One of the most debated topics of our lifetime is whether or not blondes have more fun. While that answer is yet to be determined, there’s no question that the damage and maintenance that blondes have to put up with just to maintain their hair color is literally zero fun. But since it’s spring, you’re most likely itching to lighten your locks so your “beachy waves” (that didn’t actually come from the beach) have that sun-kissed look. Your colorist is most likely stocking up on bleach and tubes of blonde dye as you read this, because no one in their right mind uses Sun-In anymore. But before you try to take your darker winter hue to platinum blonde in one sitting à la Kim Kardashian, it’s important to know how to bleach your hair. Because you’re, like, a smart blonde who doesn’t want to fry off their precious strands.
1. Condition, Condition, Condition Before (And After) Your Appointment
Since stripping color from your hair is also v drying, prepping with hydrating and nourishing hair masks pre and post-appointment is important. Hydration, as per usual, is king if you want to learn how to bleach your hair. Reach for a powerful mask that will repair and protect, like Christophe Robin’s Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil. The mask smells like a legit pear (in the best way possible), and it’s intense. The mask repairs, nourishes, and moisturizes hair while adding shine and protecting it from further breakage.
2. Don’t Have Absurd Expectations
Listen, bleach is harsh on your hair. It raises the strands’ cuticle scales, allowing loss of moisture and elasticity. If you’ve been coloring your hair black with box dye from Duane Reade all winter long, it’ll be even harsher on your hair. The point is, don’t expect for your colorist to be able to take you all the way platinum in one salon appointment. If your colorist is worth a shit they’ll understand that, so it will take a few sessions to take darker hair to a lighter color. Like Aristotle or Ja Rule or some sports guy said, “trust the process.” Aka, be patient with the lightening process so you can maintain healthy, hydrated hair.
3. Prepare To Invest In Color Preserving Products
Bleached hair is extra porous, making it susceptible to brass, fading, and dullness. If you want to maintain that bright $400 hue, opting for color preserving purple shampoos and conditioners is key.
4. Virgin Hair Processes Faster
Just like the first time you had sex, the first time you bleach virgin hair, things will happen really fast. But seriously, virgin hair processes the fastest, so if you haven’t previously colored your hair, expect for the appointment to take less time than you might expect. Speed is great when you learn how to bleach your hair, but maybe not so much for that other first time. The best part? Bleaching your virgin hair will probably be a lot less awkward then when you lost your virginity to your chemistry lab partner in your parent’s basement.
5. Be Gentle With Your Hair Post-Appointment
As mentioned, bleach is extra harsh on your hair. So lay off being super aggressive with hot tools and brushing in the days following your appointment, because that’s when it’s most susceptible to damage.
6. Just Like You, Maintenance Can Be A Real Bitch
If you have naturally dark hair and you want to go super blonde, you should know that there will be times between hair appointments where your roots will be very obvious. If you’re down to rock the whole Courtney Love heroin-chic look circa 1993, then have at it. But if you’re a psycho OCD betch like myself who can’t stand the sight of regrowth, you should think twice before committing to going super blonde.
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