Are you getting your hair colored? Or are you just lightening your hair? Either way, that means you probably have to bleach your hair at least to some extent and hydrate your hair after bleaching.
Bleaching your hair helps you achieve a more vibrant color, especially if you are trying to color darker hair. However unfortunately, it is not entirely free of certain damaging side effects.
In this article, we explain bleaching and what it does to your hair, as well as how to hydrate your hair after bleaching. So, stay tuned and keep reading to learn everything about bleaching your hair and hydrating your hair after the bleaching to minimize the damaging side effects!
What Exactly Is Hair Bleaching?
You might wonder what hair bleaching is? Hair bleaching is essentially a hair lightening treatment for darker hair to appear more blonde or for changing your hair color altogether. Essentially, the bleaching procedure removes your natural hair color completely, which allows you to make it lighter or give it a different, new, bold color.
The hair bleaching process begins with a hair cuticle opener, an alkaline agent. Then an oxidative agent, such as hydrogen peroxide, is used to penetrate the hair cortex. It dissolves your hair’s natural melanin, allowing you to change your hair color to whatever you might want.
Moreover, the longer you leave these agents in your hair, the lighter it becomes. When stripped of its natural color, bleaching your hair causes it to become a reddish or yellow color depending on your natural hair color. This is usually easily fixable once you apply a new color to your hair or use a purple shampoo.
How Does It Affect Your Hair?
Before learning how to hydrate hair after bleaching, you might want to learn how bleaching affects your hair.
Bleaching your hair undoubtedly has many negative effects. You’ll find some of them listed below:
• Bleaching can make your hair texture feel rough.
• It changes the elasticity and porosity of hair.
• Bleaching your hair causes protein loss, which further weakens your hair.
• The process itself makes hair cuticle more open, leading to split ends.
• The bleaching agent penetrates hair shaft and breaks down fatty acids that protect and nourish your hair.
• It weakens your hair strands.
• Bleach damages your hair permanently (to at least some extent, the damage is unavoidable but can be minimized).
• It dries out your hair and makes it brittle.
While your hair damage from bleaching is irreversible, there are some things you can do to avoid it or at least to minimize it. The moment you get any hair bleaching done, you need to commit to a more rigorous haircare routine. Keep reading to learn more about how to hydrate hair after bleaching.
How to Hydrate Hair After Bleaching?
Hair bleaching can make your hair frizzy, dry, and difficult to manage. In order to avoid or minimize the damage, you can learn how to hydrate hair after bleaching to restore some of the softness to your hair. Here are our best, simple tips on how to hydrate hair after bleaching:
Tip #1: Use Natural Remedies
These natural remedies are extremely effective in nourishing and strengthening your hair from the inside. If you are looking to hydrate your hair after bleaching, it is recommended to apply these oils to your hair before your regular washing routine.
For best results, massage these oils into your scalp and throughout the length of your hair, concentrating on the ends. Then, put your hair into a braid or a loose bun, and leave it on overnight. In the morning, wash the oils off your hair and proceed with your regular shampooing and conditioning routine.
• Castor Oil
Castor oil is extremely nourishing – it contains vitamins and nutrients that help your hair become smoother and more hydrated. If you use a few drops of castor oil on your “mane” weekly, you can restore some of its old strength, shine, and smoothness. Make sure you apply some castor oil to your bleached hair ends regularly and you notice positive results in no time.
However, another lesser-known haircare hack is that castor oil is also great for stimulating new hair growth! So, if you are looking to grow thicker hair, castor oil is a great option – simply massage castor oil into your scalp with your fingers or a hairbrush. Doing so will stimulate blood flow to your scalp, encourage hair growth and nourish your hair shaft from the inside.
• Coconut Oil
Using coconut oil on your bleached hair can prove to be very restorative. It helps seal your hair and prevent the moisture from escaping your hair. Moreover, coconut oil helps in preventing the loss of your hair’s protein reserve, which leads to significantly less hair breakage.
You can rub some coconut oil between your palms to warm it up, and then apply it to your roots and your ends.
• Almond Oil
Almond oil is a great source of Vitamin E and various proteins. It binds to your hair and makes your hair strands stronger. Moreover, almond oil forms a protective layer around your hair, prevents hair breakage and repairs the damage caused by bleaching in your hair. Bonus points: it smells amazing!
All you need to do is apply a few drops of almond oil to your hair every day. It can also be used in deep-conditioning masks.
• Argan Oil
This oil is extremely rich in antioxidants, and is very good for your bleached hair. Argan oil is the solution to help prevent further hair damage and lock in the moisture within your hair strands.
After styling your hair, use a few drops of argan oil to seal the moisture in your hair and add some shine to it. It is one of the best solutions for hydrating hair after bleaching. Bonus points: you can also use argan oil on your eyelashes for growth!
