Repairing Bleach Damaged Hair – How to Repair Bleached Hair

Repairing Bleach Damaged Hair – How to Repair Bleached Hair
October 14, 2021 Ellis James
If you’ve dyed your hair platinum blonde in the past or lightened it before trying some other fun colors, you probably used bleach. Bleach can be very effective at lightening our hair by removing the color from the melanin in the hair. Unfortunately, bleach is also very damaging to hair. It dries the hair out, leads to increased breakage, and can make your hair look very unhealthy. If you’re dealing with these frustrations and looking for solutions for repairing bleached, damaged hair, keep reading! We’ll highlight our best tips and products to help you save your hair and help it look and feel healthier.

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Can damaged hair be repaired?

A lot of different styling tools and products can be damaging to our hair.  From heated curling irons and flat irons to bleach, our hair can really take a beating as we try to color or style it.  Fortunately, revitalizing heat-damaged curly hair or bleach-damaged hair is possible.  You just need to know the right tools, products, and tricks to use, and you’ll be amazed at what is possible!

Can damaged bleached hair be repaired?

Understanding what bleaching does to hair is important before you begin to talk about repairing damaged hair.  When you bleach hair, the bleach opens up the cuticles on the hair, which makes the hair strands swell.  You may have noticed that your hair has more volume after bleaching; this is why.

After opening the cuticle, the oxidative agents in bleach penetrate into the cortex of the hair and dissolve the melanin.  Melanin is the natural pigment in our hair that gives it color.  The length of time you leave bleach on, impacts how much of the melanin is dissolved and how much color is removed from the hair.  When you bleach your hair, it also makes it more elastic and porous (which is why you can add color to bleached hair more easily).

With bleached hair, split ends and hair breakage are very common.  Since the cuticle has been opened so much, it isn’t able to really keep hair together as well.  With the exposed cortex, hair is more likely to break.

So, can damaged bleached hair be repaired? How to fix bleached hair breakage, is it even possible?

There are many myths about hair bleaching, and one of them is that you can’t repair damaged bleached hair.  Fortunately, this is just a myth and there are in fact a number of things you can do to repair hair damaged from bleaching.

 

Repairing Bleached Damaged Hair

Damaged bleached hair is pretty easy to identify.  You may notice more tangles and knots in the hair, split ends, frizzy hair, very dry or brittle hair, or hair that simply isn’t as shiny and healthy looking as it once was.

If you have bleached, damaged hair, try some of the ideas below for how to fix badly bleached hair and repair the damage:

  • This deep-conditioning hair mask treatment is formulated with proteins that can moisturize and repair dry and damaged hair.
  • A polymeric infused shampoo is very hydrating and can help smooth out the frizziness of bleach damaged hair.
  • Highly moisturizing conditioners are a must for bleach damaged hair.  The hair needs the moisture to nourish each strand and increase softness.  You can even use conditioner before shampooing to provide some additional protection.
  • Wet bleached hair is especially fragile and can be easily broken.  When your hair is wet, be careful not to break more hair.
  • Heated tools will cause more damage to your already damaged hair, which can make trying to repair the bleached, damaged hair a losing process.

 

 

How to Repair Damaged Hair

As you can see above, there are some things you can do to repair damaged hair.  In the next few sections, we’ll share some additional tips for helping repair hair damaged by bleach and other chemical treatments.  While you may feel hopeless looking at your extremely damaged hair right now, there are certainly things you can do to make it look and feel much better.

How do you fix severely chemically damaged hair?

Wondering, “how can I fix my chemically damaged hair naturally?”

If your hair has been severely damaged by bleach and other chemical treatments, there are some simple at-home treatments you can try using things you may already have around the house.  These include using raw eggs on your hair to increase its shine, rubbing coconut oil on your hair to help it grow out thick and long, rubbing almond oil on hair to strengthen and soften it, and using olive oil to protect hair from future damage.

How can I repair my damaged hair without cutting it?

Cutting bleached, damaged hair is one way to repair it, but sometimes you may not be ready for such drastic measures.

If you want to keep your hair long, while still repairing damage from bleach, use some of the ideas we shared above such as using coconut oil, almond oil, or eggs on your hair.  Be purposeful and choose a shampoo and conditioner designed for bleach-damaged hair, staying away from heated styling tools, and doing a keratin mask treatment can also be very beneficial.

How can I bring my processed hair back to life?

How do you fix seriously damaged bleached hair?

If your over-processed hair is looking frizzy, dull, and just blah, revitalizing it and bringing it back to life is probably high on your priority list.

