Hair - Bleach

Hair Bleaching Problems: Top 10 Issues and How To Prevent Them

Curious about how to prevent hair bleaching problems? Find out more in our comprehensive guide!

Written by Ioana Moldovan
Hair Bleaching Problems

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Hair bleaching problems are more common than many realize. The pursuit of lighter locks can come with challenges. Dryness, breakage, and unwanted tones are only a few issues.

This article dives deep into these concerns. Learn how to identify them and ways to mitigate the risks.

What Is Wrong With Bleaching Your Hair?

Bleaching your hair can cause a range of problems. This includes dryness, brittleness, and potential damage to your hair’s structure. It can result in increased breakage and split ends. These results may affect the health and appearance of your hair.

Process of Hair Bleaching

Hair bleaching involves using a lightener, such as hair bleach. hair bleach is a mixture of a developer and an oxidizing agent.

The developer (hydrogen peroxide) causes the hair to swell and open its cuticles.

This then allows the oxidizing agent to penetrate the hair shaft and break down the natural melanin. Melanin is a pigment responsible for your hair color. As a result, the hair becomes lighter in color.

Key Elements of Hair Bleaching

Understanding the process and key elements of hair bleaching is crucial. It can help you make informed decisions about changing your hair color and maintaining its health after treatment.

Here is what you need to know in order to understand the bleaching process:

Hair bleachHair bleach contains chemicals that weaken the hair’s structure, leading to dryness and increased susceptibility to breakage.
DeveloperThe higher the concentration of the developer used, the greater the potential for damage. Choose the correct strength for your hair and color.
Oxidizing agentThis agent can harm the hair’s protein structure, leading to weak, brittle hair.
Virgin hairVirgin hair is more resilient to bleaching. However, repeated treatments can weaken and damage it over time.
Hair lightening productsVarious products are available, including permanent dyes and at-home kits. Follow instructions to minimize the risk of damage.
Hair carePost-bleaching, avoid harsh chemicals and heat. Use deep conditioning treatments and products designed for bleached hair to maintain health.

1. Hair Damage

1. Hair Damage

Bleach penetrates the cuticle with chemicals and removes your natural pigment. During this process, it breaks down the natural fatty acids on the hair shaft. This makes your hair more vulnerable to damage.

It can lead to excessive tangles, making your usual detangling process more difficult.

How To Prevent It

To prevent bleach-related hair damage, follow these simple tips:

  1. Avoid harsh shampoos and use gentle, moisturizing products to help preserve your hair’s natural oils.
  2. Avoid shampoo for the first 48 hours after bleaching.
  3. Avoid the use of hot tools on your bleached hair. They can further damage already vulnerable strands.
  4. Wear your natural texture and allow your hair time to heal.
  5. Switch to gentler hair color or use a dye that is ammonia-free. This can minimize damage and allow your hair to recover.

2. Uneven Results

2. Uneven Results

Uneven results can occur when bleaching your hair at home for several reasons:

  • Uneven bleach application: This results in an inconsistent lift. It leaves some areas lighter and others darker.
  • Incorrect bleach mixture: Inadequate mixing causes uneven bleaching.

How To Prevent It

To prevent uneven results when bleaching your hair, follow these tips:

  1. Divide your hair into smaller sections before applying bleach. This ensures that you cover all areas evenly.
  2. Choose the appropriate developer volume based on your natural hair color and desired level of lift.
  3. Distribute the bleach on each strand of hair. Using a brush can help achieve even application.
  4. Keep track of the time and check your hair’s progress to avoid over-processing or under-processing certain areas.

3. Brassy or Yellow Tones

3. Brassy or Yellow Tones

Brassy or yellow tones appear when bleaching or lifting your hair fails to remove all the underlying pigment. This allows warm tones to show up.

For lightened blonde hair, the underlying pigment is yellow. For lightened brown to black hair, the underlying pigments can range from orange to red.

How To Prevent It

To prevent brassy or yellow tones after bleaching, consider the following tips:

  1. Opt for high-quality bleach. It lifts your hair color evenly and reduces the chances of bringing out warm tones.
  2. Keep an eye on the lifting chart during the bleach application so your hair reaches the desired level.
  3. After bleaching, apply a toner or gloss to neutralize any unwanted warm tones.
  4. Incorporate color-correcting shampoos and conditioners into your hair care routine. They help maintain your hair’s desired tone and prevent brassiness over time.

