If you’re thinking of bleaching your hair, you might be wondering whether you should cut it before or after.
The answer is not as simple as it seems. But one thing is for sure: timing is crucial.
A recent study found that cutting your hair before bleaching can improve bleach absorption. This results in an even color distribution.
Learn why it’s important and how to make a decision here.
Should I Cut My Hair Before or After Bleaching?
You can cut your hair before or after bleaching. Both can work. Deciding when to cut your hair depends on the state of your hair and the hairstyle you want.
Keep these factors in mind:
- Hair condition
- Bleaching goals
- Styling preferences
- Professional opinions
- Length retention
- Hair texture and thickness
When deciding whether to cut your hair before or after bleaching, consider its current condition.
If your hair is already dry, damaged, or brittle, cutting it after bleaching may be best. That way, you can remove damaged ends caused by bleaching.
But, if your hair is healthy, you may choose to cut it before, as it could reduce the amount of damage.
Think about the look you want to achieve.
If you’re aiming for highlights or an ombre style, you may not need to cut your hair beforehand.
If you’re going for a complete color change, cutting your hair first can be better. This reduces the amount of bleach needed.
Your desired haircut and style also play a role in deciding the timing of your cut.
If you plan on changing your hairstyle completely, it’s better to cut after bleaching. This ensures even color distribution and prevents the need for additional trims post-bleaching.
Consult a professional hair stylist before doing anything. They can help you figure out the best approach.
A stylist can assess your hair’s health and recommend the best course of action. They can also give advice on proper hair care during the bleaching process.
If you want to maintain the length of your hair, cutting after bleaching might be the best option.
This allows you to trim potential bleach damage. It also ensures that you won’t need to cut more hair than necessary.
Hair Texture and Thickness
Hair texture affects how your hair absorbs color during the bleaching process.
Thick, coarse hair may need more bleach and longer processing times. Fine hair may uptake bleach faster.
Deciding when to cut your hair, either before or after bleaching, depends on your hair’s health and the possibility of damage.
When to Cut Before Bleaching
Cut your hair before bleaching if you want to change your hair style, already have damaged hair, or planning dramatic layers.
Consider the following when deciding to cut your hair before bleaching:
- Considering a radical haircut change
- Dealing with dry & damaged hair
- Planning to add dramatic layers
- If you desire subtle highlights rather than full color
- Professional consultation
Considering a Radical Haircut Change
If you’re planning a major transformation, like going from long to short hair, it’s best to cut your hair before bleaching.
This way, you’ll save time and effort by concentrating the bleaching process on the hair you plan to keep. Also, it’ll prevent unnecessary damage to the sections you’ll cut off.
Dealing with Dry & Damaged Hair
Bleaching can be harsh on your hair. So, if you’re already dealing with dry or damaged hair, you should cut it before the bleaching.
This removes the unhealthy ends and allows your hair to better handle the bleaching chemicals.
Planning to Add Dramatic Layers
If your goal is to add layers to your hairstyle, cutting before bleaching is a wise move.
This way your layers will be well-defined and have the desired contrast. The bleach can sometimes cause hair color to blend and lose distinction.
If You Desire Subtle Highlights Rather Than Full Color
If you want a subtle change using highlights, cut your hair before the bleaching process.
By removing any dry or damaged ends first, you’ll give your hair a healthier starting point. The highlights will also look more natural and distributed.
Always consult a professional hairstylist before making any big hair decisions.
Discuss your hair color goals, your hair condition, and the potential bleaching risks. An expert stylist will tell you whether you should cut your hair before or after the bleaching.
When to Bleach Before Cutting
Bleach before cutting your hair if you want to shorten your hair, as you can cut away any bleach-damaged ends. Other situations, such as if you want to lighten your hair color, make sense as well.
Here are some situations when it might be best to bleach your hair before cutting:
- Wanting to lighten hair color
- Planning to transition to a shorter, lighter style
- Aim for creative color placement
- Considering multiple colors or an ombre effect
- Preferring layered haircuts
- Personal preference
If You Want to Lighten Your Hair Color
If you want to lighten your hair color but worry about breakage and frizz, bleaching before cutting is a good option.
