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View Full Version : Bleach on healthy hair... how bad will it be?



WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 04:08 PM
So if any of you have seen my really silly prior posts about all my failed attempts at removing indigo/henna, you'll know I'm at my wit's end and am about to go to a stylist to have them do a strand test with bleach.

I have never, ever bleached my hair before, and am seriously considering a haircut versus that dry, crunchy look I've seen on women who endlessly bleach their tresses. You know the look... obviously damaged hair.

However, I would only be bleaching once if my hair does not go green, so... would my hair fry at one go? My hair type is... I dunno... very similar to Asian hair, except I'm not Asian. It's very, very fine and silky, but I have a lot of hair.

Since I've never done bleach before and have only seen what it looks like after multiple uses... can anyone lend advice as to what I'm in for? Can hair be repaired after bleaching to restore it to its original state? Or will it permanently ruin the health?

Thanks for reading!

kaydana
October 15th, 2013, 04:26 PM
It was only a few hours ago that you posted about your scalp hurting because of all the colour removing/lightening treatments you've done.

Give your hair/scalp a break before doing anything else to it.

jeanniet
October 15th, 2013, 05:02 PM
Asian hair is typically coarse, not fine, so it doesn't sound like you have Asian-type hair at all. Fine hair is usually more prone to damage--and no, damage cannot be repaired at all. Strand testing is definitely the way to go, but if you have any doubts, don't bleach.

I also agree with Kaydana that you've already done a lot to your scalp and need to give it a rest before you do more.

jeanniet
October 15th, 2013, 05:09 PM
Asian hair is typically coarse, not fine, so it doesn't sound like you have Asian-type hair at all. Fine hair is usually more prone to damage--and no, damage cannot be repaired at all. Strand testing is definitely the way to go, but if you have any doubts, don't bleach unless you're willing to do some trimming if it causes enough damage. Keep in mind that honey does contain peroxide, so since you've done honey lightening you have done some (mild) bleaching on your hair already.

I also agree with Kaydana that you've already done a lot to your scalp and need to give it a rest before you do more.

WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 05:13 PM
It was only a few hours ago that you posted about your scalp hurting because of all the colour removing/lightening treatments you've done.

Give your hair/scalp a break before doing anything else to it.

I'm not doing it soon, I'm considering this in November, not tomorrow!
:)

WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 05:15 PM
Asian hair is typically coarse, not fine, so it doesn't sound like you have Asian-type hair at all. Fine hair is usually more prone to damage--and no, damage cannot be repaired at all. Strand testing is definitely the way to go, but if you have any doubts, don't bleach.

I also agree with Kaydana that you've already done a lot to your scalp and need to give it a rest before you do more.

I don't know what Asian hair we are disagreeing on... my best mate is Asian and her hair is fine and silky as anything.

WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 05:16 PM
Okay so since there is already some confusion,

1. Not doing this soon; sometime in November
2. We will be strand testing the sh*t out of it before all my hair is done
3. Just want to know about damage, if anyone has bleached before, any advice on how to do it/don't do it, etc.

cheetahfast
October 15th, 2013, 05:30 PM
My hair was bleached once, just highlights, I can't remember what strength/how long, I think I posted in on here at some point.

My hair is not crunchy and was not after. I'm sure there was some damage, but I can't find it :shrug:. My hair is naturally fine and dry, it's the same now.
Do try to put some coconut oil on your length before bleaching (I did and it is protective) and make sure if you do to find a good protein/moisture balance.

Don't do anything else to your hair before bleaching, give it a break.

Diamond.Eyes
October 15th, 2013, 05:51 PM
WoolSweater, how light are you wanting to go and what is your starting color? The damage really depends on what action you take after you have bleached your hair. Protein treatments will be a must, and so will deep-conditioning at least twice a week. If you are going to bleach your hair it is a process depending on where you start from. If you are planning from going from black to blonde in one bleaching session your hair is going to be insanely damaged. But if you go from black to light brown in intervals (with intensive treatments in-between) then your hair will see the least amount of damage. I would recommend (as a licensed cosmetologist) that you use no higher than 20 volume peroxide and don't let the bleach sit on your hair for longer than 25 minutes, and definitely don't apply heat to make the bleach work faster. Your cuticle is already being opened up my the chemicals in the bleach and using heat to further open them will hurt you hair a lot. The bottom line is bleach will damage your hair no matter what, but it all depends on what you do to care for lightened hair. If you have any questions feel free to message me. :flower:

WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 05:58 PM
My hair was bleached once, just highlights, I can't remember what strength/how long, I think I posted in on here at some point.

