Bleaching Wet Hair – Pros, Precautions, Tips

All the tips and hacks you need to bleach your hair most effectively and safely at home.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dr. Shruti Chavan Dr. Shruti ChavanMBBS
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 3 years
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There are plenty of new hairstyles to try in hair coloring, including the highlights or the wet balayage. Bleaching wet hair is the best option if you want to try new hair dyes, or just keep it to bleaching. But does bleaching wet hair give the desired results? As wet hair lightens faster, bleaching it is the new trend to follow and achieve the hair look that you want to flaunt. Some also believe that wet hair will not hold color, but is it true? Keep reading to have all your questions answered.

What Happens When You Bleach Wet Hair?

As you know, bleaching your hair makes the hair strands weak, dry, and brittle. One might then consider bleaching wet hair. However, can you bleach wet hair? Let’s compare what happens to the hair when bleached dry and when bleached damp.

Applying bleach on dry hair causes the bleach to penetrate the hair cuticle and cortex. The bleach then decomposes melanin, the pigment that imparts color to your hair and skin. This results in a lighter hair color. However, bleach also oxidizes and destroys the cross-linked hair proteins, thereby weakening the hair. This results in hair loss, brittle hair, and frizzy hair. Only intensive hair treatments can help save them to an extent after that.

That is not the case when bleach is applied to wet hair. The cuticle of the hair strands is already filled with hair, thus preventing the bleach from entering the cortex. However, that also means that the hair is not completely stripped of its natural pigment. Hence, if you want to go bold but not too loud and keep your hair protected, bleaching wet hair is a great option. Here’s a rundown of why bleaching wet hair is a better option.

Why Bleaching Wet Hair Is Better

  • For Quick Hair Lightening: If you do not have hours to sit in a salon to get your hair bleached, bleaching your hair wet is the best option.
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  • For A Soft Hair Color: Want to add lift and volume to your mane without making it too obvious? Bleach your hair wet! Hairstylists use this technique all the time to give you a shade or two lighter hair color.
  • For Frizz-Free Hair: Bleaching the hair wet protects the hair cortex and cuticle. This prevents the hair from drying out and looking frizzy.
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  • For Bright Hair Ends: A huge hair trend this year is lighter or brighter hair ends. This futuristic look is obtained by bleaching the wet hair ends. This adds a lighter touch to the hair. It looks especially great on short hair.

protip_icon Quick Tip
It is a good idea to brush your hair first and then dampen it before applying bleach because applying bleach on knotted hair may give you patchy results.

But, can you bleach your wet hair yourself at home? Let’s find out in the next section.

Should You Bleach Wet Hair At Home?

Woman bleaching her hair at home
Image: Shutterstock

The idea of bleaching and coloring your hair at home can be really tempting. Go ahead if you are super confident about your bleaching skills. If not, book an appointment at a hair salon and get bleaching done on wet hair from a professional. This would also help you understand the process better and get pro hair tips from the stylist.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Frequent bleaching may dry out your hair and make it more prone to tangles due to its dryness. Hence, maintain at least 2-3 weeks of gap between bleaching sessions.

So, you can bleach your hair wet. Does that mean it is okay to bleach your hair right after washing? Find out in the next section.

Can You Bleach Hair After Washing?

No, bleaching your hair after washing is not recommended. Professionals use a spray to dampen the hair strands before bleaching. That’s because when the hair is wet from the roots to the ends, it is weaker. Moreover, washing your hair strips away the natural oils that serve as a protective barrier. So, bleaching your hair right after washing may make your scalp and hair more prone to damage and irritation.

What other precautions should you take if you decide to bleach your hair wet? Scroll down to find out.

Precautions

  • Since we are in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, make sure you and your stylist wear a mask all the time.
  • Avoid bleaching your hair very close to the roots.

Not just bleaching, you must also adapt a good hair care system for your bleached hair to prevent drying and to maintain the lighter hair color for longer. How to do that? Take a look at these pro tips.

Pro Tips For Taking Care Of Bleached Hair

Once you have bleached your hair, a gentle routine for your strained tresses is a must. Here are some tips to ensure good hair health after the bleaching process.

  • Use a hair toner to prevent your bleached hair from looking brassy.
Salon expert using toner on a woman's hair to avoid brassy tones
Image: IStock
  • Deep condition your hair once a week. You may use an avocado hair mask or opt for a hot oil massage.
  • Use only those shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products that protect bleached hair.
  • Avoid heat styling as much as possible. Use the cool setting when blow-drying your hair.
  • Use a light hair oil – like argan oil – to bring back the shine.
  • Avoid swimming in chlorinated swimming pools as it can make your hair ends frizzy.
  • Trim the split ends.
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  • Braid your hair or tie it in a bun before going to sleep.

These tips can help preserve your bleached hair. That said, are you wondering where you can fit a toner in the bleaching process? Learn in the next section.

Can You Apply Toner To Wet Hair After Bleaching?

It’s best to avoid applying toner to wet hair immediately after bleaching. Firstly, your hair should be towel-dried and must never be left dripping wet. Applying toner to hair that is too wet may lead to uneven results and even dilute the toner. On the other hand, the toner may not be as effective if it is applied to hair that has become dry. For optimal results, apply the toner once your hair attains the right level of dampness, or when it is just damp to the touch. This allows the toner to work effectively and helps you achieve your desired hair color. Follow the instructions carefully before using the toner.

Infographic: Benefits Of Bleaching Wet Hair And Care Tips

The world of hair beauty is seeing a growing trend of vibrant hair colors. Popular coloring techniques include highlights and wet balayage. Bleaching wet hair is the best option to achieve these trendy looks, and you can do it in the comfort of your home. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the benefits of bleaching your wet hair and how to care for it after.

benefits of bleaching wet hair and care tips (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Bleaching wet hair is an excellent and more trouble-free way of achieving a unique look. It is a quick and easy way to reduce frizz and add volume and color to your hair. However, if you are new to this, it is recommended that you go to a salon and get it done by a professional. If you plan to do it at home, make sure you don’t bleach your hair immediately after washing it and avoid bleaching it close to the ends. Finally, taking precautionary steps such as using a toner, minimizing hair styling, and using the correct products can keep your hair voluminous and shiny.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you bleach dirty hair?

Yes. Bleaching your hair when it is dirty and greasy is recommended as the natural oils help protect your hair and scalp from chemical damage.

Should I put coconut oil on my hair before bleaching?

Yes. You can put coconut oil before bleaching to prevent the burning and itching that usually accompanies the process. It also protects the hair proteins.

How can I speed up the process of bleaching my hair?

Blowdrying your hair can speed up the bleaching process. However, it also increases hair damage and is not recommended.

Does foil help in bleaching hair?

Yes. Foil can prevent the bleach from drying up. It also helps in separating the different sections of hair during the process.

Can I condition my hair before bleaching?

Yes. You should deep condition your hair a week before bleaching it to strengthen the hair bonds and safeguard them against chemical damage.

Is it okay to use purple shampoo after bleaching?

Yes. You can use purple shampoo 72 hours after bleaching. However, doing it earlier than the stipulated time may mess up your hair tone.

Key Takeaways

  • Wet hair prevents bleach from entering the hair cortex, thus controlling dryness, brittleness, and frizz.
  • Bleaching wet hair lightens your hair more quickly, softens the hair color, and brightens the hair ends.
  • Make sure you wet your hair with a spray bottle, and do not bleach it right after washing as it may cause hair damage and scalp irritation.
Bleaching Wet Hair

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Learn how long you can safely leave bleach on wet hair to achieve the perfect color. Click on this video to get all the tips and tricks you need to know.
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