How To Prepare Your Hair For Bleaching

Keep all the important pointers in mind before you embark on the journey to go blonde.

Reviewed by Tiffany Taylor, Hairstylist Tiffany Taylor Tiffany TaylorHairstylist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years

If you are planning to bleach your hair but are worried about its negative effects, you have come to the right place. Here, we will help you prepare your hair for bleaching through a detailed step-by-step guide. Bleaching is the best way to get a makeover. But the harsh chemicals in the bleach can damage your hair and aggravate the dryness. In this article, we have elaborated on ways to prepare your hair for bleaching. Keep scrolling!

How To Prepare Your Hair For Bleaching

1. Consider Your Hair Health

Woman assessing her hair health
Image: IStock

Consider the overall health of your locks before bleaching. Avoid bleaching dry, brittle, and damaged hair. If you have recently undergone chemical hair treatment, wait for at least two weeks before bleaching. Dyed, permed, and highlighted hair is also not suitable for the bleaching process as it may cause further damage.

Rachwat, a beauty blogger, spoke about how hair dyeing over the years had impacted her hair health. She said, “Other than the white hair snapping, I began to get really bad split ends, colour still doesn’t stay properly in my hair and the split ends make hair more difficult to style as my hair just doesn’t want to behave (i). ”

This simple graph illustrates how certain treatments make your hair lose strength and reduce mechanical resistance. While straightening and flat ironing straight and curly dark brown hair have caused a decrease in mechanical resistance, the bleaching/dyeing procedures increased the resistance of Afro-ethnic hair by 19%.

Mechanical Resistance Of Different Hair Types

Source: Mechanical Resistance Of Different Hair Types

2. Stop Using Heat Styling Tools A Week Before Bleaching

Heat styling tools like rollers, flat and curling irons, and blow dryers strip natural moisture and oils and further damage your hair. Avoid these for at least a week before bleaching. Let your hair recover from the heat damage. Keep the strands moisturized to prevent any damage that may occur during the bleaching session.

3. Avoid Washing Your Hair

It is safer to get bleach done on unwashed hair
Image: IStock

Do not wash your hair a day or two before bleaching. The natural oils in the scalp act as a thin barrier between the strands and the bleach. Shampooing may wash out the natural oils. Moreover, if the hair is a little greasy, it will not affect the bleach results or color payoff. Many top hair color and hair dye brands add essential oils to their bleaches to minimize hair damage while bleaching.

While washing your hair, you may accidentally scratch or cut your scalp, which might lead to irritation during the bleaching process. Hence, hair stylists recommend refraining from washing your hair before a bleaching treatment.

4. Apply Hair Oil

Nourishing the hair with coconut oil before bleaching will add and an extra layer of protection to the hair. Our hair is made of keratin (the hair protein), and coconut oil minimizes protein loss and strengthens the hair (1). Additionally, it also softens the hair and keeps it smooth. Start oil massage at least a week before bleaching. You may even apply a thin coat of coconut oil right before bleaching to minimize damage.

Note: Apply only the recommended amount of oil as mentioned on the product label. Applying too much oil might hinder the bleaching process.

5. Apply Hair Mask For Deep Conditioning

Make sure your hair has been receiving good conditioning through masks, oils, or sprays
Image: IStock

Hair masks are the best way to deep condition your dry and damaged hair. You can get hydrating hair masks from the store or go the DIY way. Mix nourishing oils like coconut and olive oils and apply to the hair. You may also use a DIY mask by mixing yogurt, honey, banana, avocado, and egg and use it once or twice a week. For best results, start using hair masks at least two weeks before bleaching.

6. Be Honest With Your Stylist

Your hair colorist needs to know how you treated your hair before your salon appointment for hair bleaching. They need to know everything about your previous color experiments or mishaps, the frequency of chemical and color treatments, and all other hair experiments you did. This will help them understand the level of damage and adjust the formula accordingly. Also, be open to your stylist’s advice to achieve your hair color goals.

7. Consult A Professional

A professional stylist will help you understand the process and suggest the best options for you
Image: Shutterstock

Consult a professional colorist or hairstylist and let the professionals evaluate your hair health. Discuss the potential damage and the number of sessions you may need to get the desired color. Consulting a professional will help you understand if your hair is ready to take the chemical blow that comes with bleaching. This will also give you an idea about pre- and post-bleach hair care and what products to use after bleaching.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you decide to bleach your hair by yourself at home, ensure to wear a glove to protect your skin. Do not leave the bleach longer than 30-45 minutes.

