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Side Effects of Bleaching Your Hair
Haley Dagan August 12th 2022

Side Effects of Bleaching Your Hair

Bleach is one of the harshest chemicals you can use on your locks. Keep reading to learn more about potential bleach side effects for natural hair and hair extensions.

Ever seen a celeb who went platinum blonde and thought, “I could pull that off?” The idea of dramatically changing your hair color can be super exciting. But the reality (hello, bleach burn!) isn’t as glamorous as Hollywood makes it look. A drastic change in color requires bleaching your strands – and if you have human hair extensions, you have to bleach those to match, too. And that can cause some SERIOUS damage.

Bleach is one of the harshest chemicals you can use on your locks. Bleach burn, irritation, and a chemical burn from hair bleach are the not-so-fun parts of chasing that platinum look. And if you try to do it yourself, prepare for bad bleached hair. (If you googled “does bleaching your hair damage it?” and ended up here, we assume this is probably your first time hitting the bleach. It’s okay, we got you.)

If you’re not put off by bleach burn and still want to bleach your strands, keep reading to learn more about potential bleach side effects for natural hair and hair extensions. 

Side Effects of Bleaching Your Hair

It’s super tempting to rock platinum blonde hair. It’s a LOOK, right? But before you take the plunge, we’ve got to warn you about some bleach side effects. Once you damage your natural hair or hair extensions with a botched bleach job, getting them healthy again is nearly impossible, even with the best care products. And bleach chemical burns are no joke! Here’s everything you need to know about bleach side effects so you’re fully prepared. 

Scalp Irritation

Bleach is a strong chemical, so it’s not uncommon for your scalp to burn, itch, or get red after bleaching your hair. If you start to notice any painful side effects, quickly remove the bleach and let your hairstylist know. These are all signs of bleach burn, and you want to avoid a painful bleach chemical burn at all costs! If your scalp gets irritated, definitely consult your hairstylist about bleach burn treatment options. 

The likelihood of an intense burning sensation depends on how much peroxide you use and how close the bleach gets to your roots. If you have dark hair, you probably need two rounds of bleach and that only increases your chances of getting a chemical burn from hair bleach. If you’re bleaching close to your roots, you’ll feel a slight burning sensation no matter what you do. (Sorry!) If you have a sensitive scalp, let your hairstylist know so they can use a lower level of peroxide.

Dry and Damaged Strands 

Remember that bleach is a harsh chemical, so another risk when bleaching your hair is dryness. This can happen to your hair extensions if you bleach them, too, and there’s no undoing the damage. The chemicals in bleach open your hair cuticles, so bleached hair becomes brittle and more prone to damage.

If your hair is feeling a little parched, try to wash less often than normal so your natural oils can rehydrate your scalp and strands. Trust us: Over-washing your hair will only make the problem worse. (Check out these hair hacks for freshening your hair without washing it!) You can also opt for a deep conditioning treatment with keratin to strengthen to add an extra level of moisture to your damaged locks (and avoid an obvious bad bleached hair look).

Hair Loss

Can bleach make your hair fall out? Unfortunately, this CAN happen. Don’t freak just yet! Hair loss from bleaching usually only happens if you:

  • Leave the bleach on for too long
  • Use bleach that’s too strong for your hair
  • Apply too much heat to your hair during bleaching
  • Bleach already unhealthy or chemically treated hair

If you leave the bleach on your hair for the recommended time, only bleach healthy hair, and use the correct bleach and developer combination for your hair, you shouldn’t have to worry about hair loss

Keep Your Hair Extensions Bleach Burn- and Bleach-Free

If you’re considering bleaching your hair extensions, regardless of how high-quality they are (like our 100% Remy human hair extensions), we don’t recommend bleaching them. EVER. Bleach is an extremely strong chemical that changes the actual chemistry of the strands and can cause bleach burn and irreversible damage to your hair extensions.

If you still want to change up your look, try dying your extensions with hair dye instead of bleach for a less risky makeover. Even better, go for already colored hair extensions – we have platinum blonde extensions! 

Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions or concerns about bleaching your hair!

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