hair bleach damage

Is bleach damaging to hair?

We have all heard the horror stories of someone’s hair falling out after having their hair bleached. Then you think, “I am not having my hair bleached, I don’t want mine to fall out.”

Well girl, I’m here to tell you, that is unusual.  I have been doing hair for over 14 years and I have not seen this happen.  If your hair is already compromised (damaged) then you should not be having any chemical services done.  This is the job of the stylist to not perform the service.

There is nothing to be scared of when it comes to getting your hair lightened with bleach. As long as you are in the hands of a stylist that has had the training, to know what they are doing.

A lot of people worry that their hair will be damaged after having it lightened with bleach.  That is not the case. As long as your hair is in healthy condition, you are fine. Now just so you’re aware, it is a chemical service, so whenever you use chemicals there is some damage that can occur.

How does bleach work?

When you want to lighten your hair and opt for the bleach route, it swells the hair shaft to open the cuticle.  The color molecule removes melanin from your hair. This is what holds your color. 

There is hydrogen peroxide or ammonia that are usually used for this process.  If you have an allergy to ammonia, there are non ammonia lighteners, but they may not lift as much.  Hydrogen peroxide is usually used in the developer. The developer has different levels of lift.

When removing the melanin from the molecule, it can show the underlying pigment, especially if you are trying to lift out previously colored hair.  A lot of times with brunettes you will reveal copper or golden tones. In blondes, you will reveal yellow tones. Some bleaches have slight toning power, meaning it will help to cancel out those unwanted tones.

Are all bleaches created equal?

No.  Just like with everything else there are some that use cheap ingredients and some that use higher quality.  So what can you expect between the two? You will feel the difference in your hair and the results will be more predictable.

Your hairstylist will want to choose a line that has even lifting power (so you don’t have cheetah spots).  He/she will also want to use a line that has some ingredients that will help repair your hair as it opens the cuticle.  There are a few that use quinoa as an ingredient.  Quinoa will help to rebuild the bonds that are breaking and make your hair feel stronger.  This will reduce the damage.

Your job as the client will come down to finding a stylist that you trust and that you feel comfortable with their values and/or knowing what products they use.

Why do they need to use bleach?

If you have been coloring your hair and now want to go lighter, you will have to use bleach.  Color cannot lift color. You can’t put a color all over your previously colored hair and be able to rely on the results.  It’s science.

If you have virgin hair (never colored), you can lift with either color or a highlift color.  However, the majority do not have virgin hair. So that is where bleach comes in. 

We live in a world where you can pull up pictures of celebrities online, search Pinterest or Instagram, for colors that you want.  When you find a color that you would like, you need to find a stylist that you trust. You need to trust their knowledge and experience in knowing if it is safe to use bleach on your hair.

Have a color line you love?

If you have found a color line that fits your values and standards, you can find a salon that carries it.  When you find a line that is ‘clean’ and not using harmful ingredients and would like to find a salon that uses that line, go to the site of the color company.  They will usually have a drop down on the menu bar that says ‘locations’. You can put in your area and find a stylist local to you that carries that line.

Always have a consultation to find the best plan for your hair with achieving the color that you would like.  It can be hard sometimes looking at pictures online. Some of them are wigs and some of them are filters, and that is how they achieve those extremely light shades of blonde or platinum.

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