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Do Highlights Damage Hair? [Advice & Prevention]

Do Highlights Damage Hair

Whenever we go to do some hair color at the salon we ask ourselves things like do highlights damage hair?

Especially highlights have been one of the most requested services in the beauty salon for decades. Knowing if the wicks harm you is important for you to be safe.

The highlights by themselves do not damage the hair, however, the bleaching they need to achieve the effect can dry and sensitize the hair. Especially if it is not done correctly it can damage the hair. The formulation and the time the product is left on the hair are determining factors.

Because of these, you must be very careful with the product you are going to put on, with the exposure times, and especially with the expert, you trust with your hair.

In this article, I will tell you everything about bleaching and highlights.

Highlights Damage The Hair?

Highlights Damage The Hair

Highlights are a color effect in which the hair is chosen and separated with the tail of a comb to raise in tone. To achieve that lightening we have to use bleach or super lightening dyes.

It is important that you know that a traditional dye does not have the power to lighten more than 2 tones. This is important because this way you will avoid having bad results and having to double the same effect.

The highlights by themselves do not damage the hair but there are important factors that must be taken care of to prevent this from happening.

  • bad product
  • overprocessing
  • previous damage

These 3 factors are the most common and most powerful and lead to damage. If you understand why and how you can avoid any sensitization in the future for your hair.

Let’s see them in detail.

#1 Bad Product

The product that is used to lighten the hair is the most important thing. The quality of the products determines the technology with which they are made and how they protect the hair.

A low-quality product will simply oxidize the hair without caring about the texture or how that hair looks afterward. Cheaper products are usually much more aggressive. The technology in good quality products matters a lot because it contains the additional protection for the hair that we are looking for to not damage it.

All bleaches weaken the hair due to the oxidation process they are doing in the hair cortex. However, certain brands invest in research and develop technologies that help strengthen hair and protect it during the process.

It is well worth investing in a good product or in a place that you know works with good quality products.

#2 Over-processing

In any color process, there are specific instructions and times to follow in order to achieve the goal of the look you want to achieve. Also for the highlights, you have to follow the times that are established to achieve a good result.

Normally the time that the hair should be left is a maximum of 45 minutes. From when the bleach is prepared to the finish application. Taking into account that this time is the whole time process. That is why you must have a trained and experienced stylist. To be able to assemble the foils for the highlights and apply the product to all the hair selected to be highlighted.

If this time is exceeded, it is when the bleach simply stops acting and only the aggressive effect remains that will weaken the bonds within your hair and it is very likely that it will suffer damage.

By maintaining the correct time of action of the product you will also keep sensitization to the minimum.

#3 Previous damage

When you have already had chemical procedures done on your hair such as straighteners, curlers, dyes, and color. It may be that the hair is already sensitive or damaged before a new procedure.

A test that you can do very easily is to take a strand of hair and especially at the tip give it a turn. After that, pull slightly, if the hair breaks or stretches too much like a garter, don’t do the highlights. Because your hair will not resist more aggression and it’s quite probable that’ll break.

That is why you have to take care very seriously by analyzing and remembering the previous processes in it. Also, recognize the structure of your hair. In this way, you can avoid breakage or damage.

It is also important that you know that after some chemical process you must perform restorative treatments. This, return nutrients and strengthen the hair from the inside because the hair’s ability to repair itself after something chemical is very low. So if you just leave it in time without doing anything that won’t fix it. It’s important to help him get back in balance.

This happens because the body divides the nutrients it gets from what we eat in order of priority. It distributes it to different areas to keep us healthy. For practical purposes, the hair is not a priority and the nutrients that the hair needs are very specific. That is why something must be applied directly to it so that it can take advantage of it and repair it.

If you have a good care and repair routine after each procedure, your hair will remain healthy and strong.

READ MORE ABOUT: How split ends look like.


In conclusion, the highlights do not damage the hair but the careless process of bleaching can. There are also other factors that you saw that make the hair not get damaged. By following all the tips you saw above you can make sure that none of the bad things happen to you.

Following these tips well you will be able to see that your hair is kept in very good condition. Also, felling the texture well cared to make the color appearance healthier and shiny.

Until next time.