My hair is not crunchy and was not after. I'm sure there was some damage, but I can't find it :shrug:. My hair is naturally fine and dry, it's the same now.
Do try to put some coconut oil on your length before bleaching (I did and it is protective) and make sure if you do to find a good protein/moisture balance.

Don't do anything else to your hair before bleaching, give it a break.


Don't worry, I won't! Thanks for all your help throughout my threads, haha. :heart:
Do I put coconut oil on and then bleach, or do I wash the coconut oil out first? I cook with it so thankfully I have a couple jars.

WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 06:01 PM
WoolSweater, how light are you wanting to go and what is your starting color? The damage really depends on what action you take after you have bleached your hair. Protein treatments will be a must, and so will deep-conditioning at least twice a week. If you are going to bleach your hair it is a process depending on where you start from. If you are planning from going from black to blonde in one bleaching session your hair is going to be insanely damaged. But if you go from black to light brown in intervals (with intensive treatments in-between) then your hair will see the least amount of damage. I would recommend (as a licensed cosmetologist) that you use no higher than 20 volume peroxide and don't let the bleach sit on your hair for longer than 25 minutes, and definitely don't apply heat to make the bleach work faster. Your cuticle is already being opened up my the chemicals in the bleach and using heat to further open them will hurt you hair a lot. The bottom line is bleach will damage your hair no matter what, but it all depends on what you do to care for lightened hair. If you have any questions feel free to message me. :flower:


My starting colour is henndigo, which was nearly black but because of my recent mess of treatments, is now a dull medium brown. My virgin colour is blonde. I don't think I would want to keep up with blonde, so a light brown would do. I was thinking, after the bleach, I would begin indigo/alma/henna glosses to maintain it. Unless that won't stick to bleached hair! Thank you for the percentages, I really appreciate it. :flower: my friend who is a hair stylist is going to be doing it so I'll tell her about the levels/how long/etc, although by November I may chicken out (but then again, may not, since my blonde roots make it look like I'm molting..).

cheetahfast
October 15th, 2013, 06:14 PM
I think my volume was level 30 when I did it, but I didn't have a say. I know the bleach had to be left on longer in order for the indigo to "break through" and bleach out.

I soaked my hair in the coconut oil. I did not wash it out. It had the oil in it when the bleach was applied. Here's a thread on it. (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=94747&highlight=bleach+coconut+oil)

jillosity
October 15th, 2013, 06:34 PM
Okay so since there is already some confusion,

1. Not doing this soon; sometime in November
2. We will be strand testing the sh*t out of it before all my hair is done
3. Just want to know about damage, if anyone has bleached before, any advice on how to do it/don't do it, etc.

Please don't' do this. I did some strand tests with my own hair when it was at it's worst, I tried bleach and did multiple applications of a high-lift very light blonde, along with the effasol (which is bleach). I ended up with varying shades of aqua blue-green. I then tried coloring over using a reddish golden blonde, ya know, to cancel out the mermaidy tones I'd created, multiple applications did nothing. Granted, I'm not a professional, but I've got almost 30 years experience coloring hair, my own and others, so actually let's hope a pro knows more than me, but I wouldn't count on it.

Seriously, don't do it. Please reread my massive removal post and learn from my mistakes.

Or not.

FWIW I just cut off another inch and a half of my Effasol'd hair last night, it seemed ok at first, but the damage often shows up later on.

jillosity
October 15th, 2013, 06:37 PM
My starting colour is henndigo, which was nearly black but because of my recent mess of treatments, is now a dull medium brown. My virgin colour is blonde. I don't think I would want to keep up with blonde, so a light brown would do. I was thinking, after the bleach, I would begin indigo/alma/henna glosses to maintain it. Unless that won't stick to bleached hair! Thank you for the percentages, I really appreciate it. :flower: my friend who is a hair stylist is going to be doing it so I'll tell her about the levels/how long/etc, although by November I may chicken out (but then again, may not, since my blonde roots make it look like I'm molting..).

After all this you're considering using indigo in any way, shape, or form, again?

WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 06:46 PM
Please don't' do this. I did some strand tests with my own hair when it was at it's worst, I tried bleach and did multiple applications of a high-lift very light blonde, along with the effasol (which is bleach). I ended up with varying shades of aqua blue-green. I then tried coloring over using a reddish golden blonde, ya know, to cancel out the mermaidy tones I'd created, multiple applications did nothing. Granted, I'm not a professional, but I've got almost 30 years experience coloring hair, my own and others, so actually let's hope a pro knows more than me, but I wouldn't count on it.

