During the process of bleaching your hair, it doesn’t just break down the pigmentation in your hair to change the color. It also breaks down the fatty acids in the hair, leaving it dry and weak—which is what you may be experiencing. The cuticle of the hair is also permanently raised causing the hair to lose moisture continuously. Therefore, bleached hair is very porous, dry, brittle, weak, and most prone to breakage and split ends.
Over-bleaching your hair is a mistake that many of us have made and if you’re anything like me, you’ll begin to panic. The best thing for you to do when you decide to bleach your hair, is to consult with a licensed stylist to avoid damage. However, we all know that salons come with very expensive prices and purchasing the materials needed to bleach your hair at home is a lot cheaper. But once you apply bleach to your hair and cause damage, there is no quick or easy way to repair your hair. But the good news is, with commitment and the right products you will be able to get your old curls back. Here are few tips that a few hair experts have used to restore damaged hair from bleach.
An Intensive Protein Treatment Is Vital
Bleach is very damaging to the hair especially when it is applied incorrectly. Bleach causes the hair strands to weaken and sometimes break by damaging the proteins in the hair. Since the hair strands are made up of proteins, you can gradually strengthen your strands by applying a protein treatment. If possible, it is best for you to go to a salon to have a professional-strength protein treatment applied to your hair for best results. Meanwhile, there are a few very effective at-home protein treatments like Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment. Apply this protein treatment to your hair once every 4-6 weeks to repair your curls and remember to moisturize afterwards with Aphogee Balancing Moisturizer
The Damage Has to Go
If you visit a salon, the first thing that the stylist will want to do is cut off as much visible damage as they can see. Hopefully, it’s not too much hair, but it is very crucial to remove the damaged areas of your hair, because split ends and broken strands only get worse over time. In addition, damaged hair is very hard to comb and style which can later cause more unintentional damage when detangling.
If you can’t afford to go to a salon or you’re feeling a little courageous, you can try and get rid of the damaged ends at home. Try asking a friend for help with the hard to reach areas.
You and Hair Masks Are Now Best Friends
You may have added a hair mask to your hair care routine occasionally, but now that your hair is damaged, it has become your new best friend. I’m not kidding, a hair mask is essential for damaged and bleached hair. They work to balance, restore and repair hair all at the same time. There are many naturals who swear by It’s A 10 Miracle Hair Mask, it is rich in many different oils. However, it is a little pricey which can be a deterrent for the product. I would recommend trying DermOragnic Intensive Hair Repair Masque, its infused with Argan oil and rice keratin while also being very affordable. No matter the hair mask you choose for your hair, you should try applying it at least once a week for the best results and to stop any further damage.
Washes Should Be Limited
Try tweaking your hair care routine a bit to limit the number of washes on your hair. So that your curls are giving the opportunity to retain as much natural moisture as possible. The constant use of shampoo while your hair is damaged, might worsen the damage.
Hydration is very crucial for hair repair, you may find heavier and more moisturizing products to be best for your hair at this time. For example, you can swap out your shampoo for a cowash, and trade in your leave-in for a moisturizing cream or butter. If you plan to continue to use shampoo to cleanse your hair, be sure that it doesn’t include harsh surfactants like SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate).
Cease All Coloring and Heat Styling
Sadly, you will have to put up the blow dryer, flat iron, and curling iron for a while until your hair is repaired enough to handle heat again. You should also avoid chemically processing your hair with any bleach or dye until you consult with a licensed stylist first. This should go without saying, but adding more color or bleach to your hair will further damage it and may cause the hair to become unrepairable. Even if you think that a heat protectant serum will protect your hair from further damage, it won’t! Adding heat to your already damaged hair will continue to damage it just at a lesser degree. To be safe, lock up your styling tools in a drawer and lay off all heat for the time being.
Trim Your Hair Often
Make sure to get your hair trimmed often, this does not have to be done professionally. You can clip your ends at home once a month, to remove any damaged or split-ends from your hair.
The “Holy Grail” For Damaged Hair Repair
If you were to ask a professional stylist: What is the best hair treatment for bleached hair? The short answer would be Olaplex.
Olaplex is a professional treatment used by many stylists to repair damaged hair. This a safe and easy treatment that is also available to unlicensed professionals. Therefore, you can purchase this product and apply the treatment to your hair at home. There are many people who view Olaplex as a reset button for your hair whether you have damage caused by chemical or thermal processes, because it rebuilds the hair’s strength, structure and integrity.
