We explore whether bleaching your hair can cause hair loss!
Using bleach lightens your hair color and can help you achieve the desired look.
However, many of us don’t realize the dangers it poses to our hair. Bleaching involves removal of melanin, which is the pigment responsible for hair color. It also raises your hair cuticles permanently, thereby making the hair drier and brittle.
Continued hair bleaching can make your hair lifeless and chemically damaged.
So let’s take a look at what hair bleach actually is,how it works and how it damages your hair
We’re also gonna serve up some detailed tips on how to take care of hair damaged due to bleaching and chemical exposure.
And you know how we love homemade remedies so we’re gonna be showing you how to repair damaged hair with some of our favourite homemade remedies!
What is Hair Bleach
Hair bleach is a chemical which helps to clean and change your hair tone.
The basic purpose of using a hair bleach is to lighten your hair color.
The main ingredient of hair bleach is hydrogen peroxide, which is also known as bleaching liquid.
Hair bleaches also contain some catalysts or boosters which can activate the hydrogen peroxide and speed up the bleaching process.
Generally, chemicals like ammonium persulfate or potassium persulfate are used as boosters for activating hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals work in an alkaline solution which keeps the pH of the formula at nearly 11.
So let’s talk about how bleach works - as this gives us an insight into how it damages our hair!
How Hair Bleach Works
The hair color in any individual is determined by a pigment named melanin.
Usually, the greater the melanin content in your hair, the darker it will be.
The same pigment also determines the color of your skin and eyes.
Hence, if there is no melanin left in your hair, it will turn completely white.
When you apply bleach on your hair, it works on and softens the cuticles.
It breaks down the disulfide bonds and melanin through the oxidation process. The broken-down color molecules are colorless and look pale.
The part of the hair which was bleached will then lose its color and take the color of the bleach. This is an irreversible process.
Depending upon your hair thickness, coarseness, and how much you need to lighten it, it takes nearly 15-40 minutes to bleach your hair.
Does Bleaching Damage Your Hair?
While bleaching your hair can look like a fashionable fix, it does come with harmful side-effects too.
When you bleach your hair, the bleaching process not only breaks down the -melanin, it also breaks down the fatty acids on the hair shaft.
This can make your hair very dry and brittle.
You can experience over-bleached or fried hair due to frequent bleaching.
The hair cuticle is also permanently raised by bleaching which results in rapid and continuous loss of moisture from the hair.
Bleached hair is porous, dry, and brittle. You can experience continued problems of split-ends and hair breakage if you bleach your hair too often.
Hence, to summarize, bleaching does damage your hair and you should be mindful and careful of it.
Bleaching can also cause hair loss directly if you have a chemical mishap - for example, you leave the bleach on your scalp for too long - so do be really, really careful.
How to Repair Hair Damaged by Bleaching
Once the hair is damaged by bleaching and chemical exposure, you need to be really really careful with it
The following tips can be considered for repairing hair damaged by bleaching:
Avoid Using Harsh Shampoos
Most shampoos contain strong chemicals which can damage your hair. You don’t want your already damaged hair to suffer further damages.
So it is recommended to start by using a good quality shampoo.
Ditch any shampoo which has harsh chemicals and opt for ones which contain more natural and mild ingredients.
These mild shampoos will be gentle on your hair and not dry it completely or strip it of its natural oils.
Any shampoo which contains parabens and sulfates should be strictly avoided as it can severely damage your hair.
You can also consider using a good quality natural cleansing conditioner
This will keep your hair moisturized and nourished and aid in the hair repair process.
Don’t Use Blow Dryers and Flat Irons
Once you’ve bleached your hair - it’s gone through a certain level of damage blow dryers, curling wands, flat irons or hair straighteners apply heat directly to your hair and make your hair even more dry and lifeless. They’ll also make the hair brittle and increase hair breakage.
Towel drying your hair is the best option as it does not expose your hair to heat directly. If your hair is already damaged due to bleaching and chemical exposure, then you should strictly not use blow dryers and flat irons on it during the repair cycle.
But do be careful to not put your towel up in a turban - this can tug at the hair follices at your hair line, which are the weakest of all the hair follicles, and they’re even weaker when wet.
If you’ve got really long hair, comb it with a wide tooth comb, then using a soft brush, brush it over to one side - then put your hair in a protective style and tie it up using a band which doesn't dent the hair!
Keep Your Hair Conditioned
Conditioning your hair is absolutely critical to helping it heal faster. You can use a good quality conditioner after washing your hair.
Apply the conditioner on the hair from root to tip and leave it for some time.