Seriously, don't do it. Please reread my massive removal post and learn from my mistakes.

Or not.

FWIW I just cut off another inch and a half of my Effasol'd hair last night, it seemed ok at first, but the damage often shows up later on.


Don't worry, I have read your thread multiple times and definitely feel where you are coming from! Right now I am gathering information from anyone who has bleached. I have read about several others here who bleached with no problem. And even if the strand test doesn't work out, well hey, just a strand! I can live with a green strand. :)

On your "using indigo again" note, it will be a very weak gloss, and not much of anything; I just want to tint my hair from being so ashy. When I was using indigo prior, I was doing about 80%, full strength, for three to four hours. A gloss for about 20 minutes won't have staying power!

spidermom
October 15th, 2013, 06:48 PM
I had highlights years ago and the bleach ruined all the hair that it touched. That hair was so light and fluffy; it floated above the rest of the hair.

noludoru
October 15th, 2013, 07:39 PM
After all this you're considering using indigo in any way, shape, or form, again?

I'm going to ditto this.

And say from personal experience. . . that going from a medium/dark brown straight to blonde will fry your hair. I put palmfuls of oil in it, did conditioning treatments for months and it was ages until it didn't feel disgusting. Henna wouldn't stick afterwards, either.

jillosity
October 15th, 2013, 08:56 PM
Don't worry, I have read your thread multiple times and definitely feel where you are coming from! Right now I am gathering information from anyone who has bleached. I have read about several others here who bleached with no problem. And even if the strand test doesn't work out, well hey, just a strand! I can live with a green strand. :)

On your "using indigo again" note, it will be a very weak gloss, and not much of anything; I just want to tint my hair from being so ashy. When I was using indigo prior, I was doing about 80%, full strength, for three to four hours. A gloss for about 20 minutes won't have staying power!

Well, from what I read here,** most people think their hair is fine initially then the damage shows up later, might take a month or longer, but it does. And for the indigo gloss, applying anything after bleaching is going to have very unpredictable effects, your hair is wide open and porous. That's the sort of situation where a person applies a light brown dye and their hair turns black.

But whatever you decide, good luck!

** ETA and from my own experience bleaching and effasol-ing

WoolSweater
October 15th, 2013, 08:56 PM
I'm going to ditto this.

And say from personal experience. . . that going from a medium/dark brown straight to blonde will fry your hair. I put palmfuls of oil in it, did conditioning treatments for months and it was ages until it didn't feel disgusting. Henna wouldn't stick afterwards, either.


I wouldn't try for blonde, but a lighter colour than current so my roots won't be so obvious. And I'll have to do some type of gloss, again, only a gloss, not an actual treatment, on the virgin hair growing in.


A totally different question... what is safer for my hair/body/health... more treatments of Color Oops or one go at bleach?

aisha.christine
October 15th, 2013, 08:59 PM
So, I henndigo'd my hair quite a while ago. I didn't really like it, so I started to grow out my natural color.
Fast forward several months. It had faded so much that I had essentially forgotten about it. I decided that since I had some blackish (faded) chemical hair dye that I was going to cut out anyway, I was going to bleach the ends and dye them blue (these ends had henndigo on them too).
I used 20 vol bleach for 30 minutes each twice. The first time, when my hair lifted orange, I did not notice anything.
The second time, most of my hair lifted normally, but some parts of my hair had a weird muddy blue/green color to them. It didn't really matter to me, because I was dying it blue. I don't know if you're going to do several shades lighter (which would require more than one lift), but I thought I would offer my experience on that.

Also, I slathered my hair in coconut oil before and after bleaching, did a few protein and moisture treatments, and waited almost a month between bleaches with intensive treatment, and I still suffered from noticeable damage (e.g. straw-like, brittle, breaking, blah). That may just be my hair and my experience with it, but I figured I would say that it could also be a potential problem.

jeanniet
October 15th, 2013, 08:59 PM
I don't know what Asian hair we are disagreeing on... my best mate is Asian and her hair is fine and silky as anything.

I'm Asian (or half Asian) as well. "Typically" coarse, but then "Asian" covers a lot of territory, lol. South Asians generally have quite coarse, strong hair, for example, which is why their hair is so prized for extensions. Coarse hair would hold up to bleach much better than fine hair. If your hair is really fine I'd be very hesitant to bleach it.

