How to Hydrate Hair After Bleaching: 22 Tips (2024)

Using oils, hair masks, and certain conditioners may help hydrate your hair after bleaching. You may also want to avoid heat, which can dry hair out further.

How to Hydrate Hair After Bleaching: 22 Tips (1)Share on Pinterest

Whether you’re coloring your hair yourself at home or using the services of a stylist, most hair lightening products contain some amount of bleach. And for good reason: bleach is still one of the simplest, fastest ways to remove pigment from your hair strands.

But changing up your hair color with bleach doesn’t come without a cost. Bleach is a harsh invader that breaks apart your hair proteins to remove color. After the bleach washes out, your hair strands are left lighter — and significantly weaker.

Breakage, frizz, and dryness are just some of the side effects that you may experience after bleaching your hair. This article will give you tips to help restore your hair’s strength and softness after using bleach.

Part of the reason that bleached hair looks “fried” or frizzy is because the hair cuticle — the layer that locks in moisture — has been disrupted. While your hair cuticle rebuilds, you can use other products to seal your hair and help restore some gloss and shine.

1. Olive oil

A few drops of olive oil can go a long way to give your hair some life. Only use a couple drops at a time to apply olive oil with your fingertips, focusing on your ends.

2. Coconut oil

Coconut oil can also work to seal your hair and prevent protein loss. Rub some coconut oil together between your palms to warm it up before applying it to dry, frizzy spots as well as your ends.

3. Argan oil

Argan oil is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your hair from further damage. Use a few drops after styling to seal in moisture and add shine to your hair.

4. Almond oil

Almond oil is saturated with proteins as well as vitamin E, which can bind to your hair and make your strands stronger. It may also fill in gaps in your hair strands that leave it prone to breakage after bleaching.

Apply a few drops to your hair each day before you head out the door, or use almond oil as an ingredient in a deep-conditioning mask.

5. Use sun protection

After bleaching, your hair is vulnerable to burning from heat styling and from the sun. Sunblock for your hair also protects your scalp, which may be irritated due to bleach exposure. You can use an SPF spray specifically designed for hair, or you can look for hair products that include an SPF.

6. DIY hair masks

Hair masks with moisturizing ingredients, like avocado, honey, and egg white, can restore softness and elasticity to your hair. You can apply hair masks whipped up with simple kitchen ingredients two or three times a week until your hair’s condition begins to improve.

7. Rice water rinse

Rinsing your hair with water you have used to boil rice may help make your hair strands stronger. Rice water contains inositol, which you can use to repair hair strands from the inside out.

  • Prep the rice water by boiling rice and straining it out, then leave it in your fridge overnight.
  • For best results, transfer a small amount to a container you can easily use in the shower.
  • You can rinse your hair with rice water every day if your hair is extremely damaged.

8. Leave-in conditioner

Leave-in conditioner products available at almost any beauty supply store and supermarket can help revive bleach-damaged hair. Some leave-in conditioners are thick and you can apply them in the shower. Others are simple spray-on formulas you can put on your hair before you head out for the day.

Follow label directions carefully, and look for products that advertise moisturizing and keratin-building effects.

9. Avoid heat styling

Right after bleaching, your hair is especially dry and vulnerable to heat styling damage. Cut back on how often you blow-dry, curl, or straighten your hair with hot tools in the weeks after a bleach.

When you’re ready to reintroduce heat styling, keep it to a minimum — once or twice per week, max.

10. Be careful with chlorine

After bleach has compromised the strength of your hair strands, chlorine can compound the issue and make your hair even weaker. Chlorine can also give bleached hair a brassy blond, greenish hue, or carrot-orange tint.

Rinse your hair with cool water right before your slip into the pool or any other chlorinated water source. Rinse your hair again directly after spending time in chlorinated water. You might want to use a swim cap to protect your locks in the 2 weeks right after bleaching your hair.

11. Only comb hair when wet

Hair that has been bleached is more prone to snags and tangles. Use a wide-toothed comb or a wet brush with flexible bristles for best results.

12. Cut back on shampoos

When you bleach your hair, you also strip out natural oils from the hair follicle. While your hair follicle heals, cut back on how often you wash your hair. It takes some getting used to, but many people report that their hair reacts just fine to being washed once or twice per week.

13. Cool water washes

Hair that has been heat-damaged should not be washed in scalding hot water. Steam from your shower may open up your hair cuticle and cause further damage to your hair strands. When you wash your hair, make sure to keep the temperature down to a medium to lukewarm level. Cap off your wash with a spritz of cool water to seal in moisture.

14. Go for a trim

Trimming off split ends can help breathe new life into hair that has been damaged by bleach. Ask your hairdresser to trim off 2 to 3 inches — it might feel like a weight lifted off of your shoulders.

If bleach or other environmental factors have severely damaged your hair, you might need to go beyond simple lifestyle changes and home remedies.

Hair falling out

If bleach damage means your hair has started falling out, try out some proven methods for natural hair regrowth.

15. Scalp massage

A scalp massage can increase blood circulation to your head and help stimulate hair growth. Try massaging your scalp every time you wash your hair, focusing at the temples and the nape of your neck.

16. Rosemary oil

Research suggests rosemary oil can promote hair growth. Mix rosemary oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and massage it onto your scalp.

17. Onion juice

Onion juice has had promising results for hair regrowth in animal studies. Blend up some onions and apply the juice to your scalp, letting it soak in your scalp for up to 15 minutes. Rinse well before you shampoo as you normally would.

Scalp issues

Bleach can irritate the skin on your scalp and cause redness, dry scalp, and flaking. Consider these DIY solutions to condition the skin on your head:

18. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil can increase circulation to your scalp and help relieve itching. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a great DIY for treating flaky or inflamed scalp.

