Hair Horrors: Rescuing Hair Damaged By Bleach

Woman wearing bathrobe and drying her hair

There are so many products on the market these days that really allow us to have fun and experiment with our hair; from hair chalks and semi-permanent colourful dyes, to perms, natural colours and bleach. Regardless of what you have in mind, you can usually find the products you need easily in your local beauty supply store or even in the supermarket- they’re inexpensive and so can save you a lot of money compared with going to a hairdresser. However, messing around with these kinds of products isn’t always recommended, and just because they’re easy to buy doesn’t mean that just anyone should use them. Get it wrong and you could cause serious damage to your hair to the point that you quite literally have to get it all cut off. If you’ve been messing around with home bleaches and have seriously harmed your hair, here are some of the ways you can go about repairing it.

See a hairdresser

Depending on the level of damage that you’ve done and what needs to be done for it to be fixed, in many cases, you’re best seeing a professional. They will have the know-how, products and experience to put things right. If you know you’re out of your depth then it could be worth biting the bullet, facing the embarrassment and booking into a hairdresser. If you can’t afford to see a professional or you want to try and put things right yourself, here’s what you can try.

Deep condition

Coat your hair in a deep conditioning mask, then wrap your hair in a plastic bag. The heat will help it to penetrate the hair shaft and the bag will stop it from drying out. Another way you could deep condition your hair is with oils; argan oil is highly nourishing or you could buy a cheap pot of coconut oil from your local supermarket. Slather it on, then gently braid your hair being careful not to tug at it and damage it more. Leave this on overnight, or if possible you could leave it on for a full twenty-four hours. Wash it out carefully, after shampooing apply more moisturising shampoo and then wash this out so your hair is clean.

Avoid heat

When your hair has been damaged with bleach or dye, the last thing you want to do is then apply heat. Even a gentle heat from the hairdryer can cause more damage at this stage, so run through a light oil or serum to stop it from tangling and let it air dry. Once it’s dry, comb through carefully so you can assess the condition.


Bleach can completely dry hair, if yours has a ‘candy floss’ type of texture and is breaking off in your hand, it will need to be cut off, there are no two ways about it. In less extreme cases the hair will be dry but repairable. The worst damage tends to occur near the ends since the hair here is older, weaker and often has been dyed or bleached in the past. Cut off as much as you can bear to, the damaged ends will cause split hairs to travel up and make your hair weaker throughout. If you can cut off the worst of the damage, you give what’s left a fighting chance.

After messing with bleach, your hair will more than likely be some unflattering shade of red, orange or bright yellow (or a combination of all three!) Avoid dying over it with anything that’s going to damage your hair more. A natural semi-permanent dye that adds pigment without opening the hair shaft will cover up the colour until your hair is repaired and you can do something more permanent to it. Learn your lesson, don’t mess with bleaches again! Lightening hair is almost always best done by a professional.


*This is a collaborative post


1 Comment

  1. Samantha
    09/25/2018 / 9:26 am

    That was a great tip – I got hold of the Argan oil from Conatural and it worked like a charm. I’ve done two nights where I just left it on. Is there a discount code we can use to get other things from Conatural?

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