Want to get your hair bleached, but worried about the health of your hair? It is only normal to think that bleach would leave a negative impact on your hair, especially because of the reputation.
But, you can neutralize the effect of bleach if you take proper precautions before and after the bleaching procedure. So, let’s dig deep into the process of hair bleaching and find out more about using it safely.
- What Is Hair Bleach & What Does It Do To Your Hair?
- How Do You Prepare Your Hair Before Bleaching It?
- How To Bleach Your Hair-Step By Step Guide
- How Many Ways Are There To Bleach Your Hair?
- How Long Does Hair Bleach Last?
- Side Effects Of Hair Bleach
- How To Take Care Of Your Hair After Bleaching?
- How To Repair Bleach-Damaged Hair?
What Is Hair Bleach & What Does It Do To Your Hair?
Hair bleach is a chemical-based procedure where bleaching agents are applied to your hair to strip the natural pigment of your hair and make it lighter in colour.
Bleach has alkaline agents that break down the protective layer of your hair strands. The oxidative agents of bleaching powder penetrate deep into your hair shaft and change the melanin molecule. The melanin remains in your hair but once the molecules are oxidized, they become colourless.
The longer you keep the bleach on your hair, the more melanin it dissolves, and the lighter in shade your hair gets.
How Do You Prepare Your Hair Before Bleaching It?
1. Take Your Time Before Bleaching
Bleaching is a chemical procedure and it can affect your hair if not done properly. If you are thinking about a hair bleach, you need to start preparing your hair months before you bleach it. Strictly do not go for any chemical-based treatment or even colour your hair for at least three months before bleaching your hair. Not following this precaution may cause severe damage to your hair. 
2. Limit Hair Styling
Just like colouring, hair styling is also a big no for months before bleaching. If you cannot go without styling your hair, then at least try to limit the usage of heating tools like straightening, curlers, etc. Also, use hair products that do not have Sodium lauryl sulfate and Sodium lauryl ether sulfate. Sulfate can cause moisture loss in your hair and damage it.
3. Deep Conditioning
Chemical-based products and treatments cause a huge moisture loss from your hair and make it dry. That’s why it is essential to deep-condition your hair. Do not forget to use a conditioner after every shampoo. Also, apply deep conditioning hair masks twice a week. Start taking special care of your hair at least two weeks before the hair bleach.
4. Hair Oiling
Oiling is a great option to keep your hair hydrated and healthy. Coconut oil or olive can be good for your hair. Massage your hair with your choice of hair oil and leave it overnight. Coconut oil forms a protective barrier around your hair shaft. In the morning, wash your hair with shampoo and follow it up with a conditioner. 
How To Bleach Your Hair-Step By Step Guide
If you are planning to bleach your hair, know that it's an in-depth process. However, if done right, it can give you desirable results.
Let's begin with what you need:
1. A good quality over-the-counter hair bleach kit.
2. Choose a hair level before buying the product.
3. Vol 10 to Vol 40 developers are available in the market. Vol 10 would give you the lightest hair shade, whereas Vol 40 would give you the darkest shade. If you want a pale blonde look then, Vol 10 is a perfect choice. Similarly, a pure blonde shade would need a Vol 40 developer.
4. Tools like a brush, comb, mixing bowls, shower cap, clips etc for the procedure.
5. A neutralizer shampoo and conditioner.
Keep in mind that the entire process may take around 45 - 50 minutes approximately.
Step 1: Protect Your Skin
Firstly and most importantly, protect your skin from the bleach. Wear protective gloves and apply petroleum gel on your neck, ear and exposed areas close to your head.
Step 2: Prepare Your Hair
Divide your hair into small parts and tie them up with clips. It would be easier for you to apply the bleach quickly and easily. The crown section too would be secured away. You can freely start with the back of your first and reserve the cross section for the end.
Step 3: Mix The Powder Well
Open the product package and mix the bleach powder and developer as per the instructions. You should ideally add two parts of the developer for one part of bleach.
Make sure you mix them properly without leaving any lumps.
Step 4: Apply The Bleach
Start applying the mixture from the bottom sections of your hair. Slowly cover the top section of your hair as well. Once you are done applying bleach all over your hair, cover your scalp with a hair cap.
Step 5: Leave The Bleach On Hair
Keep the bleach on your hair for 30 to 40 minutes. Keeping the bleach for a longer duration can harm your hair. Keep checking on the hair in between to see if the color is reaching the levels you want.