4. Hair Dryness

4. Hair Dryness

Bleaching dissolves melanin and increases hair porosity. This means your hair loses its natural moisture easier.

Environmental conditions l can also contribute to hair dryness. These involve:

How To Prevent It

To prevent hair dryness after bleaching, follow these tips:

  1. Skip shampoo for the first 24-48 hours after bleaching to avoid stripping away natural oils.
  2. Use a deep conditioning treatment once or twice weekly to replenish lost moisture.
  3. Look for products that contain ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, or keratin.
  4. Minimize the use of heat styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, and hair dryers, as they can further dry out your hair.
  5. When using heat tools, apply a heat protectant.
  6. Wear a hat or use a leave-in conditioner with UV protection when spending time outdoors.
  7. Rinse your hair with fresh water before swimming in chlorinated or salty water to minimize the damage.

5. Scalp Irritation

5. Scalp Irritation

Scalp irritation may occur during hair bleaching due to a chemical called hydrogen peroxide found in the bleach. This chemical can cause the scalp to become red, itchy, and inflamed.

In some cases, scalp irritation is due to an allergic reaction or sensitivity to the chemicals present in the hair bleach.

How To Prevent It

  1. Before going all-out with hair bleach, test a small amount on a hidden area of your scalp or skin and check for any reactions or sensitivity.
  2. Opt for bleaching products with a lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Apply a natural oil, like coconut or olive oil, to your scalp before the bleaching process.
  4. Avoid keeping bleach on your scalp longer than recommended.
  5. Get your hair bleached by a professional hairstylist. They have the expertise to handle any potential complications or reactions.

6. Elasticity Loss

6. Elasticity Loss

Elasticity loss in hair happens because bleach damages the cortex. The cortex is the inner layer of your hair strands. This weakens the hair’s structure, making it more prone to breakage and difficult to style.

Bleaching your hair also strips it of its natural oils. this further contributes to the loss of elasticity.

How To Prevent It

To prevent elasticity loss when bleaching your hair, follow these tips:

  1. Use lower-volume developers that are gentler on your hair. Stick to a 10 or 20-volume developer to cut damage.
  2. Before bleaching your entire head, test a strand on a small section of hair.
  3. Don’t leave bleach on too long. Overprocessing your hair can lead to severe damage.
  4. Use a deep conditioning mask or treatment designed for damaged hair on a regular basis.
  5. Trim your hair to remove split ends and keep it looking healthy.
  6. Limit the use of heat styling tools and opt for heatless styling methods when possible.

7. Porosity Issues

7. Porosity Issues

Hair porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture. High porosity hair can soak up water and other substances, but it also loses moisture fast. Bleaching your hair can cause the cuticles to become raised and open, resulting in high porosity hair.

There are two main reasons for porosity issues after bleaching: chemical bleaching and heat damage. Bleaching involves harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of its natural oils, making it more porous.

How To Prevent It

Preventing and managing hair porosity issues after bleaching involves:

  • Proper care
  • Targeted treatments
  • Avoiding further damage.

Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Opt for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners designed for color-treated hair.
  2. Once a week, use a deep conditioning treatment to replenish the moisture in your hair and help repair the cuticles.
  3. Reduce the use of heat-styling tools, or use them on the lowest heat setting if necessary.
  4. Wear a hat or use hair sunscreen when you’re out in the sun, as UV rays can further damage your hair.
  5. Avoid rubbing your hair with a towel or using rough pillowcases. They can cause friction and aggravate porosity problems.
  6. Regular trims and a balanced diet can support the health of your hair and help prevent porosity issues.

Check out our hair porosity quiz!

8. Hair Fallout

8. Hair Fallout

The chemicals in hair bleach can cause your strands to become brittle, dry, and break off when done incorrectly. This damage makes your hair more vulnerable to external factors. As a result, you might notice hair loss, split ends, and other problems.

