How to Repair Bleach Damaged Hair at Home
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Bleach damaged hair may seem like your worst nightmare come true. Girl, I feel you!
I have been coloring and bleaching my own hair since I was in 7th grade. That was many moons ago. And I typically change the color of my hair color every six months or so. So, I know a thing or two about bleach damaged hair.
And I have tried every home remedy for bleached hair under the sun. I’ve put eggs and mayonnaise in my hair. Don’t do it.
But, with lots of trial and error comes some wisdom and some ah-ha moments. So, in an attempt to keep other women around the world from shedding the tears I have shed, I want to share what has ACTUALLY helped restore my bleach damaged hair.
Want to see what happens when you have extremely damaged hair from bleach and you don’t treat the problem? Read to the bottom of this post to see what happened to my bleached hair.
How to Repair Bleach Damaged Hair
In this post, I’m going to give you all my best tips to repair and treat bleach damaged hair. If you’re hair is in really rough shape, prepare to spend some money.
While the internet claims there are all kinds of nifty home remedies for damaged hair, like eggs and mayonnaise, they are not effective. I’m telling you from experience, it’s not worth the hassle or the smell.
You’re better off putting out $30 for a good restorative treatment and getting it right the first time.
Refrain From Brushing Your Hair While Wet
Because you are changing the chemical makeup of your hair, your hair weakens. If you notice, after you bleach your hair and try to brush or comb it while wet, it’s elasticy, like a rubber band. And if you catch a tangle, it can just snap off.
Instead, gently towel dry your hair and let it dry naturally. Go sit outside if it’s warm and sunny or slightly breezy to speed up the process.
Try to avoid using a blow dryer unless you have somewhere you have to go and are in a hurry. In this case, I recommend doing your showering the night before so your hair can dry naturally overnight.
Don’t Wash Your Hair Daily
Bleaching your hair can dry it out tremendously. That’s frizzy look? That’s bone dry, splitting hair.
You may also notice that after bleaching you can go longer between washes. Your hair won’t get as greasy as quickly. This, again, is because your hair and your scalp is dry.
Because your scalp produces its own oil, it’s best to wash your hair every few days. Still shower as normal, but instead just condition your hair or wear a shower cap.
Minimize Heating Tools
I know how hard it can be to not straighten or curl your hair when your natural hair texture isn’t perfectly straight or cute and curly. My hair doesn’t know if it’s at the beach or at a high end fashion show.
But, when your hair is damaged, heating products are going to be your worst enemy. It may not seem like any extra damage is being done (speaking from experience). But, you should want to minimize all additional damage to your hair.
Instead, wear your hair in a bun or a braid. Make sure it’s not too tight so that it’s not pulling at your hair and your hair tie isn’t causing breakage. But, if you can manage to do this the majority of the time, your hair will thank you big time.
Products that Actually Work to Repair Bleach Damaged Hair
There are a ton of products out there claiming to restore your hair, treat split ends, etc. But, the reality is that most of them are just temporary. They coat your hair with moisturizing agents that is only fixes the the problem on the outside.
We want to fix the hair all the way to the core. Although, I’ll be upfront with you, I have yet to find a treatment that turns my hair into perfect silky smooth locks after being damaged.
If that’s what you are going for, I recommend getting your hair cut or trimmed depending on the level of damage.
But, if you want to improve the texture, health, look, and feel of your hair, there are a few products that have proven their worthiness.
Olaplex No. 3
This one belongs at the very top of the list because it is kind of like magic in a bottle.
Now, if your hair is super damaged, I recommend calling up your salon and asking if they offer a full Olaplex treatment. Olaplex No. 3 is the at home treatment, but there are salon-only treatments that are more intense and effective.
You can get Olaplex No. 3 on Amazon and have it shipped free if you have Prime.
This stuff is amazing and should be used at least once a week while your hair is freshly damaged from bleach. Start by showering as normal, but don’t condition your hair.
Get out of the shower and towel dry your hair before apply a generous amount of Olaplex No. 3 from root to end.
Allow the product to sit in your hair for 45 minutes before washing it out. This does not work as an overnight treatment. The max time is 45 minutes. The product will not work further past that time.
But, once your rinse it out you will feel an immediate difference in your hair. It won’t be perfect the first treatment, but you hair will feel healthier and stronger right away.
Argan Oil is another miracle sent from above. This stuff is incredible for both hair and skin.
While it can be pretty expensive, I purchased this bottle on Amazon for a fair price and it’s a good size bottle.
Argan Oil is one of the oils that can penetrate the hair shaft and actually moisturize the entire shaft. If you want the scientific breakdown of why certain oils can penetrate the hair and why others can’t, give this post a read.
Because Argan Oil also contains Vitamin E, which I have found to be the diamond of healthy skin and hair, it’s can help to promote hair growth and improved strength. You can check out my YouTube video of how Vitamin E has drastically changed the skin on my face, here.
I like to use my hands to rub this stuff into the mid-shaft and ends of my hair before bed. Then, I use an old scarf to tie up my hair to prevent the product from getting on my pillow. I shower it out in the morning and then apply a leave in BB Cream (mentioned below).
Queen Helene Hair Cholesterol
I purchased this product at Sally’s after reading a number of reviews online years ago. In comparison to Olaplex and even the Argan Oil, it’s relatively inexpensive.
But, I wouldn’t say it works as well as Olaplex, but it will definitely leave your hair shiny and feeling more moisturized.
Like the argan oil, I apply this to my dry hair at night, wrap it up, and then sleep with it on my hair overnight before rinsing it out in the morning.
Get it on Amazon, here.
Ion BB Leave in Treatment
I am currently on my third tube of this stuff. Ever since I went platinum blonde, it has been my saving grace as far as ease of use and effectiveness.
This is a leave in treatment, so it’s doesn’t take extra time to wash out. You simply apply it to your hair after showering and then brush it through and let your hair dry. Immediately, you will notice that it makes your hair feel smoother.
This keeps my frizz under control and also helps condition and strengthen my hair.
Just read the reviews on Amazon and you will see that this product is worth the hype and the money.
What Happens If You Don’t Treat Your Bleach Damaged Hair
Before closing this post, I want to give you the real tea. Long ago, when I was young and dumb, I decided to bleach my hair from dark brown to blonde. In one day. From boxed bleach that you buy at Walmart.
Worst. Decision. Ever.
I knew right away that my hair was in TERRIBLE shape. But, I figured it would be fine as long as I used conditioner regularly. So, I just left it alone and then something a little spooky happened.
I experienced a very severe chemical haircut for the first and only time in my life.
A chemical haircut is when your hair is overly processed with color, bleach, or permanent styling treatments and the bonds inside the hair break down to the point that the hair snaps off.
It didn’t happen overnight, but over the course of a month, my hair went from shoulder length to just below my ears. I didn’t have it cut or trimmed. It simply snapped off each time I brushed and washed my hair.
Moral of this story is take care of your hair. If you put out the money to bleach it at home, be prepared to put out the money to repair your bleach damaged hair. No one should go through what I went through. It’s not worth it.