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Does Bleaching Your Hair Damage It? [The Reality]

Does Bleaching Your Hair Damage It

When we feel like doing a new effect on our hair. Especially when we want to are lighter shades we can ask ourselves does bleaching your hair damage it?

It is a very common and very valid question because it is known that bleach is aggressive with hair. The lightening procedure can be used on highlights, balayage, and even general lightening to remove dark tones such as black or very dark brown dye.

Bleaching your hair does not damage it, but it sensitizes it. When the bleach goes inside the cortex of the hair sensitizes cuticles and weakens the keratin chains. It depends on what product is used, under what formulation, time, and the previous process that the hair had before being bleached. Hair damage can happen if poor quality products are used or the action time is exceeded.

The product is one of the key points to preventing your hair from damaging. In this article, I will explain everything that bleach does and how to prevent it from damaging your hair.

Does Bleaching your hair Damage it Badly?

The truth is that bleach is a product that penetrates the hair to the cortex to act. Because of the place where it has to work, which is the cortex, it is aggressive because it must make its way through the cuticles to the center.

The bleach tends to dry and weaken the hair because it takes away nutrients by lightening the melanin and taking away the proteins that are in the same cortex. However, not all bleaches do the same damage and there are different factors that cause the hair to be damaged through this nutrient suction.

In what cases does bleaching your hair damage it?

The bleach acts in the form of oxidation. Hair has a color that is concentrated in melanin molecules. And this in turn is found in the cortex.

These chemicals make a reaction with which the melanin is oxidized and is left without color. It will always have a small yellow reflection in the background. In the cortex are also many important nutrients for the health and elasticity of the hair.

Also, the cortex is where proteins are found and especially keratin, which is what gives hair strength. When this product discolors the melanin inside, it wears down what it touches and the longer it is left on, the more nutrients it will remove.

The main causes of damage are:

  1. Bad product
  2. Overtime Process
  3. Dryness
  4. Previous damage

With each of them, you will be able to know more in-depth about how and why hair is mistreated and how to avoid it.

#1 Bad product

Proper bleaching products lead to care your hair

Bleach is a product that oxidizes the melanin in the hair. This oxidation is an invasive process in the hair and the quality of the ingredients is very important. A comparison is in the kitchen if one makes a dish with quality ingredients, the flavor is noticeable. The same goes for hair products. The cheaper they are, the worse quality they will be and consequently the more damage they do.

The chemical procedure is invasive by itself, so good quality brands invest in research and technology that helps strengthen hair during this process. That is why it is worth investing in a product with a good reputation and with experience in the market. This way you make sure that your hair is cared for as much as possible. This will avoid problems in the future of breakage and opening of tips.

With this, I do not mean that the bleach will not sensitize your hair. This will always happen but the level will be much lower and with a few treatment sessions you will be able to return to your balanced state. As long as you have a care routine that favors it.

#2 Overtime Process

over process hair lead hair damage

As in a kitchen recipe, the instructions, measurements, and process time are key to achieving a good result. The same happens with the chemistry during the bleaching. It is essential to follow the procedure correctly and not over-process the hair to avoid damage.

The bleach has an action time that lasts up to 45 minutes. Usually, in the first half hour, the hair has already lightened. Depending on the level of clarification, it is the time that the bleach should be left on. Never leave it beyond 45 minutes because it will not lighten anymore and it will simply dry and take more nutrients.

The product used is also key here to achieve a good lightening with the bleaching because the better technology the product has, the less time it will lighten without damaging the hair.

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#3 Dryness

dryness is a result from bleaching hair damage

Dryness can be identified by how the hair feels to the touch and how the hair looks right after a shower. the feeling of roughness and the rough and disheveled appearance

This dryness is caused by the inability of the hair to retain the nutrition that is usually based on oils that lubricate and protect the deepest layers of the hair.

These oils help keep cuticles lubricated and sealed. However, when they are damaged they begin to open. Being open they cannot retain hydration and nutrition. This generates an endless cycle in which, as they do not retain nutrition, they dry out more. And every time they dry more they open and retain less. That can lead to split ends which is a bigger problem.

The bleach can cause this weakening in the cuticles. But if you take care and reinforce the layers that have been worn with intensive nutrition. We can reseal the cuticles and help lubricate them.

To learn more about what you can do to eliminate dryness. Check out this article on what to do after bleaching.

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#4 Previous damage

check the previous chimicals in your hair

Previous damage refers to all the chemical treatments you have done in the last year at least. To give you an idea it depends on the length of your hair. If you have it at shoulder height at least it will be for a year. Every month the hair grows 1cm so calculate how many cm you have and every 12 means a year.

The chemicals in it can be straighteners such as keratins, permanent straighteners, or permanent curlers. It is extremely important if you have applied any of these above. During the time proportional to the length you have in your hair, do not bleach.

An example is that if you have a length of 36 cm, it is proportional to 3 years of length. If you applied a permanent straightener 1 year ago, you would only have 12 cm healthy from the root to count 12 cm. That’s the only area you could bleach.

Similar to bleach, the chemicals that modify the structure of the hair sensitize the hair but much deeper. If you bleach your hair after having done one of these treatments. It is very likely that your hair will break or that the ends will not resist.


Now you know that bleach is an agent that can damage hair but it also has different factors that can cause it to damage more.
Knowing this you can be more careful and cautious when using it and thus be able to apply treatments to the hair just after the bleach has been applied.