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
By Anjali Sayee

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 any. 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. This is where bleaching wet hair can be considered helpful. 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.

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.
WOman bleaching damp hair fo quick hair lightening

Shutterstock

  • 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.
Woman with frizz-free bleached hair

Shutterstock

  • 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.
StyleCraze Says
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

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 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.

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 take care of 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

  • 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

iStock

  • Deep condition your hair once a week. You may use an avocado hair mask or opt for a hot oil massage.
  • Use a shampoo and conditioner 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.
Woman trimming split ends

Shutterstock

  • Braid your hair or tie it in a bun before going to sleep.

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 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.

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author
Anjali specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. Her philosophy... more

Dr. Shruti Chavan

(MBBS)
Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee... more

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