How to Fix Bleached Damaged Hair Tips and Product Reviews
The extra moisturizing power of a leave-in conditioner is one of the best products for bleach damaged hair.
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin is a lightweight sprayable product that you can add to damp hair after it’s been washed. The extra moisturizing power of a leave-in conditioner is one of the best products for bleach damaged hair. It leaves strands looking softer and also provides slip for detangling fried hair that’s more prone to knotting. Combing the tangles out of rough bleached hair becomes much easier with this product. If you’re laying off the blow-dryer, Miracle Leave-In will help to reduce static and frizz in hair that’s left to air dry. Finer strands won’t need too much of this spray, and overloading can leave your hair feeling greasy.
What we love:
- Reduces frizz and static
Home treatments to revive bleach damaged hair
Looking for some easy ways to repair fried hair that won’t take too much time or cut into your budget? These are our favorite at-home treatments for bleach damaged hair.
Leave in conditioner
These products are an easy way to give your hair some extra moisture, and can be used on a fairly regular basis. Unlike regular conditioner, leave-ins usually have a lighter texture that helps them to reduce frizz and dryness without weighing down your hair. We recommend a leave-in with a lotion consistency if your hair is on the thicker side, while ultra fine hair that’s been bleached may be better off with a liquid leave-in that you can spray on sparingly.
Shampooing helps to remove oily buildup and products from your scalp and hair, but daily shampooing can dry out bleached hair even further. If you can’t shake the feeling that your scalp is dirty and you’re having trouble breaking the habit of lathering up every day, try these alternative methods:
Sulfate free shampoo. Without the harsh sulfate detergents that give traditional shampoos that squeaky-clean feeling, you can cleanse your scalp without causing as much stress to your fried hair.
Cleansing conditioner. Washing your hair with conditioner may sound like madness, but it’s popular for a reason among women with natural hair. Don’t use a regular conditioner. They’re full of silicones that will weigh your hair down at the roots. Instead, purchase a cleansing conditioner (often called Co-wash) that’s meant to gently clean and condition at the same time.
Apple cider vinegar. This all-natural rinse helps to de-frizz your dry strands while removing build-up and killing the dandruff-causing microorganisms that live on your scalp. Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water, then carefully apply to your scalp and hair, taking care to avoid your eyes (even diluted, it still burns). Leave on for 2 minutes then rinse and condition as normal.
Ditch flat irons and blowdryers
Putting away your heat styling tools is the simplest and cheapest way to begin the healing process. Chemical damage from bleach leaves your hair far more susceptible to heat damage, and will exacerbate issues like split ends and porosity.
This is another easy way to give you hair some extra TLC at home. DIY masks are easily made with ingredients from your local grocery or health supply store. While they may not have the same lasting power as professional salon treatments, reducing frizz and providing temporary moisture means these DIY masks will make your bleach damaged hair easier to style.
Coconut & Honey Hair Mask
This easy, two-ingredient hair mask is big on moisture thanks to everyone’s current fave: coconut oil. Honey’s thick consistency makes this mask easy to spread and leave on for hours. If you’ve got a dry, itchy scalp that’s prone to dandruff, honey’s antibacterial properties will help soothe your skin.
- Mix equal parts coconut oil and honey. 1/4 cup of each is a good place to start, but you may need more or less depending on hair length.
- Apply to your hair, working through lengths and massaging into your scalp.
- Cover your hair and leave for at least an hour, then rinse and wash hair.
Milk & Avocado Hair Mask
Proteins in milk can give your hair a natural boost of protein that’s more gentle and less expensive than a salon treatment. Avocado is another great moisturizing fruit and helps to reduce frizz for several days after application.
- Remove the pit from one ripe avocado (the softer the better) and mash the pulp with a fork into a smooth consistency.
- Add in 3 tablespoons of full fat milk or cream and mix together.
- Massage into hair and leave for 30 minutes.
- Rinse mask and shampoo and condition as normal.
Olive Oil & Egg Hair Mask
The fat and protein in egg yolk nourish bleach damaged hair. You can also use egg in more complicated hair masks to bind together other ingredients. Add olive oil as an emollient that helps to moisturize and soften split ends.
