Monday, 11 May 2015

Living with bleach damaged hair

Don't get me wrong, I bloody love my newly bleached locks, not kidding I feel like I've been given a new lease of life, some might say a sassy lease of life, but that doesn't distract from the fact I now have to treat my hair like a precious gold spun delicate piece of work.

I must have read hundreds and hundreds of blogs about, yet again, what I was about to do to my hair when I embarked on a home bleach session from brunette to bleach blond, so here I am giving you my honest low down of the in's and out's of living with bleach damaged hair. Oh and also, you'll notice I'm not skirting round the fact I'm calling my hair damaged, because it is, it's absolutely wrecked, but it will, and is healing and coming back to life.

So, I'm just putting it out there, don't bloody dye your hair at home, specially if your going more than 2 shades lighter. There's loads of reasons I say that, firstly you'll spend pretty much the same amount as going to the salon, if you actually want to buy all the decent products you need, but not the expertise you actually need to do a decent job, oh and eyes in the back of your head so it's not patchy.
Secondly, once you have done it, and experienced the yellow (oh the yellow), the banding ("yeah obviously I wanted 50 shades of bleach blond hair") and the breakage, you will never want to touch your hair again with bleach, and yet you have bought the whole lot, it's a waste, just don't.

I did this, and there is no point, I'm not doing it again, Christ I'm never touching these roots, it doesn't matter if it takes me months for an appointment, I can't deal with the emotional trauma of it all. No kidding, it was an anxious time.

But now I have got the colour I wanted after 3 bleach sessions, lots of hair chopping, and a dent in my finances, I want to share with you my trusted tips to living with bleached hair.

1. The less you wash the better

I try and get away with 2 washes per week, simply because the least processing, stripping of oils and heat damage I can do the better. It also never get's greasy because the poor mop is devoid of moisture. dry shampoo can hide a multitude of sins, and you'll be surprised how creative you can get with a few bobby pins.

2. Invest in good hair care products

If you are going bleach blonde you need to not only be prepared to spend a decent wedge on the dye job but also on the after-care products. Don't scrimp on shampoos, conditioners or heat protectors.

3. Protein up!!

When you bleach you might have fairly stretchy, what some call, chewing gum like hair when it's wet. This is due to basically all the elasticity being removed from your hair, due to lack of protein from over processing. I basically don't touch my hair when it's wet, because the poor stuff will just snap off. So, now I'm using Redken's Anti snap range. It seems to be doing the job and is full of much needed protein.

4. Get the chop

I really don't care what style I rock with my hair, so I didn't mind losing a few inches even though I am growing it. It's necessary, don't try and cling on to those poor poor ends, they have probably taken the biggest hit, so chop it off, man up and embrace your new style, it's only hair after all so rock whatever your left with after your bleach job.

5. Tone at home

If you love the icy/grey look then you are going to need to tone your hair at home to ensure you don't have any yellow tones coming through. I use a mix of the Fudge purple shampoo mixed with a deep conditioning treatment once a week and it works wonders. either find a really great blue shampoo or pop in mid hair dye job to your salon and have a toner refresh. you will thank me later :)

If you are reading this and have just bleached your hair and it's giving you the willies because your pretty sure it's falling out, then don't worry, you won't get your hair back to it's natural health, it is bleached after all but without washing so much, a bit of investment and no heat you will get there.
I've now done this black/brown to blonde thing over 5 times in the last 6 years, I know a thing or two so feel free to comment with any questions.


  1. Arghhh just read this post! As a male I've had zero. Experiences in this department! And have bleached my hair few times now and this final time it turned my hair into like mushy chewung gum and hair feels so thin! Hair was literally coming out in my hand as I put my hand through it, super super scary! I've got some keratin stuff and spray on protein arriving Tommorow. Hopefully that wil help for now doing overnight with coconut oil for now...

  2.  If you address the situation right away, you can get some of your hair to grow back. You can use a natural Hair regrowth shampoo to stimulate your strands to grow back.