One of the biggest risks of bleaching your own hair at home is the possibility of having your hair damaged by the bleaching product, causing your hair to split and break.
Luckily, depending on how bad the breakage is, there are ways to save and restore your hair back to it’s original shine and texture.
The best way to fix bleached hair breakage is to use protein treatments on your hair then washing it with polymeric infused shampoos and deep moisture conditioners. It’s also important to blow dry your hair after treatment and never leave it wet or air dry.
To provide you with more details on the best methods and techniques to restore your hair, I connected with hair care experts in the industry and asked them to share with me their best tips.
Keep in mind that the methods presented below are not 100% guaranteed. If you find that your hair is damaged beyond repair, speak with your local Cosmetologist or Medical Specialist for professional help.
Here’s How to Fix Bleached Hair Breakage
DIY Leave In Protein Treatment
Adina Mahalli is a skin and hair care expert at Maple Holistics. Adina explains that salvaging bleach-damaged hair is all about restoring hydration to your strands. You also need to know that your hair is made up of keratin and other essential proteins that are usually stripped through the bleaching process. This means that fixing bleached hair breakage can start with a protein treatment.
You can make your own hair masks and regular leave-in treatments to allow your hair to soak in some moisture that lasts. Here’s what you need to do make your own Leave In Protein Treatment:
What You Will Need:
- 1oz shea butter
- 1 oz Avocado oil
- Lavender essential oil
- 1 tsp honey
- Melt the shea butter and avocado oil until they become a smooth mixture.
- Add honey and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Leave to cool until
the blend becomes a creamy consistency.
- Apply mixture evenly to the hair strands, working your way from root to tips.
- Leave for 15-30 minutes before rinsing out with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
How It Works:
The avocado oil in this recipe provides your hair with essential proteins while the shea butter and honey work to restore moisture and hydration to lackluster locks. Meanwhile, the lavender oil helps both calm your senses and balance your scalp for healthy hair growth post-bleaching.
Try Olaplex #3
Mike Van den Abbeel is a hairstylist with over 16 years of experience. He is also the owner of Mosaic Hair Studio & Blowout Bar located in Orlando Fl.
According to Mike, the absolute front runner for repairing bleached hair, or any chemical over processing, is Olaplex. This remarkable product helps strengthen the bonds of your hair. It can be done before or after treatment and added into the bleach as well to help protect the hair. Olaplex can actually repair the hair as long as its not overly damaged.
Olaplex is an in salon only treatment. However, they do make a retail product, called Olaplex #3, that can be used at home. It works from the inside out to repair broken hair bonds. The resulting reconnected hair bonds are permanent and won’t break on their own. However damage from daily styling and heat is still possible.
How to Use Olaplex #3 to fix bleached hair breakage:
Note: the steps below are for reference only and is not a substitute for the instructions on the product label. Always read the instructions on the label before using the product.
- Wash your hair with shampoo to get rid of the oil, dirt and other buildups.
- Towel dry your hair
- Apply a fair amount of Olaplex #3 to hair. Comb through from roots to tip to ensure even coverage of product.
- Leave in hair for about 10 minutes. If you have badly damaged hair, you can leave the product in your hair for up to 90 minutes.
- Wash your hair to rinse out the product. Use your daily shampoo and conditioner.
- Apply a leave-in smoothing cream to help protect and hydrate your hair.
Olaplex No 3 should not be used for more than once a week.
Tips from a Celebrity Hair Stylist
Vincent de Marco is an LA-based, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Vincente Hair Artistry. He has over three decades of hair styling experience. Vincent suggests that there is no “one stop fix” and your results will take some time depending on the extent of the breakage.
Vincent suggests the following tips to fix bleached hair breakage:
Blowing Hair Dry — With bleached hair that has breakage, one might think that you should stop blow drying, this is FALSE. Air drying can lead to more breakage, so remember to use a warm dryer and complete the process of drying every time you wet your hair.
Use Polymeric Infused Shampoo — Bleached hair is very porous so, you’ll want to start filling the hair with polymeric infused shampoo like Bumble and Bumble Crème de Coco Shampoo. This deeply rich and deeply hydrating shampoo delivers shine and softness. You can always pair this with Bumble and Bumble’s Crème de Coco Conditioner.
Use a Deep Moisture Conditioner — Moisture is what keeps your hair strands nourished and elastic. So, condition your hair daily to restore elasticity. Conditioner is the #1 go-to to repair breakage. I like B&B Super Rich Conditioner, it’s a moisture rich conditioner that softens the hair. I also like Aveda Nutriplenish Conditioner Deep Moisture, a new product that is very hydrating and Aveda Cherry Almond Softening Conditioner with almond oil and organic shea butter to help restore softness and shine.
Try Protein Treatments — In order to repair bleached hair, one must find a keratin infused hair mask. However, too much protein can make the hair brittle, so using it incessantly is not the answer. Protein for hair only works if it is Keratin, otherwise the molecular weight is too high to fit inside the hair. Wheat and other protein treatments don’t help with structural support. It’s important not to overuse protein treatment. Only use them once every 5-7 shampoos. If you use too often, you will make the hair too brittle from over proteinizing and cause more breakage. Try Goldwell Kerasilk Reconstruct Intensive Repair Mask.
Handle Wet Hair Gently — Be very gentle with your hair when it is wet in order to avoid breaking more hair off before you repair it.
Give Enough Time — Give the repair process a few weeks to recognize the benefits.