This way, you reduce the damage caused by bleaching. You will also have healthier, hydrated hair throughout your new look.
Planning to Transition to a Shorter, Lighter Style
When you’re planning to transition to a shorter, lighter style, it’s better to bleach before cutting.
This way, you can ensure an even bleach application. Also, you can cut off any damage caused during the process.
Aim for Creative Color Placement
Do you fancy creative color placements such as highlights or unique patterns? Then bleaching before cutting is essential.
This way you can visualize how the lighter hair color will look on your existing hair. You can also make a more informed decision when cutting and styling.
Considering Multiple Colors or an Ombre Effect
If you want different colors or an ombre effect, bleach your hair before cutting.
This way, you can place the colors and adjust them as you go through the hair, including the roots.
Preferring Layered Haircuts
If you like layered haircuts, it’s better to bleach your hair before cutting. Lightening the color makes it easier to see and trim the layers, so you get the look you want.
The decision to bleach before cutting comes down to personal preference.
Consider your beauty goals, hairstyling needs, and the possible DIY aspect. Moisturize your hair and take proper care of it to maintain its health and shine.
What If You Want to Get a Cut and Color on the Same Day?
If you want to get a haircut and bleach your hair on the same day, it’s best to consult your stylist.
Sometimes it might be better to do them on separate days, especially if you’re planning a major cut. But, if you need a slight trim, most salons prefer to color your hair before the cut.
When it comes to styling short hair like pixie cuts, coloring your hair first can be easier.
Doing this helps you section your hair and ensures you apply hair color effectively. So, if you have a short hairstyle, it’s a good idea to get your hair colored before the cut.
Talk to your stylist about your options. They can help you decide what’s best for your hair. They will also take into consideration the style you want and the condition of your hair.
Here’s a table that outlines some considerations for getting a cut and color on the same day:
|Cut Before or After Bleaching?
|Length of Hair
|Before bleaching for longer hair, after bleaching for shorter hair
|Type of Cut
|Before bleaching for major cuts, after bleaching for slight trims
|Before bleaching for highlights or ombre, after bleaching for full color change
|Before bleaching for layered haircuts, after bleaching for pixie cuts
|Before bleaching for dry or damaged hair, after bleaching for healthy hair
|Consult with a stylist to determine the best course of action
More Tips for Healthy Hair Pre- and Post-Bleaching
Here are some helpful tips to ensure healthy hair throughout the bleaching process:
- Before bleaching your hair, avoid heat styling tools like blow dryers. This prevents unnecessary stress and breakage.
- When you’re bleaching your hair, use an egg and honey hair mask to make it stronger and reduce the risk of damage.
- Include natural oils like olive oil and almond oil in your hair care routine for healthy hair.
- Blend ripe avocado with honey to create a hair mask to deep condition your strands. Apply this mixture to your hair, focusing on the ends, then rinse it off after 20-30 minutes.
- After bleaching, take good care of your hair to help it recover from the chemical process.
- Try a mix of avocado and olive oil to moisturize and soothe your hair.
- If you dye your hair after bleaching, use hair care products made for color-treated hair.
- Invest in a good leave-in conditioner to hydrate your hair without weighing it down.
- Avoid using heat styling tools as much as possible. If you must use a blow dryer, use a heat protectant to shield your hair from harm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does cutting hair help with bleach damage?
Yes, cutting your hair can help with bleach damage. If bleaching damages your hair, the ends become dry, brittle, or split. Trimming those damaged ends makes your hair look better and stops more breakage. Take good care of your hair after bleaching to avoid damage and keep it healthy.
How long should I wait after cutting my hair to bleach it?
It’s generally a good idea to wait a week or two after cutting your hair before bleaching it. Let your hair rest before bleaching. This helps it recover from the haircut stress and lets you fix any cut damage before using bleach. In the meantime, keep your hair moisturized and strong for the bleaching process.
Should you cut hair before or after highlights?
It’s usually better to cut your hair after getting highlights. Cutting your hair before highlights may make the color uneven. This is because the cut hair might have a different color than the rest. To get even color and seamless highlights, cut your hair after the highlights.