Hair won’t dry after bleaching: it’s a common complaint. Bleaching affects hair’s natural structure. This can change how it retains moisture. The unexpected side effect surprises many.
This article dives into why this happens and offers solutions. Understanding the cause is the first step to healthier bleached hair.
Why Does My Hair Still Feel Wet After Bleaching?
The bleaching process impacts your hair’s structure and its ability to retain moisture and natural oils. After bleaching, your hair may still feel wet due to its increased porosity.
The bleaching process can cause the hair cuticles to open up, allowing more water to be absorbed and retained within the hair shaft, making it feel damp for a longer period.
Let’s dive into the science behind hair structure and how bleaching affects it.
The Science of Hair Structure
Your hair contains a protein called keratin and consists of two main parts: the shaft and the cuticle.
The shaft is the inner part made of a protein matrix. The cuticle is the outer protective layer composed of overlapping scales.
The cuticle takes care of locking in moisture and protecting the hair shaft from damage.
How Bleaching Impacts the Hair Shaft and Cuticle
Bleaching involves a chemical process that strips color from your hair, lightening it. This process not only removes the hair color. It also weakens the hair structure by breaking down protein bonds.
Bleaching raises the hair’s cuticle layer. This leads to a loss of moisture, natural oils, and protein, resulting in hair damage.
The raised cuticles make your hair more susceptible to environmental factors. This exposure can further strip your hair of essential proteins and exacerbate damage.
Some signs of hair damage after bleaching include:
- Hair breakage
- Excessive tangling
- A prolonged wet feeling
Hair Porosity and Bleaching
Hair porosity is a crucial factor to consider when it comes to hair care. This is important after a bleaching treatment. Knowing your hair’s porosity helps you manage and treat it properly.
What Is Hair Porosity?
Hair porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and keep moisture. The cuticle is responsible for it.
When the cuticles are compact and packed, hair has low porosity. When the cuticles are open and more flexible, hair has a high porosity.
|The cuticles are tightly packed, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate. Once moisture is absorbed, it retains well. Often shiny and damage-resistant.
|Cuticles are slightly open, balancing absorption and retention. Easy to style and maintain, needing minimal intervention.
|Cuticles are more open, allowing easy moisture penetration but struggles with retention. Tends to be dry, brittle, and damage-prone.
Quick Methods To Determine Hair Porosity
Here are two easy methods to test for your hair porosity after bleaching:
- The float test: Place a clean strand of your hair in a glass of water. If the hair sinks quickly, it has high porosity; if it floats, it has low porosity.
- The slide test: Gently slide your fingers up a single strand of hair towards your scalp. If it feels smooth, you likely have low-porosity hair; if it feels rough and bumpy, you probably have high-porosity hair.
You can also check our hair porosity quiz!
Connection between Bleaching, Hair Damage, and Porosity Changes
During the bleaching process, the cuticle layer opens, and protein leaves the hair. This leads to a change in hair porosity. In some cases, bleaching results in high porosity, causing the hair to be dry, brittle, and more prone to damage.
Bleached hair is more susceptible to dryness and damage. This is due to the opened cuticle, and lack of protein resulting from the bleaching process
In such cases, you need to use appropriate hydrating treatments.
The Link Between Hair Porosity and Retained Moisture
Depending on the porosity of your hair, your hair dries slowly or fast. there is a different drying time between high-porosity hair and ow-porosity hair.
How High Porosity Hair Retains Moisture
High porosity hair is quick to absorb water but also quick to lose it. This is because the cuticles, the outer layer of the hair shaft, have larger gaps. Bleaching can increase hair porosity.
Bleached hair may feel damp for a longer time, as it can absorb more water than healthy hair.
Why Low Porosity Hair Can Also Feel Damp After Bleaching
Low porosity hair has smaller cuticles and resists absorbing and retaining moisture.
After bleaching, your hair can still feel damp, as drying takes longer because the hair traps the water between the cuticles.
Your hair may also become more porous due to the bleaching process.
The Role of Natural Oils and Protein Loss
Bleaching affects the natural oils and proteins in your hair. This can impact its ability to keep moisture.
Bleached hair is more prone to protein loss, which can result in weaker hair and make it more susceptible to dryness and damage.
Previous Chemical Treatments and Moisture Retention
The previous chemical treatments your hair has undergone can impact moisture retention.
If you have colored your hair or used a perm or relaxer before, your hair might be more susceptible to damage from bleaching. This prevents it from drying fast. Use extreme caution when bleaching permed or relaxed hair.
