How To Help Repair & Keep Bleached Hair Healthy
Searching for bleached hair means two things; you’ve either just gone through a “bleaching apocalypse” or are about to get into one.
In this article, we’ll tackle all problems caused by bleached hair and help you deal with them, one by one, to perfection.
Time to share the best products for bleached hair in 2022 and the most recommended hair treatments for bleached hair right now.
Last but not least, we’ll also look at what you can do to take care of bleached hair at home.
I’ve consulted top hair experts and celebrity hairstylists about the best ways to wash bleached hair to the best hair treatments, masks, leave-ins, bond-building creams, and oils, among other hair-care products.
So whether you’re trying to revive your hair from a bleaching apocalypse or looking to maintain your freshly-bleached hair integrity to keep up with the latest beauty trends, this article is for you.
These bleached hair routines comprising moisturizers, natural oils, and innovative repairing ingredients will keep your hair healthy, hydrated, free from breakage, and soft and shiny as never before.
Without further ado, these are the best hair care tips for supporting, maintaining, and even repairing your bleached hair.
How To Wash Bleached Hair
Step 1. Wash Your Hair A Little Less
Regardless of how gently it is done, overwashing hair is a bad habit to have, even for those without bleached hair.
Overwashing your hair will sweep away essential oils and key nutrients that keep your hair healthy, breakage-free, and shiny.
If you’re like me, taking at least two showers a day, you’ll want to invest in a shower cap and use dry shampoo in between washes.
If you can’t go a day without washing your hair, use a very mild, natural shampoo formulation with hair-nourishing active ingredients.
I’ve added below some brilliant shampoos for bleached hair infused with peptides and natural ingredients, highly recommended by hair experts.
dpHUE Cool Blonde Bleached Hair Shampoo
Oribe Bright Blonde Bleached Hair Shampoo
Step 2. Cool Water Washes
Bleached and heat-damaged hair should never be washed with hot water.
That’s because steam will open up the hair cuticles and cause further damage to your bleached hair strands.
The best water temperature to wash bleached hair is medium to lukewarm.
If you can’t take cold water all the way, at least make sure you use a spritz of cold water right at the end to close the hair cuticles and seal in moisture.
Step 3. Cut Back On Shampoos
Remember that, whenever you shampoo your hair, you strip out natural oils and moisture from the hair follicle.
Naturally, the hair follicle will attempt to recreate those oils and give your hair protection and a healthy, shiny look.
To ensure healthy hair, you’ll have to cut back on how often you shampoo your hair.
If you’re used to washing your hair every day, it might take some time to get used to.
However, washing your hair once – max twice – a week is critical to maintaining and improving any hair’s health, not just bleached hair.
For that, you either need shampoos with superior moisture levels or dry shampoos.
Pureology Professional Hydrate Shampoo
Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo
Step 4. Alternate Your Shampoo & Conditioner
When it comes to maintaining and recovering the integrity of bleached hair, a balanced shampoo that delivers keratin proteins while retaining moisture is critical.
Hair experts can’t stress enough how important it is to use shampoos and conditioners free of sulfates, as sulfates are known to dry out the hair.
The ideal shampoo ritual will be alternating between a sulfate-free, protein-rich formula and a sulfate-free, moisture-rich formula.
Bleached hair products must replenish lost elasticity, strength, and shine through all-star ingredients, antioxidants, peptides, keratine, vitamin E, and healthy, organic oils.
See below some of the most nourishing and hydrating shampoos and conditioners right now, as recommended by hair experts.
Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Maui Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo
Step 5. Be Careful With Chlorine
Once the bleach has compromised the strength of your hair strands, the chlorine in the water will only compound the issue and make your hair even dryer and frailer.
Excessive chlorine in the water will also give bleached hair a brassy blond, greenish hue, or carrot-orange tint so try to avoid chlorine at all costs.
For example, rinse your hair after spending time in chlorinated water at the pool.
More importantly, use a swim cap to protect your bleached hair for at least two weeks right after.
R+Co ACID WASH ACV Cleansing Rinse
Oaui Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Shampoo
Step 6. Use A Shower Filter
Because of grime, harsh minerals, and chemicals that accelerate brassiness, water is, in general, an enemy of bleached hair, leading to dehydration, discoloration, and breakage.
To preserve your hair’s color and integrity, most hair experts and colorists recommended investing in a shower filter.
See below some of the most recommended shower filters right now, with several filtration steps and easy ways to set up.