How To Prevent It

To reduce the risk of hair fallout after bleaching, follow these tips:

  1. Visit a professional.
  2. Before bleaching, make sure your hair is in good condition. Trim your ends, use hair masks, and avoid heat styling for some time.
  3. Allow enough time between bleaching sessions for your hair to recover.
  4. Invest in high-quality hair bleach and hydrogen peroxide with a low concentration (e.g., 10-20 volume) to reduce damage.
  5. Follow the instructions on the hair bleach packaging to avoid over-processing and hair fallout.
  6. After bleaching, use a deep-conditioning treatment.
  7. Use a heat protectant before styling, and wear a hat to shield your hair from the sun.

Be patient. If you want to achieve a lighter shade, it’s better to do it gradually over a few sessions. Avoid getting the desired result in one go.

9. Allergic Reactions

9. Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to hair bleach happen when your immune system responds to one or more chemicals in the product.

The most common chemical causing this reaction is paraphenylenediamine (PPD). You can find this in many hair dyes and bleaches. Other chemicals that may trigger an allergic reaction are:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ammonia
  • Resorcinol

When you use hair bleach, your body may identify these chemicals as harmful invaders. In response, your immune system releases substances like histamine, causing allergy symptoms.

Symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anaphylactic shock (in rare cases)

How To Prevent It

To avoid allergic reactions to hair bleach, try these steps:

  • Do a patch test
  • Choose lower PDD levels
  • Consider the alternatives
  • Wear gloves and follow instructions

Do a Patch Test

Always perform a patch test before using a new hair bleach. Do this even if you’ve used similar products before.

Apply a small amount of bleach to a discreet area of the skin, such as behind your ear or on your inner elbow, and wait 48 hours.

If you experience itching, redness, or any other reaction, don’t use the product.

Choose Bleach with Lower PPD Levels

Look for hair bleach containing lower PPD levels or, even better, no PPD at all.

Remember that even products labeled “PPD-free” can still cause allergic reactions, so always do a patch test.

Consider Alternative Hair Color Options

If you’re prone to allergies, explore gentler hair color alternatives. These could include henna, plant-based dyes, or ammonia-free and peroxide-free products.

Wear Gloves and Follow Instructions

When using hair bleach, always wear gloves, and avoid contact with your eyes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and timing.

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction while using hair bleach, stop immediately and seek medical advice if needed.

10. Hair Thinning

10. Hair Thinning

Bleaching involves a chemical process that breaks down your hair’s natural pigment. This weakens its protein structure. It leads to hair becoming fragile and prone to breakage.

Over-processing or using a high concentration of peroxide can cause further damage to your hair. This leads to hair thinning.

How To Prevent It

To prevent hair thinning due to bleaching, follow these tips:

  1. If you’re not experienced with bleaching, it’s better to let a professional handle it for you.
  2. Choose hair bleach with a peroxide concentration of 20% or less to reduce damage.
  3. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle it, and avoid putting too much heat or tension on your hair.
  4. Use a deep-conditioning treatment at least once a week to restore moisture and strengthen your hair.
  5. Limit the number of times you bleach your hair. Over-processing can cause significant damage that may lead to hair thinning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best products for damaged bleached hair?

For damaged, bleached hair, it’s essential to use gentle, moisturizing products. Look for shampoos and conditioners with nourishing ingredients. These products help restore and protect your hair’s natural oils.

How can I make bleached hair soft and silky?

To ensure that bleached hair remains soft and silky, it’s essential to adopt a gentle care routine. Begin by refraining from shampooing for the first 48 hours post-bleaching. Opt for moisturizing shampoos and conditioners tailored to nourish treated hair. Incorporate a hair mask or a deep conditioning treatment into your weekly regimen to provide an extra hydration boost. Practice moderation with heat-styling tools to prevent extra damage.

Can bleached hair still be healthy?

It’s crucial to select high-quality bleach and developer to start the process correctly. Avoid ver-bleaching as it can strip the hair of its essential nutrients. Regular application of hydrating and nourishing products is vital to replenish any lost moisture. Beyond products, ensuring the health of your hair should be a top priority. With diligent maintenance, your bleached hair can remain both healthy and vibrant.