5 Ways To Keep Bleached Hair Healthy


By Rachela Forcellese

I myself, much like De, fell in love with the silver ombré hair trend and decided to give it a try. The ombré is an excellent hairstyle because it requires very little salon maintenance. It can grow out and still look pretty much the same. Unfortunately, committing to this hairstyle meant bleaching my hair more than once. Bleach is extremely damaging to the hair as it strips it of its color instead of directly dyeing over it like regular hair dye.

Although the ombré style is great and requires very little in-house upkeep, I do have to put an extra amount of care into my at-home hair routine. I worked hard this past year to keep my hair moisturized, as I wasn’t about to give up my hair health for a single trend. Through that maintenance, I’ve discovered these 5 techniques that, despite all the bleaching, have helped to keep my hair as healthy as possible:  

Go to a professional!

I cannot stress this one enough. It is number one on my list for a reason. Despite every urge to save money, do not bleach your own hair. This is coming from someone that in the past decided to bleach her entire head at home with the help of her friend. And guess what happened? It came out terribly. Hair bleach is not the same as coloring your hair with box dye. When I applied the bleach, I put it on my roots first only to find that roots keep a higher temperature than the rest of the hair due to body temperature coming from the scalp. Since bleach needs heat to react, my roots came out much whiter than the rest of my mop and I looked very silly. Don’t bleach your own hair, ladies. You run every risk of messing it up. Hairstylists go to school for this stuff for a reason. Use them.

Do not wash everyday.

Co-washing is a great strategy with bleached hair or not. When hair is bleached it loses a ton of its own natural oils and washing it too often strips it of the little remaining oils. I’m always an advocate of owning a good shower cap. Currently, I wash every other day or I go two days without a wash and clean it on the third day. Your hair will have to build a tolerance to co-washing, but eventually it will balance your natural oils without making your hair greasy too quickly.

Invest in some good oils.

I use the word invest very lightly. Good oils for hair can literally be purchased at the grocery store. I use coconut oil and only apply it once a week. It can be purchased in its solid form and melted, or bought as a liquid. Either way, has the same effect. I put my hair up in a ponytail and lather the ponytail with coconut oil, as getting it in the roots or near the scalp will result in greasy hair for days. I then put my ponytail in a bun, cover it with saran wrap, place a shower cap over it, and sleep on it overnight in order to let the oils soak into my hair. I wash in the morning and I’m good to go! Argan oil is also a great product. I purchased this Theorie hair serum at TJ Maxx for $10. It has argan oil in it and I apply it generously after every shower. It works wonders. I’ve had it for 6 months and have barely put a dent in the bottle.

Avoid heat.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Heat dries hair out, so I try and limit my use of my straightener and curling iron. The Theorie hair serum I mentioned above creates a great curl in my hair. I try to find good products that can be added after showering and I let my hair dry naturally.

Be patient and maintain upkeep.

I still haven’t finished the bleaching process. My hair is so dark that my incredible hairdresser, Athena, has suggested I bleach in two sessions with a 6-week period in between. The first step is to lighten, and eventually we will put the silver in my hair when it’s fully ready. Bleaching requires a time commitment, and if you don’t have to bleach twice in one session, I wouldn’t recommend it. Bleaching risks breakage and then the hair you spent so long growing out will be all for naught. Make sure to trim dead ends and consider investing in a nice hot oil treatment or conditioning mask. Beyond all else, listen to your hairdresser. She knows the physical limits of your hair better than anyone. Don’t rush the process, excellent results with bleach take time. And it’ll be worth the wait when the finished style is gorgeous!

Rachela is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

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