How Does This Treatment Work?
Olaplex is comprised of a very simple process that helps to recreate and reform the chemical bonds (disulfide bonds) that are broken down during a bleaching process. Both heat damaged and bleached hair can benefit from this treatment and can help you get your silky soft hair back. Some salons charge outrageous prices ($100-$200) for a SINGLE Olaplex treatment, when you can purchase a year supply of Olaplex for about $120 on Amazon and perform multiple treatments on your hair. Now the number of treatments that you’ll be able to get out of the products all depends on usage frequency and hair length.
If you decide to read the reviews on this product, you may come across a few negative reviews from salon owners who are a bit upset about people using this product at home and the loss of business, so they want to make Olaplex seem like a more complicated process than it really is. However, there are thousands of raving positive reviews on this product from people who love it and swear by it based on their results.
How Do I Use This Product?
You should have 3 bottles of Olaplex:
- Olaplex 1 (Bond Multiplier)- The first step consists of a concentrated formula that rebuilds broken disulfide bonds, and instantly begins the process of preventing damage and repairing hair.
- Olaplex 2 (Bond Perfector)- The second step continues to rebuild and restore any remaining broken bonds, ensuring the strongest, shiniest, and healthiest hair possible.
- Olaplex 3 (Hair Perfector)-The third step is an at home conditioning treatment that reduces breakage, and visibly strengthens hair while improving its look and feel.
You will use Olaplex bottles 1 and 2 for the main treatment.
The Bond Strengthening and Repairing Treatment:
- Securely attach the dosing dispenser to bottle 1 (Make sure that it is attached properly to avoid leakage).
- Lightly shake bottle 1 to ensure that the product is thoroughly blended.
- Remove the small cap to the dosing dispenser and squeeze the bottle to release the concentrated product.
- In a non-spraying applicator bottle (DO NOT USE A SPRAY BOTTLE) mix together 3oz (90ml) of water with 1/2 oz (15ml) of Olaplex bottle 1.
- Apply the product to your damp hair from the roots to the ends, the goal is to saturate the hair and comb through to spread the product evenly throughout.
- Massage the product a little throughout your hair and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- At this point, Olaplex bottle 1 should still be in your hair.
- Apply Olaplex bottle 2 to your hair and leave on your hair for a minimum of 10 minutes and process hair longer than 10 minutes when it is severely damaged. Some people receive excellent results when they let Olaplex process on their hair for 30-60 minutes. The longer it’s on your hair, the more effective it will be in repairing the damage.
- Now you can rinse your hair, shampoo and condition it.
- Now that you’re done, your hair should look great and 10x better than it did before the treatment.
The Maintenance Stage
The Olaplex bottle 3 is the retail version of the Olaplex system. It is normally given to clients by stylist as an at-home product for use once a week to help maintain results. This product contains similar active ingredients as bottle 1 and bottle 2 in a less concentrated form.
How Olaplex Bottle 3 Should Be Used?
- Wet your hair and apply a good amount of product to your damp hair.
- Massage the product into your hair and comb through to make sure all your hair is covered.
- Leave it on your hair for at least 10 minutes or longer if desired.
- Rinse, shampoo and condition your hair.
- Use this product once a week for best results.
Now that you see how easy this product is to apply and use at home, I must remind you that this product is not cheap to buy. If you can afford it, I would recommend buying it because it works miracles on your hair like no other product on the market. But if you can’t, just stick with the hair repair tips described above, which are more affordable, but they do require a lot more patience.
However, I must state that if your hair is too damaged, or you don’t feel comfortable enough applying treatments to your hair at home. Seek help from a licensed stylist who is experienced in treating and repairing damaged hair. It will also allow you to feel pampered, just kick your feet up and let someone else take care of your hair this time.
10 Common Bleaching Mistakes
- Not preparing the hair first
- Trying to lift hair more than 2-3 levels at a time
- Combing through hair while it is processing
- Not applying toner to hair after it has been bleached
- Bleaching damaged or over-processed hair
- Skipping deep conditioner
- Failing to read bleaching instructions
- Getting started before you have everything needed
- Skipping the “strand test” step
- Applying volume 30 or 40 developer on your hair too long
Have you ever damaged your hair with bleach? If so, were you able to repair your strands? Share your comments below.