3 Modes Shower Head with 15 Stage Chlorine Filter Cartridge
SparkPod High-Pressure Shower Head with Chlorine Filter
Must-Follow Bleached Hair Regimen
Step 7. Use Purple Shampoo
The core aim of any hair care regimen for bleached hair is to neutralize ‘bad pigments.’
By ‘bad pigments,’ I mean brassy, yellowish tones that can turn ‘Oh Wow!’ into ‘Oh Dear!’
Brassy, yellowish tones are the pitfall of any bleached hair; however, they can be avoided with ease, as you’ll see in the following sections.
The secret is to neutralize those unwanted pigments by using ‘blue’ or ‘purple’ shampoos and conditioners.
However, be careful of adding too much as “purple shampoo can change the color of your blonde – if you use it too often or too soon after your hair bleach session.
That’s because bleached hair is incredibly porous and absorbent.
The best approach is to use a blue or purple combo of shampoo and conditioner every four or five washes.
That will maintain the silvery, ashy, or platinum blonde tones you’ve gone for in the first place.
See below some of the best purple shampoo and conditioners in 2022, highly recommended by our hair experts, to protect and nourish bleached hair.
Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Purple Shampoo
Matrix Total Results So Silver Blonde Hair Purple Shampoo
Step 8. Rice Water Rinse
Another excellent homemade remedy to bleached hair is rinsing your hair with water from boiled rice.
That’s because rice water contains inositol, a natural ingredient known to repair hair strands from inside out.
Be careful not to use hot rice water; boil the rice, strain it out, and let it sit in your fridge overnight.
Use the rice water in the shower to rinse your hair as many times as you need.
Mimosu Moisturizing Unscented Rice Water Shampoo and Conditioner Bar
MyKirei By Kao Shampoo & Conditioner Set Japanese Tsubaki & Rice Water
Step 9. Leave-in Conditioner
Most leave-in conditioner products, available from any beauty supply store and supermarkets, can revive bleach-damaged hair.
Some leave-in conditioners are thick, and you can apply them in the shower.
Others are spray-on formulas you can put on your hair before you head out for the day.
Follow label directions carefully, and look for products that advertise moisturizing and keratin-building effects.
Kerastase Creme Magistrale Nutrition Leave-in Hair Balm
IGK Hair Mistress Hydrating Hair Conditioning Balm
Step 10. DIY Hair Masks
There are cases when the budget is an issue, or you want to stay natural and avoid chemical hair treatments.
If that’s the case with you, homemade hair masks with moisturizing ingredients, like avocado, honey, and egg white, are an excellent choice to restore the softness, elasticity, and health of your hair.
Just make sure you are persistent at using these homemade hair masks – two or three times a week – until your hair’s condition begins to improve.
DIY Coconut Oil Hair Mask for Dry Bleached Hair
Warm coconut oil in the microwave, then massage into damp hair before bed. Avoiding the roots. Shampoo in the morning.
DIY Avacado Hair Mask for Damaged Bleached Hair
Stir ingredients together until fully combined, then apply to wet hair with your fingertips, starting at the bottom and working your way up.
Step 11. Professional Hair Mask Treatments
In addition to homemade hair masks, hair experts stress the importance of using high-quality professional masks in your hair care regimen.
Again, you never want to overuse hair masks, but use them to maintain the integrity of your hair.
To achieve salon-like results at home, our hair experts recommend applying your mask to damp, freshly shampooed hair, combing it through to ensure even dispersal.
Once the hair mask covers your hair evenly, wear a shower cap for about 20 minutes to lock in nutrients and moisture.
Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado Kiwi Moisture Mask
TGIN Honey Miracle Deep Conditioner Hair Mask
Step 12. Moisturising & Protein Treatments
If you can afford it, go to a specialist hair salon and get moisturizing and protein treatments.
For this article, all hair experts I’ve approached agree that protein treatments for hair help restore hair health after the damaging bleaching process.
However, they also point out that these days, modern at-home treatments and masks are of high quality, so spending a fortune at a specialist hair salon might no longer be necessary.
Moreover, they all recommend using Olaplex during the color process (No. 1 and No. 2, usually done in-salon) to avoid hair damage and rebuild keratin, and Olaplex No. 3 for maintenance, at home.
Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment
Olaplex No. 3 & No. 8 Hair Repair Remedies Set
Step 13. Targeted Treatments For Bleached Hair
By bleaching hair, you’ll remove the natural pigments from your hair fibers.
