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What is Hair Bleaching?

Bleaching is a chemical process that strips the natural or artificial colour of the hair. This step is a necessary step when preparing your hair for colouring. This process is not only reserved for permanent hair colouring, but also for hair lighteners. Some of us are not aware of the risks associated with bleaching. The results are wonderful when the bleaching process is done correctly, though. Lightening products can also make fine hair appear thicker and fuller by plumping the individual hair shafts.
When is bleaching necessary and when shouldn't you bleach? How does the bleaching process occur? Below are a few tips you should bear in mind when bleaching your hair.

What it Does to Your Hair
What it Does to Your Hair

What it Does to Your Hair

The purpose of bleaching the hair is to remove the pigment from the hair. This is especially necessary for people who have naturally dark hair, and for those who are removing previously dark-coloured hair colouring. However, some people use bleaching to obtain white or blonde hair colouring.
You may choose a shade of hair colour that is not commonly found in nature. An example of these shades include shades of blue, pink and neon-green, while others are blacklight reactive. A person with dark hair will especially need to use a bleaching kit before using such colours. This is because these colours only contain tint, and usually, do not contain the developer (hydrogen peroxide).
Bleached hair requires more care than your natural locks. Hair bleaching increases the hair's sulphonic acid content; therefore, it requires more lubrication. Home kits include intensive leave-in conditioners, which must be applied almost immediately after bleaching. After the initial bleaching, daily conditioning and other products help porous bleached hair retain its moisture and shine. Pre-treatment shampoos and deep-conditioning treatments also help hair retain its elasticity if applied before bleaching.

Bleaching and Hair Damage
Bleaching and Hair Damage

Bleaching and Hair Damage

The process of stripping the hair follicles of colour requires bleaching. When colouring the hair, hydrogen peroxide is mixed with the tint (an alkalising ingredient). The alkaline peroxide breaks up the melanin in the cortex of the hair follicles and replaces it with the tinted colour. Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in hair bleach. Bleaching often leaves hair drier, more fragile and less elastic than it was previously. Its effects make your hair more prone to breakage and less manageable. Because the bleaching process raises the cuticles, your hair may tangle more easily. If you leave bleach on for too long, your hair may turn white or may take on a yellow tint, as the stripping process exposes the hue of the hair protein, keratin, which features a natural yellow colour. Darker hair colours often take on a red tint as keratin shines through. The amount of damage done also depends on the amount of colour change. For instance, going from a dark to a light shade is the most hazardous because the colouring (bleaching) agent is stronger and left on for longer.

Protect Your Hair Before and After Bleaching
Protect Your Hair Before and After Bleaching

Protect Your Hair Before and After Bleaching

The best way to combat dryness, brittleness, and breakage is to use a pre-shampoo deep conditioning treatment three day before and also after bleaching or highlighting, and then weekly thereafter. This plumps your hair up with moisture, making it more elastic and less likely to snap. The correct pre-shampoo treatments also add shine, manageability, and bounce. Use a daily damage defence product to keep your hair hydrated, shiny and protected from daily environmental damage. Products like these also help to seal gaps caused by a raised cuticle. While you may not be styling your hair throughout the day, pollution, air conditioning/central heating, wind and UV rays can take their toll. Bleaching raises your hair cuticle, causing hairs to interlock and tangle easily. Condition after every shampoo to flatten the cuticle, seal in moisture, reduce knots and add shine. Bleached hair is already vulnerable to damage and snapping. This is because the cuticle of bleached hair is weaker and often raised, allowing it to be more easily removed during your day-to-day hair care regime. When your cuticle is damaged, your hair's cortex (core) becomes exposed, which leaves your hair prone to rapid moisture loss. Use a smoothing product to help close and smooth your hair cuticle. This will help reduce moisture evaporation and also give your hair a glossier and healthier appearance. You can also use Celeb Luxury Colorditioner - a timed-release colour deposit conditioner that adds more colour the longer it is left on. It also provides intense conditioning, strengthening and rebuilding of bonds, whilst depositing colour. The amount of colour will depend on the length of time left in the hair with more colour deposited the longer it is left.

A Few Tips on How to Take care of Bleached Hair
A Few Tips on How to Take care of Bleached Hair

A Few Tips on How to Take care of Bleached Hair

Find a hair colourist you trust to give you the best of the best. He or she is probably going to be more expensive, but that’s because it costs colourists more to get you the good stuff. The best way to fight back against bleach-damaged hair is by restoring moisture and limiting heat styling. The more moisture you pump into your hair, the better. Slather on a deep-conditioning mask over dry hair every night for a week leading up to your appointment, and for the week after your appointment, in addition to a using a weekly bond-repairing treatment. We would recommend Chromaplex - an ultra-conditioning, twice weekly, at-home treatment with Fibre Bond Technology designed to maintain hair strength, with sensational shine and suppleness in-between salon appointments. Chemically-lightened hair is more vulnerable to harsh environmental elements and heat-styling tools such as flat irons and hair dryers; therefore, you need to be extra cautious. Guard your hair with a heat protectant product and limit heat styling to minimise damage. The best way to rehydrate your hair is with the help of deep treatments. They need to be done multiple times a week to jumpstart the process, and you should avoid heat styling at all costs.

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