Rinse your hair thoroughly with cold or lukewarm water to remove the conditioner.
In addition to using the regular conditioner, you can also consider providing deep conditioning to your hair.
Deep conditioners have low molecular weight which allow them to penetrate deeper and condition the hair cuticle and cortex.
This will help to condition and nourish your hair from within and make them healthier and stronger.
Use Natural Oils
Hair consists of natural oils which keep it moisturized and nourished. When you expose your hair to bleaching and harmful chemicals, they strip off all the natural oils from them. This makes the hair dry and dull.
It can also cause hair breakage by making the hair brittle.
A good way to speed up the hair repair process when it is damaged due to bleaching is to regularly use natural oils:
Such as: coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, etc. to keep your hair moisturized and nourished. Or our very own hair growth serum.
Apply the natural oil on your hair and scalp and massage gently. Leave them to work on the hair and scalp for some time and then rinse or wash it off using a mild shampoo.
Wash Your Hair Less Often
Most people have the misconception that washing their hair with shampoo on daily basis can make their hair better - BUT THIS IS WRONG STOP!
You should use shampoo on your hair not more than twice a week.
Washing your hair with shampoo (especially if the shampoo contains SLS!) too often makes it too dry and also robs the natural oils from the hair and scalp. This makes the hair brittle and lifeless.
If you already have damaged hair due to bleaching, then washing them too often can only accentuate the damage further. Washing less often helps your hair to retain the moisture and natural oils which can moisturize it better and expedite the repairing process.
Get Haircuts More Frequently
Getting frequent haircuts is another effective way to deal with hair damaged caused due to bleaching.
Damaged hair is more prone to split ends which can make the hair more brittle and increase breakage. Aim to get a haircut every 6-8 weeks to get rid of the split ends.
Your hair will also look much thicker and healthier after getting a haircut.
Avoid Hair Color and Chemical Procedures
Hair damaged from bleaching needs time to be repaired and nourished.
It is a no brainer that while the damaged hair is repairing itself, you should stay completely clear of using any form of hair colors and avoid subjecting your hair to any chemical procedures.Such as color, perm, or bleaching during this repair phase.
So do give your hair a break for at least three months!
Use Only Mild and Nourishing Hair Styling Products
Do be mindful that lots of styling products can contain harmful chemicals which strip your hair of natural oils and can damage your hair even more.
Natural and organic hairstyling products may be a bit costlier but they are worth the investment as they provide you soft and smooth hair.
Restore Hair Protein
Hair is made up of a rough protein called Keratin. It’s an essential protein which creates a foolproof barrier around the cortex.
When your hair is damaged due to bleaching and chemicals, then the proteins which make the outer cuticles of your hair are dissolved.
Due to bleaching, the cuticle scales lift and expose the cortex which causes hair damage.
In order to repair this damage, you need to restore the lost protein from your hair.
Try using hair products which contain keratin. Regular use of such products will patch up the damaged keratin and provide strength and nourishment to your hair.
Clean and Detangle Your Hair Regularly
If your hair is not clean and tangled, then they will break more often. You should use a wide-tooth comb and run it through your hair regularly to keep the hair detangled.
In order to keep the hair detangled and moisturized, you can dab some oil or water on the comb and run it through your hair.
Doing so will considerably reduce the breakage and protect them from getting damaged further. It is also likely to accelerate the repair cycle for hair
Don’t forget to eat healthily!
A healthy balanced diet, also shows up in your hair - which is why - It Really Works Vitamins have tens of thousands of customers worldwide and hundreds of five star reviews!
If you’ve bleached your hair and it’s really damaged, it’s growing slowly, then this is your ticket to healthy, nourished hair -
Homemade Remedies for Hair Protection
Beer Coconut Hair Mask
Beer and coconut oil hair mask can work wonders to repair hair damaged due to bleaching.
You will need half cup of traditional brewed beer made from hops as it has maximum nutrients. Pour the beer into a mixing bowl and let it sit for some time till it becomes decarbonated. Now add it to half cup coconut oil.
Now apply this mixture on your hair generously starting from the tips and working back to the roots. Let the mixture sit on your hair for nearly 30 minutes to do its work. Once done, wash your hair thoroughly with cold water and a mild shampoo. With regular application of the beer and coconut oil mask, you can see your hair damage being repaired effectively.
Coconut Oil & Olive Hair Mask
Both olive oil and coconut oil have excellent moisturizing and nourishing properties which make your hair stronger and smoother. To get started, you will need one cup of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Take a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to 1 cup of coconut oil. Mix the oils properly and apply it on your hair and scalp. Apply in gentle circular motions on the scalp for maximum coverage. Once the application is complete, wear a shower cap and leave the oil for 30-40 minutes to do its work. Now you can wash your hair using shampoo and cold water.