• Olive Oil
Finally, we got to olive oil. This type of oil is, perhaps, easiest to find – chances are, you already have it in your kitchen! Besides being a great and versatile cooking ingredient, olive oil is also extremely nourishing for your skin and even your hair – it contains amino acids, vitamins and nutrients that help restore your hair’s smoothness. Be sure to apply a few drops of olive oil to your bleached hair ends regularly, and you will notice great results in no time!
Tip #2: Use A Sun Protectant
As you already know, your hair becomes very vulnerable after a bleaching treatment. Another important thing to know is that sunlight can further damage your bleached hair. Especially if you live in hotter, sunnier areas, where you are constantly under direct sunlight – sun protection is essential!
Just as you apply sunscreen to your face to avoid UV damage, you might want to invest in a sunblock specifically designed for hair to protect your hair from UV damage. Use hair products with a higher level of SPF to protect bleached hair from the harsh sunlight and the extra heat coming from the Sun on a daily basis. Here are some of our top-rated options you can explore when looking for an SPF for your hair:
Tip #3: Rinse Your Hair with Rice Water
This traditional Chinese hair care method comes from the women of the Red Yao tribe, living in the Longsheng mountains. Women of this tribe are famous for having long, healthy, gorgeous hair that is achieved by regular rice water rinses.
Rice water is made by placing uncooked rice into water, and then by letting it ferment in a sealed container (traditionally a clay pot) over a few days. While being submerged into water, the rice enriches the water with its proteins, which are extremely nourishing for your hair.
You can also add some crushed ginger, rosemary or a variety of essential oils into the container to enhance the nourishing effect of your rice water.
Rinsing your hair with rice water once a week will help repair your bleached hair from the inside out. It strengthens your hair and repairs even the most damaged hair. Plus, it stimulates new healthy hair growth! Rice water is one of the intensive protein treatments that is truly a game-changer. You can use rice water to rinse your hair daily, however, to avoid a protein overload it is best to do rice water rinses not more often than once a week.
Tip #4. Use Some DIY Hair Masks!
Another great solution for how to hydrate hair after bleaching lies in DIY hair masks. Instead of using store-bought hair masks, you can make your own hair masks with natural, hydrating ingredients to restore the softness, shine, and strength of your hair. Avocado, honey, egg white, almond oil and even beer are some ingredients you can use to make DIY hair masks that will also act as a deep conditioner.
Make sure you stick to a solid routine, and apply a deep conditioning mask 2-3 times a week – until the condition of your bleached hair improves.
Tip #5: Leave-in Conditioner is Your New Best Friend
A wide variety of stores and beauty supply markets have leave-in conditioners in their haircare product section – and for a good reason! Leave-in conditioner is a hydrating product that can be of great help when reviving bleach-damaged hair. Make sure you look for products that contain keratin or some natural nutrients, and products that moisturize hair. However, don’t forget to read the label carefully to ensure that you find the perfect product for your hair.
Leave-in conditioners are a great solution for hydrating hair after bleaching and it comes in many forms: you can either use a spray-on formula or a thick, cream-like leave-in product.
Tip #6: Say “NO” to Heat Styling and Heat Tools
Bleaching makes your hair more fragile, dry and brittle. On top of that, applying any sort of heat and heat styling products can harm your hair even further! So, if your hair has previously been bleached, it is recommended to completely avoid or at least minimize blow-drying, hair straightening, or curling, especially in the first few weeks after bleaching.
But even after the first few weeks after the initial bleaching, it is best to keep the use of hot tools to a minimum! Instead of using a hair dryer, let your hair air dry or use a microfiber towel. Instead of curling your hair with heat, try out some heatless alternatives! And if you absolutely have to use a heat styling tool, make sure you use a heat protectant and keep the temperature on the lowest setting to avoid further damage to your hair.
You can check out our selection of the best heatless curl products, as well as some heat protectant options in our wavy hair routine guide!
Tip #7: Watch Out for Chlorine!
We have already established that any forms of bleaching inevitably harms your hair. But, something you might not know is that chlorine that is often found in water also has hair weakening properties. So, if you plan visit a pool after bleaching your hair, make sure you rinse it with cool water after.
Plus, it is a good idea to watch out for any kind of water that comes in contact with your hair – even tap water contains a variety of harmful, harsh chemicals. Make sure to invest into a water-softening, attachable shower head that ensures that the water that touches your hair is stripped of any harmful agents. Here’s a few options you can check out:
Tip #8: Comb Only Wet Hair
Bleached hair is more prone to tangles and snags that non-bleached hair. The secret of how to hydrate hair after bleaching also lies in how you comb your bleached hair. For best results, use a wide tooth wooden comb to comb your hair while it is still wet. Be gentle and carefully comb your hair once you’re out of the shower, starting from the ends and gently working your way up to your roots. Doing so will also help your hair absorb leave-in treatments that you apply after showering better.
