You are about to get a bleach make-over for your hair. Yipee! But before you jump in, let’s review some of the important things that you need to know of.
Before you bleach your hair:
- Do not shampoo prior to bleaching hair. The reason is that the oils on your scalp can protect your skin against the bleach.
- Do not use 40V peroxides or higher at home unless you are a pro. The high volume peroxides can provide a faster result but they can also damage the hair severely and burn the skin if not used properly. Usually, these higher volumes are not left on the hair longer than 30 min.
- Do not double or triple bleach in the same day, unless you want to ruin the health of your hair. Often times, darker hair doesn’t lighten right away with one bleach application. The tendency is to reprocess the hair a second time right away. You should definitely not give in to this temptation. The hair is in a fragile state after the first bleaching session. Give it a few weeks before you try again. Too much bleaching can cause severe breakage and even hair loss if the scalp gets scarred along the way.
- Do not bleach if your hair was chemically processed (straightened, permed, colored etc.) recently. Again allowing ample time between chemical treatments is imperative to keep the hair intact.
- Scalp burns can be caused by hair bleaching with unnecessary heating and excessive time of exposure. This can cause permanent hair loss, also known as scarring alopecia.
- Persulfate in its powdered form is most harmful as it can be breathed in. Mix bleach in a well-ventilated area.
- Do not wear any jewelry during the bleaching process. Jewelry can collect the bleach dust causing skin irritations.
- One important point to note is that some people could be allergic (although rare) to the persulfate in the bleaching powder. Unlike an actual patch test, you would need to see a physician to get tested for this allergy. The reason why you cannot do it yourself is that the persulfates are irritants. Anyone in contact with them for a long time would get irritated skin anyhow. Hairdressers who are constantly exposed to the bleach powder are more likely to experience this type of allergy.
- The bleaching will cause damage to the protein of the hair regardless of the peroxide level. The most obvious damage is the lifting and removal of cuticles. Conditioning is the key. Reverse shampooing, followed by regular conditioning can help with dryness, and maintain hair better.
Coming up Next: Getting ready for bleaching hair successfully.