Before you bleach your hair, you should be clear about the expectations and how you should treat your hair. Here are a few pointers to remember.

Points To Remember

Woman caring for her bleached hair
Image: IStock
  • Do not skip any chance to moisturize your hair. Use moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and treatments before your salon appointment.
  • Opt for multiple sessions and a gradual blonding process to minimize damage. You can get bright bleached hair in just one session, but it might not be the best decision for your hair.
  • Bleached hair needs special shampoos. Purple shampoos work great for toning naturally blonde and bleached hair. Hence, upgrade your hair care routine. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to nourish your hair and prevent dryness.
  • People with pale skin tones look fabulous in ashy and platinum shades, while people with warmer skin tones look great in golden hues. Choose your bleaching formula accordingly.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Bleaching your hair causes considerable damage despite all precautions. Invest in an intensive hair repair treatment to help your hair heal from the bleaching process.

Infographic: Easy Tips To Help Prepare Your Hair Before Bleaching

Bleaching is one of the necessary steps before getting your hair colored. However, it often causes hair damage and hair fall. To avoid damage and improve your hair health, you need to prepare your hair the right way. We have compiled some easy hair preparation tips that you should keep in mind before bleaching your hair. Check out the infographic below to know more.

easy tips to help prepare your hair before bleaching (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Bleaching may harm your hair if not done correctly. You must prepare your hair for bleaching hair months in advance to minimize damage. Follow the suggestions discussed above in the article to ensure that the bleaching process does not damage your hair, and gets an even color tone. Keep your hair nourished and damage-free by using hydrating hair products and oils. Keep in mind that failing to take the necessary safety measures may make your hair brittle and rough. Always seek the assistance of a hairstylist to understand your hair’s state and be open to any suggestions for maintaining healthy hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I shampoo after bleach?

Yes! To keep your locks healthy and shiny after bleaching, be sure to wash your hair with a gentle shampoo and warm water. Use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp, avoiding harsh scratching with nails.

Which oil is best for bleached hair?

Coconut oil! Transform your tresses with the power of coconut oil, a wondrous ingredient known for its ability to deeply nourish hair from within. Bleaching can strip hair of its nutrients, but coconut oil penetrates the hair to restore its health.

How long before bleaching should I stop using any hair color products?

It is best to avoid any coloring or processing for at least three months prior, If you’re planning on bleaching your hair. This is because bleach works best on hair that hasn’t been previously processed.

Can I bleach my hair if I have an oily scalp or dandruff?

Yes, you can bleach your hair even if you have an oily scalp or dandruff. Greasy hair is ideal for bleaching because the natural oils shield your scalp from chemical damage. Avoid bleaching your roots if you have dandruff as it can be harmful to your scalp and worsen the condition.

Can I bleach my hair if I have previously relaxed or permed hair?

No, bleaching hair that’s been previously relaxed or permed is not a good idea. Chemical relaxers and perms already cause hair to weaken. Bleaching could lead to more damage and breakage. To be safe, wait at least four to six weeks after your perm or relaxer before bleaching your hair.

Should I use heat while bleaching my hair?

No. Avoid using heat to speed up the bleaching process. Using a blow dryer or other heat sources can cause your hair to over-process, leading to breakage and skin irritation. Most stylists agree that heat should only be used sparingly during the bleaching process and definitely not on already-bleached hair.

Can I bleach my hair if I have hair extensions or weaves?

No, if you want to bleach your hair extensions, make sure they’re made of real human hair, or they may not be able to handle the bleaching process. It is important to remember that most hair extensions have already undergone some harsh treatments and this could weaken them further. Do a strand test to avoid further damage.

Key Takeaways

  • Wait at least 2 weeks before bleaching chemically treated hair as it may cause further damage.
  • Avoid washing your hair 1-2 days before bleaching as the oils may act as a protective barrier against the bleach.
  • Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to prevent dryness before bleaching your hair.
  • Include purple shampoos and hair repair masks into your post-bleaching hair care routine to nourish and heal your hair.

Preparing your hair before bleaching is essential. Watch this video to know the simple and essential tips you need to follow before coloring your hair.

Personal Experience: Source


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Tiffany Taylor

Tiffany TaylorHairstylist

Tiffany Taylor is a licensed cosmetologist from Paul Mitchell School. She is currently in her second year of being on her own as an independent hairstylist in the Kansas city area, and her business is called Another Hairaholic by Tiffany.   She has made it to the top five best hairstylists in KC from Kansas City Magazine's first year full bio

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