CurlMonster
October 16th, 2013, 01:40 AM
My hair has been bleached ONCE and has that dry, crunchy look that you speak of. I got mine bleached before I knew how to prevent damage, so if I had used coconut oil before and protein and moisture treatments after maybe my hair would be better now, but my experience with the bleach was that it ruined my hair. You also have fine hair and are lifting more than I was (I was lifting from virgin blonette to medium blonde) so I think you would see similar if not worse results than I did.

renia22
October 16th, 2013, 06:25 AM
Maybe the roots won't be so bad? They have a way of "blending" in when you use henna, and it seems that you were able to remove enough to be somewhat back to your natural color anyways? As far as indigo, that is tricky territory. Have you read through any if the henna/ indigo removal threads over at hennaforhair.com? There's some good info over there too (also the "comments" in the first thread)

http://forums.hennapage.com/node/2344

http://forums.hennapage.com/node/5498

http://forums.hennapage.com/node/59

From this site:
http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=77298

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=23725

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=14214

Tattersail
October 16th, 2013, 08:28 AM
Bleaching of any kind will damage your hair and it will not be reversible/fixable. once its damaged that's it. here's some info on it http://www.philipkingsley.com/hair-guide/chemical-hair-processing-and-colouring/bleaching-your-hair/

if your hair is in virgin or near virgin state the effects from one bleach won't be too bad i would imagine; i have coloured (about 5 times) and bleached (about 2x) in the last year and it has started to show some damage now, mainly in split ends and not lying very nicely on my head. however i still find it reasonably managable, especially with silicones; they mask the damage very well. i have not coloured my hair for about 4 months now and just had 2 trims of about 1.5 cm (almost half an inch) to get the damaged ends off, and i feel its ok. I'm aiming for all natural hair now and won't colour again, at least not permanent.

another thing you need to keep in mind about bleaching is: it will never be exactly the colour you want it to be after one process - so you will probably have to bleach it to make it lighter/remove previous colour and then you will have to put a toner in or a second colour over the bleached hair to achieve the final colour you want. and then that second colour/toner will wash out after a couple of weeks and then you'll have to re-do it or you will end up with the colour your hair was after you did the first bleach process (most likely some sort of brassy yellow/ orange tinged tone).

it can be a vicious cycle, so just be aware of what you're getting into :)

so in short: no, one bleach will not ruin your hair, but it will most likely cause a situation that can lead to requiring frequent damaging processes to keep the colour nice.

ps: i hope i'm not sounding harsh or anything, i'm just trying to save you from taking a step that you might regret :) i completely understand the situation you're in and how you're feeling; about a year ago i dyed my hair a very dark brown and then a deep red, and then i got over it and wanted a cool toned brunette, close to my natural colour. that lead me to bleaching my hair a few shades, which left me with orange-ish hair that had the right 'light-ness' of colour, but obviously i didn't want orange :P so i coloured it with the ashiest brunette colours i could find. and eventhough i chose permanent colours they didn't hold in my hair very well, probably due to damage, so i had to re-do it quite often. then i noticed i was killing the structure of my hair slowly but surely and decided not to colour anymore. that lasted for about 1 month until i decided to do one last 'ashy' colour to counteract the orange tinge my hair still had. that was 4 months ago and i haven't coloured since.

so yeah.... careful with all that, but good luck with whatever you decide to do :)

lapushka
October 16th, 2013, 08:48 AM
Bleaching indigo or an indigo mix will most likely turn green. And there's not a lot of dyes that can cover that disaster. So yes, do strand test.

Lyv
October 16th, 2013, 08:57 AM
I've bleached my hair probably 3 times in the last couple of years once from auburn to light blonde, once from almost black to blonde and then from bright red to medium blonde and then dyed it to red again and mine doesn't have any visible signs of damage (i know there is still some damage though). Mine is still soft and shiny despite all the bleaching. Maybe if you do it you could do it gradually with deep conditions in between to help keep it from getting too damaged.

*I should also mention that when my mom tried bleaching indigo it turned green.

renia22
October 16th, 2013, 09:01 AM
Bleaching indigo or an indigo mix will most likely turn green. And there's not a lot of dyes that can cover that disaster. So yes, do strand test.


Lapushka (and other posters) makes a very valid point & that seems to be the warning that haircare/ henna experts repeat over & over again... From the info that is out there, it sounds like you can keep trying to get the henna/ indigo out, but bleaching over the indigo is a one way ticket to permanent green

WoolSweater
October 21st, 2013, 05:07 PM
Hi all, I don't want to post on an older thread (that I cannot find anyway), so here it goes.