Honey and Coconut
Honey and coconut oil have properties which can nourish and strengthen your hair. Coconut oil is one of the best moisturizers for hair. Honey is also a humectant with excellent moisturizing properties. It also has anti-bacterial properties which is helpful to treat dandruff and scalp inflammation. To prepare the honey and coconut hair mask, you will need to mix 1/4th cup each of honey and coconut oil. Apply this mixture on your hair and scalp concentrating on the tips. After applying the mixture, wear a shower cap on and leave the mixture for 30-40 minutes to work on your hair and scalp. Finally rinse your hair with cold water and wash it with a mild shampoo.
Egg and Avocado
Egg is full of natural proteins which can provide amazing benefits for repairing your hair damaged due to bleaching. The egg and avocado hair mask can make your hair smoother and softer. You will need 1 ripe avocado and 1 egg yolk to prepare this hair mask. Take out the avocado pulp and mash it to a paste till you don’t find any lumps in it. Now add the egg yolk and mix properly. You should apply this mixture only on wet hair. Gently massage your scalp with this hair mask for getting best results. Leave the mixture for 20-30 minutes to gently nourish your hair and scalp. Now rinse with cold water and wash using a good quality shampoo.
Olive or Argan Oil
If you don’t have or do not like to use coconut oil, then you can also consider using a mixture of olive and argan oil for repairing damaged hair. Both olive and argan oils are natural conditioners which can make your hair healthier and are good alternatives to coconut oil. To prepare this hair mask, you will need half cup of olive or argan oil. Apply the oil directly on your hair and scalp. Massage your scalp in gentle circular motions. After applying the oil, wrap your head with plastic wrap and cover with a towel. Leave the oil to condition your hair and scalp for nearly 1 hour. You can then wash your hair with shampoo.
Egg and Olive Oil Hair Mask
Egg has been recommended in lots of the homemade recipes. The reason is that it is full of proteins and fats which keep your hair nourished and conditioned. To prepare this hair mask, you will need one egg and one cup of extra virgin olive oil. Start by beating the egg and then mixing it with olive oil. If you don’t have olive oil, it can be substituted with coconut oil too. Apply this mixture generously on your hair. Now cover the hair with a shower cap and leave the mixture to work on your hair for about 30 minutes. Once completed, wash your hair with a good shampoo to feel softer and nourished hair.
Banana and Coconut Oil
Bananas are rich source of potassium which can strengthen your hair and repair the damages caused to it due to bleaching. Coconut oil also works like an elixir for nourishing and moisturizing your hair. Take one medium-sized banana and mash it in a bowl. Now add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to it and mix the ingredients properly. Apply this mixture on your hair and then massage your scalp thoroughly with it. Focus on applying more on the tips of your hair for conditioning them. ideally, you should leave this mixture for 30 minutes to work on your damaged hair. Now rinse your hair with cold water and wash off the mixture with a good shampoo.
Milk and Avocado
Milk comes with the goodness of essential nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, K, B6, and B12. It also contains proteins which are good for your hair. Avocados on the other hand are rich in fatty acids which can repair damaged hair and nourish them from within. To prepare milk and avocado hair mask, mash the avocado to a fine paste till there are no more lumps in it. Now add 3 tablespoon milk in it and mix the mixture. You should take care to use full cream milk and not toned milk as fats are needed for this hair mask to nourish your hair. Apply this mixture on your hair from root to tip and leave it for 30 minutes before washing it off with shampoo.
Aloe Vera and Coconut
Aloe vera has a similar structure to keratin which is an essential protein and one of the key building blocks of your hair. This mixture can be used as an effective substitute for your daily conditioner. Take 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with 1 cup of coconut oil and mix it well. If you are buying aloe vera gel from the market, then ensure that it does not contain alcohol. Apply this mixture on your hair and scalp and massage it gently. Allow this hair mask to sit for 1 hour and then wash it using a good mild shampoo.
Honey,Banana and Yogurt
Yogurt is a good moisturizer for your hair. It also detangles the hair and has cleansing properties. Take 1 banana and mash it to make fine paste. Add one-fourth cup of honey and half cup of yogurt. You should take care that the yogurt should be full fat and not flavored to get the best results. Add the honey and yogurt in the mashed banana and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Apply the mixture on your hair and leave it for 30 minutes before washing it off with shampoo. If the banana has not been mashed to a perfect paste, you may need a fine-tooth comb to brush off the mixture from your hair.