Start by making sure you don’t do further damage to your hair by discontinuing the use of heated styling tools for a while.  If you need to use a heated tool, protect your hair first with a heat protectant spray.  Then, do a keratin treatment for your hair and swap out your current shampoo and conditioner for some that are specifically designed for use on bleach damaged hair.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Strength + Moisture Leave-In Mask - Leave In Moisturizing Hair Mask for Dry, Damaged Hair with Argan Oil. No Harsh Sulfates, Silicones or Parabens, 4 Ounces

How to make bleached hair soft and silky

How do I fix my bleached damaged hair and make it soft and silky?  To get rid of that dry and brittle feel of your bleached hair, there are a few things you can try.

These include:

  • Eating a balanced diet.  Certain foods, such as salmon, oats, eggs, and green vegetables, can also help improve the look and feel of hair.
  • Rehydrate hair using argan or coconut oil.  Then, cover your hair with a silk cloth overnight to help the hair soak up the oil.
  • Cover your hair when you’re out in the sun.  Using a hat or scarf to cover your hair can prevent it from getting further damaged by the sun’s UV rays.
  • Use a wide-tooth comb to brush your hair.  This will prevent hair from getting pulled or broken too much and can increase blood circulation in the hair roots.

How to fix stretchy hair after bleaching

Ever noticed that your hair feels stretchy after bleaching it?  This is a common problem that many face.  Keeping your hair well-hydrated after bleaching it can help reduce that stretchy feel.

Some things you can try include:

  • Only wash your hair every three days or so.  Over-washing your hair introduces more chemicals, which can actually make it worse.
  • Use a hair mask.  Hair masks can help improve hair’s texture and feel, which will make it feel less stretchy.  Leave the hair mask on for at least an hour to really see the benefits you’re looking for.
  • Don’t use hair ties or clips.  After bleaching your hair, if you use clips or hair ties in your hair, it can make it more likely that the hair will break.  Clips and hair ties place additional tension on the hair and stretch it out even more.

How to heal your hair after bleaching

How do you reverse bleach damage?

As you can see, there are many different techniques and products that can help you heal your hair after bleaching.  Which of the ideas that we shared above are you ready to try to repair your bleach damaged hair?

How do you rehydrate bleached hair?

Now, how to hydrate hair after bleaching?  As we shared above, bleaching dries hair out and can make it very brittle.  Rehydrating hair is important if you want to get your hair feeling and looking healthy again.  Try one of these ideas to hydrate your hair and increase its health:

  • Use olive oil, argan oil, almond oil, or coconut oil
  • Protect your hair from the sun using SPF sprays for hair or wearing a hat or scarf
  • Use a leave-in conditioner
  • Wash your hair using cool water, not hot

 

What is the best treatment for bleached damaged hair?

Choosing the best treatment for your bleached damaged hair can make all the difference in how well the damage is reversed.  Since everyone’s hair is different, you may need to mix and match some of these ideas and product suggestions until you discover the right fit for the specific needs of your hair.

So what is the best treatment for extremely damaged hair?  Try some of these ideas:

Keratin Treatment

Getting a keratin treatment at the salon, or doing one at home with Blondwood Keratin Hair Mask or Vitamins Keratin Hair Mask for Dry & Damaged Hair can really help repair damaged hair.  Keratin treatments are a type of deep conditioning mask formulated with protein.  They can add shine to hair and repair damage caused by bleach.

 

Keratin Hair Mask - Made in USA - Best Natural Biotin Keratin Collagen Treatment for Dry & Damaged Hair - Professional Collagen Hair Vitamin Complex for Hair Repair, Nourishment & Beauty - 8 oz

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Pre-Treat Hair with Argan Oil or Coconut Oil

Using argan oil or coconut oil before washing your hair can serve as a pretreatment.  Adding this step to your routine can help strengthen hair, protect it, and improve the hair’s look and feel.

Simply rub the oil between the palms of your hands until it warms up a bit.  Then, use your hands to work it through the lower half of your hair followed by the upper half of your hair.  You won’t need a very thick coating.

PURA D'OR Organic Moroccan Argan Oil (4oz / 118mL) USDA Certified 100% Pure Cold Pressed Virgin Premium Grade Moisturizer Treatment for Dry & Damaged Skin, Hair, Face, Body, Scalp & Nails

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Choose the Right Shampoo and Conditioner

Choose a shampoo formulated for bleached and over-processed hair, such as Redken Extreme Shampoo or Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo for Damaged Hair.  These shampoos are designed to be restorative and prevent future damage to hair.

The right conditioner is also essential.  Bleach damaged hair is very dry and must get enough moisture.  Look for a deep moisture conditioner, such as Biolage Ultra Hydrasource Conditioner or Pureology Hydrate Conditioner, that will be able to deliver this essential hydration.

Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Vegan Conditioner, 9 Fluid Ounces

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Use Olaplex

Will Olaplex fix my damaged hair?  Yes, Olaplex No.3  is an at-home treatment that works similarly to stronger salon treatments to reverse damage to hair.  Olaplex works to fix broken bonds in hair, effectively improving the structure of the hair.  This repair strengthens hair and will allow you to enjoy healthier hair with an improved look and feel.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment, 3.3 Ounce (Packaging may vary)

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Stay Away From Heated Styling Tools

Heated styling tools can be very damaging to hair that is already healthy.  Using heated tools on bleach damaged hair can add more damage, and definitely won’t aid in the process of repairing the damage that is already there.  Try to avoid using any heated styling tools.

If you must use a heated tool, be sure to use a heat protectant, such as HSI Professional Argan Oil Thermal Protector, for your hair.

Be Gentle with Hair

Bleached hair is very easy to break when it is wet.  You want to be very gentle with your wet hair and avoid trying to detangle it when wet or drying it too roughly.

Try using a microfiber towel to dry hair, since it will be much more gentle than using your standard bath towel.

YoulerTex Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap for Women, 2 Pack 10 inch X 26 inch Super Absorbent Quick Dry Hair Turban for Drying Curly Long Thick Hair (Gray)

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Take Supplements

Biotin, keratin, or collagen supplements can also help improve the health of your bleached hair.  These supplements can strengthen hair and increase its shine.

 

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Try Rice Water

Rice water on hair can help repair bleached hair.  Inositol and other beneficial nutrients are found in rice water, which can help hydrate and improve the texture and appearance of hair.

 

How long does it take to fix damaged hair?

Everyone’s hair is different and the severity of the damage will impact how long it will take you to truly repair your hair.

You could start seeing improvement after only a few weeks or even days, but it could take months to truly repair the damage to your hair.

Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Vegan Conditioner, 9 Fluid Ounces

 

Repairing Bleached Damaged Hair: FAQs

Is hair permanently damaged after bleaching?

Yes, bleaching can permanently damage hair.  However, you can take steps to lessen the damage.  And, fortunately, as new hair grows in, it won’t be damaged.

Does bleaching damage hair follicles?

If you use bleach correctly and don’t leave it on too long, it shouldn’t damage your hair follicles.  Bleach only affects the hair that is currently growing, it shouldn’t do anything to the hair that hasn’t grown in yet.

What should I do immediately after bleaching my hair?

After bleaching your hair, make some of these changes to your routine and the styling products you use to help prevent further damage to your hair and to repair some of the damage caused by the bleach:

  • Only wash your hair every three days
  • Choose very hydrating shampoos and conditioners designed for bleached and processed hair
  • Use a microfiber towel to dry your hair
  • Don’t use heated styling tools

Redken Extreme Shampoo | Anti-Breakage & Repair for Damaged Hair | Infused With Proteins | 33.8 Fl Oz

How long does it take for bleached hair to go back to normal?

For bleached hair to truly return to normal, you’ll need to grow out new hair.  The length of time this can take will vary depending on how quickly your hair grows, but may take between two and three years.

Does cutting damaged hair help it grow?

Trimming your hair doesn’t mean it will grow out faster.  However, it is still important to get regular hair trims to remove split ends.  If split ends aren’t removed, hair will look more damaged and more hair can break.

Is it normal to lose hair after bleaching?

Yes, losing some hair after bleaching is normal.  Bleaching hair weakens hair and makes it more likely to break.  However, if you notice that your hair is falling out from the roots after breaking, that is not normal.  If this is happening, make an appointment at a reputable salon ASAP, since it likely means that you burned your hair when bleaching it.

Why is my bleached hair falling out?

Bleach opens the hair cuticle and weakens hair.  This can increase hair breakage and cause hair to fall out.  Over-bleached hair, especially, loses some of its elasticity and is more likely to fall out.

Will damaged hair grow back healthy?

Yes, it is possible to grow back healthy hair.  However, you want to avoid doing further damage to the new hair as it is growing in.  This means trying to stay away from chemical treatments, hair coloring, or using heated styling tools.

 

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Repairing Bleached, Damaged Hair

Bleach does a lot to hair and can cause a lot of damage.  Fortunately, with the right products, techniques, and time, you can repair your bleach-damaged hair.  Now that you’ve read through our tips and suggestions, what are you ready to try to repair your bleached hair?

Read through these related posts on our blog to learn more about taking care of your hair:

Comments (4)

  1. Adriana Leandro 1 week ago

    This is so interesting
    I need to try rice water.
    Kisses!

  2. Hi there!

    Once again such a complex and useful post! I had grey-platinum hair a few years ago and oh boy…. I really noticed a change in the texture of my hair and I would love to do that again but first I need to have a complete kit to rescue my hair specially after the bleach process.

    All these products sound marvelous, thanks for including many ranges of price! I remember I used Argan oil once and some masks! And thanks for mentioning Coco & Eve, I did some work for the brand a few months ago and they do amazing products!

    Pablo

    • Thanks for sharing your own tips, Pablo, always a pleasure to have you on the blog!

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