Perform a test strand to assess if the hair is healthy enough for bleach.
The environment around you can affect your hair after bleaching. The external factors include:
- Variations in temperature
- Water quality
- Hair products
Variations in Temperature
Variations in temperature and humidity can cause your hair to take longer to dry. If you live in a place that’s often humid or cold, your hair might struggle to dry on its own.
Ensure you’re in a well-ventilated space to help with drying and avoid stifling environments.
Water quality also plays a role. Hard water can leave mineral deposits on your hair, making it harder to dry.
To address this, consider investing in a water filter or using bottled water to rinse your hair.
The hair products you choose matter. Some products can weigh down your hair and prevent it from drying well.
Opt for lightweight, moisturizing products formulated for treated hair. Check the ingredients and avoid using products with harsh chemicals.
Tips for Managing Bleached Hair Based on Porosity
For those with low porosity hair, it’s essential to combat product buildup. To achieve this:
- Use a color-safe clarifying treatment regularly.
- Condition your hair with heat-assisted methods to open up the cuticles.
- Choose lightweight, water-based products.
If you have high porosity hair, prioritize deep conditioning and sealing in moisture:
- Apply hair masks with hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado.
- Incorporate a strengthening or bond-building treatment to strengthen your hair.
- Maintain a balance of strengthening and moisturizing products to prevent brittle hair.
For healthy hair after bleaching, consider the following recommendations:
- Limit the use of heat styling tools.
- Embrace protective hairstyles such as braids and buns to minimize hair damage.
- Get regular trims to prevent split ends.
- Choose mild cleansers that are ultra-hydrating and free from drying sulfates.
- Utilize creams, oils, and butters to seal in moisture and shield your hair from heat-related harm.
Remedies and Treatments for Waterlogged Hair
If you don’t know the porosity of your hair, there are ways to help fix damaged hair and restore its moisture balance:
Proteins and Healthy Oils
Use hair masks that contain proteins and healthy oils. These can repair the cuticle and combat frizz. Ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado are perfect for this purpose.
Be Gentle To Your Hair
After washing your hair, squeeze out excess water and use a microfiber towel to pat it. Avoid rubbing, as it can lead to more damage.
Patience is essential when waiting for your bleached hair to dry on its own. Using heat tools can add stress to your already fragile hair.
Consider strengthening or bond-building treatments that penetrate deep into the hair shaft. These treatments strengthen its structure.
Pre-Bleaching Care and the Importance of Strand Tests
Before bleaching your hair, it’s essential to ensure it’s in the best condition possible:
- Use a sulfate-free shampoo.
- Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
- Apply strengthening or bond-building treatments and leave-in conditioners on a regular basis.
- Refrain from using heat styling tools, and always apply heat protection when necessary.
- Get regular trims to remove split ends.
Prior to the full bleaching process:
- Conduct a strand test to gauge your hair’s reaction to the bleach.
- Mix a tiny amount of the bleaching product and apply it to a single strand. This will help you estimate the correct processing time and set expectations for the final color, minimizing undesired results.
Bleaching Protection and Aftercare
When you’re ready to bleach and in the days that follow:
- Use treatments like Olaplex to protect your hair during the bleaching process.
- Natural remedies, like olive oil applications, can help maintain hair moisture.
- Decrease the frequency of shampooing and opt for dry shampoo instead to keep your hair’s natural oils intact.
- Commit to gentle care methods to maintain healthy porosity. This helps you protect your hair condition and texture from potential bleach damage.
- Use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to detangle wet hair and prevent breakage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best products for post-bleach hair care?
Using quality shampoos and conditioners designed for damaged hair helps recovery. A popular choice is Olaplex No 4. Bond Maintenance Shampoo, followed by Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner. Look for products with pH-balanced formulas, which will help restore the damaged hair cuticle.
How can I prevent hair breakage from bleaching?
To prevent breakage after bleaching your hair, avoid heat styling tools and chemical treatments. Give your hair some time to recover before coloring or perming it. Use a soft pillowcase, like one made from silk, to reduce friction while you sleep. Consider getting regular trims to remove split ends and encourage healthy hair growth.
How can I restore moisture to bleached hair?
To restore moisture to your bleached hair, apply hair oils like olive, coconut, or almond oil. These oils can help nourish and hydrate your hair, making it shiny and more manageable. You can also use deep conditioning treatments and hair masks on a regular basis. This locks in hydration and provide your hair with necessary nutrients. Remember to always be gentle with your hair, especially when it’s damp and more prone to breakage.