If there is one thing that we stand by that will probably never change is that you should never, under any circumstances bleach your hair at home. It’s so-not-in-your-favor-of-turning-out-right risky and is like a game of hair Russian roulette with bullets in each chamber except one. The right way to bleach your hair at home is to not do it at all. Though referred to as bleaching by everyone and their mama–including many expert stylists, when you bleach your hair, you are stripping away the pigment in your hair, which in essence lightens your hair. There are so many variables that can go wrong during this process that we strongly advise going at it alone. Here are our expert commandments for how to bleach your hair at home without damage brought to you by Amena Belledesoleil of Hair Polish Natural Hair Studio:
“Lightening is the process of removing natural pigment from your hair which in turn removes strength from your hair at the same time. It is for this reason that at home hair lightening by non-cosmetologists is not recommended. Bleaching is for clothes and surfaces. Lightening is for hair. Now that we are clear on that let’s get into what that actually entails.”
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT ONE: THOU DOEST NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND NRP
What is NPR? It means natural remaining pigment. If you don’t know what this is and what natural levels of hair they correspond to you can not safely lighten your hair.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT TWO: THOU DOEST NOT HAVE A HAIR ANALYSIS
A hair analysis will tell you the condition of your hair. Do you have excellent, good, or poor elasticity and healthy cuticle layers? How do you gauge this? If you have no accurate answers you can not safely lighten your hair.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT THREE: THOU DOEST NOT UNDERSTAND AFTERCARE
How much change in condition has your hair experienced in the lightening process? The aftercare product recommendations are going to be in direct relation to this to keep your hair balanced and in best condition.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT FOUR: THOU’S TEXTURE FRY LEVELS COULD BE LOW
What type of strands do you have? Fine, medium, coarse or a combination? The lightener ingredients should be chosen with this in mind to prevent major damage to the hair.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT FIVE: THOU IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL
This is not the same thing that comes in a box off the shelf of your local pharmacy. The ingredient quality and hair repairing capabilities of professional level products are the difference between great hair and ruined hair.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT SIX: THOU MAY DOUBLE FRY THOU’S HAIR
“If high heat use is a part of your styling regimen, hair lightened beyond safe levels will be more prone to breakage.” What is your safe level? See you’re already confused.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT SEVEN: THOU MAY LOOK CLOWNISH
Recoloring your hair after lightening it can cause more damage if knowledge of commandments 1, 2, and 4 are not known. Surely we are not into walking around with un-toned lightened hair?
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT EIGHT: LIFE ALTERING BREAKAGE SHALT HAPPEN
“Breakage. This will happen in devastating amounts if hair is not lightened safely.” Devastating. Amounts. Will happen. Let that sink in for a moment.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT NINE: THOU MAY EXPERIENCE IMMEDIATE BREAKAGE
It’s call a chemical reaction. Chemical reactions happen in hair with mineral or other chemical build up which can have adverse reactions to lightener and cause immediate breakage. This is most common with hard water, well water and people on certain medications.
DON’T DO IT COMMANDMENT TEN: THOU’S RISK OF HAIR DEATH IS GREAT
Lightening your hair can be one of the most damaging processes done to your hair if done without full knowledge of your hair’s characteristics, the product ingredients, and required aftercare to keep it in optimal condition. Do your hair a favor and seek a reputable colorist to ensure you achieve the best possible results.
Amena BelledeSoleil is an Aveda certified cosmetologist and owner Hair Polish Natural Hair Studio in Los Angeles. Find her on Facebook.