If you notice redness, itching, or burning after you have kept the bleach on your hair for a while, please wash the bleach off and visit a doctor.
Step 6: Rinse Your Hair
Next, rinse your hair in running water and wash it with a neutralizer shampoo and conditioner. Follow with a conditioner. Let your hair air dry.
How Many Ways Are There To Bleach Your Hair?
Apart from the conventional and most popular way that we just discussed, you can also opt for homemade bleaching options which are far safer. Here are three methods to help you out with homemade hair bleach.
1. Bleaching With Lemon
One lemon, a cup of water and a spray bottle.
1. Mix lemon juice and water in the spray bottle and shake it well.
2. Apply the serum all over your hair and wait for two to three hours.
3. Wash your hair and use a conditioner to condition it.
4. Repeat this every week until you get desired results.
2. Bleaching With Apple Cider Vinegar
A cup of apple cider vinegar, half cup honey and one tablespoon coconut oil.
1. Mix the ingredients into a bowl and keep stirring until it blends well.
2. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it overnight.
3. Wash your hair in the morning using shampoo and conditioner.
3. Bleaching With Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea leaves, spray bottle
1. Boil the chamomile tea for 5 minutes and let it cool down.
2. Pour it inside the bottle and spray it all over your hair.
3. Leave it on your hair for 30 minutes.
4. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.
5. Repeat the same twice every week till you get the desired look.
How Long Does Hair Bleach Last?
Bleaching is permanent. Once you bleach your hair, it won’t go back to the natural state unless you let your hair grow. You can chop off a certain length to get rid of the bleached hair. 
Side Effects Of Hair Bleach
1. Bleaching powder contains an alkaline agent such as ammonium hydroxide and an oxidizing agent like hydrogen peroxide. These are harmful to your hair.
2. You may notice hair fall after a hair bleach session.
3. You may feel a burning sensation on your scalp and other areas near your head if they get exposed to the bleaching mixture.
4. Bleaching reduces the moisture level of your hair shaft. Your hair becomes more prone to damage and breakage.
5. Bleaching makes your hair and scalp dry. Your hair may feel very dull if not maintained properly.
6. In severe cases, you may also feel scalp burns, irritation, redness, or a stinging sensation.
How To Take Care Of Your Hair After Bleaching?
1. Use Natural Products
Bleaching partly damages your hair. Using a chemical-based product may damage your hair further. Therefore, it is advisable to use natural products for your hair. You can go for paraben-free, sulfate-free products to protect your hair from damage.
2. Avoid Styling Tools
Just like you need to limit the usage of heating tools before your hair bleach session, we suggest you to continue doing the same even after the procedure is done. Heating tools in general make your hair dry and prone to breakage.
Hair oiling is one of the best options to keep your hair healthy. Sunflower oil, coconut oil and olive oil are great choices for natural hair oils. Hair oiling would nourish your hair and prevent further damage to it. 
4. Hydrate Your Hair
Keep your hair hydrated and moisturized. Use moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair and maintain its health.
How To Repair Bleach-Damaged Hair?
1. Keratin Therapy
If your hair is already damaged due to bleaching, you can opt for a keratin therapy to control the damage.
2. Change Your Comb
Use a better quality comb for your hair. A poor quality comb can cause more breakage. Get a wide-toothed comb that has thin and natural bristles.
3. Deep Conditioning
Go for deep hair conditioning shampoo and masks to condition your damaged hair.
A few masks that your hair can benefit from are,
A. Banana Mask:
Banana has a lot to offer. Smash a banana into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of honey to it. Mix it until it’s perfectly blended. Apply the mask on hair. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and wash it off.
B. Egg Yolk:
You can make an egg mask for your hair. Egg yolk has protein and deeply moisturizes your damaged hair. Break 1 egg into a bowl and add some natural oil like coconut or olive oil. Apply the mask to your hair and let it rest for 10 minutes. Clean it off properly and wash with shampoo afterwards to get rid of the smell. 
C. Avocado Mask:
Avocado is another excellent option to nourish your damaged hair. Mash one avocado into a small bowl and add coconut oil to it. Mix them well before applying. Keep the mask on for 30 minutes and then wash it off.
Bleaching is not as difficult as you think. But if your hair is long and thick, we suggest you go to a parlour for hair bleach. A parlour professional will choose a bleaching product based on your requirement and hair type. You would also get proper care and expert advice from a professional. In case you are doing it at home, please note that scalp burns, irritation, redness, and a stinging sensation are warning signs for a medical emergency.
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