I dip-dyed at home using Loreal’s Wild Ombre kit, and was pretty happy with the results – it was very subtle, which is what I wanted. The damage, however, was not. Because I’d never really dyed my hair before, I wasn’t quite prepared for the damage that bleach would do to it.
I put into place an emergency hair routine and eventually my hair came back to life.
Choose an anti-breakage shampoo
Bleach makes hair very brittle and prone to split ends, making it look frizzy and unkempt. Start working on strengthening the hair using a shampoo that is designed especially for damaged hair. I use Phil Smith’s Damage Protection Shampoo, which has been pretty good.
Invest in a good conditioner
It goes without saying that bleach-damaged hair needs to be conditioned. Most of us have a conditioner that we know and love (mine is Aussie 3-Minute Miracle), so grab a bottle and get lathering. Condition your hair every time you wash it, as your hair will be much drier than usual.
Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week
As well as conditioning your hair regularly, special deep conditioning treatments are a lifesaver. They’re often sold in tubs, and instruct you to leave them on your hair for around 5 minutes before washing out. I’ve been using Charles Worthington Strength & Repair Longer & Stronger Hair, which is great for leaving my hair silky smooth. Also, I tend to leave it in for around 20 minutes, just to make sure my hair can get the full benefits.
At this point, you’ll notice I’m getting a bit obsessed with conditioner, but trust me, bleach-damaged hair really benefits from it! After you’ve washed your hair, apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner (Phil Smith’s Argan Oil Cream was a lifesaver!), concentrating particularly on the ends, where the most breakage will be.
Avoid heat for the first few weeks
Avoiding applying any heat to your hair may disrupt your beauty regime for a while, but your hair will thank you for it. Immediately after bleaching, avoid blow-drying your hair or using any straighteners or curlers. If you absolutely must, apply lots of heat protection spray – I use Lee Stafford’s Iron Protection Mist.
Use an oil
You can get rid of the dry, frizzy look that bleach-damaged hair has by using products containing Argan Oil. A little goes a long way with Argan Oil, so be sparing!
Cut off split ends
All said and done, there’s only so much you can do before you need to get split ends cut off – this will stop them climbing up the hair shaft. I’d recommend doing this a couple of weeks after dyeing.
After a few weeks, your hair will start to recover. Don’t fear, there is life after bleach!