Bleaching occasionally will allow your hair to recover natural vitality.
However, successive bleaching sessions will damage your hair fibers and follicles to a point your hair looks very dry and dull.
In such cases, it is recommended to use ‘targeted bleached hair care treatments.’
These dedicated treatments will boost and enhance your pigments, hydrate hair fibers, and protect your hair from further damage.
See below some of the most recommended targeted treatments for bleached hair in 2022.
CHI Deep Brilliance Protein Masque Streghthening treatment
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Protein Treatment
Step 14. Have A Bleached Hair Oil Routine
For thousands of years, women in warmer climates have used natural oils to keep their hair looking healthy and glossy.
Usually part of the bleached haircare regimen, given their importance to prevention and maintenance, in this article, we’ll cover hair oils in their dedicated section.
Hair oils are ideal for conferring an instant shine to your hair and repairing and strengthening any damaged strands.
Compared to all other hair products in this article, a little teeny bit goes a long way in the case of hair oils.
Our hair experts have selected the products below for their incredibly lightweight formulas, smoothing and shining properties, and frizziness control, all without stickiness or heaviness.
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil
Verb Ghost Weightless restorative Strengthening Hair Oil
Step 15. Use Specially Formulated Bleached Hair Oils
The most recommended oils for bleached hair are argan oil, olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil.
However, don’t make the mistake of putting natural oils on your bleached hair.
Of course, you can use natural oils, but for maximum effect, you’ll need specially formulated hair oils designed to repair and restructure dry hair fibers via essential formulations.
Most hair oils can be applied like a serum in the evening from the tips of your hair upwards, mid-length.
Olive Oil Formulations
Ideal for hair shine, a few drops of olive oil can go a long way to give your hair some life.
Only use a couple of drops at a time to apply olive oil with your fingertips, focusing on your ends.
Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Hair Conditioning Spray Oil
DHCO Signature Lightweight Live Olive Virgin Oil
Coconut Oil Formulations
Coconut oil is ideal for sealing your hair and preventing protein loss.
Rub some coconut oil together between your palms to warm it up before applying it to dry, frizzy spots as well as your ends.
OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Penetrating Oil
Okay 100% Pure Coconut Oil For Bleached Hair
Argan Oil Formulations
Highly saturated with proteins and vitamin E, Almond oil can bind to your hair and make the strands stronger.
It can also fill in gaps in your hair strands – since hair is prone to breakage after bleaching.
Apply a few drops to your hair each day before you head out the door, or use almond oil as an ingredient in a deep-conditioning mask.
SheaMoisture 100% Pure Argan Oil For Bleached Hair
Arvazallia Leave In Argan Oil Treatment & Conditioner
Almond Oil Formulations
Just like argan oil formulations described above, almond oil is also packed with proteins and vitamin E.
A great oil if you want stronger, healthier strands.
Naturalicious Spanish Almond Regrowth Oil
100% Pure Sweet Almond Oil For
How To Handle Bleached Hair
Step 16. Be Gentle With Your Hair
After bleaching, your hair will need some ‘TLC.’
Always be gentle when you detangle your hair and do it while it is still wet using a flat brush instead of drying it roughly with a towel.
Also, despite most advice stating you have to air dry bleached hair whenever possible, that’s not true.
Letting bleached hair air dry will only make it frail by keeping the hair cuticles open, allowing moisture to evaporate.
Ideally, you apply hair treatment and dry it with a towel to lock in the moisture and nourish oils slowly over a couple of good hours.
See below some of the best hair towels you can use to dry bleached hair.
Aquis Rapid Dry Lisse Hair Turban Towel
Coco & Eve Microfibre Hair Towel Wrap
Step 17. Style With Care
This one might not come as a surprise, but it’s essential nonetheless – be mindful of your long hair habits.
Not only can pulling a ponytail too tight (or wearing one to bed) cause breakage around the hairline, but it can also weaken the section of the hair secured with the tie.
Also, now that the hair has been bleached, it will be prone to snags and tangles.
For best results, use a wide-toothed comb or a wet brush with flexible bristles.
Tangle Teezer The Original Detangling Hairbrush
Olivia Garden FingerBrush Vented Hair Brush
Step 18. Sleep On a Silk Pillowcase
If I am being honest, I didn’t believe the hype of a silk pillowcase until one of our hair experts asked me to try it.