Tip #9: Reduce Your Shampoo Usage
Bleaching removes natural oils from your hair. Since shampooing removes excess oil and hair follicles already contain less oils after bleaching, it is better to reduce the amount of times you shampoo your hair. For example, you can try to shampoo your hair less regularly, only about once or twice a week. And to keep your hair looking great in between hair washes, try using some dry shampoo!
Alternatively, you can try opting for a gentler, more natural shampoo that will preserve the natural oils in your hair. Here’s a few of our favorites when it comes to natural, vegan, cruelty-free and chemical-free shampoos:
Tip #10: Use Cool Water to Wash Your Hair
Another way how to hydrate hair after bleaching is to seal in your hair’s moisture with cool water. While hot water “opens up” your hair follicles and makes it easier for moisture to escape your hair, using cool water to rinse your hair after a hair wash helps lock in the moisture. Plus, cold water will increase blood circulation in your scalp, which will further stimulate hair growth! Make sure you don’t use hot water on your hair after bleaching, as it can get damaged even further. Instead, use warm water to wash your hair, and after your conditioning treatment – give it a quick, cold water rinse.
Tip #11: Get Your Hair Trimmed
Trimming your hair and your split ends is really helpful to keep it in good shape. Removing dry hair ends will ensure that the rest of your hair is healthy, and is getting all the hydration that it needs – and none of it is wasted on the dry, dead, frizzy hair ends. So, make sure to schedule regular hair trims every couple of weeks as part of your haircare routine!
Tip #12: No More Hair Bands!
When your hair is already weak and vulnerable from the bleaching, it is important to keep in mind that it is now more prone to breaking than ever! Make sure not to put your hair in tight ponytails or buns, as it can inflict even more damage on your hair and cause it to break! Plus, a tight hair band can contribute to the hair loss even more. If you are looking into how to hydrate hair after bleaching, now is a good time to throw away any thin, tight elastic bands. Instead, go for a gentles alternative – a scrunchie or a hair clip.
Why Hydrate Your Bleached Hair?
Now that you know how to hydrate hair after bleaching, you might wonder why is it so essential. As you already know, bleach changes the natural color and structure of your hair. Plus, it makes your hair dry and frizzy.
Moreover, bleaching your hair makes it brittle and prone to dryness and even hair loss! So, following the tips on how to hydrate hair after bleaching is necessary. Keeping your hair hydrated, especially after bleaching is vital and here are some benefits of hydrating your hair:
• Hydration makes your hair smooth and more manageable.
• It prevents breakage and therefore – hair loss due to breakage.
• Hydration helps bring back the shine to dull hair.
• Keeping your hair hydrated helps partially repair split ends.
• Hydration makes your hair softer and improves its texture.
• Applying hydrating treatments to bleached hair can restore its former glory.
• Hydration that penetrates your roots and skin will encourage new hair growth.
How to Avoid Hair Bleaching Damage?
You can make your hair shine and bring it back to its original glory. But wouldn’t it be better to avoid the damage altogether?
Our tips on how to hydrate hair after bleaching are, of course, helpful. However, here are some tips to avoid hair bleaching damage altogether:
• Before bleaching your hair, ensure you hydrate your hair using our deep-conditioning tips.
• You should avoid bleaching your hair at home as much as possible, as a professional stylist will have a better understanding of the bleaching process – as well as better materials!
• Try to use high-quality bleaching products that have a good reputation.
• Avoid using 40-volume bleach.
• Time your bleaching sessions. Suppose you have dark hair, and you want it blonde; in order to minimize the damage, you need several well spaced-out bleaching sessions. Don’t ever do all the bleaching in a single session — that is a shortcut straight to severely damaged hair.
• Avoid washing your hair 2-3 days before bleaching. It ensures your hair develops natural oils to protect it from the bleaching damage.
• Suppose you have treated your hair with chemical straightening or perming. Wait for 2-3 weeks, or a few months before bleaching. Adding bleach to already chemically treated hair can be extremely damaging.
• The bleach should not touch your scalp, as it might cause chemical burns.
• Apply coconut oil on your scalp and hair before bleaching. In fact, some experts recommend bleaching hair with oil on it.
• Mix a protein filler with your bleach. Not only will it reduce damage, but it will also help spread the bleach evenly and balance out the hair’s porosity.
• Ensure you rinse your hair thoroughly. Any leftover product can cause chemical burns and more damage.
Hair bleaching can help you easily transform your look. However, you risk damaging your hair permanently, so this process needs to be approached with caution. Plus, it is best to establish a solid hair care routine after you have already bleached your hair.
We hope that you found our tips on how to hydrate hair after bleaching useful. Our curated tips will help your beautiful hair restore its shine, softness, and strength.
Your hair deserves all the pampering and only the best care! So, should you choose to get your hair bleached – follow our tips on how to hydrate hair after bleaching and keep your hair healthy.