- Beat one egg and mix in one cup of olive oil.
- Massage mixture into scalp and cover with a shower cap.
- Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse, shampoo and condition as usual.
Cut your hair or ends
In a perfect world, we could all bleach our hair to infinity and never have to trim as a result. But for severe damage this is usually the best option. If your strands are dry but otherwise intact you have a better hope of skipping this step, but ragged split ends can continue to travel up your strands if left alone. Here are some things to consider if you think your fried hair needs a trim:
See a professional. If you’re intent on only having the bare minimum trimmed, it’s tempting to skip the salon and avoid facing a professional. But letting a stylist tackle your mane means you’re more likely to come out with an actual haircut instead of a haphazard trim job. For inspiration, take a look at some of our favorite looks for short and medium hairstyles.
A little now saves a lot later. If you’re eager to getting back to using heat styling tools on your hair, a cut can make it possible much sooner. Losing dead ends is like taking a step forward in the repair process, and allows you to be less strict with how you treat your bleached hair.
Do something daring. Saying “hair grows back” is a pretty tired cliche. So instead, we’ll suggest you take the opportunity to dramatically switch up your look. If the thought of trimming bleach fried hair is upsetting because long hair is part of your signature look, maybe it’s probably been your signature look for too long. Check out these bold and badass shaved hairstyles for women.
Salon treatments that repair damaged hair
If you feel like dealing with fried hair is beyond your level of expertise, a salon consultation is a great fist step in developing a treatment plan. Professional colorists can assess the damage and recommend salon-quality treatments to get your hair back on track. Some of the most popular are:
Hot oil treatment
This salon treatment is great for bleach damaged hair that’s paired up with a dry scalp. A variety of emollient and essential oils will be heated up and then massaged into the scalp and worked through the lengths of your hair. Moisturizing oils soothe dry skin and help to reduce flaking and dandruff. A hot oil treatment at your salon won’t actually repair split ends, but oil soaked into your cuticles can diminish their appearance. Hot oil can also help to reduce frizz and static that becomes more of a problem on bleached out hair, and lasts longer than products like leave-in conditioners. Hot oil treatments should be applied weekly to keep bleached hair moisturized, and thankfully they’re one of the most affordable salon treatments you’ll come across.
This brand-name salon treatment is the celebrity-endorsed miracle that everyone’s talking about. More than a temporary conditioning or moisturizing product, Olaplex is formulated to rebuild disulphide bonds that are damaged during repeated or overzealous bleaching. This treatment comes in three stages, with the first two happening at the salon, and the third is used at home on a weekly basis. Not only will Olaplex repair hair that’s already been bleached, but its first step can be applied during salon bleaching to help prevent damage from happening in the first place. If you’re serious about actually repairing some of your split ends and frayed cuticles, investing in an Olaplex treatment is highly recommended.
Protein treatments aim to replace the protein that’s been lost in chemically damaged hair. The most popular types include keratin, hydrolyzed, wheat, soy, silk, and collagen. If your strands are just naturally dry, a protein treatment probably isn’t for you. Some women do their own protein treatments at home, but if you’re aiming to repair bleach damage and you’ve never done a protein treatment before, heading in to the salon is your best bet. They can advise the specific type of protein that will work best, and how often you should have the treatment done. You’ll probably be waiting at least a month between treatments, but your stylist may suggest longer depending on on your hair type and the extent of damage. Be sure to take their advice: having these treatments too frequently will further damage your bleached hair.
Keratin treatments like the Brazilian blowout are used to give frizzy hair a semi-permanent smoothing boost. After the keratin treatment is applied, hair is flat ironed straight using very high heat. If you’re working with hair that’s already been damaged by bleach, a keratin smoothing treatment with heat styling tools is a very bad idea. But not all keratin treatments have this second step meant to straighten and smooth. This is another type of protein treatment, and it’s a good way to repair your fried hair. Like any protein treatment, you can’t have this done too often, and it’s best to leave it to the professionals unless you have some experience.