When deciding to bleach wet hair, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons. Get it wrong, and you could end up with a brassy color, dry and brittle hair, skin irritations, and in the worst case, hair loss. Get it right, and you’ll save yourself a pretty penny by not needing a salon visit to lighten your hair.
Can You Bleach Wet Hair without Professional Help?
The fast and straightforward answer regarding bleaching damp hair at home is: Yes, you can.
Of course, salon professionals would never recommend using bleach to color your hair at home. Still, with the right tools, preparation, information, and self-confidence, there should be no reason not to go for an attractive blonde hue on your own.
And you’ll be in good company. Plenty of people wonder if they have the skill to bleach wet hair by themselves, and they end up thrilled with the results. So, go ahead and take the plunge (pun intended!) to brighten and lighten your look.
Benefits of Bleaching Wet Hair
Bleaching or lightening hair can be damaging because the process lifts the hair’s outer cuticle and allows the bleaching solution to penetrate the shaft. If your hair is already wet, the water dilutes the potency of the chemicals, and the color lightens more slowly.
Another thing that influences the effectiveness of a bleaching solution is the amount of water in the mixture itself. The more water, the weaker the bleaching power. And that’s one of the chief benefits of lightening wet hair with bleach; you can pace the processing and not end up with a drastic result too quickly.
Understanding the Bleaching Process
Bleaching hair involves oxidation, a chemical process that strips out the color from the strands. If you’ve ever had your hair colored to a lighter shade, you were using a bleaching agent (probably hydrogen peroxide and ammonia) even if you weren’t aware of it.
These two chemicals are commonly blended together because when used independently, they are unpredictable and less effective when lightening hair.
Bleach Washing Technique
If your recently dyed hair came out a little too dark, and you want just a touch of color correction about one shade lighter, the technique known as “bleach washing” could be an easy solution.
Add the bleaching agent to your favorite shampoo and wash your hair as usual. The bleach lifts the cuticle and allows the shampoo to penetrate the hair shaft, stripping about one shade of the unwanted dye out. Voila, lighter hair with less risk!
Six Things to Do If You Decide to Bleach Wet Hair
- Do a patch test first to make sure you like the color.
- Use a high-quality toner to help avoid brassy tones.
- Deep condition with nourishing masks BEFORE and AFTER the process.
- Always use purple shampoo to keep your locks bright and shiny.
- Avoid styles that require heat to dry.
- Use a heat protectant if you blow-dry your hair.
To Bleach Wet Hair or Not to Bleach Wet Hair?
Bleaching wet hair is not as invasive or aggressive towards the hair as bleaching hair while it’s dry. If you’re seeking a more subtle color change or a slightly brighter, lighter shade of blonde, bleaching your hair while it’s wet could be a great option. When in doubt, consult with a hair care professional.
Can I Dye Wet Hair After Bleaching?
If your goal is to have brighter and blonder hair or more vibrant and vivid colors, bleach washing your hair isn’t the best option for you. Instead, you might decide to dye your hair after bleaching it.
If you decide to go that route, remember that bleaching dirty hair (not too dirty, just a day or two after shampooing) is better than bleaching freshly washed hair. After you have bleached it to your satisfaction, then you can dye it whatever fantastic color you wish.
Can you bleach hair with conditioner in it?
Avoid bleaching hair with conditioner in it. Remember, the job of hair conditioner is to seal the cuticle of the hair shaft. When coloring or bleaching hair, the cuticle should be lifted open.
Can you bleach hair with coconut oil in it?
Yes, putting coconut oil on your hair before bleaching it can help protect it from the bleaching process. If possible, apply the oil the night before.
Can you bleach hair twice?
Yes, you can bleach it twice, but remember, it’s recommended to wait at least two weeks between processes. Each time you bleach your hair, it’s weaker and more prone to breakage and extreme dryness, leading to hair loss. And depending on your original hair color, you might not achieve the light color you’re looking for anyway.
Can you bleach dirty hair?
Yes, as mentioned above, it’s OK to bleach hair that has not been freshly washed. The natural scalp oils can actually protect the hair shaft as it undergoes the bleaching process.