How damaged is my hair? Can it withstand more processing?Posted 3 years ago
I started a new topic because this is a separate issue from haircoloring. So after bleaching my hair few weeks ago, I noticed that my hair "swells" in shower, taking up more volume; the texture becomes coarse and hardended, and the hair is bulky (Not soft to touch at all) when wet. If I sprayed diluted vinegar onto my hair before washing it then this doesnt happen. Once the hair touches a hair mask or a conditioner in the shower it becomes normal again. After the hair dries from the washing and conditionning, it looks and feels normal. During the days I don't wash my hair (If i don't wash I don't condition), it does feel a bit dry and tangles more easily, I put on oils to deal with that and it works to some extent. I haven't seen any breakage. I don't know about split ends since I always had them, and with the lighter color, it's harder for me to find them. I did a wet strand stretch test with ~10 hair. It does do a good stretch (～35% of its length) and recoils back to its original length. I tried pulling harder on the hair, it's difficult but it can stretch to further and snap (leaves marks on/hurts my finger). I've only seen people talk about gummy hair, do I have it? Can I bleach my hair again? I did bleach twice so far, but the coarse texture when wet issue started right after the first bleach.
I'd be cautious at this stage. Usually swelling indicates that your cuticle is really open (typical of bleaching), so water is being more easily absorbed than normal. The structure of bleached hair is kind of like a pine cone, with layers of scales over each other. Those scales are closed over each other on virgin hair. The more opened structure makes it easier for your hair to tangle and lose moisture Silicones/smoothing agents from conditioners help coat your hair, which helps it look and feel smooth and seals in moisture, but the actual structure is still weakened. As the silicone barrier breaks down over time from environmental exposure, the outer layer gets rougher again, so you start get a bit more tangling and, of course, the water can now escape.
I'd say you're pretty much on the edge. Usually, my hair can handle two processes without a lot of trouble in terms of every day styling, but at three, you start getting breakage from combing and it takes much longer to dry.
Posted 3 years ago
I'd give it a break for a while (at least a month as this is how long it can take for the full extent of bleach damage to show). Give it a chance to recover a bit before attempting any more bleaching and treat it to a protein treatment as well as regular deep conditioning in the meantime. Like Vivienne said, it sounds like its possibly on the verge of severe damage.
You'll never be able to erase the damage that's done, but you can lessen the effects by allowing your hair to rebuild its moisture reserves and patching up the cuticles a bit with protein between chemical processes. Bleaching multiple times in quick succession with no recovery in between is rarely a good idea.
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Posted 3 years ago
Thanks for the replies guys I'm here to write an update, because strange things happened. So, unfortunately I did not get to see your replies in time and went ahead to bleach my hair the 3rd time with 20 vol this time. As I was rinsing out the bleach, I noticed that my hair felt super smooth, slippery and sticky, like a fish or as if it was saturated with conditioner. I was very scared and shocked, and I wasn't sure what was going on (even now I'm not sure what happened). I thought perhaps it was some residual product or that my hair was melting like a candy (not sure if that actually happens) so kept on rinsing and shampooed my hair, 3 times. And it stayed the same. So I decided that it was enough shampooing and continued with a protein mask and conditioner. Aside from that, my hair dried normally and was just about the same. I didn't have any issue with breakage. Two days after the bleach, which is today, I decided to rinse my hair and condition without shampoo after I read about that on the web. Strangely enough, my hair doesn't feel coarse or bulky anymore under water. It actually feels smoother and if anything more normal (how is that even possible?). I did the stretch test again with 10 strands of hair, it does stretch quite some bit but it also recoils to its original length. Whatever the lightening the third bleach did, it was and will be the last bleach that i put onto my already processed lengths. : The morning of the bleach, I shampooed my hair twice, used a protein mask, followed by a deep moisturizing mask and then my conditioner. Before the bleach, I soaked my hair with a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil for 2 hours. For the bleach, I used 20 vol developper with L'oreal quick blue and olaplex. All my bleaches were done with olaplex.
by blu123Posted 3 years ago
As Powerpuff_Nix has mentioned it can take a while for bleach damage to show. Here's hoping it will stay in relatively good shape :)
Usually, your hair will start feeling smoother once the other cuticle layer starts breaking off with a lot of processes. It can definitely be perfectly manageable so long as you don't do more processes. Your hair is significantly weaker than virgin hair, so just be a bit more cautious when scrubbing and brushing.
Posted 3 years ago
Does it mean that my hair no longer has any cuticle left???
No, probably not. If that were the case, your hair would have basically no structural integrity. It's probably just starting to come off, but it should be manageable if you don't process anymore.
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