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Question: What is the best treatment for bleached hair?

Answer: This is a popular question asked by many women (and some men) around the world who want to have lighter hair but fear damaging it. The truth is that unless you have virgin hair—aka hair that has never been dyed before—bleaching your hair is the only way for it to become a lighter color. This process comes with many issues regarding your hair health.

So, what are the risks?

Well, in order for the bleach to lift your hair’s natural pigmentation, the bleach must fully penetrate your hair shaft. Within this process, the bleach lifts the scales on the outer cuticle of the hair shaft. Being that the outer cuticle is the protective coating of the hair, when the bleach lifts it, the hair becomes dry and brittle due to loss of moisture. Bleach-damaged hair is also more easily damaged by heat styling tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, as well as perm solutions and chemical straighteners.

How can I treat bleached hair?

Keeping your hair moist and conditioned is super important when it comes to maintaining good hair health, as is being gentle when styling and brushing after it’s bleached. This means deep conditioning your hair three days before you bleach, three days after, and then once a week. As for products—restorative, moisturizing, and color-friendly hair products are all wise choices. To slow evaporation and re-moisturize your hair, use smoothing products. For optimal results, the best option is to get it done by a professional stylist who is trained and knows how to best minimize these risks after the bleaching process.

What are your tips for bleached hair (or horror stories)?