I had a strand test done and it turned bright blue. Wow! Actually kind of funny, but it was a small strand so what gives. So no bleach, only Color Oops from now on. My question is, with all this stuff I've been doing to my hair/scalp, my scalp is still very sensitive and, if this makes sense, I can tell there is buildup. What is the best way to clarify my scalp that is natural and gentle? I feel like it needs a good cleaning, it feels dry and irritated currently, as does the rest of my hair. Anyone have a good recommendation? Thank you. :flower:

Tini'sNewHair
October 21st, 2013, 05:20 PM
My experience is this: Many years back (like 4-5 years ago) I tried doing honey/blondish highlights on my hair (i'm a darkish brown) and not only did it make those poor strands stand out like over cooked fried chips but also the colour turned somewhat gray/whitish. That was such a DISASTER!!!! only SOME strands for some reason turned the colour i wanted but the once around my face in particular were horrible so i had to dye my hair to change it again (I think i went to a dark red or something)... never doing that again, although i don’t plan to ever destroy my now virgin hair again but yeah... I would never try doing a blond thing again that’s for sure :) Not sure if this relates to you at all BUT the point is, to be very careful what you get yourself into, definitely test it first on some hidden strands because you never really know how a colour will look on your particular hair. Good luck :)

cheetahfast
October 21st, 2013, 08:14 PM
Hi all, I don't want to post on an older thread (that I cannot find anyway), so here it goes.

I had a strand test done and it turned bright blue. Wow! Actually kind of funny, but it was a small strand so what gives. So no bleach, only Color Oops from now on. My question is, with all this stuff I've been doing to my hair/scalp, my scalp is still very sensitive and, if this makes sense, I can tell there is buildup. What is the best way to clarify my scalp that is natural and gentle? I feel like it needs a good cleaning, it feels dry and irritated currently, as does the rest of my hair. Anyone have a good recommendation? Thank you. :flower:

I have no reccomendations for clarifying in a gentle way. I think baking powder or soda might work, but I'd ask elsewhere. I'm sorry your strand turned blue! Just a FYI color oops might not lighten much more if you keep doing it. In my experience the first time it lightened a lot more than the second time.

emilylightning
October 21st, 2013, 10:53 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't risk it. Bleach ruined my hair. I would never EVER recommend bleach to anyone.

Edit: I must have missed that next part. BRIGHT BLUE? That's hilarious! :rollin:

UltraBella
October 22nd, 2013, 02:13 AM
I've had my entire head bleached once in the past and I have highlights put in at least twice a year. My hair is healthy & I don't have split ends. My hair is coarse & quite resistant to damage though, not everyone is that lucky. Be very careful.

BlondeWavyGal
October 22nd, 2013, 02:42 AM
usually on strong healthy hair it takes awhile for damage to truly occur from bleaching.
In the past I've had my hair dyed and bleached into oblivion, but rarely do I get more damage than some bad ends, the rest of the hair would be fine.
However not everyone has strong, thick hair like me. Its taken alot of cutting for my hair to thicken up to the way it has now, if you have thin hair I wouldnt advise alot of bleaching.
One or two sessions may leave your hair al right, but bleach is in fact addicting. You'll want to continue to bleach after just one time.

I dont find bleach worth the effort at all.

WoolSweater
October 22nd, 2013, 06:19 AM
Honestly, I wouldn't risk it. Bleach ruined my hair. I would never EVER recommend bleach to anyone.

Edit: I must have missed that next part. BRIGHT BLUE? That's hilarious! :rollin:


The top next to my roots bleached blonde, then it fades to a sky blue, then a bright, royal blue, then navy at the tip. So, uh, no green... just crazy blue. Haha!

WaitingSoLong
October 22nd, 2013, 07:02 AM
Takes a couple years sometimes to really see the damage. My sun-in damage was not in the form of splits but rather thin hair shafts more susceptible to breakage. Only when I had a couple years' worth of virgin hair could I see the difference. I lost about 1/2" of circumference overall to "bleach damage" (thinning) but my hair itself was healthy looking. However, I don't use heat AT ALL and ironing would fry it. Ironing bleached hair will be worse than ironing healthy hair.

A lot of my hair is still bleached as I am still growing out my virgin hair. The texture of the older sun-inned hair (3 years ago now) is thinner, dryer and more brittle but still "healthy" compared to most heads of hair I see out there. I just know my virgin hair is MUCH healthier because i have 3 years of "roots" to look at. When my hair is wet, it is very obvious the difference. When dry, not so much.

Anyway, since you turned blue, irrelevant. However, I will say that if healthy hair is your goal, you need to stop doing anything artificial to it. But I think most people compromise between health and aesthetics. If you aren't going for super-long hair, then ti is not as much an issue, since you can trim out old damage.