For most first timers, hair bleaching is going to be a big deal. All of us have already heard all the possible horrors that might come with hair bleaching: hair breakage, partial of total damage, and fried hair ends—reasons that are enough to deter someone from
ever braving the feat. However, getting your hair bleached can open up a whole new level of possibilities. And once you’ve decided to take the leap, you might start wondering why you went on for so long without bleaching your mane. Below are some of the facts of hair bleaching as explained by top NYC colorist Roxie Darling.

How does hair bleaching work?

Bleach is a chemical compound that strips the natural pigment from your hair. It usually comes in powder form and you’ll be presented by a couple of different options of liquid developers to mix in it to change its strength and make it work. While frying
the hair is completely avoidable, bleach can however still alter the state of your hair. The very first time you’ll bleach your hair, its texture and color will be changed because you’ll be literally removing the pigments from it. You can’t expect your hair to return back to normal right after the bleach comes off. But if you’ve taken the necessary steps in order to bleach your hair properly, you can avoid damage and maintain it looking perfectly healthy.

Does the heat really help for the bleach to work its magic faster?

Bleach can naturally heat up once the chemicals in it gets activated, so it can kind of feel uncomfortable when the formula is sitting on your scalp. However, bleach can become more effective and can work faster once heat is applied to it. That’s the very
reason why salons normally place plastic caps over your
hair while bleaching and apply heat from a blow drier to make sure that your hair is lightened evenly. What developer strength is best for my hair? When it comes to picking powder hair bleach, it’s easy because they’re all pretty much the same, said Roxie. However if you’ll be bleaching at home, you may have to repeat the process up to 2-3 times using a mild developer such as 30 volume (as 20 volume is too mild to produce any vivid results and 40 is too risky in terms of damaging your hair). Can I prevent my hair from being “fried”? Fry can be a strong word, but still, you are manipulating the natural color and quality of your hair by
putting bleach on it. Apart from choosing a mild developer, another measure that you can take is to not wash your hair before you bleach it. A few days’ worth of natural sebum on the scalp can help in reducing the irritation during the bleaching process. The ammonia content in the developer can cause
itching in the scalp but that does not mean that your hair is being fried. Hair can undergo bleaching about twice over before its texture becomes especially rough.

How can I care for my bleached hair?

After bleaching the hair, it’s really important to get it moisturize because you’ve removed a lot of oil that your scalp has produced. It normally takes a week or two before the hair can go back to having its natural elasticity. Staying away from heat styling
is another way of keeping your bleached hair looking healthy and fabulous. Other habits like over-shampooing can dry your hair, so it is recommended to wash it with non-detergent shampoo not more than two times a week. Is it better to have my hair bleached at a salon? While bleaching at home is totally doable, the risk of getting uneven shades or getting your hair excessively damaged is higher when you do it yourself. It’s important to seek for a knowledgeable and trained stylist when hair bleaching because once you bleach, you can never go back, ergo, you need to make sure that you do with caution to avoid mistakes.

Is it better to have my hair bleached at a salon?

While bleaching at home is totally doable, the risk of getting uneven shades or getting your hair excessively damaged is higher when you do it yourself. It’s important to seek for a knowledgeable and trained stylist when hair bleaching because once you bleach, you can never go back, ergo, you need to make sure that you do with caution to avoid mistakes.

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