos and soaps. They create lather and help remove dirt and oil.

Some people may prefer sulfate-free products to avoid potential dryness and irritation. The two most common types of sulfates are:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common harsh sulfate. You can find it in shampoos, body washes, and toothpaste, known for stripping hair of its natural oils.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a less common sulfate, but it’s still present in some products. It can make your hair dry and challenging to style.


Parabens are common preservatives in hair products that extend their shelf life.

Though not as harmful, they can still lead to gummy hair. This is especially true if the hair has been over-processed from bleaching.


Several types of alcohol exist, with ethanol being the most common in hair products. It dissolves other ingredients and thins out the products.

Exposing your hair to alcohol can also be a factor leading to gummy hair.

Hard Water

Hard water plays a role in causing hair damage after bleaching. The minerals it contains can build up on the hair and scalp, resulting in dry, brittle, and gummy hair.

Signs and Symptoms of Gummy Hair

Signs and Symptoms of Gummy Hair

Some clear signs of gummy hair are:

  1. Change in texture
  2. Hair does not bounce back after stretching it
  3. Obvious signs of excessive hair fall and breakage

Texture Change

If your hair feels sticky, mushy, or tough to comb through, it might have turned gummy.

Loss of Elasticity

Healthy hair should bounce back after you stretch it out. Gummy hair lacks elasticity and may break or not return to its original shape.

Increased Breakage

Gummy hair is prone to breakage due to its weakened structure. You may notice more hair strands on your brush or comb than usual.

10 Ways Fix Gummy Hair

Don’t panic if you’re seeing signs of gummy hair. Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Get protein treatments rick in keratin once a week
  2. Apply a 20-minute hot oil treatment
  3. Take supplements and vitamins
  4. Focus on keeping your hair moisturized
  5. Be consistent with your hair care routine
  6. Use the right products for your hair
  7. Get regular haircuts and trim off split ends
  8. Ask an expert hair colorist for advice
  9. Shower less to repair your hair with its natural oils
  10. No heat styling tools and styling unless necessary

1. Protein Treatments

To repair gummy hair, start with protein treatments. Your hair needs protein to regain its strength and structure.

Choose a deep conditioner for damaged hair, rich in protein and keratin. Use it once a week.

You can also try an egg white protein treatment at home. Mix egg whites with a little water, then apply to your hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse.

Or, use rice water; it can help strengthen your hair strands and improve porosity.

2. Hot Oil Treatments

Hot oil treatments can help nourish and repair damaged hair.

Warm up a natural oil like coconut, almond, or olive oil, and apply it to your hair. Cover with a shower cap for 20 minutes, then shampoo and condition.

Doing this once a week can improve your hair’s health and reduce gummy texture.

3. Supplements and Vitamins

Your locks need the right nutrients to repair bleach-damaged hair.

Take supplements like biotin, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids to improve hair health.

Eat a balanced diet with protein, vitamins, and minerals to support hair repair and growth.

Patience and consistency are key to bringing your gummy, bleached hair back to life.

4. Keep Your Hair Moisturized

After repairing bleach damage, keep your hair moisturized with conditioner after shampooing. Apply it from the ends to the middle for even coverage.

5. Stay Consistent with Your Hair Care

To fix gummy hair, consistency is key. Make sure to use the right products and follow a proper hair care routine.

Skipping steps may hinder the repair process. Stay consistent to achieve healthier hair.

6. Choose the Right Hair Products

To avoid gummy hair in the future, select hair products that nurture your hair.

Look for products without harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens. Instead, choose gentle formulas that promote hair health and growth.

A clarifying shampoo helps remove buildup. A good conditioner or hair mask can provide the necessary moisture.

7. Trim Off Split Ends

Getting regular trims is key to preventing split ends and breakage, which can lead to gummy hair.

Aim to get a trim every 6-8 weeks to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy.

This will help maintain hair growth and prevent brittle hair from worsening.

8. Hair Health Checkups

Schedule regular hair health checkups with your hairstylist or a professional.

They can assess your hair’s condition. Plus, they can recommend necessary changes in your hair care routine.

Be proactive about your hair health to enjoy strong, beautiful locks.

9. Wash Your Hair Less

Bleaching your hair already strips away its moisture. Washing your hair too often will dry it up even further. Allow the natural oils in your hair to repair the damage.

10. Avoid Heat and Harsh Styling

Be gentle when detangling your hair. Use a wide-toothed comb, starting at the ends and working your way up.

Limit the use of heat tools, such as hair dryers, curling irons, or flat irons, as they can cause further damage.

Instead, let your hair air dry and opt for natural styling techniques.

Best Products to Repair Gummy Hair

Good news! There’s hope to repair your gummy, stringy bleach-damaged hair with care.

Help your hair regain its natural texture and vitality with the following hair care tips:

  • Invest in organic oils to treat your damaged hair
  • Lather organic coconut milk for extra
  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo and leave-in conditioner
  • Apply regular hair treatments and masks
  • Limit your use of heat and harsh styling

Organic Oils

These oils are great for your hair:

  1. Cold-pressed coconut oil is hydrating and nourishing.
  2. Castor oil promotes hair growth and provides nourishment.
  3. Moroccan Argan oil reduces split ends, scalp irritation, and frizz.

Organic Coconut Milk

Coconut milk also nourishes hair, making it smooth, soft, and enriched with nutrients. It works for brittle and dry hair.

It smooths the hair cuticles, leaving hair softer and glossier.

Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner

Complete your hair care routine with a nourishing and strengthening organic shampoo. Choose products containing milk proteins, shea, or plant extracts.

Rice Water

Boil rice, strain, and keep the nutrient-rich water. Use this water to wash your hair daily until it regains its healthy appearance.

Shampoo and Conditioning

To take care of your gummy hair, choose gentle products for washing and conditioning.

  1. Opt for sulfate-free shampoos. They help maintain the natural oils in your hair.
  2. Use cool water when washing hair to close the cuticles and lock in moisture.
  3. Follow up with a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and smooth.

Hair Treatments and Masks

It’s essential to nourish your hair with treatments and masks.

Use natural oils – such as coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil – to provide the necessary hydration.

You can also try organic shampoos and protein treatments for healthy hair. Deep conditioners and Olaplex are suitable options for repairing damaged, gummy hair.

Incorporate a regular deep conditioning treatment to restore your hair’s moisture levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Fix My Gummy Hair After Bleaching It?

Trim the damaged parts, use deep conditioning treatments weekly, and avoid heat styling. Switch to sulfate-free products. Give your hair a break from bleaching for a few months to maintain its strength and beauty.

How Long Does It Take for Hair to Recover From Gummy Texture?

Hair recovery time varies from person to person and may depend on the severity of the damage. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for your hair to regain its healthy texture. During this time, make sure to follow the steps mentioned above and practice proper hair care.

Can Olaplex Improve Gummy Hair?

Yes, Olaplex can help improve gummy hair. It repairs bleach-damaged hair by rebuilding broken bonds within the hair’s structure. You can use it in the salon during the bleaching process or as a standalone treatment at home. Consult your hairstylist to determine the best treatment plan for your gummy hair.

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Danish Bodycare

The Danish Bodycare editorial staff consists of beauty experts, hairstylists, makeup artists, and models with years of experience in the personal care space.