Hair Bleaching - What's hot and What's not

Hair bleaching worked for Debbie Harry and Marilyn Monroe and both looked absolutely gorgeous. Millions of us have tried to copy this look! Bleaching can be successful and look sensational but also can lead to disaster! My advice is this:

  • Beware that with hair bleaching there is a compromise. Bleaching undoubtedly spoils the quality of your hair – it will feel rougher, be drier and be more porous. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to grow your hair particularly long since your hair will have a much shorter breaking point. Moisturising hair products and protection from heat styling are a must.

  • There is a tendency for bleached hair to turn yellow. This can be corrected by using a mauve toning shampoo every third or fourth wash.

  • Hair bleaching requires a lot of upkeep. Unless you want dark roots to show, you will need to re bleach your roots every 3 weeks. This takes a lot of time and money and your hair pays a high price too.

  • If you decide to change back to a non-bleached style, do not, under any circumstances, try a home solution. Using a darker colour hair dye over bleached hair will invariably lead to disaster. Your hair will simply go a khaki shade of green. Instead, you must go to a professional colourist. Bleach strips your hair of any natural red colour (whatever colour or tone you are naturally) – the colourist will need to replace this before being able to return you to a new colour and this is a technical process, not something which can be done at home.

  • Do be prepared to lose length as the condition of your hair will be compromised greatly.

  • If you are more than 30% grey, bleaching is never a good idea. Bleach works by acting directly on the melanin inside the cortex of the hair. When hair is grey, the melanin is not present and so the bleach still infuses into the hair, makes it more brittle and damages it even more so than usual. With grey hair, it is better to use temporary colour and nothing stronger than a 6-8 semi-permanent wash - otherwise you'll have a permanent stain and roots. Alternatively, use blue shampoos especially designed to brighten grey hair.

My own experience

I have had my own disastrous experiences with bleach. Although I am a natural blonde, I once asked my colourist to brighten my hair using a semi-permanent. The result was a muddy brown colour which aged me by 10 years. It wouldn't wash out and after six months and with 2 inches of roots, I went to a second colourist who attempted to bleach it out. I ended up with yellow, dry, brittle hair which had to be completed cut off to the scalp. Lesson learnt!!! Thanks to this I have a wonderful assortment of wigs!

Do bleach if you must, but please think of the possible consequences!!!

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