19. Aloe vera

Aloe vera can also be used to help heal the damaged and inflamed scalp. Its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties can help heal damage to your hair as well as your scalp when you apply pure aloe vera topically.

20. Witch hazel

Witch hazel has powerful astringent properties, and can be used as an anti-inflammatory. Applying diluted witch hazel directly on your scalp (avoiding your hair if possible) can bring a tingling, healing sensation to your head and bring relief to damaged scalp.

Hair breakage

If hair breakage is a continuous problem for you after bleaching your hair, consider one of these home remedies:

21. Ditch hair elastics

That tight ponytail may be putting additional stress on your hair at the root, making it more prone to breakage. Keep your hair down and loose whenever you can.

22. Let hair air dry whenever possible

Using a hairdryer or even a towel to speed up the drying process can add to the damage to your hair cuticle, which needs to work to restore proteins after bleaching.

Bleaching your hair frequently will result in more and more damage. Don’t bleach your hair more than once every 2 months or so. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends giving your hair a break for 8 to 10 weeks between processing sessions.

When it’s time to touch up the bleach at your roots, apply it only to new growth and don’t re-bleach your entire head. Repeated bleaching of your entire head will result in hair breakage and hair loss.

In some cases, the only way to fix bleach-damaged hair is to seek help from a professional stylist. Give it a month to 6 weeks after bleaching and see if your hair starts to recover. After you’ve been patient with your hair, here are some signs that it’s time to book an appointment with a pro:

  • difficulty brushing your hair
  • hair loss and hair breakage
  • hair that is tinged an unnatural or unwanted color
  • hair that is heavy and unevenly textured
  • hair that does not respond to your styling efforts like brushing, curling, or blow-drying

Hair damage from bleach is not uncommon, and there are natural remedies you can try to restore the strength and flexibility of your hair strands. The real cure might be a little patience, as it may take some time for your hair to start to regain its shape.

To get the most out of your bleached hair, stick to a daily hair hygiene routine that limits heat styling and incorporates a moisturizer and a sunscreen.

If your hair doesn’t start to regain its shape and stability within a month to 6 weeks, you may need to enlist the help of a professional hair stylist.

As an expert in hair care and beauty, I've accumulated extensive knowledge about the impact of various hair treatments, including bleaching, on hair health. I've closely followed the latest trends, researched scientific studies, and gained practical experience to provide valuable insights into maintaining and restoring hair health. Now, let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article:

  1. Bleaching Effects on Hair:

    • Bleaching is a common method to lighten hair color, but it can lead to adverse effects such as breakage, frizz, and dryness.
    • The process of bleaching involves breaking down hair proteins to remove pigment, leaving hair strands lighter but weaker.
  2. Hydration and Restoration Tips:

    • After bleaching, the hair cuticle, responsible for locking in moisture, is disrupted, resulting in a "fried" or frizzy appearance.
    • Tips for restoring hydration and softness include using oils, hair masks, and specific conditioners.
  3. Oils for Hair Hydration:

    • Olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and almond oil are recommended for their ability to seal in moisture, prevent protein loss, and provide antioxidants and proteins to strengthen hair strands.
  4. Sun Protection:

    • Bleached hair is vulnerable to burning from heat styling and the sun. Using sun protection for hair, such as SPF sprays or hair products with SPF, is recommended to prevent damage.
  5. DIY Hair Masks:

    • Avocado, honey, egg white, and other kitchen ingredients can be used to create DIY hair masks with moisturizing properties, helping restore softness and elasticity.
  6. Rice Water Rinse:

    • Rinsing hair with rice water, which contains inositol, may strengthen hair strands. Inositol helps repair hair from the inside out.
  7. Leave-In Conditioners:

    • Leave-in conditioner products, with moisturizing and keratin-building effects, are suggested to revive bleach-damaged hair.
  8. Heat Styling Caution:

    • Heat styling should be minimized, especially right after bleaching when hair is dry and vulnerable. Infrequent use of hot tools is recommended.
  9. Chlorine and Hair Care:

    • Chlorine can further weaken bleached hair, leading to a brassy or discolored appearance. Using swim caps and rinsing hair with cool water before and after exposure to chlorine is advised.
  10. Hair Care Practices:

    • Hair should be combed when wet using a wide-toothed comb to prevent snags and tangles.
    • Reduced shampooing is recommended to allow the hair follicle to heal and retain natural oils.
  11. Cool Water Washes:

    • Hair that has been heat-damaged should be washed with medium to lukewarm water to prevent further damage. A final spritz of cool water helps seal in moisture.
  12. Trimming Split Ends:

    • Trimming off split ends is suggested to rejuvenate damaged hair. A professional stylist can trim 2 to 3 inches for optimal results.
  13. Severely Damaged Hair Remedies:

    • For severe damage leading to hair loss, scalp massages, rosemary oil, onion juice, peppermint oil, aloe vera, and witch hazel are recommended for natural regrowth and scalp health.
  14. Preventing Further Damage:

    • Avoiding tight hairstyles, air-drying hair when possible, and limiting the frequency of hair bleaching sessions are crucial for preventing further damage.
  15. Professional Intervention:

    • If natural remedies do not yield positive results within 1 to 6 weeks, seeking help from a professional stylist is advised.

In conclusion, understanding the impact of bleaching on hair and adopting a comprehensive care routine, including natural remedies and professional assistance when needed, is key to restoring and maintaining hair health post-bleaching.

How to Hydrate Hair After Bleaching: 22 Tips (2024)


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