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Hot or Cold Water: Which is Better to Rinse Out Hair Bleach?

You go to the salon or buy at-home hair products to change your look. Whether it’s a cut, color, style, or bleach, you’ve got to be aware of the new care procedures to follow after your makeover is complete. If you’re one of the many people who decide to bleach their hair, it’s important to take care of it properly. Otherwise, you risk damaging your new style.

When washing bleached hair, is it best to wash and rinse it with hot water or cold water? If you’re unsure and don’t want to risk damaging your new style, read on.

Key Highlights on Washing Bleach Out of Hair

  • Rinse the bleach out of your hair with cold water initially.
  • Alternate between cold and warm water during treatment.
  • Avoid using towels or old t-shirts to remove bleach; they’ll leave stains.
  • Start with a cool shower to close follicles and prevent scalp irritation.
  • After cold water rinse, shampoo your hair.
  • After rinsing with cold water, you can use a shampoo and toner hybrid, such as purple shampoo. Toner will eliminate the brassy tones.
  • Rinse shampoo with warm water to remove excess product.
  • Switch back to cold water to reclose follicles before finishing.

Should I Rinse Bleach out of My Hair with Cold Water?

Use cold water to rinse the bleach out of your hair- at least, at first. You’ll eventually alternate cold and warm water when treating your newly lightened hair. 

Once you’re home from the salon or finished with your dye job, you’re going to wind up with extra bleach in your hair. You don’t want to keep this on your head, and you don’t want to grab a towel or old t-shirt to wipe it out- the bleach will leave messy stains. 

Instead, start up your shower and run some cool water. Doing so will decrease the temperature of your hair, which will close the follicles and spare you from dealing with scalp irritations: the last thing you want to deal with after dyeing your hair. 

This is where the hot water comes in: after rinsing your hair in cold water, wash it with shampoo. It’ll help remove the excess product that didn’t come off in the first rinse, and it’ll get the rest of your hair clean. Rinse the shampoo out with warm water, then switch it back to cold before hopping out to reclose the follicles.

Why Is It Important to Use Cold Water on Bleached Hair?

using cold water for bleached hair

Whether your hair is bleached or untouched, it’s always better to use cold water. Cold water closes the hair follicle, promotes growth, and reduces frizz. It can even promote shine! If you have bleached hair, it’s more important than usual to use cool water over hot. 

Bleaching is a bit more intense than simply dyeing your hair. While dye adds to your hair, bleach subtracts: it strips away pigment and the protective layer of your hair called the cuticle. When your hair has less protection, it’s more likely you can damage it- which is why using hot water is risky. 

Using hot water to rinse your hair right after you bleach it will cause a chemical reaction that will raise the temperature of your scalp. That heat combined with the fresh bleach is not a pretty combination. 

Before long, your scalp and potentially your neck and face can become inflamed or irritated. To prevent this reaction, avoid hot water altogether until you can wash your hair with shampoo. 

Using Shampoo on Recently Bleached Hair

using shampoo on bleached hair

Advice on using shampoo after a hair dyeing process varies depending on your hair type and what you’ve done. You don’t want to use shampoo and conditioner too soon in case it strips your color. In the case of bleach, using shampoo too soon could create undesired chemical reactions that potentially irritate your skin, scalp and hair s mentioned above. 

Fortunately, you can use shampoo on your bleached hair as soon as you thoroughly rinse out the extra bleach.

However, we recommend using a toner on your hair before you shampoo. It’s not just us- salons recommend this too! Using a toner can help get rid of unwanted brassy tones in your bleached style. 

Your best bet is to use a shampoo and toner hybrid. Lots of purple shampoos have this makeup and will work perfectly for bleached hair. So, after you use cold water to rinse, wash your hair with a purple shampoo

So, Should You Use Hot or Cold Water to Wash Out Hair Bleach?

Use cold water to rinse out your hair bleach. Always start by rinsing your hair with cold water, then follow it up by washing it with shampoo and rinsing with warm water. Once your hair is clean, rinse again with cold water to close up the follicle. 


Still have more questions? Read on for more information about bleached hair. 

How long does the hair stay bleached?

Bleach does not wash out like traditional hair dye, and it will not return to normal until it grows out. Make sure you’re ready to commit to bleached hair for the foreseeable future before going through with the process. 

Is it safe to bleach my hair?

Yes, bleaching your hair is safe. Experts don’t recommend taking this dye job on at home, though. Visit your favorite salon to have your hair bleached by a professional. 

Does bleaching damage hair?

Yes, bleaching does damage your hair. You can lessen the damage by using nourishing products and making sure you use proper styling tools. Not doing so could cause your hair to become dry and brittle.