When used correctly, bleach can help to create incredible color. Whether you want honey highlights, strawberry blonde balayage, or anything in between, stylists apply bleach to lift the color to just the right level to achieve a desired look. Unfortunately, when used too much or too often, this type of chemical can cause major stress to your strands. We’ll tell you how to correct overly bleached hair to get your hair healthy again.

How Does Hair Become Damaged from Bleach?

We’ve all heard horror stories of teenagers who bleach their own hair – heck, many of us were probably one of them at some point. Newby bleach users often have one goal in mind: to get bright sun-kissed or platinum blonde locks. While professional stylists use toner, conditioner, and other things to bleach hair correctly, those steps aren’t even on an inexperienced bleacher’s radar. The result? Hair that’s a frizzy, brassy, brittle mess. It’s no surprise that they end up needing color correction.

And overly bleached hair doesn’t only happen at home. Some stylists don’t follow the right steps to achieve healthy color. Double bleaching – or using bleach for two different chemical procedures in the same day or week – is brutal for delicate hair. Lifting hair that’s already damaged is also a recipe for disaster. A knowledgeable colorist knows that hair needs to be in good condition before processing and that it takes several bleaching sessions – sometimes months apart – to drastically change from dark to light. 

The truth is that hair becomes susceptible to damage immediately after using bleach for the first time. As it penetrates the cuticle, bleach can weaken strands by breaking down their natural proteins and exposing them to elements that cause breakage. However expertly trained, professional color specialists know how to protect the hair before and after applying bleach. They always have your hair’s best interest in mind. 

Signs of Damage from Bleached Hair

It’s pretty easy to identify overly processed hair. Not only does it look dull and frizzy, but it feels dry and rough, similar to straw. The ends are split, and if left too long without a trim, that damage starts to travel up the strands. Severely damaged hair can snap just by brushing it.

Is it Possible to Correct Overly Bleached Hair?

Stressed strands can sometimes be saved if the damage isn’t too far gone. Scheduling a consultation with a color specialist is the only way to know for sure. 

If the colorist thinks there is still some life left in the hair, he or she can trim the fried ends and treat what’s left with nourishing ingredients such as bonding serums, ceramides, and peptides. Be aware that no reputable stylist will put additional color or bleach in your hair, nor will they suggest fixing it with heat, such as in a keratin treatment. These are all wonderful options for healthy locks, but will only cause further damage to overly processed hair. 

Your stylist should only recommend you take the following measures to repair your hair:

Avoid Heat

Try not to blow dry, flat iron, or curl your hair to give it time to heal. For healthy waves, use heatless curlers, or braid your hair while it’s damp and leave it in overnight. 

Adjust the Water Temperature

To prevent stripping moisture from your strands, keep the shower temp lukewarm instead of hot. If you can stand it, rinse with cold water to seal the cuticles.

Use the Right Brush

Damaged, brittle hair is prone to breakage, so it’s important to comb it out correctly. A wide-toothed comb is best for wet tangles, while a brush that’s made for detangling is better once hair is dry. 

consulting with hairstylist about overly bleached hair
Image by HD92 by Canva.com

Extremely Damaged Hair Can’t be Saved, But You Can Start Fresh

Sometimes, the best solution to correct overly bleached hair is to get rid of it. If your stylist thinks this is the route to go, they will suggest cutting off the damaged frizzy mess to allow new silky soft strands to grow in. 

Don’t worry. Vakkar stylists are highly skilled at matching clients with the most flattering short cuts. A whole new style may sound scary, but we will do our very best to help you choose one that’s perfect for the shape of your face, the texture of your hair, and your lifestyle. Most importantly, whether you walk away with a shaggy tousled look or a blunt bob, your hair will be on its way to its old healthy self; we will make sure of it. 

Before you leave our salon, you’ll schedule a 6-week follow-up appointment when we can check to see how your new hair is coming in. At that point, we will discuss a plan for achieving a color and length you’ll be happy with. Who knows? This may be the perfect time to embrace your natural color. Or, you may decide to go darker – which is a healthier alternative to bleaching. 

Vakkar Stylists Have Seen it All When it Comes to Color Correction 

The most important advice we can give to correct overly bleached hair is to not tackle it alone. We’ve seen too many clients who try to cover damaged hair with a different color at home, or who start using products that “guarantee” to tame and smooth frizzy hair. Overly processed hair needs professional help. Before you do anything else, schedule a consultation at Vakkar so your hair can begin to heal. 

Cover photo image by pixelshot by Canva.com