Curls are among the most popular hairstyles no matter what the season is. To amp things up, you might want to consider getting curly hair colored. As much as the prospect of sporting a different shade of curls excites you, you shouldn’t run off right now and have it done at the first salon you find. You want to make sure that your crowning glory is protected and will not be damaged by any styling treatment it goes through.
If you’re going to bleach your hair, you have to understand that you will be exposing your curls to possible damage. This chemical process is a pre-requisite step in the curling treatment process. It’s supposed to strip your hair of its color, whether it’s natural or not. The lighter color will be a better canvas for the new color that you choose. It will be easier for the stylist to achieve the shade and effect that you want.
Many have experienced the inconvenience and discomfort of bleaching. Of course, they endure the pain and the lengthy process for the sake of having more beautiful locks. The good news is that not all products, tools, and methods that are used to bleach curly hair are harmful and damaging.
The Truth about Curly Hair
Just like any other hair type and style, curly hair has its good side and its bad side. It doesn’t matter whether, it’s natural or permed. Beautiful curly hair needs to be understood and cared for properly given its qualities and properties.
Curly hair is sensitive and fragile. Compared to other hair types, curly hair tend to be drier. This means that it is prone to split-ends and frizz. This is why curly hair requires more attention and care. It needs to be regularly maintained with moisturizing treatments and trimmings.
Hair Bleaching and Its Effects
Before you can even look forward to beautifully colored curly hair, you first have to deal with the process of hair bleaching and its effects. The process is definitely tough on the hair especially since it uses chemicals. This could lead to super dry, inelastic, and frizzy hair. You will also have a lot of split ends and experience heavy hair fall.
The chemicals in the bleach will also greatly weaken your hair. Even regular hair styling practices like blow drying or using hair irons can easily damage your hair. You might also experience irritations and allergies on your skin and eyes.
Another damaging factor in bleaching is the use of hydrogen peroxide. This is the primary ingredient in hair bleaching solutions. This alkaline solution breaks down the disulfide bonds of cystyl residues in the fibers of your hair. In the process, up to 45 percent of the bonds could possibly be broken.
In less technical terms, hydrogen peroxide tends to break your hair cuticles and cause swelling. As a result, your hair will lose its softness, moisture, and luster. It will also lose its sun protection properties.
You’ve also most likely heard about rumors that bleaching could be a possible cause of cancer. These rumors, however, are unfounded and not a lot of studies have been conducted to prove them yet.
These are not meant to scare you from getting a new color for your hair. It’s actually alright to go ahead and start picking out a new shade for your curly locks. You simply have to know and understand these risks so you can take the necessary steps to avoid them.
It’s because of all these harmful and damaging effects of bleaching that you should not risk doing it on your own. The first step to safely bleach curly hair and avoid damage is to have it done by trusted professionals.
Proper Care for Your Locks for Safe Bleaching
You can still safely bleach your curly hair without damaging it by taking precautionary protective measures. Before your bleaching application, take these steps:
- Prep your hair a week or two before your procedure. Have a coconut oil or deep conditioning treatment.
- It’s also advisable to not wash your hair for at least one to two days before bleaching.
- Do not double or triple bleach your hair on the same day or week.
- Do an allergy test to find out if your skin or scalp will react to the chemicals that will be used.
During the bleaching treatment, make sure that the professional hair stylist protects the other parts of your body and your clothing as well. They could possibly get in contact with the bleach or any other substance used for the procedures. It is also highly advisable to protect yourself from chemical inhalation.
After the bleaching treatment, avoid heat tools as much as possible. Condition regularly and nourish your curly hair with hair treatments. There are hair masks that you can use as well. When you wash your hair, use cool water only as warm or hot water can irritate your scalp.
It is best to avoid harsh shampoos for a while and lessen the frequency of washing your hair. You can use dry shampoo if you wish to give your hair’s natural oils a chance to build back up. Untangle and style your hair with a large toothed comb.
Do not tug at your hair strands. Check for split ends and get a trim as necessary. Make sure your hair is protected from sun damage. If you cannot prevent sun exposure, wear a hat or a scarf. You can also apply natural oils to your hair. There are also more extensive hair repair treatments offered by know hair salons in case you already have signs of hair damage.
Go Natural for Safer Bleaching for Your Curly Hair
There are natural alternatives to chemical bleaches that will give you the same results. Some of them could take a little bit longer to take effect. But, most of them use ingredients that are either readily available or easy to find.
To help you out, here are some of the top 5 natural bleaches culled from some of the most popular health and beauty websites:
- Lemon Juice – this is a versatile liquid that goes from being a nutritious drink to putting the elbow grease into cleaning and disinfecting kitchen surfaces. You can use freshly squeezed lemon juice for bleaching by simply spritzing it on your hair.
- Honey and Olive Oil – these are kitchen ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Combine these two in a jar and then apply the mixture to your hair. Leave it on for about an hour and then rinse it thoroughly. You can do this up to twice a week until you achieve your desired results.
- Cinnamon – this aromatic spice is not only for baking or aromatherapy. It is an effective natural bleaching agent as well. Just mix it with a little bit of conditioner and apply it to your hair.
- Baking Soda – here’s another multi-purpose kitchen staple that works just as effectively as a beauty solution. Mix half cup each of baking soda and warm water. Once you have a smooth paste, massage it onto your hair. Rinse it off after around 20 minutes.
- Honey and Vinegar – these two ingredients are more potent when they are combined. Mix together half a cup of honey and a cup of apple cider vinegar. Add in a tablespoon of coconut oil and mix thoroughly. Apply it to your hair and make sure all your strands are saturated well. Do this at night before you go to bed. Leave it on overnight with your hair wrapped with a towel. Wash it off with shampoo in the morning. Don’t forget to condition your hair.
A Few More Tips for Bleached Curls
Whether you choose to use chemical bleaches or natural solutions, you have to be prepared for not only the process but also the changes in your hair care routine. Manage your expectations and be ready to:
- Give your bleached curls more TLC – curly hair is already fragile as it is and bleaching can make it even more fragile. You can have rough and dry hair or hair that’s frizzy and brittle. Proper care will help you keep your bleached curls from getting more damaged. Condition and protect your hair regularly.
- Use purple shampoo – this should be one of the mainstays of your hair care routine. This will help you keep your bleached hair from turning brassy. A word of caution, though, is to give it a thorough rinse and ensure that no residues are left on your hair. Otherwise, you can end up with lavender blue hair.
- Make adjustments to your wardrobe and makeup – your new hair color would most likely not go well with the clothes in your closet and the makeup in your dresser. You could need a new color palette depending on how drastic your hair color change was and your skin tone.
Having Fun with Your New Hairstyle
Get used to your platinum curls because you cannot dye your bleached hair again to restore it to its old color. Your strands cannot hold color anymore. Just have fun with your new look and rock the style confidently.