Now, after using one for almost a year, I see them as a must-have investment, especially if you have super-lightened strands.
Make sure you only buy silk pillowcases from the highest-grade mulberry silk.
Compared to cotton, silk lets your hair slip and slide over the case instead of stretching, pulling, and breaking.
Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
Parachute White Standard Silk Pillowcase
How To Protect Bleached Hair
Step 19. Stick With Basic Styling & Avoid External Aggressors
When caring for bleached hair, simple styling is in your hair’s best interest.
Your hair faces numerous harmful external factors daily; sun, salty seawater, chlorinated swimming pools, pollution, styling tools, etc.
Ideally, for at least two weeks after you’ve bleached your hair, you’ll avoid direct sun exposure by wearing a hat or scarf to fend off harmful rays.
If wearing hats is not your style, use a specialist UV spray or hair sun cream.
Rinse your hair with bottled or tap water before jumping into a pool or the sea, and shower straight after to remove any excess salt or chlorine.
Above all, lay off any electrical styling tools for a while; if you MUST use straighteners or tongs, protect your hair first with a thermo-active heat protection spray.
If your bleached hair is not quite as supple as it once was, despite lots of nourishment via intensive and targeted hair treatments, it is time to have a haircut.
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protection
Amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Volume Spray
Haircut & Trim
Step 20. Don’t Skip Haircuts
Most hair experts in this article agree that you can skip most bleached hair salon treatments; however, never skip a cut, whenever your hair needs it.
In many cases, only losing some length can salvage your hair – especially after a harsh bleaching session.
Moreover, some hair and colorist experts recommend that you get a cut or trim right after getting your hair colored to seal the ends.
Trimming off split ends will breathe new life into bleached, damaged hair.
A good analogy is to imagine your bleached hair like a rope.
Once the ends have been torn and damaged, they’ll start to unravel fast.
The same goes for your hair; once your hair ends are compromised, that damage will only accelerate, and no product or remedy can stop that.
Bleached Hair FAQs
How Often Should You Bleach?
There’s no rule on how often you can bleach your hair, as it depends on many factors such as hair strength, hair texture, structure, color, and so on.
However, bleaching your hair often will accumulate damage at the strand and root level.
According to the ‘American Academy of Dermatologists,’ it is best to give your hair a break for 8 to 10 weeks between bleaching sessions.
How Damaging Is Bleaching Your Hair?
Bleach is a harsh chemical that removes color by breaking apart your hair proteins.
After the bleach washes out, your hair strands are left lighter in color but also significantly weaker.
Breakage, frizz, and dryness are just some of the side effects you may experience after bleaching your hair.
However, while bleaching your hair will damage your hair (temporarily), you can always recourse to the several treatments described in this article to restore the health of your hair.
Can Bleached Hair Be Healthy?
Yes, bleached hair can be healthy, too, as long as you have an excellent hair care routine to balance out the damage and keep your hair in the most beneficial possible condition.
For best tips and products for bleached hair, see the article above.
Is Bleached Hair Permanent?
Unlike hair dyes that can be temporary or semi-permanent and will wash away over time, hair bleaching is a permanent process that leads to the discoloration of your hair.
While hair coloring covers the hair strand with a new layer of color, in the case of bleaching, the chemical strips away the natural colors of your hair, produced by the pigment called melanin.
What Helps Bleached Hair?
Rehydrating, nourishing, and protecting your hair from sun, chlorine, and hot tools are critical to helping your hair after bleaching.
See below for a few more simple pieces of advice:
Bleach is one of the simplest and fastest ways to remove pigment from your hair strands.
But changing up your hair color with bleach doesn’t come without a cost.
Bleach is a harsh invader that breaks your hair proteins to remove color.
After the bleach washes out, your hair strands are left lighter — and significantly weaker.
Breakage, frizz, and dryness are just some of the side effects you may experience after bleaching your hair.
However, there are several natural remedies you can use to restore the strength and flexibility of your hair strands.
Regardless of the repair approach, always allow extra time for your hair to start to regain health, shine, and shape.
Moreover, to get the most out of your bleached hair treatment, stick to a daily hair hygiene routine that limits heat styling sun exposure and incorporates a moisturizer and sunscreen.
If your hair doesn’t start to regain its shape and stability within a month to 6 weeks, you may need to approach a professional hairstylist for help.
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these bleached hair steps you’re going to try next?
Are there any other useful bleached hair tips that have worked for you?
Comments below, please! Would love to know your thoughts